Recruiters are using an AI platform to cut interview times and evaluate job candidates based on skills

September 27, 2023

The old-school job interview process can be a headache for recruiting teams—and can feel even more arduous for roles with naturally high turnover, such as call center agents or retail workers, reports Fortune Magazine.

But what if a tool could make that headache go away? Enter HiringBranch, a Canada-based software company providing an artificial intelligence- (AI-) based talent screening assessment platform for call centers. The company has worked with large employers, including IT company Infosys, Accenture, and Bell Canada.

HiringBranch evaluates whether job candidates have the key skills needed to successfully complete the job to which they’ve applied. For example, someone vying for a customer success representative role would sit through a mock customer complaint call, and the AI would assess how well the candidate is able to resolve the issue.

HiringBranch’s platform can evaluate candidates on up to 30 skills—primarily focused on linguistic and soft skills, such as active listening, building rapport, or showing empathy—although it tends to assess candidates for just a handful of skills necessary for a specific role.

“Everyone’s so metric-driven nowadays; you measure everything. And when it comes to hiring, using an interview process, it’s very difficult to measure,” says Stephane Rivard, HiringBranch CEO and cofounder.

With HiringBranch, Rivard says companies can capture a real-time assessment of candidates’ skills in as little as 20 minutes, and they’re benchmarked based on an analysis of the company’s current employee base.

“It’s consistent, and it’s standardized, but it really allows you to find repeatedly the employees that drive success,” Rivard adds.

Fundraising Direct, a Canada-based telephone fundraising provider for nonprofits like UNICEF, WWF, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, started using HiringBranch’s platform in 2021.

Previously, time-to-hire for its phonathon callers would take at least two weeks. HiringBranch and Fundraising Direct created a 20-minute automated speaking test that scored candidates on conversational fluency—establishing rapport, and ability to follow instructions. Candidates who score 75% or higher were able proceed to onboarding.

Today, the time-to-hire for these roles takes as little as three business days, and more than 90% of the job interview volume for phonathon callers has been cut, says Sarah Wise, director of operations at Fundraising Direct. The company also has reduced hiring costs by 1.5 full-time employees’ salaries—the budget for which has been redirected to focus more on coaching and getting new hires on the phone faster.

“As I’m saying the words now, journeying back to 2018 and pre-pandemic, I can’t believe there are literally three steps to our recruitment,” says Wise. “They submit their resume, and we have a look. If we like the look, then we send out that pre-hire assessment. If their score is at least 75%, we send them to training. It’s just that simple.”

Research contact: @FortuneMagazine