Artificial intelligence, or AI, in recruitment and human resource is not new. Over the past years, it is increasingly being used to automate and reduce the time spent on repetitive and time-consuming tasks such as resume screening, assessments, and even scheduling.
Re Source Partners, in collaboration with 9 Yards Analytics, is taking AI a step further with a software to help recruiters.
“In recent years, we’ve noticed that companies are not just looking at hard and technical skills. They are also evaluating candidates based on how they will thrive at work, and even areas such as work preference, culture fit, and critical thinking,” shared Kristin Bok, Director at Re Source Partners.
According to her, one of the challenges of recruitment is evaluating fairly without conscious bias of what the recruiter thinks would ‘fit’ their client’s organisation well. Too often, recruiters focus too much on current core skills and fail to evaluate future potential.
“At the end of the day, companies are not just hiring for present needs but for succession planning. For example, a candidate who may not be a good fit now may be a great fit in the future with the right training. That’s why we want to look at a candidate’s characteristics and not just their skills.”
Meet Nina, your robo-psychologist
The collaboration between Re Source Partners and 9 Yards Analytics uses Nina, 9 Yards’ behavioural analytics AI suite that covers personality, culture fit, logical reasoning, and critical thinking. One of the things that makes Nina different from other personality assessments is that it evaluates a candidate’s behavioural and skills profile by asking them open-ended questions.
Its conversational approach means candidates won’t be getting multiple choice questions which can sometimes be boring or monotonous, and often predictable. Instead, Nina may ask questions like ‘What do you like to do in your free time?’ and it’s up to the candidate to reply as long (or as short) as they want.
“Nina’s engine is trained by experts in psychology and behavioural science and powered by a natural language processing engine that analyses the context of candidates’ responses — such as what they say and how they say it,” said Sjiva De Meester, Director at 9 Yards Analytics, who has a background in psychology and innovation. Sjiva explained that the software measures over 5,000 data points per candidate to provide a more accurate representation.
All about a good user journey
For Re Source Partners and 9 Yards, it’s all about giving candidates a good user experience and really getting to know them better to help enable their careers. “We wanted to create a meaningful and engaging assessment that’s different from what’s currently in the market. And we wanted to focus on both job and culture fit — the latter being personally important to me,” said Sjiva.
From the get-go, Nina doesn’t ask your typical personality assessment questions — which works well to prevent candidates from answering it the way they ‘think’ they should. As there are no right or wrong answers, candidates are more encouraged to answer genuinely and truthfully, in turn bringing out better insights to their personality.
So how does Nina work? Candidates simply have to go through three sets of questionnaires — all of which can be easily done in half an hour. After that, Nina will use the data and analyse a candidate’s profile in relation to what the hiring company is looking for.
The comprehensive report that is generated categorises the candidate according to 9 Yard’s 17 archetypes (a result of a decade of research in consulting) such as Teamplayer, Innovator, Coordinator, and Achiever. It also measures a candidate’s potential strengths and weaknesses, and analyses their culture fit, with recommendations on the type of interview questions that the candidate should prepare for.
“With Nina’s help, recruiters and consultants like us will be able to pick up on key areas and blind spots in a candidate’s profile and be able to prepare them better for job interviews and reduce the number of interview rounds candidates have to go for,” said Kristin.
Adding the human touch
Ultimately, according to Kristin, the human touch is still a crucial part of their business. And while Nina is playing a big support role in finding talents more efficiently, it still falls on consultants and recruiters to prepare candidates for the real world job interviews and face-to-face interactions with potential employers.
Sjiva agrees: “When recruiters are not bogged down by administrative and repetitive tasks, they can better evaluate and recommend next actions using empathy and context — they can focus on having more meaningful conversations with candidates.”
“We want candidates to gain a better understanding of themselves in their job search and career move, and at the same time give better insight to our clients on who they are interviewing and to find the best fit for them,” said Kristin.