AI for recruiting and the virtual HR Assistant

Topics: career sites, recruitment marketing, AI

Posted by Lori Vrcan on Mar 20, 2019 9:00:00 AM

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A Q&A with Aaron Matos, CEO and Founder of Paradox

AI, virtual assistants, chat bots…these are some of the topics that are frequently discussed when TA professionals get together and talk about the future of recruitment marketing. Paradox is one of the leading players in the space, with a stated goal of creating “a better candidate and recruiter experience for everyone.” NAS shares that philosophy, so we were pleased to recently speak with Aaron Matos, CEO and Founder of Paradox.

AI is a big topic in recruitment today. How do you see it fitting in with recruitment marketing in general?
The consumerization of the enterprise is inevitable. Today’s workforce expects the same level of immediacy, personalization and assistance within the enterprise as they experience in their personal lives. Organizations have also realized the need to improve their employment branding practices to attract and retain the best candidates in a tight labor market. AI is making it possible to deliver these experiences for candidates and employees at scale.

How can AI help recruiters?
There are many different applications that are sprouting up in the market and interesting ways AI is being utilized to help in the recruiting process. If we look at the way AI is being used in other industries, such as technology, finance or science, it’s not a stretch to see how the computing capabilities of AI can help people achieve big goals by processing huge amounts of data to make predictions and provide insight. Those capabilities exist today and in the future with recruitment.

Tell us the story of how and why Olivia, your virtual HR Assistant, was born.
The idea for Paradox started because we recognized a problem. Our clients were spending about 80% of their time with their software doing administrative work, leaving only 20% to actually engage with talent. We became interested in the idea of how we could use conversation and mobile messaging to make the experience easier, faster and make it feel more real. That idea became personified through our assistant, Olivia. Olivia was created to flip the 80/20 rule by freeing up recruiters from the administrative burden to allow more time spent where it really matters—with talent.

Describe Olivia and her capabilities.
Olivia can help automate the time-consuming work of recruiting—tasks like screening, scheduling and other hiring process communications. Today, most applications take at least 15 minutes to complete and require a desktop device. But through the ease and flexibility of conversation, Olivia is able to capture and screen candidates in minutes and can achieve 95% completion rates. She can answer tens of thousands of candidate or employee questions, accurately, consistently and at any time of the day or week.

Olivia solves the logistical challenge of interview scheduling and can review hundreds of hiring managers’ calendars to handle complex interview scheduling within seconds. Olivia’s automated SMS reminders help to reduce interview cancellations and no-shows, which can be a huge time and cost problem for employers, particularly in a competitive job market. But those are just a few of the many skills on her resume.

What are the biggest benefits of Olivia from a recruiter’s perspective?
We believe that everyone deserves an assistant. People are always asking for extra hours in the week to finish all the work that needs to get done. Among other benefits, Olivia offers the gift of time. When Olivia is handling high-volume and repetitive tasks, recruiters can devote more face-to-face time with top talent and other high-value work. In addition, our clients experience a significant decrease in their time to hire, allowing for a competitive advantage in recruiting talent and a decrease in hiring costs.

What’s down the road for Olivia? How will she evolve?
One of our company values is to be better tomorrow than we are today, and we firmly believe that the best way to predict the future is to create it. At Paradox, we start with the premise, “how can Olivia assist companies with their talent experience?” If you were to hire an assistant, you’d train your assistant on the work that you need done and how you’d like that work completed, but over time you’d expect that a great assistant will do more. You’d probably expect that your assistant would get smarter, be able to provide expertise and insight from experience and begin to anticipate your needs. That’s the future we see for Olivia.

Since Olivia came on the scene in 2016, success has been achieved in a relatively short amount of time. To what do you attribute your success; what sets you apart?
We’ve worked hard to build a team of talented, dedicated professionals who care deeply about our mission and about our clients’ success. We’ve also been incredibly fortunate to work with wonderful clients and partners. Our clients have entrusted us with their challenges and their goals, and as a result, we’ve continued to rapidly expand Olivia’s capabilities because of the potential that we see in how she can help them.

Any final insights or advice you would like to share with Talent Acquisition professionals?
A big thank you to the TA professionals. You do the really important work of finding the right talent and empowering them to achieve great things within your company. You are often the face of the organization and the first impression. Sometimes you are handcuffed by budget, time, resources, etc. We believe magic happens when we think about the possibilities without constraints: What would we do if we could? For example, if you could provide the perfect job seeker experience to all of your candidates, what would it look like? Start the journey there and wherever you land will always be ahead of where you started.

See how NAS’ client, Longhorn Steakhouse, is using Olivia on its career site to engage candidates.

Lori Vrcan

With more than 25 years of experience at NAS, Lori Vrcan, Senior Creative Strategist, has extensive knowledge and understanding of recruitment challenges and solutions. Her expertise includes interactive, print, video and radio projects across all disciplines, including several national award-winning campaigns.