AI helps recruiters track jobseekers’ emotions
Facial recognition technology allows us to pay for lunch, unlock a phone — it can even get us arrested. Now, that technology is moving on: algorithms are not only learning to recognise who we are, but also what we feel. So-called emotion recognition technology is in its infancy. But artificial intelligence companies claim it has the power to transform recruitment. Their algorithms, they say, can decipher how enthusiastic, bored or honest a job applicant may be — and help employers weed out candidates with undesirable characteristics. Employers, including Unilever, are already beginning to use the technology. London-based Human, founded in 2016, is a start-up that analyses video-based job applications. The company claims it can spot the emotional expressions of prospective candidates and match them with personality traits — information its algorithms collect by deciphering subliminal facial expressions when the applicant answers questions. Emotion recognition technology helps employers … shortlist people they may not have considered Yi Xu, chief executive, Human Human sends a report to the recruiter detailing candidates’ emotional reactions to each interview question, with scores against characteristics that specify how “honest” or “passionate” an applicant is. “If [the recruiter] says, ‘We are looking for the most curious candidate,’ they can find that person by comparing the candidates’ scores,” says Yi Xu, Human’s founder and chief executive. Recruiters can still assess candidates at interview in the conventional way, but there is a limit to how many they can meet or the number of video applications they can watch. Ms Xu says her company’s emotion recognition technology helps employers screen a larger pool of candidates and shortlist people they may not have considered otherwise. “An interviewer will have bias, but [with technology] they don’t judge the face but the personality of the applicant,” she says. One aim, she claims, is to overcome ethnic and gender discrimination in recruitment.