This HR firm is using AI to hire without bias, negotiate salary

Newer technologies such as cloud computing have made human resources (HR) processes such as hiring and on-boarding significantly faster. Now, an HR services firm has developed artificial intelligence and machine learning (AIML) techniques that will help boost objectivity and effectively reduce HR personnel to clerical roles.

Gurgaon-headquartered PeopleStrong has launched a new product, Alt Recruit, which uses AIML as a matchmaking tool to suggest possible candidates for job openings at an organisation.

“The world of work is constantly changing with AI and ML becoming a part of life and it is about time that HR teams in organisations adopt this change,” Pankaj Bansal, co-founder and chief executive officer of PeopleStrong, told VCCircle.

Bansal said the AIML engine has been trained to track data from the web, social media and the client company's internal database to look for a perfect match.

PeopleStrong has been collecting recruitment data since 2005 and has also partnered with job portals such as Monster, Indeed and iimjobs to increase its data on job-seekers.

The company believes that nearly a third of all staffing requirements in IT companies such as Wipro and Infosys can be filled internally.

Bansal said that the engine not only considers a company's requirements but also looks at cultural aspects or prevalent hiring trends of the firm and industry.

"For instance, if a company’s hiring trend doesn’t match with that of the industry, the Alt Recruit platform will show suggestions based on industry trends,” Bansal said.

The AI engine can be custom-trained for particular industries and organisations and currently takes two months to get familiar with a particular sector.

By the end of the next year, data training will probably take just two weeks, Bansal said.

In terms of efficiency, PeopleStrong’s AI engine currently goes through 15 million resumes to fill every 1.5 million jobs. PeopleStrong also says the platform will save 40% of recruiter time per position.

The platform can also help in negotiating salaries, onboarding and taking care of subsequent processes.

“In Wipro, for instance, salaries are calculated by the PeopleStrong platform. If the HR recruiter offers more than the suggested salary, an approval from the senior leadership is needed,” he said.

The platform also has an in-built Siri-like chatbot called Genie that can answer HR-related queries.


Set up in 2005, the HR services firm says it has around 1,000 employees and more than 170 customers across industries. Prominent clients include Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, HDFC Life Insurance and News Corp VCCircle, among others.

Earlier this week, PeopleStrong said that it would acquire online referral hiring platform GrownOut for an undisclosed amount.

This was PeopleStrong's fourth acquisition. Earlier buys included Lumis Partners-backed Integrated Learning Solutions Pvt. Ltd in 2013, Big Bytes Solutions Pvt. Ltd in October 2014 and Summit HR’s frontline business in 2011.

Last April, private equity firm Multiples Alternate Asset Management Pvt. Ltd had picked up a majority stake in PeopleStrong. Multiples and mortgage lender HDFC Ltd cumulatively hold about three-fourths of the company.

Earlier this month, Bhavin Turakhia-promoted fintech startup Zeta, which offers digital employee solutions, had picked up a minority stake in PeopleStrong for an undisclosed amount.

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