Voice Analytics to Help HR Find Candidates Better and Faster: Candid Q&A with Amir Liberman, CEO of Nemesysco

October 30, 20195:47 pm3770 views

In the days when most talent acquisition teams are struggling to find and hire qualified candidates who tick all the boxes, HR leaders need to look beyond conventional hiring approach and adopt high tech strategy in recruitment. The problem is, most hiring processes are often seen as impersonal, boring and too long long that top candidates often drop out of the recruitment stages. So, what can HR practitioners to best mitigate this issue?

To uncover the best strategies to improve candidate experience to attract and engage the best talents, we at HR in Asia seek exclusive insights from Amir Liberman, CEO of Nemesysco. Read on…

Amir Liberman, CEO, Nemesysco1

Amidst the global talent crunch, employers are often faced with the dilemma between hiring for aptitude and hiring for attitude. What are your views on this matter? What’s the more important deciding factor between the two?

Answer: Yes, this is certainly true. However, in response to this question, we always say, ‘Why choose?’ Aptitude and attitude are not mutually exclusive and there is a different balance in the needs between the two in every job.

Beyond gauging aptitude and attitude, we often recommend adding voice-based analysis to measure levels of honesty in candidates. By revealing dangerous habits and low levels of loyalty in candidates, employers can avoid exposure to unnecessary risks.

From our perspective as a technology vendor, the same voice analytics technologies that can reveal candidate’s core values and competencies can be applied to measure a candidate’s aptitude and attitude at the same time.

The point here is that each candidate is unique and that the requirements of each position are also unique. Genuine emotion analytics, in particular our approach, can provide an efficient match between the strengths and weaknesses of a candidate and the job requirements of an employer based not only on what the candidate says, but on actual and genuine emotional reactions to past events.

In today’s highly digitised world where recruitment has become largely candidate-driven, what can business leaders do in order to attract top talents?

Answer: Digitised screening processes have definite advantages, allowing candidates to efficiently apply for multiple positions. However, digital screening processes and automated pre-employment testing are typically impersonal and distant.

There is a constant need for candidates, especially top talent, to feel that they can develop in a new position. Top talents want their employers see and appreciate them for who they really are and provide them with a nurturing and encouraging environment to help them grow professionally and personally.

Quickly identifying the true top talent from a large and often faceless pool of candidates is not an easy task. Employers must make their overall recruitment processes from screening to onboarding much simpler, interesting and more efficient. Otherwise, their top candidates will be attracted elsewhere.

Poor candidate experience is said to be among the top reasons why potential talents reject a job offer. How does technology like speech analytics help address this issue and improve recruitment practices?

Answer: From our experience in the HR space, most recruitment processes can be generalised as impersonal, boring and unnecessarily long. Recruitment firms and internal HR teams are contacting us with the need to improve efficiency and responsiveness as well as accuracy of their recruitment processes. We are often told by the HR staff at companies that they are losing out on attracting top talents because their recruitment processes are just too slow and uncomfortable for candidates.

With that in mind, we at Nemesysco are designing solutions that improve the recruiting and screening processes in ways that benefit both employers and candidates.

For recruiters, whether at an external firm or as part of an internal HR team, our methodology and technology quickly builds an understanding of a candidate’s core values and competencies by measuring the emotional responses to targeted questions about past events and experiences.

On the other side of the equation, our approach improves screening experience for candidates by making it more personal, interesting and even educational for them, meaning that candidates will likely learn something new about themselves. Our methodology and recommended pre-employment screening tests involve candidates freely expressing themselves in response to questions about their career and personal experiences. This is in strong contrast to existing personality tests that require candidates to answer a series of standardised and rigid questions.

What differences does it bring compared to traditional hiring tools, both in terms of the methods and the results?

Answer: Most existing hiring tools used to build a personality profile of a candidate are based on what can be called self-reporting. Candidates are often asked to assess themselves in various professional situations and comment on their career experience in short surveys that are measured statistically.

This type of screening is problematic for many reasons. First, the responses provided by a candidate are often biased and based on the candidate’s interpretation of what the employer is perceived to want to hear. Also, these types of screening questions are based only on the candidate’s impression of himself or herself and are not a genuine assessment of the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses.

So, for example, with this type of screening, a candidate for an open sales position could be profiled as a good match if he or she responds positively to a list of yes-no questions like, “Are you persuasive?”, “Do you have good communication skills?” and “Can you manage your sales targets?”.

This existing approach for which the candidate is of course going to answer ‘yes’ to all such questions will lead to inaccurate results.

How does Nemesysco’s Layered Voice Analysis work and overcome the drawbacks of existing approaches?

Answer: Through our methodology and technology, we provide a more accurate and useful assessment of candidates by measuring their genuine emotional responses to screening questions.

For instance, if a candidate is asked if he or she is comfortable speaking in front of a large audience, existing approaches will take candidate’s response at face value based solely on the candidate’s response of ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to this question.

Our approach is actually indifferent to the content of the candidate’s answer and instead focuses on measuring a candidate’s emotional responses to each question.

So, in response to this question about if the candidate is comfortable speaking in front of an audience, we measure the emotional responses to this question, regardless of the content of the answer, to understand, for instance, if the candidate had a positive or negative experience in such events. We can also measure if the experience of speaking in front of an audience was stressful or if the candidate approached it with confidence and a lot of energy.

To achieve this, our Layered Voice Analysis technology analyses over 150 uncontrolled bio-markers in a person’s speech to establish the genuine emotional state-of-mind of a speaker. These bio-markers analysed our LVA technology are uncontrolled parameters of the voice. Alternative approaches to emotion detection through voice analytics rely on expressed vocal intonations, which can easily be fabricated by a speaker.

Based on these emotional measurements the strengths and weaknesses of a candidate can be efficiently and accurately revealed.

Is it possible to employ voice analysis technology in the talent retention program as well?

Answer: Yes, absolutely and we also highly recommend this to employers.

With our approach to voice analytics, the same emotional responses that were measured during the recruitment processes can also be measured over time to get an indication of any changes in an employee’s current state-of-mind or mental wellness. These measures during various stages of employment can give reliable indications, for example, if an employee is satisfied or at risk of leaving the company. Of course, the collection of the audio data may be different and based on the job role. Phone interviews, voice-based employee satisfaction surveys or even ongoing monitoring of employees’ phone calls – where applicable and allowed by law – can be used.

These ongoing measurements can also be used to when considering an employee for a promotion.

Last question, what is your advice for business leaders who is keen on investing more technology to revamp their recruitment strategy?

Answer: Making informed decisions in order to understand exactly what to expect from your future employees and to know where they will succeed and where they will fail is paramount to any business success. Previously, this was close to impossible. Today, with the use of LVA technology, accurately identifying and understanding the core values and competencies of each of your candidates is possible.

My advice to strategy and decision makers is to invest in technologies that adds Emotional Intelligence to Artificial Intelligence systems in order to give your HR team the tools to turn hiring processes and the overall employment experience into an educating experience for both your recruiters and your candidates.

About Mr Amir Liberman

Amir Liberman is a leading researcher in the field of voice and emotion analysis. He is the CEO of Nemesysco, a provider of voice analysis technologies and solutions, and is the driving force behind expanding the applications of the company’s unique Layer Voice Analysis technology.

Connect with him on LinkedIn.

Content rights: This exclusive interview content is produced by HR in ASIA. Any redistribution or reproduction of part or all of the contents in this interview is prohibited. You may not, except with our express written permission, distribute or commercially exploit the content.

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