• AI

    How will AI impact recruitment? Catch up with our webinar

    You can barely move these days for someone talking about Artificial Intelligence. ‘Should AI have human rights?’, ‘AI hunts for Milky Way turbo stars’ and ‘Wimbledon launches AI to reshape tennis coverage’ are just a few recent, wonderful headlines. Regardless of the titles, however, the fact remains that AI is here and it will impact your life – both personally and professionally.


    And while we can’t help you decide how to interact with your fridge so that it reorders milk, we can help you get ready for the effect of AI on recruitment – or more specifically, how AI is already turning recruitment on its head.


    We ran a webinar in July which discussed exactly that.


    Listen to the webinar now


    Job hunting will never be the same again

    AI and machine learning will unquestionably disrupt and redefine the entire process around job hunting, on both the candidate and the client side – but in which ways? We talked about the impact of these tech innovations, how they’ll change hiring and how it will affect your business.  We also spoke about the role we at Elevate Direct can play, particularly when it comes to negotiating your own suppliers’ AI systems.


    Presented by AI experts

    The webinar was presented by Elevate Direct’s co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, Michael Delaney and respected Data Scientist, Peadar Coyle.


    AIMichael has 13 years’ experience in design, development and delivery of large scale enterprises and web platforms. A former IT contractor himself, he absolutely appreciates the value of technological innovation and how it can offer more inspiring ways to manage the job hunting process.



    PeadarPeadar is a machine learning engineer, his previous experience includes Channel 4 and Amazon; now he’s working on the challenge of helping people find better jobs. A regular speaker/ keynoter at various tech conferences, Peadar’s an avid blogger, author and has published papers on machine learning. His thought-leadership on data products has been published by Dataconomy and Irish Tech News.


    Listen now

    For those of you who couldn’t join us on the day, we have loaded a recording of the webinar for you to listen to.

    If you’d like to chat about any of the topics which were discussed or would like more information on our own AI platform, please give us a call.


  • data visualisation

    Product Update: Data Visualisation of Skills & Ranking

    We’ve just released a huge improvement to the interface for applicants, in our first attempt to visualise a candidate’s skills and relevance to your requirement. The new UI also tells you why an applicant is at the top, or the bottom, of the ranked list. It’s a big deal.


    We did this even though visually representing work experience and skills is a very hard thing to do.


    The reason? Well, that’s simple. The CV as a document is essentially a legacy of pen and paper and word processing. Text is great if you have time to read it, however the inconsistent structure and formatting of CVs means that no two are ever the same – which makes finding and digesting the most relevant info is a risky challenge.


    Data visualisation is a now a key component of how you will initially review applicants in Elevate, with the expectation that it WILL make you more productive.


    You may have 14 or 140 applicants –  it doesn’t matter; focus on the most relevant candidates for your vacancy using the Elevate interface to guide you.


    Matching & Ranking Relevance

    matching and ranking



    The top right hand corner of each applicant’s profile shows you their matching relevance as a percentage. This overall match is made up of both the skills match and the company match visible alongside. High percentages mean better matching and higher ranking.


    The rest of the info you need (candidate name, rates, availability, current position and company) is still available to the left hand side of each card.

    Skills Scores & Timelines

    skills scores timeline


    Underneath, you will see the skills  list that you or your colleague requested when creating the vacancy. Alongside those skills is the Elevate skills score as a percentage. These scores utilise Elevate’s market data scoring technology, providing high-level insight into the skill within a MASSIVE set of data. Bigger than we have ever used before.


    This approach provides a deep understanding of the skills you need in the context of the entire market, not just the context of the applicants you have for your vacancy.


    The full digital profile and resume (grrrr) are still available for you to review. However, you should use the matching and ranking visuals in addition to the new skills scores to help steer you to the right candidates.


    We will be reviewing use of these new features and further improving over time. If you have any suggestions or something to share, please contact us.



  • Hiring managers and their penchant for ‘doing recruitment their way’

    Change in management is always a challenge. Regardless of where it happens or who it impacts, resistance should be expected. Think of something you use in your personal life: the screen on your Spotify app, a change to the menu in your local restaurant or your train being rescheduled for winter. These are minor and relatively trivial changes but will still possibly trigger an initial negative response. However, once that emotion is dealt with, the benefits will start to be realised and you move on.


    How to plan for professional change

    Professional change is no different. Your colleagues and peers will have experienced this many times, but critical to the success of this change is the planning. You should:

    1. Make sure you provide time for people to unfreeze their brains, and their current assumptions, around the system, process or whatever it is that you are moving away from or improving. Inform them it is happening well ahead of time.

    2. Then deliver first class training, communications and engagement by whatever means you have available. However not all are equal, you need to adapt and flex based on the needs of the users.

    3. Finally, make sure you measure what your audience thinks about the new world they are in. Ask them directly. Their new set of assumptions will be a good yardstick for the future.

    If they appear willing to give it a shot, you have done well and avoided bottled-up resistance further down the road. Although if they are still asking ‘why?’ then you need to go back and readdress the assumptions they had in step one.


    What has this go to do with hiring managers and recruitment?

    Delivering innovation that benefits many people across an organisation is not easy. The change component will be no less critical here than elsewhere. Hiring managers, especially senior ones will have formulated some very concrete assumptions about what works and what doesn’t for them in terms of delivering the right talent. Meaning you’ll have your work cut out.

    Don’t shirk it and don’t be afraid. Be brave.

    The reason change in recruitment is so hard is due to one simple fact. The majority of new innovations in talent acquisition – and Elevate Direct is no different – will deliver better talent faster, but some tasks may roll down to the Hiring Manager. This is how it should be but this is where your change originates.


    The importance of the right collaboration

    An intelligent system will do the heavy lifting but the human element and knowledge of the decision maker needs to be leveraged. Think here of final candidate reviews without the delays, constant chasing, lost emails with CVs attached and other insane tasks that you now want to avoid. Managers need to collaborate at the right time using world class interfaces on any device to move through the process. If they don’t, you stall and candidates ride off over the hill with an offer from your competitor.

    Select the right system and deliver it properly to your organisation and you may have a different set of challenges to overcome.

    Often when reviewing the performance of Elevate Direct with hiring communities and their support groups, we are told a different story. This is where managers need to be controlled for spending too much time in the system. Yes, they enjoy it that much they get carried away!

    We’re working on how to control that issue, but wouldn’t that be a great problem to have?

    Discover more about our solutions and how we could streamline your hiring process.



    James Griffin is Operations Director at Elevate Direct with 12 years’ experience in recruitment and IT. James believes that “the landscape for recruitment has never looked so interesting. When you couple the drive for leaner and more efficient recruitment models alongside the SaaS and cloud revolution, you end up with the perfect storm for disruptive technology success.” 

    Follow him on Twitter @JamesG_Elevate


  • Elevate

    How Elevate Direct uses market scoring to rank candidates

    Nowadays, everybody is familiar with the idea of search. We type a query into a search engine and get back an ordered list of relevant documents. There are many ways to achieve such a result but the majority of approaches employ some form of scoring function that is used to rank the set of documents based on their relevance to the query.

    Recommending candidates for a vacancy is no different: we begin with a query – the vacancy – and return the most suitable candidates from the pool of applicants by looking at things like skills the candidates have, and the companies that they have worked at. This is great if all that you want to do is find the best candidate from a pool of applicants. Unfortunately, it won’t usually tell you whether the best candidate is actually any good.


    Candidate ranking

    As a rule the scoring function is not easily interpretable since it is formed by a number of interacting influences. For example, say our scoring function measured the length of time that each of the candidates has used a given skill over the last 10 years. We know the maximum score achievable and so it should be straightforward to determine how good each of the candidates is in some absolute sense. If the best candidate has only three years of experience we know that we probably need to re-advertise or offer more money. So far, so simple.

    Things get trickier when we consider the possibility that no-one has more than three years’ experience of the skill because it is a new technology. Using an absolute score we would conclude that there were no good candidates, even if the most suitable person on the planet had applied. Similar things can happen if an unrealistic combination of requirements are requested in the vacancy. If we search for a ‘unicorn’, then none of the candidates that apply for a role will get high scores for every requirement and so we must conclude that all of the applicants are below par in some way.


    market scoring


    Elevate’s approach: market scoring

    To address this problem and provide recruiters using Elevate with a more interpretable set of results we have developed the idea of a market score. Market scoring is simple but powerful. Instead of simply ranking the applicants to a given vacancy, we search our database of resumes and create a population of people who would be suitable for the role. These are people who have the right sort of skills and experience but for whatever reason have not applied to the vacancy. This set of profiles represent the ‘market’ and reflect the availability of different skill sets in the wider population. We add the real applicants to this population and rank the whole set.

    Now, if one of the applicants comes top of the rankings we can say with far more certainty that they are a good candidate and should be considered for shortlisting. Conversely, if all of the applicants are ranked mid to low relative to the market population then we can identify that the best applicant is not good enough in some objective sense and we should re-advertise or offer more money. The approach elegantly handles unusual sets of requirements as well as the problems outlined above and allows recruiters to make informed judgements and quickly ascertain the quality of applicants to a given vacancy.


    AIWritten by Bart Baddeley, Elevate Direct’s Chief Data Scientist. Bart has 20 years’ experience in the fields of artificial intelligence and machine learning. He has a 1st class honours degree in artificial intelligence and neuroscience and a PhD in neural network modelling. 


    If you’d like to discover more about Elevate Direct’s AI platform and how it can help you, please get in touch.

  • shutterstock_656110282

    What does AI mean for talent acquisition?

    One of the most talked-about trends in technology and policy circles is the rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning, for example, the Financial Times recently talked about how AI was disrupting law, and the Economist talked about social attitudes and policy attitudes to AI.


    Well currently, most companies invest a lot of time and resources into finding the right people for a job. A core methodology at Elevate Direct is that we leverage cutting-edge algorithms and human intuition for the more qualitative aspect in generating our recommendations of the right candidates for the job. We allow you to filter by skill, company fit by looking for similar companies over up to 20 million data-points.


    Machine Intelligence has already enabled automated assistants (like Siri), best-in-class recommendations – it’s eerie how Netflix recommends the perfect guilty sitcom or Facebook recommends you add your crush from high school. One of the future trends we’ll see in talent acquisition is dynamic question and answer systems – which may allow automated interviews, better search for talent discovery – so you can unearth hidden gems.




    Humans can’t read 100s of CVs and figure out which ones are suitable for a job, but a machine can do this in no time at all. This is one of the productivity enhancers that modern machine intelligence can give you as a recruiter. So you can focus your time on the higher value-adding parts of talent acquisition – such as negotiating with candidates, talking them through and preparing them for the interview process.


    Some technology such as Engage Talent – is allowing you to predict when candidates will be ready to move jobs by looking at workforce history and news reports, this is used by a number of top recruiters and enterprises. This is the sort of task, that’s hard to do with a human – people make mistakes, they lose interest, and it’s not a good use of your time to be looking for passive candidates.


    Textio the Seattle-based startup allows you to automatically analyze your job ad so you can infer if it’s attracting the right candidates and if you’re fulfilling your diversity criteria. This is an example of an augmented writing platform that can help you write better job ads. This is the sort of thing that is hard to do without a machine – what would you do otherwise have a perfectly unbiased editor employed in-house?


    Machine intelligence is a transformational collection of technologies affecting every vertical in modern business and in government we are already seeing self-driving cars, enhanced recommendations of music and media, improved search algorithms.


    Talent acquisition will not be any different and we’re seeing the rise of a new generation of tools. As AI and other technologies take over the basic, time-consuming tasks of sourcing candidates, human jobs will shift. A recruiter in this new world can add value by building psychological and emotional connections with candidates. We call this augmented intelligence blending human and machine intelligence for better outcomes.


    AIPeadar Coyle is a product-focused Data Scientist working on Elevate Direct’s products. He is an avid blogger, international speaker and contributor to the Probabilistic Programming Framework PyMC3. Follow Peadar on Twitter @Springcoil


    If you’d like more information on Artificial Intelligence and how it is turning the process of recruitment on its head, get in touch or listen to a recording of our recent webinar.