Siri, Alexa and Google and other personal digital assistants now have a new, albeit a lot more specialized, buddy: Helena, a virtual headhunter helper for human-resource professionals and people searching for jobs.
Woo, a 3-year-old San Francisco-based startup, hosts an advanced marketplace for matching employers and passive job seekers. It launched officially Nov. 14; it’s been in beta for several months.
Helena automatically scouts, approaches and sources the best candidates on behalf of employers.
Helena serves not only as company headhunter; she also serves as job seeker’s agent, sparing both sides the need to actively search for each other. At her core, CEO Liran Kotzer told eWEEK, Helena is a matchmaker that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to connect the right candidate for the right opportunity, at scale.
High Percent of Hits So Far
“Our conversion rate (placing successful candidates) is 67 percent, as far we know the highest in the market right now,” Kotzer said, attributing this to the dedicated AI the company built for the application.
Woo’s AI headhunter works by collecting relevant data from Woo’s ecosystem of job seekers and employers, as well as external online sources. It then uses powerful algorithms to create high-quality matches. The platform houses a unique pool of candidates, 80 percent of whom are open to, but not actively seeking, a new job. Thousands of passive job seekers discreetly join Woo every month, input their experience and career desires, and then are served up opportunities that match their preferences and desires, Kotzer said.
On the employer front, Helena delivers specific insights. She provides real-time visibility into how job seekers react to job opportunities–including, if they passed on a position, the reason why. She also helps companies remain competitive by showing how they perform relative to similar companies, Kotzer said.
Early results indicate that science-driven recruiting works. Fifty-two percent of candidates sourced by Helena start interviews, the company said. This performance is three times that of recruiting agencies, for whom about 20 percent of sourced candidates move on to interviews. That is about 20 times better than job boards, Kotzer said.
AI Expected to Become Increasingly Important in HR
Analysts believe that AI will become increasingly important as the younger generations move into the workforce and switch jobs at a quickening pace. According to PwC’s Workforce of the Future report, by 2030 the number of U.S. workers in full-time permanent employment will drop to 9 percent of the workforce.
Traditional full-time jobs will be replaced with projects that will quickly flourish, evolve and resolve as specialists move rapidly from one to the next. As employees job-hop to take on specific projects, recruitment processes will need to adapt to help companies and candidates become more agile.
Woo also announced the close of its $7 million Series A investment round, which will be used to further enhance Woo’s technology and fuel the company’s U.S. expansion. The round was led by Lord David Alliance, with participation from existing investors, and brings total funding to $11.4 million.
Helena is available now. For employers, Helena can be obtained on either a tiered-subscription or a pay-per-placement model, with unlimited positions in the company. There is no cost or fee for job candidates, who can employ Helena as their virtual agent.
Privately-held, Woo is headquartered in San Francisco with a development team in Tel Aviv. The company works with brands that include WeWork, Lyft, Uber, Microsoft, Quora, Asana and others. Go here for more information.