Redefining Recruitment Paradigms With Automated Chatbots At Hinduja Global Solutions

Digitization has revolutionized and improved the hiring landscape by making jobs easier to find, sharing information easier and making the process more personalized for candidates, thereby creating a holistic experience.


The pandemic has shifted a major sector of the workforce in ways the companies hadn’t anticipated. With remote work skyrocketing by 966 per cent year-on-year in April and as geographical boundaries are blurring, employers are redefining the use of tools and technology to meet their expectations and demands.

HGS's Giridhar GV, Executive Vice President- Global Human Resources came onboard with BW People's Journalist to shed light on an RBM and open platform discussion around the emerging HR Trends and how the accelerated use of technology has revamped the HR landscape for a post-pandemic world.

  1. How has AI-augmented recruitment bots changed the landscape of hiring for HGS?

I would say bots have had a significant impact on hiring at HGS. AI-powered bots have transformed and made the conventional hiring process a lot more efficient. The minimal human intervention during screening is helping us ensure the right fit, while also making it a smoother process. 

At HGS, we’ve built a recruitment bot named ‘Sophie’ to facilitate hiring in North America. The deployment of Sophie has increased the efficiency of our talent acquisition teams by many folds. The bot can work round the clock, efficiently, and without errors, which is why it can screen a greater number of candidates at a time. This is an important aspect for companies like us who hire in volumes. The bot also mitigates all kinds of unconscious bias, enabling us to hire only deserving talent, and the strict filter process ensures better fitment. Since the bot takes care of the initial screening, our recruiters can invest their time in more important activities such as speaking to only the shortlisted candidates and conducting more focused interviews. It is intended to deliver a seamless screening and hiring process while providing a top-notch candidate experience for a prospective employee. 

2. What are certain benefits entailed with technology-driven hiring processes?

Technology has by far simplified and augmented the hiring process – from job posting and acquisition to evaluation and onboarding. Tools driven by AI and automation have streamlined the entire recruitment cycle. Usage of AI-augmented bots have not only made the hiring process efficient but also enhanced the candidate experience. We can attract the right applicants, ask the right set of questions, and make smarter choices about who will best fit the open positions – this adds value to talent acquisition and management on a very strategic level. Digital integration is empowering HR managers today to transcend beyond geographical barriers and accelerate the onboarding process, minimize the turnaround time, and optimize the assessment and entire evaluation process efficiently. Automation across processes allows recruiters and HR teams to use their time more effectively, focusing on quality output instead of tedious, repetitive tasks.

Today, the job market has become extremely competitive and there’s a huge scarcity of skilled candidates. Often, employers tend to miss out on skilled talent due to unconscious bias. Use of technology in the hiring process curbs unconscious bias enabling the employers to hire talent solely based on their merit.

3. How had digitization changed the landscape for hiring for a post pandemic world?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most organizations have accelerated their digitization agenda because it is the only way that can ensure business continuity in such crisis. Over the last year, the HR function has evolved at an exponential rate to cater to the several drastic changes such as the way employees are hired, work, learn, communicate, and collaborate.

Even though the fundamentals of recruitment remain constant, the explosion of technology has created a new and innovative environment, not only in the hiring and selection process but the job-seeking process as well. We are witnessing a dynamic shift in agility and promptness amongst the recruiters as well as job seekers. 

Due to the pandemic, a significant population of employees are still working from home and this is likely to continue in the foreseeable future. This has also affected a surge in the demand for talent that can work in remote environments. With the digitization of the recruitment process, companies are evaluating and screening huge numbers of job applications. Use of digital technologies such as AI, ML, automation, analytics, cloud, etc. throughout the recruitment funnel has considerably enhanced the entire hiring process. Digitization has also blurred geographical barriers in recruitment. Candidates from small towns need not necessarily migrate to cities for a job now – they only need access to the internet. This also has an impact on distribution of infrastructure and quality of life in urban areas. Recruiters are also increasingly using social and digital media for hiring, which has opened access to job-seeking millennials and Gen-Z.

Digitization has revolutionized and improved the hiring landscape by making jobs easier to find, sharing information easier and making the process more personalized for candidates, thereby creating a holistic experience.

4. How do you bring in the level of personalization while hiring with technology-driven recruitment processes?

 We live in the era of hyper-personalization wherein you get a good experience only when the services serve your needs exclusively. At HGS, given our focus on great experiences for our clients and their customers, we try to deliver personalized experiences to our prospective employees as well. 

As part of our hiring process, the initial screening of candidates occurs through the bot; all candidates must interact with the bot. During this automated process, the candidate always has the option to speak to the recruiter directly if they have any additional questions – the recruiters will address their specific questions. Similarly, recruiters also keep a close eye on the candidates being dropped during the bot’s screening process. Our recruiters connect with select dropped individuals to understand the reason for dropping better, which can help us close the feedback loop on the experience. Later in the hiring process, we have the interview rounds, where the candidates can attend an asynchronous interview through video conferencing and they always have the option to attend interviews live with the recruiters as well. Since the pandemic, most of the interviews with the recruiters take place virtually through audio/video conferencing tools. Lastly, we have a candidate experience sheet, where we create a sample size and keep in touch with those candidates to check in on their experience.

We are using predictive analytics to identify candidates who are ideal matches for open roles. It gives us insights not only from an organizational point of view but also from a candidate’s point of view – both the company and the candidate can benefit from finding the right fit.

4. According to one study, nearly 75 percent of the HR teams plan to implement chatbots in the near future, and 92 percent of HR professionals agree that HR chatbots will be crucial in directing employees to vital company information. What are your thoughts around it?

In the pre-pandemic era, sourcing of jobs and candidates predominantly relied on job postings and applications. HR managers would spend a lot of time screening a profile and even the candidate would spend a lot of time interviewing with the organization. However, the current demographics and dynamics of employees, primarily consisting of millennials and Gen Z, have a very different approach to job-seeking. This, in turn, has resulted in a major shift in the employment space, which has now grown highly candidate-oriented. 

With this deflection in the hiring needs, we also needed to revamp and re-orchestrate our hiring processes – this is where chatbots have come into play as key facilitators in the process. Chatbot driven processes can help the business with a wide range of requirements – right from finding the right talent at the right time, matching the candidate profile against the job description to determine alignment, interacting with the job seeker through an AI-based chatbot to determine potential opportunities, analyzing the past performance of the candidate to predict how they will perform, and more. With the usage of chatbots in recruitment, we are seeing multifold benefits such as enhanced efficiencies, minimized human error and effects of unconscious bias, and improved candidate experience.  

5. Can you explain the gamification process that HGS has implemented for learning and development of employees?

 At HGS, we have had a component of gamification in our physical classrooms before the pandemic. It had elements such as quiz, games, etc. wherein points, rewards & recognitions were given to the employees. And now, we are taking this experience to the next level by upgrading our entire learning management platform. The new platform is loaded with various avenues of gamification, the trainings are entirely digitized, and there is a lot of opportunity for the learners to earn credit points as they complete courses. The entire learning experience has improved many notches higher than the previous platform. For example, if you’re completing your course, engaging with people, etc. you get credit points or scores which will eventually turn equivalent to financial currency and which then can be traded off for HGS branded merchandise. 

6. How has the gamification implementation faired with employees?

Presently, we are in the initial phases of our gamification implementation. However, we have witnessed a lot of interest from our employees. We have also seen an increase in learning consumption by an average of 15%-20%.

7. Do you believe the new forms of L&D initiatives stay relevant in a post-pandemic work culture?

Absolutely. While the pandemic has accelerated these initiatives, they would have anyways happened largely because of the Gen Z job-seekers and the gig economy, which are beginning to form a major chunk of the workforce today. 

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