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Yes, remote work disrupts hiring and recruitment - Talview responds with a free remote hiring starter kit

Jon Reed Profile picture for user jreed April 1, 2020
Companies with hiring needs have a problem - now they need a fully remote hiring process. To help, Talview released a free remote hiring kit. I talked to their CEO about the remote hiring surge, and the role of AI and automation in ethical hiring.


Most industries are disrupted at the moment, for difficult reasons we all know. But that doesn't mean hiring can stop.

Even within companies where workers are sidelined, fresh hiring needs have emerged.

But hold up - the recruitment game has suddenly changed. Forget about career fairs, university recruitment, or the classic handshake-and-sit-down interview. That raises several questions:

  • How quickly can companies adapt to remote hiring?
  • What tools and tactics can help with a quick transition?
  • Can HR managers adopt remote-enabled processes that aren't just stopgaps, but potentially long term enhancements to their talent game?

Voila, I got a (rare) thoughtful PR pitch from a company (Talview) that claims to have a field-proven approach to remote hiring. In fact, that's how their online video interview solution was built. Soon, I was on the phone with Talview CEO Sanjoe Tom Jose.

AI-powered recruitment - behind the buzzword

I had some pointed questions for Jose. That's because Talview bills itself as "an AI-Powered recruitment platform with video interviews, online assessments, behavioral insights, chatbots and automated proctoring software." It's the "AI-powered" part that throws me. As readers know, I can be something of an AI grouch, especially when it comes to the problems of automating the candidate screening process (see Brian Sommer's "You're not our kind of people" - why analytics and HR fail many good people for starters).

I won't lie, I also choked a bit Talview's catchphrase of "remote, automate, and reuse." That sounds like a mechanical solution to an all-too-human talent problem. But as Jose explained to me, it's really about helping organizations widen their talent pool with "anytime, anywhere" remote processes, the automation of routine tasks, and reusing data across the hiring process.

Yes, prior applicants get buried in databases all the time. Reusing data to get to the right people - that works. And: Jose tells me Talview helps hiring managers to widen - not narrow - their applicant pools. But how does remote hiring help with that?

Our first assumption might be: remote hiring is irrelevant anyhow, because hiring freezes are pretty much universal right now (except for the well-known exceptions of delivery behemoths like Amazon). But in fact, Talview is in growth mode right now. But as Jose told me:

Hiring needs might have reduced, but they still need to continue to hire. And they need a platform which where they can do this - one that is completely remote.

Where are today's hiring needs?

So what's driving Talview customers' hiring needs? Jose's first example? Retailers - in need of delivery workers as the last-mile need heats up. But - those delivery workers must be interviewed remotely:

They now need a completely remote process for that - before they didn't. While we used to support them with a lot of store hiring, for delivery, because it was high volume and it was high churn, they would typically use us to get their candidates. They they would do their screening, training and deployment on the same day. But now they do their process entirely online, and we have been able to support some of our customers with that.

Even "non-essential" retailers like electronic, fashion and apparel and generating job requirements, as consumers trend digital:

While the schools are shut down, now their customers are all sitting online. And there is a lot more focus on providing customer support of their online sale. That is a new hiring requirement which they're dealing with, which we can support.

Another big market for Talview: financial services. In certain areas, their remote needs are growing too:

Insurance companies are hiring a lot of remote workers for claim processing. Even in healthcare insurance, they're hiring for medical transcription. A lot of those support roles are all remote.

Serve your customers any way you can.

We support our customers in all those requirements. It's not just being a hiring platform; our focus is on how we can support our customers, so that they can continue supporting their customers, and provide them a platform for business continuity - so that they don't have to stop.

Hiring must be fully remote - and fast

Talview's surge in customer requirements is a clear indication: hiring must be fully remote, and fast. Jose:

It is a significant load and pressure on our customers' existing systems. Even in the professional services space, they actually do much of the hiring outside of the US. So, typically in countries like the Philippines and India, a lot of the hiring used to be event-driven, like career and university job fairs. 80% of their hiring used to be in that kind of scenario.

Now all of a sudden, they have to move that entire process online, and do complete completely virtual events for hiring.

That demand has tripled the grown of transactions on the Talview platform, with five times more leads at the top of the funnel. Growth is an enviable problem to have right now:

As an organization, we have been working day and night to support our existing models, and also support as many new customers as possible.

A remote hiring process flow

So what does an all-remote hiring process look like? The short version: Talview applies that remote/automate/reuse approach from the top of the hiring funnel on down. Some of Talview's main tools are:

  • Recruiting Bot & Resume Reviewer
  • AI Video Interviews, with what Talview calls "Behavioral Insights"
  • Live Interviews with Automated Scheduling
  • Online Assessments for Coding, Essay
  • Automated Proctoring of Tests and Exam

There is fruitful automation in this process - routine transactions that Talview considers bottlenecks. That includes resume matching to job descriptions, and interview scheduling. Jose says Talview can automate steps like those with a "significant degree of accuracy."

"Reuse" might sound mechanical, but it's also a good way to give candidates second chances for new openings. Jose argues that most applicant tracking systems only store resumes - not the context of prior interviews:

Typically, there is no context on what were the interactions between the candidate and the company... They have to go through the same interview process the same assessment process, making the process very repetitive and inefficient.

Talview allows companies to skip those steps:

A recruiter can say, "Hey, this candidate can directly move to step five, or step seven, rather than starting from scratch." That reduces the hiring lifecycle significantly. Essentially, with remote, automate and reuse, we have been able to help customers to bring down their time to hire by up to 50 percent.

That speed is important. Recruiting needs new metrics, and "candidate experience" is absolutely one of them:

Candidate experience is another key hiring metric for enterprises. Six out of 10 candidates who drop off from the hiring funnel, they attribute that to a long hiring process.

My take - a remote hiring starter kit is ready

What about Jose's assertion that remote hiring enables a wider applicant pool?

We conduct workshops for hiring managers and interviewers on the best practices, because interviewing online offers tremendous amount in terms of access to a wider pool of candidates.

That avoids the slog of setting up in-person interview days, with limited appointment windows and travel constraints.

This is not an easy time to contend with - no way to sugarcoat that. To help, Talview launched their free Remote Hiring Starter Kit. They also released a short/useful video on remote and safe hiring; I will embed it at the end of this article. Jose:

Organizations out there, whether they are our customers or not, they are having to do this sudden switch or transition from offline hiring to online hiring. That brings a lot of challenges which organizations are grappling with.

With this change, what are the best practices when in when it comes to online interviewing? What are the best practices when it comes to online assessments and remote proctoring?

And: how do you maintain a candidate data flow throughout all the hiring steps?

The key is to enable any occupation who is currently hiring.

I didn't have time to get into our AI-and-hiring discussion in detail here, but I may return to it in a follow-up. I don't have a general issue with automating hiring steps and improving candidate "intelligence" and analytics.

The part that concerns me is the automated candidate screening aspects. I was encouraged to hear Jose talk about Talview's mission: to ensure all their solutions support individual career growth, and reduce hiring bias. For now, companies have more urgent remote work needs to address - hopefully this is a piece of that puzzle.


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