How Will Emotion AI Be a Game-Changer within The Recruitment Segment?

"Emotion AI is at a very nascent stage as far as hiring is concerned; different use cases are being built to train the machines to get the reports right."


Emotional AI technology are helping businesses capture candisate's emotional reactions in real time—by decoding facial expressions, analyzing voice patterns, scanning e-mails for the tone of language, monitoring eye movements, and measuring neurological immersion levels, for example. For technology and platform companies, the ultimate outcome is a much better understanding of customers—and the ability to forge deeper, more personal connections. But Emotional AI also brings risks. 

Sudhakar Balakrishnan, Group CEO FirstMeridian got in a candid conversation with BW Businessworld's Sr. Correspondent and explained in detail with examples as to how will Emotion AI be a game-changer for the recruitment segment in times to come.

  1. What will be the new tech trends in 2021 in the recruitment process and How will they be influencing the business?
  • Crowdsourcing platforms – Freelancers, GIG workers, Retired professionals, homemakers and influencers are increasingly becoming a part of crowdsourcing platforms which are helping companies to source candidates across geographies.
  • Digital Profile Screening – Bot-based screening as the primary round of screening will help reduce time to hire
  • Digital Onboarding – Candidate onboarding activities including document submission, KYC verification, offer acceptance and candidate data collection will be digitized and mobile-enabled. Integrating OCR into the digital onboarding mobile apps simplifies extracting data from important documents like Aadhaar, PAN card, etc., and pre-fills critical fields in online form filling. What would earlier require new hires to visit the HR department and complete a tedious onboarding process today can be done on the move with mobile onboarding apps. This approach streamlines the documentation process, reduces manual intervention, eliminates the risk of human errors and helps in creating a centralised, secure repository for all employee data in one place.
  • Induction and Training – Bite-sized, mobile microlearning will revolutionize corporate training, making a huge impact on the business outcomes due to shorter duration on the job training
  • Employer branding – Digital engagement platforms will influence candidates with the right set of information and tag buddies to engage, thus reducing offer to joining dropouts
  • Cloud Staffing – Work from anywhere will enable companies to hire the talent they seek from across the globe without the limitations of having a local office branch or expecting the new hires to relocate
  1. Recruitment is probably one of the most business-critical functions. How is automation and AI contributing to this?

India as a country is the land of opportunities and now more than ever due to the growing need for India’s contribution to Industry 4.0 on the world stage. More FDI’s are allowed to companies to set up their shops in India, which definitely brings new job opportunities. Automation in recruitment is very essential in all stages of recruitment, from job creation and publication to sourcing, screening, assessment, interview management, offer release, onboarding, induction, payroll, appraisals, employee engagement and exit. More importantly, AI-based tools are helping to map the right candidates from the recruiting platform’s database to open job positions, greatly improving the chances of recruiting the best fit for a job role and reducing the manual effort that goes into this.

  1. What is Emotion AI? How does it work?

Emotion AI is a subset of artificial intelligence that measures, understands, simulates, and reacts to human emotions. It is also known as affective computing, or artificial emotional intelligence.

Machines can analyse images and pick up subtleties in micro-expressions on humans’ faces that might occur even too fast for a person to recognize. Bots are now trained to conduct interviews which can analyse various data points and formulate reports to determine whether the candidate is the best fit for the given job or not.

  1. How long until AI can process candidate emotion?

Emotion AI is at a very nascent stage as far as hiring is concerned; different use cases are being built to train the machines to get the reports right.  

  1. There are a lot of debates on whether it is ethical to use this technology. What are your thoughts?

In my opinion, technology will only help to make better hiring decisions. If you look back, Psychometric assessments were rarely used in hiring a couple of decades ago; today, it is a common practice to gather information on the candidates’ psychological state using assessment tools. Similarly, Emotion AI will make a huge impact in recruitment in the future, though it will take a few more years to build a robust solution.

  1. What is the benefit of using Emotion AI? Is it successfully removing biases? Could you please share examples?

Some apparent benefits that Emotion AI can bring to recruitment include the following:

  1. It can capture emotions of individuals when asked to detail out real life experiences
  2. Voice and Text notes will help in gauging ingenuousness and transparency in responses
  3. It can help us understand the emotional stability of an individual when exposed to various scenarios
  4. This analysis will help to gauge the credibility of the candidates.

It’s very early to comment on whether Emotion AI will help to eliminate biases, as we need to feed thousands of scenarios for the system to match the patterns and formulate accurate reports. I am sure this will improve over time.

  1. How Emotion AI Can Transform Large-Scale Recruitment Processes? Is it useful for small-scale recruitment as well?

Once the system is tested for various scenarios, the technology can be used as a screening tool to check cultural fitment. It can certainly be used for large as well as small scale recruitment. 

  1. As COVID-19 gave a boost to the use of technological solutions for recruitment and other processes handling, Will companies still be using these solutions when offices are planning to respond on a regular basis?

Covid-19 had accelerated the adoption of HR technologies by 30 to 40%. These tools have made people processes more efficient and centralised. More companies are now using these solutions for productivity tracking among other activities. 

  1. Are these innovations/technology solutions cost-effective?

In the beginning, any tech solution will deem expensive depending on the use case. Over time, as the adoption of such technologies increase and more users are added, the cost of implementation and maintenance gets normalized and the solution becomes cost-effective.

  1. Are there any challenges in using AI & automation. if yes, What are these?

AI systems are only as good – or as bad – as the data they are fed and trained on. Incorrect use cases will lead to machine learning and erroneous automations, which may gravely impact the hiring process and even bring direct losses to the business. 

  1. What other technological innovations do you see in the coming years?
  • GIG Staffing – With the rise of start-up culture and amidst the growing demand for contractual workforce among MNCs, we are seeing a rise in gig platforms. Outcome-based work delivery platforms are becoming more popular in eCommerce, Field Sales, Marketing, Telecom, Human Resources, Hospitality, Tourism, Supply Chain/Logistics, and even in IT for roles such as Content Design, Web and App Development, IT Recruitment, etc.
  • Cloud Staffing Platforms – Qualified workforce deployed from anywhere
  • E-recruiter (Bot Based recruitment tool) – End-to-end recruitment process managed by chatbots
  • Remote workspaces - The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed employers to implement remote workspaces, changing the way employers approached workplace collaboration and employee experience. Online collaboration platforms will become a norm soon as business leaders are becoming less resistant to the idea of remote working.
  • Chatbot-based Employee Helpdesk – bot-based helplines are already in use in the consumer market. It’s about time this technology is integrated into HR processes to address candidate/employee queries and grievances.


Around The World