Careful selection: Technology helps recruit best job candidates

Chatbots have learned not only to analyze CVs, but also to interview the job candidates they liked. However, they are just a nice addition to the main trends in the HR industry. Artificial intelligence, data anonymization, blockchain and gamification have come to the forefront in headhunting. Invest Foresight has made a list of startups that provide solutions to find the best candidates.

Anonymous looking for a job

Estonian Kaarel Holm had been heading product development at Eesti Meedia for more than two years when troubles began. His ideas about the company’s further development radically diverged from the management’s plans. So he updated his CV and scheduled a couple of interviews. His boss found out and fired him the next day.

The bad experience and the desire to change the classic recruitment process were two reasons why Kaarel Holm launched the MeetFrank project in 2017. He invited Anton Narusberg who had extensive experience in developing mobile apps to join the project as his partner. Together they invented MeetFrank – an anonymous job-seeking app. It actually works like a chatbot. Frank asks the user 8-10 questions, figuring out their salary and job preferences. Artificial intelligence analyzes their needs and offers suitable vacancies. If the job seeker wants to know more about the position, they can communicate with the company’s HR staff in a private anonymous chat – without the risk of losing their current jobs.

“MeetFrank does not collect personally identifiable information about the user’s age, gender, or origin. The candidates are only asked to list their skills and career goals so that the app could offer them suitable job opportunities,” Holm says.

In 2018, the Estonian startup entered the German market and received support in the amount of €1 mio from Hummingbird VC, Karma VC and Change Ventures. Now the project has over 125,000 users in Scandinavia, the Baltics and Germany. MeetFrank clients include large companies such as TransferWise, Bolt (former Taxify) and Tele2.


Hiring personnel is a luxury in the United States. It is easy to misjudge a person and waste money. According to Gallup, the US economy loses $450 bln to $550 bln per year due to low productivity. 

“Around 46% employees will leave the company within 18 months despite the spent time, resources and billions of dollars,” saysAngela Antony

When she studied in Harvard Law School, Angela tried to understand which set of data is missing from the recruitment process and prevents from accurately predicting whether a person will stay with the company for a long time. The research paved her way into the White House. The woman was invited to work for the National Economic Council in 2015. In the same year, at an event on entrepreneurship policy, she met owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball club and Shark Tank reality show (ABC) investor Mark Cuban. Angela Antony pitched to him her idea of the Scoutible project. Cuban agreed to finance the startup. Several months later, he invested $1 mio. Since its foundation, the San Francisco project raised $6.5 mio, according to CrunchBase.

Scoutible is not a test or a survey but a 20-minute video game. The candidate chooses a character and gets important tasks such as surviving on an uninhabitable island or preventing assassination of a king. Scoutible’s artificial intelligence analyzes the player’s decisions and navigation around the map. The AI evaluates inter-personal communication skills, leadership, resistance to stress, creativity and then compares them to the parameters of the company’s tested best employees. 

Smart Helena

Meet Helena, a headhunter with a high level of intelligence and working ability who seeks candidates for companies and, conversely, vacancies that match candidates’ requests. 52% of candidates selected by Helena eventually appoint job interviews – twice as much as those found by recruitment agencies, of whom only 20% agree to an interview with a prospective employer. Helena is an AI assistant for staff recruitment at the Israeli-US AI job finder company Woo. The startup was founded by Liran Kotzer and Ami Dudu in 2015. Prior to launching the venture, they were involved in the recruitment agency SeeV, which later became part of Israeli IT company Matrix.

Woo recruiting site is easy to use. Upon registration, candidates should specify their location and job-seeking criteria such as desired salary as well as important tasks and responsibilities of the job. Woo keeps candidates’ profile anonymous, with employers only able to see information on their skills, experience and requirements. 

In 2017, the startup launched Helena. The AI assistant headhunter collects data from its ecosystem as well from external online sources such as GitHub, analyzes it, and then matches vacancies to candidate’s profiles. Unlike other projects in the HR industry, Woo has collected substantial investments worth $11.4 mio. Currently, Helena is picking ideal candidates for hundreds of companies including Bay Area, Israel, WeWork, Houzz, AOL which owns TechCrunch, and Yahoo. The service is available in Tel Aviv, San Francisco, and New York.    

Digital work passport

British citizen Luke Shipley has extensive work experience: he held personal motivational trainings in Fitnetss Your Fitness, headed a team engaged in recruiting engineers at Hydrogen, invested in the Wakelet online project and founded a couple of technology startups. In 2017, the entrepreneur decided to try blockchain. His startup Zinc collected $2.95 mio at crowdsale in just one month. This money was used to develop a blockchain platform for employee recruitment.  

In 2018, Shipley finished the beta-testing of Zinc with the participation of GoCardless and, and introduced the platform to the market. All information about candidates, including links to their CVs and test assignments are confirmed and stored in a candidate’s “digital work passport.” Job seekers decide who can access the data and when, after a job interview of before it. Staffing agencies and HR experts also find Zinc useful.

“The confirmed information opens the opportunity for a totally new level of automation and trust in the recruitment process,” Shipley says. “Zinc strives to become an industry standard for a transparent confirmation system of work reputation and identity.”

By Olga Grinevich 

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