A recent study on hiring indicated that interviewers felt that 80 to 85 percent of the job candidates they interviewed were poorly prepared. This has led to a remarkable rise in career coaching and employment websites. At the present time, the American unemployment rate is 6.2%, representing 9.7 million unemployed persons currently seeking work. Extending beyond this figure, the underemployment rate, or the overall rate of those seeking full-time work, is estimated to be as high as 15.1% for the same period. The vast majority of these job seekers lacks experience in branding themselves successfully and does not possess an extensive professional network from which to learn about job opportunities; this means that companies could easily be missing out on large numbers of qualified candidates. The proposed technology provides digital tools to help candidates hone their interviewing skills and professionalism for no charge, while simultaneously providing companies with an inexpensive platform to apply video analytics to the task of pre-screening candidates. This will allow companies to gain the high-value information normally only obtainable at high cost during a live interview for a much broader set of candidates.

This I-Corps team envisions a free service where job candidates are able to try the proposed concept "Honest Signals" video analytics features before subscribing and gaining access to a network of potential employers. Companies who use the Honest Signals service for employee screening will have access both to a network of users who have asked to have their videos shared with employers and to custom analytics tools which will allow them to screen candidates based on their own unique needs, thus streamlining human resources operations for challenging hiring scenarios such as low-end/unskilled labor, retail associates, and overseas labor. The proposed work will bring fundamentally new kinds of information to job candidate assessment and will help pioneer automated methods to exploit these new data sources. The use of these vastly richer forms of information has the potential to transform the practice of hiring through the use of innovative techniques drawn from social psychology.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP)
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Rathindra DasGupta
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Harvard University
United States
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