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In this Kochi-based bank, robots recruit employees

The AI-enabled chatbot screens, updates on a real-time basis and takes the applicant through a slew of steps before the final hiring. The chatbot's role ends with an SMS to the parents of the selected person

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: November 21, 2019  | 13:26 IST
In this Kochi-based bank, robots recruit employees
Of the 350 hired, 150 were selected in the first month itself--at the pilot stage of the new system.

Federal Bank is transforming its traditional HR practices by shifting almost the entire hiring process to a tool driven on artificial intelligence-arguably a first in the domestic banking space.

FedRecruit, the new HR tool of the Kochi-based private sector lender, employs technology to drive the HR function to the fullest, under which the only human intervention of its multistage hiring process is the final round where top HR executives meet up with the new recruits.

Federal Bank is arguably the first in the domestic banking space to almost fully switch to technology for hiring as its large peers like HDFC Bank, which uses a lot of tech for banking, employs AI only at the primary screening level.

FedRecruit relies on a series of connected events or data points and goes beyond the conventional one-sided resume to construct a 360-degree narrative of the candidate. These data points are gathered through multiple stages--robotic interviews, psychometric and game-based assessments processes etc., Federal Bank HR chief Ajith Kumar KK told PTI.

The robotic interview process scans the candidates' personality traits, uses integrated videos for virtual face- to-face interviews and also employ live videos for real-time engagement and notification for better candidate management.

To begin with the AI-enabled chatbot screens, updates on a real-time basis and takes the applicant through a slew of steps before the final hiring. The chatbot's role ends with an SMS to the parents of the selected person.

Even the offer letter is sent out by the chatbot, assistant vice-president for HR Raj Gopal chips in, adding the bank has already hired 350 probationary officers from campuses since October and that the remaining 350 will also be hired through December to complete annual target of 700 for FY20.

Of the 350 hired, 150 were selected in the first month itself--at the pilot stage of the new system, he adds.

In fact, the country's sixth largest private sector bank creates a recruitment framework that aligns culture, talent, organizational structure, and processes through technology, Kumar adds.

Enthused by the success of its pilot experiment, Kumar says the bank will extend technology for lateral hiring as well as to take in non-core staff as well.

Globally organizations are incorporating advanced technologies for recruitments and onboarding whereby they create seamless candidate experiences, he elaborates and does not deny that it can also save a lot of headhunting cost.

"Over 80 percent of the workforce will be millennials by 2025, and this means a digitally empowered jobseeker ecosystem that thrives on technologies like AI, machine learning, blockchain, internet of things, big data, and natural language processing," Gopal explains.

The basic idea is to have the best HR practices by creating superior candidate experiences right from the job application level to the interview processes, selection, and on-boarding using multiple levels of online games to finally informing her parents about the selection of their ward-all with no human interventions, Kumar says.

But he parried a direct answer whether they will use the same technology for annual assessments/firing.

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