Startup Spotlight: Job Interviewing Platform Uses AI to Screen Candidates and Startup Program to Fuel Seven-Fold Growth
This post was created by the Microsoft Customer Stories team and was originally posted on https://customers.microsoft.com
Talview is an online talent acquisition and job interviewing platform that helps companies shorten the time required to find and hire high-quality job candidates. We’re headquartered in Palo Alto with a growing presence around the world. Our 55 customers are mostly large enterprises, including several Fortune 100 companies. We are a pioneer in using artificial intelligence (AI) and cognitive technologies to analyze video interviews in multiple formats.
Finding the best talent for the right job
Five years ago, we founded Talview to address a critical market need. Recruiting the right candidates for the right job is a burden on organizations for several reasons. Companies have historically needed a time-consuming assessment process to narrow down applicants based on education, experience, and so on, and then coordinate schedules among interviewers and interviewees. In-person interviews can be expensive if they require arranging travel and reimbursement for expenses. If the company needs to hire someone quickly, they may have to compromise on selection criteria and choose whoever is available from a limited pool of applicants. We bring automation and the analysis of online video and voice to the talent acquisition process.
Our initial product was a simple mobile app for asynchronous video interviews. The scenario was an employer who wants to screen candidates who have already applied for a particular job. The employer invites them to download the app where they answer a few predefined questions. The process is set up to let candidates respond (by video) at their convenience. The app records their responses and sends them back to the employer as a first step to identify viable candidates. We had a great reaction to the solution from the market, and that’s where our journey began.
Last year, we closed 20 deals that we attribute to our participation in Microsoft for Startups. This year, in our role selling alongside Microsoft, we’ve already landed five deals with major players … in the United States and Europe.
Sanjoe Jose: Founder and CEO
Screening candidates intelligently to make hiring easier
Since then, we’ve researched how to build behavioral insights into the Talview solution. Software analyzes speech and actions in video using linguistics and image-processing algorithms. Based on candidates’ responses both verbally and physically, we build an initial behavioral profile. But the human element is still key. We have a team of psychologists who create guidelines and reports to match behavior profiles to specific job roles. Now, if a candidate is interviewed on the Talview platform for, say, a sales manager position, we’re able to give the employer an assessment of the person’s suitability from a behavioral perspective.
Computer vision technologies help automate basic tasks. This can include face recognition to verify that the person in the video matches a previously submitted photo ID. Our software can also help to visually determine if a candidate uses, for example, a device to search for information. Similarly, analyzing background noise might reveal someone is suggesting answers to the candidate. Techniques such as these provide an initial screening to give our customers more time to focus on critical decision-making about who’s right for the job.
We can reduce customers’ time to hire by an average of 60 percent. Candidate feedback has also been positive, with an approval rating of nearly 90 percent.
Choosing the right cloud and AI technologies
Most of the AI technologies we use are part of Microsoft Azure and Cognitive Services APIs. That is, we start with computer vision and speech recognition capabilities in Azure and develop our own components to augment them.
The Talview platform was previously hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS), but we shifted to Azure because its AI capabilities were deeper and richer for our needs. We also recognized the value of being part of the Microsoft partner ecosystem. We joined the Microsoft Accelerator program (now Microsoft for Startups) in late 2016. Since then, we have done a lot of collaboration with Microsoft (including getting technical help to move from AWS to Azure) and becoming a Microsoft co-sell partner a few months ago.
After joining Microsoft for Startups, we increased our revenue seven-fold and expanded our customer reach globally, having already been successful in India. We have established offices in Australia, Canada, the United States, and United Kingdom. We also more than doubled our total headcount.
Last year, we closed 20 deals that we attribute to our participation in Microsoft for Startups. This year, in our role selling alongside Microsoft, we’ve already landed five deals with major players, including Sephora, Cognizant, and Pearson, in strategic verticals in the United States and Europe.
The relationship with Microsoft is amazingly beneficial because they actively engaged us from the beginning. They understand our business, our mission, and our place and potential in the market. Through the Microsoft for Startups program, we see our success only growing.
The Talview platform was previously hosted on AWS, but we shifted to Azure because its AI capabilities were deeper and richer for our needs. We also recognized the value of being part of the Microsoft partner ecosystem.
Sanjoe Jose: Founder and CEO