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Glassdoor, one of the world’s largest job and recruiting sites, commissioned a research study which concluded 95 percent of employers have made hiring mistakes by recruiting the wrong people.  each year.[i] According to the Harvard Business Review, 80% of employee turnover occurs because of bad hiring decisions, often because the new hire did not fit the corporate culture into which he or she was hired.[ii]

Voicesense, a predictive speech and analytics company based in Herzliya, Israel, may have an AI solution to the problem. The company believes voice is everywhere, and by recording the voice and analyzing speech patterns, they can learn more about a person’s core characteristics than words spoken in an interview can convey. John McCormick explained,

Employers upload video or audio interviews to Voicesense’s cloud and the company’s system analyzes 200 speech parameters, such as intonation and pace, says Yoav Degani, Voicesense’s chief executive officer. The system builds a behavioral model of the applicant’s temperament, ambition, dependability and creativity, among other characteristics. An employer can then use the scores the system generates to tell if an applicant is a good match for a job. For instance, if an organization was looking to hire a salesperson, the system would identify as a possible match someone who was highly active and engaged in the conversation, says Mr. Degani.[iii]

The company may have challenges in convincing customers the technology is accurate enough. Mr. Degani acknowledges the analysis of voices results in probabilities rather than certainty. The company must also convince customers privacy safeguards are in place. Mr. Degani says Voicesense doesn’t store any of the data and its tools do not make judgements on the content of a conversation. The company’s AI tools only look at the patterns of speech.

Another AI company focused on voice analysis is HireVue, based in South Jordan, Utah. They claim to have more than 700 customers. One of them looking for help with its recruitment efforts is AdventHealth Orlando, a unit of the AdventHealth healthcare system, which more than 80,000 skilled caregivers in physician practices, hospitals, outpatient clinics, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies and hospice centers. John McCormick explained,

The organization, which operates eight hospitals across central Florida and employs more than 25,000 people, hires 8,000 people each year. That means reviewing more than 350,000 applications, according to Karla Muniz, AdventHealth’s human-resources director. Candidates who meet basic job requirements are invited to take an online interview using HireVue. Its algorithm evaluates applicants’ responses to interview questions, such as tone of voice and word clusters. It also incorporates visual analysis, examining very quick facial movements called microexpressions. The information from these assessments is then matched against data points that correspond with each job. Applicants who score high for a position are called in for interviews.[iv]

Due to an aging population and greater demand for healthcare services, jobs in healthcare are projected to grow 18 percent from 2016 to 2026, adding about 2.4 million new jobs, more than any other occupational group.[v] The industry growth means healthcare organizations need to be as efficient as possible in finding the right people for the right jobs. McCormick reported AdventHealth, since using HireVue, has decreased the time it takes to fill a job from 42 to 36 days.[vi]

[i] Suzanna Colberg, “Why 95% of Companies Make Bad Hires,”  FurstPerson (2019), https://www.furstperson.com/blog/why-95-percent-of-companies-make-bad-hires
[ii] Ibid.
[iii] McCormick, “What Ai Can Tell from Listening to You”.
[iv] Ibid.
[v] “Healthcare Occupations,”  Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (2019), https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/home.htm
[vi] McCormick, “What Ai Can Tell from Listening to You”.