impress.ai Now Available On The SAP App Center

impress.ai is pleased to announce that its SaaS recruitment automation platform and conversational AI technology are now available on the SAP® App Center, a digital marketplace for SAP partner offerings. With impress.ai available on the SAP® App Center, the platform is now easily accessible for SAP clients. 

The impress.ai platform integrates with SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting to provide on-demand automation workflows and chatbots that users can access from within the applicant tracking system. The SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting applicant tracking system (ATS) allows recruiters on its platform to gain access to more than 4,000 job boards, social media networks, schools and universities in over 80 countries. 

impress.ai’s integration to SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting means that it meets five key criteria:

  1. It integrates with SAP cloud solutions using standard SAP-approved interfaces and APIs.       
  2. It meets SAP Store-recommended standards for data lifecycle management and data destruction.
  3. It meets SAP Store-recommended service levels.
  4. It meets SAP Store-recommended standards for support levels and turnarounds.
  5. It complies with relevant AICPA standards for internal controls over financial reporting and for information system security, availability, processing integrity, and confidentiality or privacy.

Sudhanshu Ahuja, CEO and Co-Founder of impress.ai, said “We aim to seamlessly integrate our ecosystem with all our clients’ existing tech-stacks including Applicant Tracking Systems such as SAP SuccessFactors. The integration will help companies dramatically improve their hiring efficiencies and effectiveness, while simultaneously reducing costs – all by leveraging the power of Artificial Intelligence. It’s a joyous moment for impress.ai to be endorsed by SAP and to have gotten its premium certification, and we look forward to expanding our offering for SAP clients.”

In other news, impress.ai recently closed US$3 million in pre-Series A funding led by Summit 29K and joined by Seeds Capital, the investment arm of Enterprise Singapore. The funds raised will be used to expand into new markets such as Australia and New Zealand, while also accelerating product development, boosting marketing efforts, and attracting talent.

To find out more about impress.ai and its integration within SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting, you may visit https://store.sap.com/dcp/en/product/display-0000059856_live_v1/impress.ai.

impress.ai Accredited by IMDA, Set to Scale Clientele Amongst Local and International Markets

Being accredited enables ease of adoption and procurement of impress.ai’s solution amongst government bodies and large enterprises

Enterprise recruitment solution platform, impress.ai, recently received accreditation from the Infocomm Media Development Authority under the Accreditation@SG:D programme. IMDA’s accreditation is awarded to promising and innovative Singapore-based infocomm media (ICM) product companies with a potential for high growth. Through this programme, accredited companies are positioned as qualified contenders to government and large enterprise buyers.

The accreditation affirms impress.ai’s enterprise-readiness and ability to deliver a scalable, easy-to-use solution for recruiters. Procurement processes of impress.ai’s SOC 2 compliant platform will now be expedited – current clients are able to renew their contracts more efficiently whereas potential clients can be assured in adopting a robust digital solution that is vetted and approved by a statutory board.

Speaking on behalf of the company, Sudhanshu Ahuja, Co-founder and CEO of impress.ai said, “IMDA has strongly supported the growth and created opportunities for homegrown companies such as impress.ai since its inception. We are honoured and grateful to have been accorded this status as part of IMDA’s programme. Being accredited is testament to the hard work that our team has put in over the last four years and recognises us as a company that has the capabilities to provide quality service for reputable institutions in Singapore. We hope to build on this as we scale our client base and to further our goal of encouraging fairer hiring practices within the recruitment industry.”

“impress.ai has proven that it can address multiple existing pain points in recruitment processes and are helping large enterprises to hire at scale with an AI-powered candidate screening and interview platform. We welcome impress.ai as the latest addition to our Accreditation@SGD programme, and look forward to them transforming the recruitment space as we know it today,” said Edwin Low, Director, Innovation & Tech Ecosystem of IMDA.

The Accreditation@SGD programme was launched in 2014 to accelerate the growth of local-based tech companies in Singapore. The programme aims to help these companies win contracts with government agencies and large enterprises throughout Singapore. More than 60 organisations have been accredited, while creating more than S$650M in the project pipeline for these companies.

impress.ai launches its new Video Interview solution

We heard you loud and clear. Introducing our new integrated Video Interview feature, to give you and your candidates a smoother recruitment experience

impress.ai video interview cover photo

Over the last year, many clients requested us for an in-built video interviewing solution within the impress.ai ecosystem, that could help provide not only a smoother experience for the candidates, but also makes the clients’ lives easier with only a single contract to manage.

impress.ai video interview sample screenshot

So in the last few months, we have been busy behind the scenes, working hard to convert this inconvenience into a win-win proposition for both- our clients and their candidates. We are proud to announce, that in collaboration with myInterview– an intelligent candidate video screening solution, with over 2 million videos processed to date, we will now be offering an integrated video screening feature within the impress.ai environment.

This means, no extra apps for the candidates to install during their hiring journey. And with this solution now being a part of our ever growing suite of AI-based recruitment solutions, our clients only need to sign a single contract that will include the new video screening feature within their existing or renewed agreement with impress.ai, leading to significantly reduced time and money spent.

Interested to know more or sign up? Get in touch with your impress.ai Customer Success Manager, or Contact Sales on our website today!

setup monitoring on AWS SES account

How to set up monitoring on your AWS SES account?

setup monitoring on AWS SES account

The business context

At Impress, we use AWS SES (Simple Email Service) to send out all our transaction emails from our platform. We make use of the boto3 API for this which we’ve got working rather nicely. 

One of the systems AWS has in place to keep bounces and complaints in check is that they monitor the reputation of our mailbox by seeing how many bounces and complaints are there. If there are too many bounces or complaints, they initially put the account under review. Subsequently, if fixes aren’t in place, then they pause sending. You can read more details here: https://docs.aws.amazon.com/ses/latest/DeveloperGuide/faqs-enforcement.html.

We had actually had our account put under review very early on in my journey at Impress when it was just me building things. Back then I’d read https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/messaging-and-targeting/handling-bounces-and-complaints/  and set up a system to post a CSV file to our team slack channel with the emails that are bouncing/complaining so that we could act on them. 

However, the above setup broke a few months back when we switched to enabling server-side encryption on SQS/SNS. With other priorities, this got deprioritised to the extent that last week we got notified that our account was under review. This triggered the need to fix our whole monitoring system. In reviewing things online, as seems to be rather normal with AWS, we found a lot of “getting started” instructions and study materials but no single resource that told us “do this!”. So we decided that we should share what we set up in case the next poor soul trying to keep things together in a young startup runs into some trouble.

AWS services and other tools we’ll be using in this post:

We have a couple of things that we will be discussing in this post, so let me define them for those who don’t know.

  1. AWS Services:
    • Simple Email Service (https://aws.amazon.com/ses/) – it’s a service that lets you send emails from your app
    • Simple Queueing Service (https://aws.amazon.com/sqs/) – It’s a message queue system that sort of acts as a message broker between services. Keep hold of things until they can be handed over to someone else. 
    • Simple Notification Service (https://aws.amazon.com/sns/) – It’s a service to send notifications out based on triggers. It’s a sort of glue that links different services together. I wonder if Amazon has done some kind of study on whether putting “simple” in the name helps or gets people annoyed…
    • Key Management Service (https://aws.amazon.com/kms/) – Create and manage cryptographic keys that help you ensure that your data is encrypted at rest on your server at all times. I’m not entirely sure how this could be exploited, but it seems like a no brainer today to encrypt in rest and transit whatever we can.
    • AWS Lambda (https://aws.amazon.com/lambda/) – These are basically “serverless” compute instances. Think of it as AWS letting you run individual functions in the language that you choose and charging you only for the time it runs and the memory it uses. 
  2. Other tools that we are using
    • Python 3.7: We are using python in our lambda functions but I don’t see any reason.
    • Slack: We use slack for our internal communication, so we use Slack and it’s incoming webhooks to post messages as needed on our channel.

First steps in setting up monitoring on the AWS SES dashboard

 We set up three pieces in our monitoring system. The bulk of the post will cover the most technically challenging and useful one, but I would recommend that you definitely have the other two sets up as well as they can prove to be pretty useful as well. 


Step 1: Enable email feedback forwarding. You can enable email feedback. Over multiple pages, AWS explains how you can do this by clicking on the “view details” on your domain/email address and under notification choose the email feedback forwarding option. Note that AWS sends the bounce/complaint notification to your from address or your reply-to address. This can be a complication. So make sure you can receive emails on this or enable step 2 and 3. More details here: https://docs.aws.amazon.com/ses/latest/DeveloperGuide/monitor-sending-activity-using-notifications-email.html

Step 2: Enable getting stats:  You can always check your reputation and your current spam/complaint/bounce/reject count in your SES dashboard. But let’s face it it’s a pain to log in to and you won’t’ end up monitoring this on a daily basis. So we set up something using this to get daily notifications on our reputation over the last 15 days and the timestamps at which issues occurred. I’ve detailed how to send this in the section: Get regular reputation stats on slack.

Step 3: Enable notification on each bounce/complaint:  For us what makes the most sense since bounces and complaints are few and far between is for us to have a system that notifies us of each bounce/complaint. I outline how we do this in the section: Getting bounce/complaint notifications on slack

Getting reputation stats on Slack:

Create a lambda function with the following code:

https://github.com/impressai/SESMonitoringTools/blob/master/basic-stats-lambda.py and use an event bridge to call it daily (or at whatever period you need)
The bulk of the code is just to prettify the message that we get when we use the code that is explained in this. The lambda handler is the function that is called when the lambda is called. This calls and gets the send statistics from boto3’s get_send_statistics API endpoint. The rest of the code then breaks this down into a nicer format, timezone and sorting and then posts it into a Slack incoming webhook. A webhook gives you a unique URL to which you can make an HTTP POST request and Slack will post it to the configured channel in your Company’s slack.

Enabling notifications for bounces through Amazon SNS

This is the rather more difficult task and involves multiple pieces that required me to piece together information from different parts of the Internet to get done. So here’s a step by step process for those who are interested:


1. Create a KMS key. Go to key management service in AWS and create a new Key. You’ll have to follow a few steps in selecting who has access to this. Since this is not being used by anyone other than the services, I gave the minimum access necessary to remove and manage it. Beyond that, you have to add the following to the KMS key access policy for SES and SNS to use it in the below steps:

{
         "Effect": "Allow",
         "Principal": {
             "Service": "ses.amazonaws.com"
         },
         "Action": [
             "kms:GenerateDataKey*",
             "kms:Decrypt"
         ],
         "Resource": "*"
     },
     {
         "Effect": "Allow",
         "Principal": {
             "Service": "sns.amazonaws.com"
         },
         "Action": [
             "kms:GenerateDataKey*",
             "kms:Decrypt"
         ],
         "Resource": "*"
     }

2. Next, go to AWS SNS and create two notification services, once for bounce and one for complaints. At this point, enable encryption and use the key you created above. The rest, use as you see fit. The default access policy is perfectly fine. 

3. Next, go to AWS SQS and create a new queue. Again the defaults worked fine for me, I just enabled encryption using the above key. 

4. Now go to your SES dashboard and choose your queues for bounces and complaints. 

5. Now, if you send emails using AWS SES test email feature, to complaint@simulator.amazonses.com and bounce@simulator.amazonses.com you should be able to see the queue build-up

6. As a final step create an AWS lambda function, create a new role that has permission to read from SQS and also to decrypt using the kms key. Policy attached below for reference. You can get the first two automatically by choosing the SQS polling template policy as a basis when creating your lambda role.

{
 "Version": "2012-10-17",
 "Statement": [
     {
         "Effect": "Allow",
         "Action": [
             "sqs:DeleteMessage",
             "sqs:GetQueueAttributes",
             "sqs:ReceiveMessage"
         ],
         "Resource": "arn:aws:sqs:*"
     }
 ]
}
{
 "Version": "2012-10-17",
 "Statement": [
     {
         "Effect": "Allow",
         "Action": "logs:CreateLogGroup",
         "Resource": "arn:aws:logs:us-east-1:776002636787:*"
     },
     {
         "Effect": "Allow",
         "Action": [
             "logs:CreateLogStream",
             "logs:PutLogEvents"
         ],
         "Resource": [
             "arn:aws:logs:us-east-1:776002636787:log-group:/aws/lambda/sesSlackBounceComplaintNotification:*"
         ]
     }
 ]
}
{
 "Version": "2012-10-17",
 "Statement": [
     {
         "Action": [
             "kms:Decrypt"
         ],
         "Resource": "arn:aws:kms:us-east-1:776002636787:key/39b9493b-40d4-454a-a179-e2a870bf1cb9",
         "Effect": "Allow"
     }
 ]
}

7. Use the following python code in your lambda function: https://github.com/impressai/SESMonitoringTools/blob/master/notification-manager.py  and configure two triggers. One from each of the SQS. The code is mostly self-explanatory. The Lmabda_handler is called as soon as an element enters the queue in SQS. The handler then reads through all the messages in the queue and processes them. What the code does is reads through each message, sees what kind of message it is, converts it to a decent text format and then forwards it to an incoming webhook on slack. 

8. Please note that you have to set the SLACK_WEBHOOK environment variable to be your incoming webhook in the above code. Also for good housekeeping perhaps create a tag for all the resources you create for this project.

If the set up is all correct, you should already receive a couple of notifications on slack because of the bounces and complaints in step 5. Alternatively, send a few more tests to make sure things are working. 

Side notes and gotchas:

  1. If you want to see the full notification, add a print to see the raw notification when receiving from the queue itself. You can then modify the slack message format to show the information you consider to be important. For example, there is some cleanup still to be done in the “mail” part of the queue notification. 
  2. Set up cloudwatch monitoring and budget alarms to throttle things in case things go wrong. For example, if the code is misconfigured and crashing, then SQS keeps sending the message to Lambda and lambda keeps restarting over and over again and it will probably be costly in the long term if this happens and you don’t notice. 

ai-in-hr-myths

AI in HR – Myths and Misconceptions

ai in hr myths

Artificial Intelligence(AI) is creating ripples in the recruitment industry. At a time when talent is scarce, AI can enable organisations to fulfil their talent needs. However, despite being around for the last 60 years, organisations are yet to embrace AI with open arms. It is partly due to the myths and misconceptions that float around.

A general lack of understanding and unjustifiable fears have raised questions in the minds of people. Another challenge is that people take time to adjust to new products and tools. They are uncomfortable in stepping out of their comfort zones.

However, such misconceptions are only preventing organisations from achieving their full potential. When used in the right way, AI in recruiting can deliver exceptional results.

Let’s look at the most common myths surrounding AI in HR and try to debunk them.

Myth 1: Deep Learning (DL) = Machine Learning(ML) = Artificial Intelligence(AI)

Truth: The goal of AI research has generally been to mimic human intelligence in all aspects. In reality, this is not what the world needs. Industries need machines to support humans in making faster decisions and deliver better value.

Some people use AI, DL and ML interchangeably. Understanding the nuanced differences will empower you to ask the right questions and seek the appropriate answers. 

If we were to represent it visually, AI is a superset of which ML is a subset. Deep learning is a further subset of ML. 

Apart from DL and ML, AI comprises much more. The goal of AI is to emulate the most significant functions of the human brain,  which includes natural language processing, creativity, autonomous learning among other functions. 

ML is a subset of AI that deals with detecting patterns from data  The field generally uses maths and algorithms to recognise these patterns from a training data set. The design of this algorithm enables the program to make predictions and determinations without the programmer having to code an exact method in which the solution should be arrived at. 

Finally, DL is a  specific class of machine learning algorithms. It is a type of Neural Network Algorithm. An interesting fact is that the “Deep” in DL does not refer to a depth of understanding. It rather refers to a technical concept that there are more “layers” in the network that are used.  With the increasing computational power in the last decade, DL has proved incredibly powerful in several problems that were previously considered unsolvable including image recognition and natural language processing. And this progress has been one of the prime drivers for the increased interest in AI. However, it’s important to note that while it’s extremely powerful, it is not the best solution in all cases. More on this later. 

Myth 2: Today’s AI algorithms learn from any interaction you have with them.

Truth: Another myth that often comes up is that people equate AI algorithms with general Artificial Intelligence. In other words, since the system is “intelligent”, it should be able to understand this and this. 

It is important to understand that, at latest as of today, an AI system is built to solve a particular problem. Engineers use historical data to train or create the model and solve a specific problem. When the system is to be used for solving another problem, the engineers have to go back to the drawing board and do additional work to make the system capable of solving another problem. 

Moreover, most of the data that goes into the system has a lot of noise which needs cleaning. Data scientists spend 80% of their time cleaning this data. 

In summary, there is typically a lot of effort that goes into a system being able to learn from different interactions of the user.

Myth 3: The build of neural networks is exactly like the human brain

Truth: Here is one of the most common myths that has given base to several conjectures and theories about how AI-powered HR systems can be virtual recruiters. It has led to warped expectations and fears in the community of recruiters.

In general, computer scientists like to take their inspirations from the human brain. After all, it is the most powerful network comprising of billions of neurons and synaptic interconnections. 

Scientists use the human brain as an ideal model to make efficient computers. For instance, they have taken the concepts of long term and short-term memory from the brain to build faster and better machines. 

The basic structure of the neural network is the same as that of the human brain. However, the similarity ends there. The human mind and neural activity are far more complex to be emulated. Scientists know that the neural networks we use today have much fewer connections than an average human brain.

Myth 4: You need a large amount of data for AI

Truth: A common question that precedes the effectiveness of an AI application is this – Does it use a large enough data set to learn? It is a general perception that more is better.

While it is true that you need some data to enable machine learning, you don’t need excessive data sets. Your problem statement and the solution will define the amount of data that you need. Moreover, you can be creative and evade the need for a large data set. For instance, impress.ai can learn a data set that has as few as 10-20 points.  

Transfer learning is a concept that enables the system to learn from one domain and use that information in another one. When used in designing an AI application, it results in two main outputs. Firstly, you don’t have to start from zero. Secondly, you don’t have to worry if there is a limitation on the data set. 

Similarly, there are other tricks like simulations and inference systems that allow the systems to enhance their knowledge with limited data.

Myth 5: AI is a black box that automatically gives insights

Truth: Hollywood movies are partly to blame for the prevalent fear of intelligent machines taking on the human population. The creators of the applications are unable to understand what’s going on inside the “brains” of these machines. Computer science terms such programs, where we don’t know what’s happening inside, as the black box. It creates an environment of mistrust.

The truth is that even in traditional black box programs, there are still ways in which the working of the system can be understood. . Moreover, all machine learning algorithms are not black-box systems. Some algorithms reveal clearly why a particular conclusion was reached. 

Myth 6: “State-of-the-art” AI is all about Deep Learning

Truth: DL is a particular type of AI algorithm and people have come to believe that it is the best solution to their problem. However, it is your problem that defines the best application. 

While it is true that DL gives outstanding results, but it may not be the best option. Deep neural networks may be slow and less efficient for you. In certain situations, a deep learning model may not work at all. The best solution is to leave it to the experts to decide the most effective model for your problem.

There is also a common understanding that AI systems are useful only when they use deep learning algorithms. However, did you know that the most revolutionary innovations by giants such as Google, Amazon, Facebook etc. do not use DL? Their power comes from the way they have deployed their algorithms.

Myth 7: AI will take over your jobs

Truth: People have always taken technology with a pinch of salt for fear of losing jobs. In reality, technology has allowed humans to automate manual and human-intensive tasks. By doing so, it has empowered us to do more meaningful jobs and set better goals for ourselves.

A better approach to look at AI is to understand how it can enhance your output and productivity. When used in HR, AI allows you to work with tools that are better than ATS and spreadsheets. It helps you to be more productive and enables you to focus on other strategic aspects of your job. 

Impress.ai – AI-powered chatbots for recruiters

Impress.ai is a platform that uses AI to transform your hiring process. By taking over the manual tasks, it allows you to focus on higher-value tasks. The conversational bots can deliver multiple benefits, all in a single platform – engage, screen, evaluate and shortlist candidates. 

The bot aims to minimise human effort and takes only one day for deployment. The platform takes as less as 10-20 ratings to learn and aligns quickly with your organisational objectives. Moreover, it can easily integrate with other third-party platforms to offer a seamless experience to the users. 

It is a platform that empowers your organisation to hire qualified candidates at a much faster rate. On an individual level, it allows you to set better targets for yourself and supports you to achieve them. Request a demo to learn more about our artificial intelligence recruitment software.

fair hiring practices

5 Steps to Ensure Fair Hiring Practices at Your Organisation

fair hiring practices

For any organisation, recruitment is not just about onboarding the right talent. It is also about hiring employees who fit into the organisational culture. Only then can you expect the employees to contribute more meaningfully and expect a long-term association with them. 

One way to achieve this is by following fair hiring practices. As you follow a code of ethics and the labor laws, you will not only hire more responsibly. You will also build an ecosystem that has trust and faith as its foundation. 

Moreover, fair hiring decisions can help in building a solid reputation. When the talent knows that your organisation hires for merit, they will be keener to pursue jobs with you. Not to forget, you will save your organisation from an undesirable reputation.

Why does fair hiring matter?

To answer this question, let’s look at a few facts.

  • 61% of employees in the US have faced workplace discrimination.
  • This ratio is to the tune of 55% in the UK, 43% in France and 37% in Germany.
  • Linkedin found that recruiters are 13% less likely to click on a female’s profile when they are looking for candidates.
  • Harvard Business Review found that discrimination against minorities hasn’t declined in the last 25 years.

Discrimination comes in the way of qualified candidates from getting a job they deserve. It not only leaves a sour taste but also discourages them from applying in the future. In the current scenario of talent scarcity, organisations want to avoid it at all costs. 

Fair hiring practices can also protect your organisations from expensive lawsuits. Above all, organisations should follow fair hiring because it is the right thing to do. It can give a boost to the employer brand like nothing else.

How can you and your team of recruiters ensure fair hiring in your organisation?

Here’s the thing about hiring discrimination. Even if you have the best intention to hire for merit, you may not know that you are biased. One way is to learn to identify these blind areas. However, you can also adopt a few practices to ensure fair hiring.

Let’s look at 5 steps to ensure fair hiring in detail.


1. Standardise interview process

You cannot be present in every interview to ensure that it is fair to the candidates. There could be multiple recruiters and hiring managers that make it challenging. A better way is to level the playing field.

One way to do this is by asking the same set of questions to every candidate who applies to a role. More often than not, the interview discussions are unstructured. The interviewers decide the course of the conversation during the interview. They may be hard on a few candidates and soft on the others.

When you give them a framework with the same set of questions, there is no way but to give everyone an equal chance. With the responses, the hiring panel can decide who is a more deserving candidate.


2. Blind / Anonymous hiring

The governments of France and the Netherlands conducted studies to understand the impact of anonymous hiring. They found that it benefits women and minorities. It happens because of the unconscious bias of recruiters and hiring managers. They tend to make opinions and beliefs based on their experiences and societal perceptions.

They tend to favour candidates with similar characteristics as themselves. On the other hand, they tend to reject who do not fit into their idea of the right candidate.

Blind hiring enables you to hire without these prejudices as all the demographic details get hidden. In the absence of such information, you can make decisions based on the qualification of the candidate.

Impress offers an AI-powered tool that enables anonymous hiring. It blinds all the biasing information from the resumes and empowers the recruiters to follow a fair hiring practice.

The platform evaluates candidates, ranks them and scores them for the benefit of the hiring team. You can look at the result and interview the most qualified candidates. Thus, you can ensure that you hire irrespective of the background, gender, ethnicity or race.


3. Value-based recruitment

Employees who do not align with the values of your organisation may lose their morale and productivity. As their motivation to work will get impacted, they will start looking for other job options. 

To resolve this, you need to find better alignment. You need to evaluate the beliefs of the candidates vis-a-vis the values of your organisation.

Also known as value-based recruitment, it focuses more on the mission and values of the organisation. It starts by identifying these values that matter the most to your organisation.

The next step is to translate these values into behaviours. The interviewers can evaluate the candidates based on these responses. They need to ask questions to see a display of these values during the interview. 


4. Skills and competency assessments

More often than not, interviewers make hiring decisions on their gut feeling. As this happens, the quality of talent gets compromised. Moreover, it blocks fair hiring practices in your organisation.

A better way to ensure that all the candidates get a fair chance is by evaluating their skills and competencies. You can start by identifying a list of abilities that will make an employee successful in a role. 

The next step is to design a framework of psychometric evaluations, assessments and other tests to hire the best candidate.

As you do this, you may feel you are burdening your team with the manual task of administering these tests. You can simplify this by integrating all the evaluations on one common platform to make the process more productive. As you do this, your users will also enjoy a more seamless process.

Impress offers an AI-driven tool that integrates with all major third-party assessment platforms to enhance the hiring output and experience.

5. Diverse hiring panels

In these rapidly-changing times, you cannot only hire candidates for the skills they possess today. Instead, you need to hire for potential. It will ensure that they are flexible and can take on challenging roles in the future.

You can achieve it by establishing diverse hiring panels. It means forming interview panels from across the board. You can include people from other teams, women and other minorities. With such boards, you can give all the candidates a fair chance. You will see an influx of diverse employees who find support from a diverse panel.

Moreover, when a diverse team makes a decision, you can rest assured that gut feel had no play in the hiring process.

Conclusion

When you follow fair hiring practices, you will be hitting not two but multiple birds with one stone. It will strengthen your employer branding and build a diverse workforce. Above all, such practices will ensure long-term organisational success.

fair hiring - impress.ai


candidate engagement

Candidate Engagement –Why is it important?

With a tight labour market, the balance of power has shifted from organisations to talented candidates. Recruiters will agree that it is not tough to discover the right talent. The real challenge is in drawing the interest and time from these applicants. In the current scenario, candidate engagement is that magic word which can turn things around.

What is candidate engagement?

If there is one thing that all recruiters will agree upon, it is that recruitment depends a lot on relationships. As the connection between a candidate and the recruiter strengthens, it becomes easier to hire and onboard.

Candidate engagement is the process through which recruiters can initiate and nurture these relationships. It is what prevents promising candidates from dropping out of the hiring process.

Candidate engagement is not about sending a one-off text message to the applicant. It is about being consistent in your interaction with the candidates. 

Is candidate engagement the same as candidate experience?

Although it may seem similar, engagement is a small part of the experience. Candidate engagement is how you interact with the applicants. On the other hand, the experience is how they feel about the hiring process as a whole.

Why does candidate engagement matter?

Gallup found in a survey that 51% of the talent pool is looking for a new job. In this scenario, the opportunity to hire new employees is enormous. However, the window is short as most talented candidates stay in the market for 10 days.

The traditional way of sourcing is not always the best way to tap this talent pool. If the recruiters have to source from square one, it slows them down. 

Besides, engagement drives a good candidate experience. 22% of the candidates say they will inform their circle if the hiring process wasn’t satisfactory. It is the last thing that organisations want – undesirable publicity.

A more successful method is when recruiters identify the right talent and initiate an engagement process. As they build a one-on-one connection with these candidates, they develop a talent pipeline. It becomes easier to hire them when the time comes.

Apart from this, it sets apart the organisation as an employer that invests deeply in finding the right talent. It helps the organisation in creating a proactive recruitment model instead of a reactive one. As it does so, it can hire on time and win competitive advantage.

What is the best strategy for successful candidate engagement?

A successful candidate strategy is the one that fosters continuous interaction with the candidates. It doesn’t imply calling the candidates daily. Instead, it means using a variety of ways to engage with the talent at all the right times.

Recruiters are an essential part of this strategy. They can contribute by becoming the gate-keepers of the plan and streamlining it. They can also add value by dividing the candidates into different buckets. It helps in creating more targeted and value-adding touch-points.

Technology is the next resource that organisations can leverage. It allows them to create workflows and automate emails and texts. Moreover, AI-powered tools can help organisations in understanding candidate behaviours. It can also help in pulling new and passive candidates.

Finally, organisations need to design a process with the end goal in mind. For instance, the purpose could be to engage the qualified candidates who have applied in the past. Organisations can send them newsletters or thought leadership blogs to stay in touch. Recruiters can automate and send emails for new job openings. Such emails will allow them the chance to apply again. It can significantly reduce the sourcing effort and accelerate hiring.

What are the best practices for candidate engagement?

Invest in your careers website

For most candidates, your careers page is the first touch-point. In fact, 53% of them will first visit the page before they apply. It is where they go to seek information and know more about the company. There are multiple ways to leverage it to excite the applicants for a possible career with you.

If you haven’t worked on it for a long time, it may time to revamp it. Use videos to show the company culture and the working environment. If possible, throw light on some exciting projects that are happening currently.

You can also have a feature on your current employees. The first step would be to interview your employees and ask the best part about working with your organisation. You can also shoot a day in office in their lives. As you do it, you give a preview to the candidates about how life will look like, in your company.

Use social media

In today’s digital world, if you are not on social media, you could be losing a huge opportunity. These channels can become a great platform to build your brand and engage talented candidates.

The talent pool in the market consists of both active as well as passive candidates. You can publish the current job openings to attract the applicants looking for a job. However, you will need to do more to engage with passive candidates. 

Your content strategy should be around showcasing your organisation as an ideal place to work. You can share thought leadership blogs or insightful videos to engage with this section of candidates.

Use AI

AI is that reliable friend that can engage potential employees in your absence. Not only can it provide all the right information, but it can also evaluate them for the current openings.

Firstly, an AI-powered chatbot on the careers page can engage the visitors. After understanding if the visitor is a potential candidate, it can show the current job openings as per their interest.

Secondly, the chatbot can mimic human conversations and answer their queries. It can handle a variety of questions related to culture, perks and benefits, job description etc. 

If the candidates are interested in applying to a job, AI-powered chatbot can help them in completing their application. It can also tell them if they have missed any piece of information.

The chatbot offered by Impress does all this and more. It can conduct the first round of the interview and give them scores. The recruiters can look at the results and take it ahead from there.

Share status updates

Candidates find it disappointing when they apply for a job position and don’t hear from the organisation. They would like to know if the organisation received their application and considered it for the job position.

Companies can tackle this easily by automating status updates. By sending an automated email and text after the candidate applies, organisations can solve a significant part of the problem. 

As the process advances, organisations can send similar updates to keep the engagement high. If the candidate is unable to make it to the next round, it will do more good to send communication about it. You don’t have to mention the reason or detailed feedback. It will suffice to say that the organisation won’t be able to move ahead with the application. However, they are welcome to apply again in the future.

The most critical point here to personalise these emails. You can use AI for this purpose. The tool offered by Impress allows the recruiters to send such status emails.

Communicate a clear hiring timeline

Changing a job and picking an organisation is a crucial decision for the candidates. When they are in the market, they are good chances that they are interviewing at other places. 

They will appreciate it if you can share a hiring timeline with them. Tell the candidates if they should expect any personality or aptitude tests. Also, inform them about the number of interview rounds that are likely to happen. It is easy to send out this email when they reach a significant stage in your recruitment process.

As they will remain informed, they won’t feel lost during the interview process. 

Automated interview scheduling

When the recruiters have to call and schedule the interviews, the process becomes ineffective. Firstly, it becomes an operational task with many chances of error. Secondly, rescheduling takes a lot of effort.

The tool offered by Impress allows the candidates to schedule their interviews as per their convenience. They can see the available interview slots and select a suitable time. The tool integrates with the calendar of the recruiters and hiring managers for a streamlined process.

When the control is with the candidates, they will be better engaged.

One to one conversation

When the candidates reach an advanced level in the interview process, it is time for more personal conversations. It is when recruiters need to step in and engage the candidates with one to one emails, texts and phone calls.

In some organisations, it may require making a tactical or mindset change. However, personalised communication can make a whole lot of difference. As the interaction becomes frequent, the candidates will know that the organisation is keen on hiring them. 

Moreover, it gives recruiters a chance to understand if they are interviewing elsewhere. It will allow them to move quickly and make an offer at the right time.

Final Words

In today’s time of talent war, organisations need to put themselves out there. Candidate engagement is the key to ensuring that candidates choose you above the others.

automate low-value tasks

Recruiters are all-in to automate low-value tasks

automate low-value tasks

In the last couple of years, recruiters have gained a prominent position at organisations. A lack of qualified candidates in the market and the need to hire better talent has propelled them to this stature. Everyone, from the CHROs to the hiring managers, want recruiters to work at lightning speed. However, several low-value tasks slow them down. These are the operational and repetitive tasks that are essential to the hiring process. In this digital age, it is a necessity to automate low-value tasks like these so that recruiters can contribute more to their organisations.

When these duties are taken care of, they can build better relationships with the hiring managers. With a deeper understanding of the roles and organisational strategies, they can deliver better results. With a better focus on high-value tasks, recruiters will be more engaged. They will be happier doing what they love the most.

Why automate low-value tasks?

In the corporate world, time is of the essence. There is a race to offer new and better products and services to the clients. However, the most crucial resource to make this possible are qualified employees. Talent crunch is so acute that it features in the top priorities of CXO level meetings

Automating low-value tasks can enhance the efficiency of recruitment for organisational success. Apart from boosting the speed, automation allows the organisations to reap the benefits of the real value of recruiters. They are the experts in their fields who know where the talent resides. They know how to engage passive candidates and get them interested in job openings. They also know the tricks of converting an offer.

In short, they have a magic touch that can elevate the hiring of any organisation. With the automation of low-value tasks, they get more bandwidth to focus on what really matters.

Which automation tools and solutions can you use for recruitment?

Here is a list of essential but low-value tasks that slow down the hiring process. Organisations can automate them to enhance their talent quotient.

Growing the candidate pool

The hiring efficiency increases by manifold when there is a large and qualified candidate pool. It allows the recruiters and hiring managers to hire from the best and also understand the market. Moreover, it also allows them to create a pipeline if the first offer gets rejected or for future job openings. 

As crucial as it is to expand the candidate pool, it is also essential to keep it relevant. Incorrect sourcing results in unfruitful interviews. Apart from wasting everyone’s time, it can also leave a sour taste with the candidate. They may not be keen on exploring future positions with you. 

A job discovery bot is the latest and the most efficient source for growing the candidate pool. It engages the visitors who land on the organisation’s website to check out some information. They may not be necessarily looking for jobs. The bot has a conversation with them and evaluates if they are possible applicants and suggests relevant job openings based on their profile. This is an upcoming feature from Impress. You can schedule a call with us to learn more about this.

Screening applicants

Technology has made it easier and less expensive for job applicants to apply. As a result, candidates often send their resumes even when their profiles do not match the roles. 

Most recruiters manually go through these resumes and maintain the records in their excel sheets. They call up the candidates to understand their interests before calling them for the interview. Although a necessary part of the interview process, these steps slow them down. 

AI-powered screening tools make shortlisting a whole lot easier for the recruiters. These tools can identify the most suitable candidates from a pool and also rank them.

Recruitment chatbots can particularly add more value. Their power lies in the fact that they can interview candidates. Based on deep learning algorithms, they can mimic human conversations. They can resolve candidate queries and also assess their qualification for the open roles. These chatbots can also ask the candidates to provide any missing information and complete their application.

The most significant advantage is that these tools can simultaneously engage tens of candidates. As they do so, the screening time gets reduced considerably.

The recruiters can look at the final results and directly move to the interview stage. Impress brings a screening tool that delivers all these benefits and many more. 

Scheduling interviews

Co-ordinating the interviews between hiring managers and candidates can be a tiresome process. It is an unproductive task that prevents the recruiters from giving time to more value-adding duties.

One can imagine the time and effort it can take during high-volume recruitment scenarios. Last-minute rescheduling and interview dropouts further add to unproductive hours. Organisations can automate low-value tasks like this to optimise their recruitment process. 

AI-powered tool by Impress allows hassle-free interview scheduling. It enables the qualified candidates to select the interview slots as per their convenience. As they do so, it reflects in the recruiters’ calendars, and they can take it forward from there. 

Sharing status updates

If you ask the applicants, most of them will have a bone to pick with the recruiters. They will tell you how they don’t get to know about their application status. 

Sharing status updates are necessary to keep the candidates engaged. It starts from the time when they apply for a job opening. An acknowledgement mail that the organisation has received their application can go a long way in keeping them interested. 

Some applicants also complain they never hear from the company after appearing for an interview. They would prefer to know if the applications are going to be taken forward to the next stage or not. LinkedIn found in a survey that 94% of candidates would like to know their interview feedback. It gives them better control over their professional decisions. As they are in the market, they could be interviewing at other companies.

Recruiters do not have the bandwidth to send such updates to the applicants. Even if they want to follow a process, it may sometimes fall through the cracks. Automated systems like the Impress platform can free them from such low-value tasks while also strengthening the hiring process.

Offer management

Negotiating offers and convincing the candidates is perhaps one of the toughest jobs of recruiters. Sometimes, it also takes a bit of to-and-fro to get the offer accepted. When it is not automated, recruiters have to design the salary structures in excel sheets.

 It is also a stage when the documents keep piling at the recruiters’ ends. From salary slips, previous offer letters and medical tests etc. the files can become thick. Not to mention, due to the confidentiality of these documents, recruiters have to be extra careful with them. 

Also, manual signing off of the letters by the designated authorities slow down the process. 

When organisations automate low-value tasks through offer management, they enhance their hiring processes by manifold. It allows the recruiters to key in a few details to generate salary structures and offer letters. The workflow instantly transfers the offer to the right person’s inbox for approvals. 

The candidates can share their classified documents on a safe system where they can also view their digitally-signed letters. 

Onboarding

Integrating the new employees in the system is the final part of the hiring process. However, it is also a crucial time. Their onboarding experience can make or break their relationship with the organisation. With a streamlined onboarding, the new employees can access the right tools and information for immediate productivity. 

When onboarding is not automated, recruiters have to co-ordinate manually with other teams. Apart from being a time-consuming activity, it becomes prone to human-errors. The result is an inconsistent process.

Automated onboarding relieves the recruiters of several operational tasks. Moreover, it ensures a consistent experience for all the employees. When they receive a welcome where everything is right, the organisation can experience better retention.

Final words

Organisations can achieve higher efficiency and reduced costs when they automate low-value tasks. As the hiring process gets more streamlined, the recruiters can focus on more productive duties. Apart from contributing better to their organisations, they can also find more meaning in their jobs.

lean recruitment

What is lean recruitment and how can you do it?

lean recruitment

Recruitment is the foundation for organizational success. With the right talent, companies can achieve their goals and much more. It is for this reason that hiring talented employees is a top priority for the CEOs. While businesses have a high dependency on recruitment functions, the methods do not always support better speed and efficiency. Manual and operational tasks often slow down the recruiters. By adopting lean recruitment, recruiters can streamline their processes and ensure higher productivity. 

What is lean recruitment?

The origin of lean recruitment lies in lean manufacturing processes. Large production units require accurate inventory management to manage seasonal demands. They need to have just enough to avoid excesses and reduce expenses.

Apart from cutting costs, they have a high focus on reducing waste. In their context, waste refers to that part of the process that reduces efficiency. 

Lean recruitment uses similar principles to deliver better results with fewer resources. It is a method of continuous improvement where the recruiters implement changes to achieve higher efficiency. It is proactive recruitment, and the recruiters work to build a talent pipeline to fulfil future demands.

Most recruitment departments adopt a reactive strategy. They act after they receive the openings from the hiring managers. The process of sourcing, shortlisting and interviewing can take months. With lean recruitment, talent is readily available to execute new business strategies.

What is the foundation of lean?

Toyota developed a lean production system that focuses on minimising waste while maximising productivity. Many other organisations have implemented and benefitted from their principles.

In essence, it means automating the low-value tasks so that the employees can focus on more productive and strategic duties. When applied in recruitment, it allows the recruiters to contribute to high-value jobs. It could mean more conversations with the hiring managers, building a better pipeline of passive candidates or a deeper involvement in capacity-planning.

What is the need for lean recruitment?

Hiring the right talent at the right time is not just necessary for business operations. It is also vital to maintain the right ecosystem where the employees are not overworked. When the resources are less, the same number of employees have to deliver more. Apart from this, there is also an opportunity cost in terms of lost work.

However, the current recruitment system fails to hire qualified talent timely. The process typically involves the hiring managers stating the requirements to the recruiters. Then begins, the workflow, which consists of taking approvals, and inviting applications. The time taken for screening, interviewing, and serving notice period can be a long one. It can take a few months to get the new hire on board.

A lean recruitment process can forecast the demands and facilitates a closer partnership between HR and the businesses. It is faster and is more efficient in hiring the right talent. As the new employees join timely, the businesses are also more productive and profitable.

What are the best practices to make your recruitment process lean?

It may not be possible to remove the inconsistencies in your recruitment process right away. It may take a few iterations to achieve the optimum level of lean. However, you can start by automating the process wherever you can. 

As the workload of your recruiters will reduce, they will have more bandwidth to focus on high-value tasks.

Here is how you can start. When you complete one iteration, you can begin the process again to identify waste and work towards reducing it.

Know the waste 

The first step is to evaluate the hiring process critically and identify waste. In this context, it could be operational or manual tasks. They take up a significant chunk of recruiters’ time. The recruiting process at any organisation typically has the following activities that slow down the process.

Manual sourcing of candidates or not using the right sourcing ways. For instance, the channels for volume recruitment are different than niche hiring. 

• In the absence of a better method, manual screening can not only slow down the hiring process but also leads to bias and other inconsistencies.

• It takes a lot of to and fro to schedule the interviews if recruiters have to call and set them up.

• Most organisations that have still not automated the dashboards require the recruiters to fill up trackers. This process is not only tedious but also takes a lot of valuable work hours.

• Lastly, manual job offer management is another area that can be automated to make the hiring lean.

Automate to reduce the waste

With automation, organisations can optimise hiring and reduce the workload of their recruiters. When the recruiters have more time to contribute to the strategic aspects of their job, they will feel more engaged and valued.

AI-powered tools take automation a step further and make the process more efficient and productive. For instance, screening software based on AI can identify the most qualified candidates from a large talent pool. Instead of going through every resume manually, the recruiters can look at the final results to take the process further. Since it uses algorithms and a deep-learning model, the tool can also enhance the quality-of-hire.

Impress brings screening software that adds more value to the recruitment process. Apart from identifying talent in a much shorter time, it also engages the candidates from the very beginning. By sharing regular status updates, it ensures that the applicants know whats going on. The chatbot also conducts the first round of discussion with the applicants. As a result, the recruiters can be sure that their interest is real and genuine.

Similarly, job board integration, automating interview scheduling and offer management can result in lean recruitment.

lean recruitment using impress.ai

Encourage the recruiters to add more value

One of the central tenets of lean methodology is respect for people. In traditional recruitment, recruiters have an excessive workload of operational tasks. When the low-value tasks are automated, recruiters can add more meaning to their roles. For instance, they can work on data to identify the best sourcing channels or candidate demographics.

As the recruiters will be able to do what they love, they will be happier. The results will show in their output as they will come up with innovative solutions for better hiring.

Workforce planning

A shift from the traditional model of recruitment will work only when the recruitment function can forecast talent needs. Recruiters can achieve this in multiple ways. 

Firstly, the recruiters need to work closely with the businesses to understand their strategies for growth. If the company is eyeing a larger market share or developing a new product, it will need more resources. If there is a slowdown expected in the coming months, the recruiters can put a brake on actively sourcing candidates.

Secondly, there are a few quarters in which organisations experience higher attrition rates. Typically, these are the months that follow annual promotions and pay-hikes. The recruitment team can analyse the past data to identify such periods and ramp up their work in advance. It will ensure the continuity of work without any loss due to attriting employees.

Finally, organisations can learn more about the engagement of employees to understand their levels of engagement. Disengaged employees are more likely to leave. With the help of advanced tools, this crucial information will be useful in workforce planning.

Engaging passive candidates

Passive candidates are the ones who are not actively looking for jobs. They are happy in their current roles. They constitute more than 70% of the job market. Since they are not in the market, the competition to hire is lesser. 

Recruiters can use professional-networking sites and social media to identify these talented resources. The next step is to start conversations with them. They may not be responsive in the beginning but may warm up after repeated attempts.

There are several ways in which the recruiters can build a better relationship with them. The hiring managers can subsequently call them for discussions as they deem fit. The idea is to have a pipeline ready for the time when the organisation wants to hire. Here are the best tips for hiring passive candidates.

Monitor recruitment metrics

By analysing KPIs, the recruiters can understand the area that needs more focus. For instance, the recruiters could be using ineffective sourcing channels. Or, the onboarding experience could need improvements. It is an essential step for building a lasting relationship with the employees.

With frequent monitoring and reviewing of data, it can result in better processes. As they become more refined, the outcome is lean recruitment.

Final Words

Lean recruitment is a continuous process of improvement. It begins by reviewing the internal processes critically. It entails being proactive for fulfilling future demand. Building a highly-efficient hiring system involves automation to eliminate waste. As it happens gradually, the recruiters feel empowered to add to the organisation’s growth.