The Russian Robot Thats Hiring Humans

A Russian new venture is using Automatic robot Vera , artificial intelligence software program designed for recruiting, to help its 300-odd clients— including PepsiCo, Ikea, plus L’ Oré al— fill empty jobs. (Yes, with humans. )

The Benefit

Vera rates of speed the vetting of high-turnover assistance and blue-collar positions (clerks, waiters, construction workers), cutting the time plus cost of recruitment by as much as a third, based on its creators. The software can job interview hundreds of applicants simultaneously via video clip or voice calls, narrowing the field towards the most suitable 10 percent of candidates.


Vladimir Sveshnikov (28) and Alexander Uraksin (30), co-founders of Stafory, a 50-person startup company in St . Petersburg


The co-founders, with a history in human resources, two years ago discovered themselves making hundreds of calls in order to candidates who’ d lost curiosity about the given job or couldn’ t be located. “ All of us felt like robots ourselves, so we thought it was better to automate the task, ” Uraksin says.


Vera, named after Sveshnikov’ s i9000 mother, combines speech recognition technology from Google, Amazon. com, Microsof company, and Russia’ s Yandex. Developers fed 13 billion examples of format and speech from TV, Wikipedia, and job listings to broaden the software’ s vocabulary plus help it speak more naturally plus understand responses.


The robot began working in Russia in December 2016, plus Stafory has since added customers in the Middle East and pilot tasks in Europe and the U. Ersus. The company says its revenue may top $1 million this year.

The Verdict

Individual recruiters still vet the applicants cleared by Vera. Sveshnikov plus Uraksin are working to teach the robot to recognize anger, pleasure, and frustration, but even if it can gauge feelings, Vera shouldn’ t be seen as a substitute for traditional HR sections, says Mikhail Chernomordikov, a Ms Corp. strategist in Dubai. “ Final decisions on hiring, ” he says, “ are reserved meant for humans. ”