Monday, Oct 23, 2017
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Recruiter bot may conduct interview for your next job

Some worry artificial intelligence will steal jobs — but one start-up is betting that its artificial intelligence will help you get a job.

San Francisco-based Mya Systems has developed an artificial intelligence recruiter that can evaluate resumes, schedule, and conduct applicant screenings, and even congratulate you on your first day of work.

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Shantel Howard, 29, of Miami, right, makes an appointment for a job interview with Calvin Klein employee Melina Mikhalices, left, after submitting her resume during a job fair at Dolphin Mall in Miami. Such interviews may one day be conducted by robots.

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Short for “my assistant,” Mya chats with applicants via computer or smart phone to ask many of the typical questions expected in early job interviews: What’s your availability to start work? How does $15 per hour sound? How many years of experience do you have?

“Even when candidates don’t get a job, they’re excited to hear back at all because they're so used to the black hole of resumes,” Mya Systems’ founder Eyal Grayevesky told CNNTech.

In screenshots of simulated job interviews that Mya Systems provided to CNNTech, the word “Bot” appeared next to Mya’s name. Otherwise, there was no obvious indication that there wasn’t a human messaging back. The experience is similar to a text message conversation.

Applicants chat with Mya, and if she deems them a good fit she’ll schedule an in-person interview with the human hiring manager. She also will automatically send directions via Google Maps and even offer tips on what to wear.

For applicants who aren’t deemed desirable, Mya suggests other jobs to which they might be better suited, based on keywords and ZIP code.

Mya is cloud-based and integrates directly into a company’s applicant-tracking software. Her responses are so realistic that, according to Mya Systems, even when applicants are told they’re talking to a bot, 72 percent of interviewees still thought they were chatting with a human.

“Every employer has a different take. Some want it to be more strict, others want it to be edgy and fun,” Mr. Grayevsky said. “We can customize that.”

The company founder said recruiters shouldn’t worry about Mya coming for their jobs. By eliminating much of the busy work, the bot helps human resources be more, well, human.

“The human element is so critical,” said Mr. Grayevsky, whose father spent 40 years in recruiting, and who worked as a technical recruiter himself. “Recruiters are overwhelmed with so much work because they’re doing boilerplate tasks.”

Mya launched in July and is in use at Fortune 500 companies in the retail, banking, and consulting sectors. Companies pay based on considerations such as the number of roles they’re hiring for and number of applicants processed.

Mr. Grayevsky said three of the five largest U.S. recruiting firms already use the service — and he recently doubled his work force to 16 employees to help manage the 1,000 potential customers on the waiting list. The company expects to have processed two million job applicants by the end of the year.

Ultimately, Mr. Grayevsky has his eye on a larger goal. 

He wants to eliminate what economists call “frictional unemployment” — the inefficiency in the economy caused when people are between jobs.

“We can move the needle on this, and that’s what gets us really excited.”

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