09 MAY 2018

Robot Vera, the artificial intelligence for recruitment

How many times do you read a job advertisement that requires that the candidate have specific characteristics – years of experience, knowledge of a specific language or a software – and aware that you do not have these qualifications, you apply anyway, thinking that maybe you will be lucky and will obtain a job interview? If the job interview was done by Vera, the artificial intelligence for recruitment, surely you will not be contacted because the artificial intelligence employed by Ikea for staff selection only conducts job interviews with candidates who fit the characteristics of the job advertisement.

 

Vera, the artificial intelligence for recruitment of staff

Robot Vera is an example of artificial intelligence that deals, at least in a first exploratory phase, with identifying suitable candidates for a specific job offer.

Vera was created by Strafory, a Russian start-up and currently works for Ikea Russia. It has been chosen to cope with the thousands of curricula that the Swedish multinational receives every year. Before joining the Swedish multinational, Vera worked for other ones such as Auchan, Pepsi and L’Oreal.

 

How does Vera’s artificial intelligence work?

The company that uses Vera’s artificial intelligence, gives robot Vera all the characteristics and skills that the candidate must have. Vera looks for these parameters among the curricula in the database and gets to work setting up an interview with the candidate, an interview which can be done by telephone or through a video chat. Vera is able to handle 1,500 job interviews every day and dedicates 8 minutes to each candidate, during these 8 minutes, Vera asks the candidate about their studies, asks them to describe themselves with a word, asks about previous job positions … In short, it conducts a real job interview. However, this is only the first phase of the job interview: once robot Vera has selected the potential candidates, they will be contacted and evaluated by human beings who are experts in human resources because, as one of the fathers of the project, Alexei Kostarev affirmed, human beings remain the best evaluators, but Vera can help them considerably by reducing the prescreening process.

Currently Vera speaks only English and Russian, its tone of voice can be both male and female and is very elegant and professional in its white blouse and black jacket and with its glasses.

Naturally there are human beings behind Vera’s artificial intelligence: its developers have worked hard on its lexicon, giving it 13 billion examples of syntax, words and lists of different professions, in this way it can speak in the most natural way. Furthermore, they are teaching it to recognize emotions such as disappointment, pleasure and anger.

Right now, artificial intelligence for recruitment helps the human resources staff, but, according to Kostarev, soon Vera will be able to decide by itself who to employ. This opinion is not shared by all insiders who believe that the final decision about the employment of a new resource has many facets and human being will always be the best person to make that decision

Currently Vera speaks only English and Russian, its tone of voice can be both male and female and is very elegant and professional in its white blouse and black jacket and with its glasses.

Naturally there are human beings behind the artificial intelligence Vera: its developers have worked hard on its lexicon, giving it 13 billion examples of syntax, words and lists of different professions, in this way it can speak in the most natural way. Furthermore, they are teaching it to recognize emotions such as disappointment, pleasure and anger.

Right now, the artificial intelligence for recruitment helps the human resources staff, but, according to Kostarev, soon Vera will be able to decide by itself who employ. This opinion is not shared by all insiders who believe that the final decision about the employment of a new resource has many facets and the human being will always be the best person to take it.

Elaborated by Lucia D’Adamo, supervised by Marco Pirrone

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