As competition for top talent in every industry heats up, an award-winning AI assistant named Olivia is stepping in to help recruiters and job candidates speed past antiquated hiring norms. The brainchild of Aaron Matos, co-founder and CEO of Paradox, Olivia is entirely mobile and relies on text messaging to compress the timespan between screening qualified people and hiring dates.
“The assistant’s job is to get work done, and that’s what Olivia focuses on,” said Matos. "This frees up the recruiter’s time for more valuable responsibilities, like talking face-to-face with qualified candidates.”
Enjoyable recruiting conversations with digital assistant
Paradox was born out of Matos’ obsession with people’s feelings about work.
“When people love their work they build great teams and companies can accomplish great things,” said Matos. “I went into HR with that as my mission — to figure out how to get people to love their work. If we can improve the recruiting process, we can help make employees happier.”
Before he co-founded Paradox, Matos held several HR positions, then launched a local job board, followed by a company that built corporate career sites. The objective of Paradox was to provide recruiters with the speed and efficiency organizations demand in a tight labor market.
“Messaging is the biggest platform, and Olivia provides answers candidates and recruiters need in an intelligent, yet easy conversational interface,” he said. “We’ve taken robotic conversations to the next level, leading to faster results like identifying qualified candidates quickly, and scheduling interviews before someone is hired by a competitor.”
AI respects candidates with quick response
Powered by natural language processing (NLP), natural language understanding (NLU), and automated algorithms, Olivia brings the latest technology advancements to recruiting. Yet Matos pushed back on the chat bot moniker with good reason.
“We regularly hear from people that Olivia feels more human because the conversations are so natural,” said Matos. “Candidates tell us how easy and fast the dialogues are versus applying for a job in other ways.”
In Olivia’s capable hands, screening and scheduling that might have taken days or weeks, happens in minutes. Instead of getting lost in a black hole waiting for a company response, candidates are immediately directed to the next step. For some employers, such as food service or retail, it’s not unusual to schedule interviews the same day a candidate applies for a job.
Digital assistant saves recruiters time and money
Based on customer results, Olivia is exactly what people on both sides of the hiring equation want.
A leading U.S.-based hair salon business reduced hiring time by 86 percent, hiring more qualified stylists faster in an extremely competitive space. At a restaurant franchise, Olivia helped shrink the time lag between screening and interview scheduling to less than two hours. This improved candidate show rates for interviews by 60 percent. One health care organization increased candidate registrations at their career events by 77 percent, reducing the cost per applicant by 60 percent.
AI is more human recruiting experience
At the beginning of the application process, Olivia asks targeted screening questions, quickly moving candidates along, whether for further assessments, to complete an application, or schedule an interview. Olivia can schedule meetings based on calendar availability and help orchestrate the hiring process through offers and onboarding.
“In some cases, Olivia assumes responsibility for the entire candidate communications process,” said Matos. “Unlike a ‘do not reply’ email address, messages from Olivia mean that people can engage and ask questions before, during, and after they are hired.”
SAP partnership benefits customers
Paradox was among the HR startups that participated in the SAP.iO Foundry San Francisco earlier this year. Matos was grateful for the support Paradox received from experts in engineering, sales and marketing, and business leadership.
“Having access to SAP’s best-in-class experts provided the opportunity to get our tools into some of the best companies in the world, giving candidates and recruiters a more seamless experience,” said Matos.”
Available on the SAP App Center, Paradox is integrated into SAP SuccessFactors, allowing mutual customers to use Olivia for candidate communications directly from their respective career sites.
“We want to be the most candidate-obsessed HR company in the world making recruitment as simple and easy as possible,” said Matos.
This article was originally published on Forbes.