How to improve your recruitment with Artificial Intelligence and Games

Mis à jour : 26 sept. 2019

During recruitment, objective data on a candidate are rare. Many HRDs simply talk about the surface and do not try to understand the functioning and expectations of the potential recruit. In this game of trickery, the one who knows how to manipulate his audience best will win the day. But by recruiting in this way, the results can only be mediocre.

In a publication dated January 2015, and covering the year 2011, DARES highlights that 36.1% of permanent contracts are terminated in the first year of the contract and this figure rises to 45.6% for young employees under 24 years of age. The first reason for the termination of the permanent contract is resignation (16%) closely followed by the end of the trial period (12%), and 13% of the contracts are even terminated before the end of this trial period.

In its study on the Failure Rate of the Hiring Process, Mozart Consulting confirms the figure of the failure of the trial periods: 1 out of 7 permanent contracts is not confirmed at the end of the trial period. 71% of Human Resources Managers indicate that they have already made a mistake when recruiting.

Failed recruitment is therefore not exceptional in the world of work. A figure that is difficult to accept, given the cost of recruiting within a company.

On average, the cost of a failed recruitment is estimated at between €20,000 and €200,000. This will depend on different parameters such as the level of responsibility of the position, its nature, the time the candidate has spent in the position but also the remuneration involved.

In order to overcome these recruitment deficiencies, new recruitment methods have been emerging for several years. The candidate must be tested on his skills and qualities in a global way, i.e. both professionally and socially. New technologies are a major asset in the recruitment process for recruiters to remove dust from the process and thus try to limit the degree of uncertainty in recruitment as much as possible. The CV as we have known it for several decades is obsolete. The whole person is much more important than just a few typed lines.

Who is he? Who is he? What can it bring us as an individual? What are its professional but also social qualities? Will he be able to interact effectively in his new work environment? New-generation recruitment must focus on these issues and use the technological tools that will allow the best efficiency.

The candidate's actions and movements analysed by the machine

As is often the case, Anglo-Saxon countries were pioneers in initiating the video recruitment process. Deferred video screening interviews have become an increasingly common practice. The Meteojob recruitment site states that the number of candidates who have had a deferred video interview has increased by 250% between 2016 and 2017. This 2.0 way of recruiting has several advantages. First, it is a faster way to screen candidates. But it is also a significant saving on the costs associated with this recruitment.

Using video recruitment, a recruiter can see about 10 candidate profiles per hour. The candidate therefore has a few minutes to give a visual, sonorous and behavioural overview of his profile and the recruiter will be able to give a positive or negative opinion on his possible integration within the company. The deferred video interview takes place between the reception of the CVs and the physical meeting. It allows you to replace telephone presets, which are often complicated to set up. 82% of recruiters say that video recruitment represents a considerable and significant time saving since it is 70% less time spent screening candidates.

In the vast majority of cases, the candidate is confronted with a series of unexpected questions asked by software, the answers to which are timed. Canal+ has recently implemented this system for the recruitment of these interns. The first interview will not take place in Canal+'s offices, but by video. After a first screening of the CVs, the candidates selected by Canal+ receive a link in their mailbox. From then on, they have three days to record their video. It will be 5 questions per candidate, which Canal+ adapts according to the profiles sought. After viewing these videos, the selected candidates will join the traditional recruitment process, with a face-to-face interview.

At Blablacar, which uses the process, it is explained, for example, that it allows us to see motivated applicants and those who really speak English.

This system also makes it possible to detect atypical profiles whose qualities are not highlighted in a traditional CV but which can sparkle in a video.

This recruitment system is hybrid. Because it combines video technology and human analysis. But a new type of recruitment called predictive recruitment is almost entirely entrusted to the machine.

Predictive recruitment algorithms

Easyrecrue is working on the development of a "predictive algorithm" based on artificial intelligence to substantially improve recruitment. According to them, 90% of the communication is non-verbal. The company seeks to analyze not the words used by the candidate, but his way of acting: gesture, intonation, silence, volume. After each video, a score and ranking are assigned to the candidate based on his or her performance to help the recruiter in his or her decision to extend or not the recruitment process with a physical interview. This materializes the candidate's abilities. It is no longer a random impression that will decide on the candidate's incorporation into a position within the company. Some companies go even further by using big data and artificial intelligence to recruit future employees.

This new concept of recruitment in full expansion makes it possible to "select people with a high probability of performing well, being committed to the company, and even to ensure that they are compatible in terms of mood with the manager", explains David Bernard, the head of AssessFirst, a firm specialising in this recruitment method. AssessFirst collaborates with many large companies, such as Burger King or Olympus, but also with SMEs and recruitment consulting firms. Their clients, numbering 3500, are located in 30 different countries, in all fields. This predictive recruitment is more effective in two sectors: banking and insurance and sales.

To assess potential, AssessFirst asks applicants to complete three tests, one on agility, one on motivation and one on personality. Thanks to this mechanism, the company allows its customers to save time during pre-selection and thus accelerate the recruitment process.

This mechanism also makes it possible to detect new skills. It makes it possible to stand out from similar profiles, especially for young graduates. By overshadowing the main lines of the CV, namely training and professional experience, AssessFirst allows candidates with an atypical or less appropriate background to highlight their skills, abilities and personality.

Such processes developed at AssessFirst and Easyrecrue allow for accurate candidate mapping. It is possible to more accurately describe where the strengths and weaknesses lie that do not correspond to the position sought by the candidate. These tests carried out by the machine therefore provide a more complete overview of the candidate.

The latter could therefore be assigned several scores in different characteristics or skills. Similar practices already exist in some industries. At Brigad, a start-up specializing in last-minute recruitment in the restaurant and hotel industry, each worker is rated at the end of his or her assignment.

For sports video game fans, this is what we are used to seeing in games like Fifa when we ask for the evaluation of a potential recruit. Once completed, a detailed and complete map is available and it is possible to know the exact characteristics of the desired player. This then makes it possible to decide objectively whether or not the project meets all the criteria that had been set upstream. The recruitment process is therefore pragmatized to the maximum. The advantage is the readability of the information, which facilitates the recruiter's quick decision. These cards indicating the candidate's potential should be automated for each recruitment.

In our example we have taken into account some of the qualities necessary for group work: sociability (SOC), creativity (CREA), transervasility (TSV), permanent learning ability (LEA), adaptability (ADA), fun (FUN).

The world of gaming is also a new source of inspiration in the recruitment of candidates.

Tell me how you play I'll tell you who you are

According to Plato, "you can learn more about someone in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. "According to this principle, gambling would be conducive to revealing the innate skills of individuals. The game would allow us to behave more freely than a discussion but also more faithfully to our daily behaviour. Concordia University has demonstrated in a study that certain psychological traits can be seen through game avatars.

The online game World of Warcraft is one of the most popular online games for players in nearly 20 years. During this period, about 10 million years have already been simulated between players in this game. That is a huge amount of data. The scientists conducted a study with a panel of WoW players, seeking to determine to what extent their real personality could influence the way they play in this immersive world. To do this, they proceeded in two stages. They first asked the players participating in the study to complete a questionnaire to identify various demographic criteria and psychological variables. Then, they conducted an analysis of their gambling behaviour over a period of more than four months in total. According to the authors of the study, many "behavioural keys" have emerged, by analyzing the play of individuals.

It is easy to believe that virtual worlds are, a priori, an escape world, which allows everyone to be who they want or dream of being. But according to this study, on the contrary, the results show that our personality persists when we put on our virtual body. Online video games are in fact a mirror of the personality of their users.

We reveal ourselves by playing. We are more instinctive, not trying to please others but rather to be in line with our own expectations. We follow our impulses, the ones that define our nature, which results in revealing our gifts, our abilities and our weaknesses.

The qualities of an individual will be much easier to see through a game. These weaknesses can also be identified and it will be possible to see whether or not this poses a problem for future tasks. On a larger scale, it is even possible to use the game to form working groups more effectively so that the random is erased by efficiency.

These game-based recruitment concepts are already being developed by several companies. This is the case of Bejoue and their fun kit Start'in Box. Thanks to a set of cards, recruiters and candidates transform the interview into an enthusiastic exchange. During the interview, the recruiter has 43 playing cards, which he can use as he wishes according to six proposed themes: experience/competence, personality, motivation/curiosity, practical information, startup and out of the box.

Thanks to this game system, the recruiter can thus question the candidate on skills other than those usually discussed during an interview considered conventional. The candidate even has the opportunity to become an actor in his or her recruitment. The latter has nine cards to interact with his interlocutor. In particular, he can express his emotional state or ask questions about the startup for which he is applying. A great step forward, and a fun way to design the interview.

The start-up Origamix, for its part, offers companies the opportunity to recruit through role-playing. The rating grid and its terms and conditions are developed upstream with the client company in order to respond as closely as possible to the expectations of the company wishing to recruit. The game is divided into several stages, including the detection of evidence or the cross-checking of disturbing elements. Each step is rated by Origamix staff, who give "in fine" an overall verdict on the candidates' performance.

The company that is closest to our ideas is My-Serious-Game. It offers "a complete range of tailor-made, high-end and turnkey digital training courses, all based on the principle of the game. A clever mix between a consulting and training firm, a digital services company and a communication agency. "She has all the assets to develop an effective recruitment system around the game.

What we recommend to make recruitment more efficient:

- Video analyses of the candidates made by both human and machine to detect non-verbal elements that are difficult to detect

- A convocation of the candidate for a discussion: with themes inherent to the company but also and especially to be interested in his personality: that he speaks to us in depth about his passions, his vision of life.

- The organization of a board game, with or without his future co-workers, in order to see how he behaves according to situations that will be pre-established.

- We also recommend the development of a recruitment video game that will place the candidate in conditions close to his future working conditions and test his skills. Avoiding for him to find himself in a work environment that does not suit him, and for the company to have to repeat the recruitment process too frequently.

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Hamann & Benson 


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