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At last: HR gets an upgrade!

HROur good buddies across the pond at BBC News have revealed HR’s newest weapon against to help job candidates get hired. (Oops.)  Yep — HR has gotten an upgrade! Recruiting robots!

News I want you to use

Read it on BBC News: Meet Tengai, the job interview robot who won’t judge you

If this seems far-fetched, some employers in the U.S. are already using robots to interview you on your mobile-device camera — and then other robots (algorithms) watch your interview video to decide whether you will “proceed to the next step.”

Look, Ma! No hands!

A couple of years ago, we covered a U.S. company the BBC references — “HireVue, a US-based video platform that enables candidates to be interviewed at any time of day and uses algorithms to evaluate their answers and facial expressions.”

Look, Ma! No hands! human HR managers! Or you could just Tell HR you don’t talk to the hand.

Heads up! Like it or not, you’re going to encounter recruiter bots. Maybe you already have. 

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  1. I’ll be honest and admit that I have biases. We all do.

    I think it would be highly unfair to employers for my biases to interfere with their chances to demonstrate why they are the best companies to work for.

    To eliminate this bias, I’m going to build a robot to interview for me. It will not engage in chit-chat. It will answer all questions in the same tone. It will ask employers the exact same questions in the exact same order in the exact same tone.

    I will then get a transcript of each interview. No identifying information will be on the transcript. That way, I can evaluate the employer free from bias. When evaluating companies, it’s really good to have a robot with no feelings and no emotions screen them for you.

    I hope to eventually have the robot developed enough that it can decide if I should move to the next stage of the interview process with the employer. That way, I can concentrate on only the serious opportunities and not have to read any transcripts.

  2. On the plus side, once we have robots to do all this, we’ll no longer need HR people.

  3. Any system created by a human is going to have some sort of bias. Why don’t they just admit they want to eliminate an HR department?

  4. If someone really want to hire you, then you will not have to jump through hoops (such as robo interviews). At the same time, companies can be compliant with various laws. HireVue has nothing to do with getting a job. A company could say, “We interviewed 100 people for this position. X% women and Y% people of color including Z% Hispanics.” They did interview. They included diverse people. They are compliant (but barely). They still hired the person they wanted to begin with.

    • @Kevin: Most HR technology is designed for one main purpose: legal compliance. I think you nailed it. Any HR tech that allows an employer to show it interviewed X of this kind of person and Y of another will get a purchase order. It has little to do with actually filling jobs.

    • And job applicants provide the free data and free labor (data entry) for these HR analytics.

      • @Margarets: Now you’re getting it. Everyone’s making out but the job applicants. While the HR and hiring managers are out to lunch, the applicants are doing all the work and donating all the data.

  5. These types of “interviews” are one sided. You don’t get a chance to ask the interviewer questions to see if the company is a good fit for you. If the next step is an on-site visit, one wants to make sure they even want to continue before they take off work and possibly spend time traveling to visit a company.

    These video interviews also strike me as high hubris. The companies assume they have all the power and they assume that you would trip over yourself to jump though whatever hoops they want and you will always want to go to an in person interview.

    • These are “fake interviews.”

    • @MollyG: Considering we’re in a “talent shortage” with very low unemployment and supposedly incredible competition for talent… why aren’t employers paying job seekers to show up at interviews at 5-star restaurants??

      It’s not hubris. It’s outright STUPIDITY. Wake up, HR! You’ve been swallowing too much Kool-aid peddled by “HR consultants!”

      • Is this a supply and demand issue? The demand is there, but the budget for many employees is lower than what people want to accept.

        I was recently offered a job in another city – and the company included a bonus and full moving package in the offer.

        I turned it down:

        1. The offered salary was approximately what I make now.

        2. My wife is a librarian, and the new city did not have any positions available for her.

        Now what if they would have offered something that made up for both our salaries and some extra spending money? Maybe I would have accepted.

        • @Kevin: It is indeed a supply and demand issue, but the DOL and HR are not telling the complete truth. Wharton researcher Peter Cappelli explains that in spite of their inability to find and hire workers they need (“low supply”), employers are not demonstrating the expected behavior — the higher pay that’s triggered by “high demand.” Employers are not offering market rates.

          This is behind a pay wall but worth reading:

          (try accessing through your local library’s portal)

          • I forget where I saw this but it was notable enough to make it into my quotes.txt file:

            “… employers want candidates who have been doing the exact job for years already, and who are willing to take a pay cut to do it some more.”

            — Peter Cappelli

            • At this point, I might as well not apply to a job unless I am unemployed. When people see that I am employed, and given my experience, they turn me down as they don’t want to pay. Certainly they can find SOMEBODY willing to work for less by using the magic computer.