IBM India’s AI solution finds the best applicant for a job and vice versa

Bengaluru | Updated on October 19, 2018 Published on October 19, 2018

Joanna Daly



IBM India has devised Watson Candidate Assist (WCA), an AI based solution that addresses challenges faced by HR departments in talent acquisition.

After piloting WCA internally in August, the solution went live within the company last month and, beginning early 2019, will be offered to IBM India clients as a part of its Human Capital Management offering, a top executive told BusinessLine.

WCA originated with a proof of concept (PoC) in India. It started off with an idea of using AI to help candidates who are interested in a job at IBM to find the best fit. Over 15,000 candidates participated in the PoC, where they interacted with a Cognitive Assistant using AI to match their skills to job openings at IBM.

“We receive over 7,000 job applications a day globally at IBM. We have a huge amount of recruitment and candidate interest in IBM; so the challenge we face is, how do we help candidates find the right opportunity, when they are interested in IBM but have not yet applied for a job. What started of as a PoC, is now one of our AI-based HR solutions,” said Joanna Daly, Vice President, Talent at IBM.

The solution enables candidates to easily interact with IBM’s cognitive capability Watson, via a Chatbot. After logging on to the IBM job portal, candidates can either start conversing with the Chatbot or type in queries. Unlike the usual keyword search, where the candidate sees a drop-down list; with WCA, the candidate can just converse.

Explains Daly, “Watson will ask you, ‘would you like to tell me more about yourself, would you like to upload your resume.’ You could upload it in any format and through our Natural Language Processing it can understand your resume and read the document. It is not just searching for keywords, we have used Machine Learning, so it can understand the language you are using in your resume and how that relates to the skills and competencies of the job requirement.”

This is really important because people use industry terms, acronyms and different words for even the same software technology. Therefore, we need technology that doesn’t rely on exact matches, added Daly.

IBM found that 90 per cent of the candidates who used WCA found it engaging and more than 90 per cent found the matches that it recommended valuable and relevant. WCA not only tells candidates the degree of match for a particular role but, also indicates if the skills match any other role for which they may not have applied. WCA also speeds up hiring time by over 30 per cent.

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Published on October 19, 2018
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