Companies are using AI to screen candidates now

Human job recruiters can only physically juggle so many candidates at once. HireVue, a company with a “video interview intelligence platform,” wants to make that easier by using artificial intelligence to do the heavy lifting for you and screen multiple candidates at once. From hiring for a systems engineer to a sales director to a data scientist, this technology could carve out more time for hiring managers to speak with quality candidates.

Candidates can use HireVue’s mobile or desktop app to set up a video interview with an employer and record answers to interview questions at their convenience.

When I tested the demo on my smartphone, I was asked to answer what my ideal career would be. It was slightly awkward seeing my own face staring back at me, but HireVue gives you an unlimited number of chances until you can record with saying “ummm.” So far, it seems like any normal video application.

Then the A.I. kicks in.

Using voice and face recognition software, HireVue lets employers compare a candidate’s word choice, tone, and facial movements with the body language and vocabularies of their best hires. The algorithm can analyze all of these candidates’ responses and rank them, so that recruiters can spend more time looking at the top performing answers.

HireVue’s AI can judge your tone and vocabulary for employers

HireVue said it doesn’t want to replace recruiters; instead, it wants to make the job interview process more efficient. At its best, it can serve as an initial screener before job seekers can get to the promised land of interviewing with a human. Say a candidate is applying for a position in San Diego, California but lives on the east coast, this could cut out a step of unnecessary travel.

As part of its positive testimonies, HireVue said SHIPT, a grocery delivery service, tripled its recruitment rate as recruiters no longer had to deal with technical difficulties and coordinating video times. But the technology is not only being used in the food and beverages industryGoldman Sachs, Under Armour, Unilever, and Vodafone are also among the companies that have used the platform.

By having each candidate answer the same questions, HireVue said it makes its process more structured, which can help eliminate biases.

“Structured interviews are much better and subject to less bias than unstructured interviews,” HireVue founder Mark Newman told Fast Company. “But many hiring managers still inject personal bias into structured interviews due to human nature.”

In other words, the algorithm is only as objective as the human minds that guide it. So if the employer’s ideal candidate is already biased against certain characteristics, HireVue’s platform would only embed these biases further, potentially making discriminatory practices a part of the process. Human recruiters would need to recognize their own personal biases before they could stop feeding them into HireVue. It’s one more reminder that behind each robot lies a human who engineered it.