Recruitment automation startup PredictiveHire, which uses an AI bot to tell immediately if a candidate is right for a job using just five questions answered via phone text, has raised $7 million in a pre-Series A round.
Sydney talent recruiting firm Hudson is one of the startup’s key backers, along with several individuals including Yarra Capital Management chair Dion Hershan, Melbourne investor Leigh Jasper, and former Macquarie Corporate Advisers chair Jim Craig.
The business will use the funds to ramp up its global plans – it already operates in 47 countries – with a big focus on the US market.
PredictiveHire’s automated interview bot, called Phai, is now “interviewing” a candidate every 30 seconds with its five text message questions. The business has adapted Google’s natural language processing (NLP) algorithm, known as BERT, to analyse someone’s personality using artificial intelligence based on the words they use.
The startup has conducted more than 1.2 million candidate interviews, building a dataset of 500,000-plus million words to analyse the contextual meaning of the words people choose in written job interviews.
CEO Barb Hyman said companies are using PredictiveHire to hire at speed, without bias, while giving candidates a friendly and engaging process. All the job applicants receive feedback, whether successful or no. .
“In 2022, the global talent shortage across all industries is leading to a unique situation: businesses are under increasing pressure to hire with speed and at the same time broaden their talent pool to successfully fill a role,” she said.
“Traditional recruitment just doesn’t scale this way. PredictiveHire solves this problem by interviewing everyone who applies for a role and has the ability to understand their suitability within seconds – all based on a text conversation.”
PredictiveHire counts local corporate giants Woolworths, Afterpay and Qantas among its customer base.
Woolworths Group, Australia’s largest private employer, has more than 1 million candidates apply for around 40,000 roles annually.
The retailer’s head of advisory and talent acquisitions services, Keri Foti, said an estimated 5,000 recruitment hours were saved by using PredictiveHire in just its first week of automated interviews.
“We love the tool, and we knew candidates would love it because it’s mobile and it’s interactive. We also love the fact that we can measure advocacy for Woolworths at the end of it,” she said.