Is speech analysis the next frontier of predictive analytics in HR?
August 23, 2018
By Sushman Biswas
As HR embraces the promise of predictive analytics, we explore how speech analysis software can help hire faster, reduce bias and improve the candidate experience.
In his book, Good to Great, Jim Collins explains that building a great organization is “Getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.” However, as most recruiters know, this is easier said than done. Finding candidates with the right skills and a strong foundation with judgment to think critically, cut through decision-making obstacles, and hiring them before your competitors do, is quite a task.
Here’s where AI-powered, predictive analytics technology can come to your rescue. Instead of long, grueling online questionnaires or psychometric tests, recruiters now have the option to leverage speech analytics technology to hire for culture-fit . VoiceSense, an Israeli startup that provides speech-based predictive analytics solutions, leverages the power of non-content speech patterns to forecast behavioral tendencies.
It analyzes unique features of a person’s speech, such as intonation, pace, stress, and over 200 prosodic speech parameters in order to build a personality profile of a candidate’s characteristics, such as levels of risk affinity or aversion, tendencies for impulsive behavior and rule abidance, personal integrity, consciousness, sociability, wellbeing and more.
At a time when most talent-acquisition teams are struggling to find and hire candidates that check all boxes, speech-analytics solutions like VoiceSense could prove to be a useful tool to improve the candidate experience and reduce time-to-fill. Speech-analytics offers a practical approach to filter applicants quickly and objectively.
For instance, video interviews are susceptible to establishing conscious or unconscious bias based on an applicant’s appearance. And while applicant tracking systems (ATS) are great for resume-parsing, they do not reveal a candidate’s personality. You might still need to interview hundreds of applicants before zeroing in on the one that’s right for your organization.
Yoav Degani, Founder, and CEO, VoiceSense, says, “Because prosodic speech patterns are a physiological trait, they cannot ‘lie’ and cannot be consciously controlled in any capacity by the speaker. However, each can be worth a thousand words when it comes to identifying the personality traits of a job candidate.”
Recruiters can further customize various parameters of the tool to arrive at the desired personality profile based on a specific job requirement. “For instance, for an accounting position, integrity might be the emphasis of a personality profile,” says Yoav.
For HR teams already using software like ATS’ and video interviewing platforms, VoiceSense offers easy integration without calling for a complete overhaul of the existing recruitment technology stack.
Addressing concerns over regulations like GDPR and voice data-privacy, Yoav explains, predictive speech analytics only leverages non-content parts of the speech, making it impossible for the tool to listen in to conversations or know what the candidates are saying. “We are certainly GDPR-ready, doing all our analysis transparently and with full consent. Even if this data were somehow breached, it would be completely useless, since the identities of the candidates are not known,” he says.
Predictive speech analytics may have even broader applications in HR including, training and development, succession planning, and evaluating employee well-being. It would be interesting to see how future developments in speech analysis unfold to drive higher adoption among HR teams and improve the accuracy of predictions.
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