Matching ideal candidates with open jobs is a daunting task, but AI-powered tools from Xobin is making work easier and faster for recruiters.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members


Matching ideal candidates with open jobs is a daunting task, but AI-powered tools from Xobin is making work easier and faster for recruiters.

Hire in haste, repent at leisure.

You might have heard the phrase before.

British playwright William Congreve wrote, “Thus grief still treads upon the heels of pleasure; Married in haste, we may repent at leisure.”

But what does this have to do with recruiting?

The matchmaker for recruiters

In March 2016, Guruprakash Sivabalan (fondly called Guru) and Amrit Acharya, founded Xobin (an acronym for Job Interview). The founder duo were classmates at SRM University, Chennai and had passed out the previous year.

Prior to Xobin, Guru founded SRM Search Engine, funded by the Government of India, while Amrit worked at Fidelity Investments, and was selected as part of the prestigious LEAP Program at Fidelity Investments.

“We wanted to solve the recruitment challenge and help businesses – particularly startups – hire the ‘right’ set of people quickly and easily,” Guru says.

Over the years Xobin has emerged as a recruitment management platform that specializes in applicant tracking, skill assessments and interview management. It has conducted around 1.5 million assessments till date. In the last couple of months around 5000 new job offers have been rolled out by companies using its platform.

“If you look in the market, all these three offerings are managed by three different solutions, and often these don’t sync and iterate well. We offer it as a single subscription-based model that increases a company’s recruitment RoI and efficiency,” Amrit says.

The recruitment platform helps companies receive job applications, send professionally created assessments in 1000 different job skills, allows them conduct psychometric tests, schedule job interviews and finally onboard candidates.

Overcoming the hiring hurdle

There’s so much more to consider when it comes to determining the right person for a role than qualifications, skills, and experience. When not monitored and analysed regularly, recruitment costs, which involves all expenses starting from posting a job on different platforms to candidates joining the organisation, can quickly compound.

Guru shares that majority of companies admit to the fact that recruiting a junior developer, for example, into their core team comes at a huge cost. It takes around 42 minutes to interview a candidate, and if 100 candidates apply for the same role, the total time taken to fill one role is 4200 minutes or 70 hours.

“The cost in hiring this candidate could be around $700 in India and around $2100 in the US. Also, what if the hired candidate quits in 3-6 months or is found as a wrong fit in the company. There is a huge cost involved here too. Layoffs are also the result of bad hiring,” Guru says.

Xobin’s platform looks to minimise all kinds of hiring risk for businesses. It boasts of a tech stack that provides key insights of the candidates that influences the decision of the recruiter.

“We can help decrease a recruiter’s planned expense by 70 percent and eliminate any unplanned expense resulting in the increase of efficiency by 3X,” Amrit says.

Companies have started giving more weightage to data-driven hiring. Guru shares that one of Xobin’s customers stated that its platform acts as the ideal recruitment ‘Swiss knife.’

There are a lot of assessment players who are vertical specific, targeting for example only tech or sales functions or conducting only psychometric tests.

“We are function agnostic. We have a horizontal play rather than focus on a vertical. This has also reduced our customer acquisition cost,” Amrit says.

Interestingly, one out of every four Xobin customer has been a referral. “In the last couple of months, we onboarded 100 new customers, and most of them have been through referrals,” Amrit says.

“Leave the cost aside, what we really add is the value around our assessments for recruiters and that’s our USP,” Guru says.

Data driven decision-making

Xobin maximises usage of cloud to make its operations more efficient, scalable, and resilient. The two key components of its tech stack include a talent recommendation engine and a smart proctoring system.

“These two are our intellectual properties that we are consistently building and upgrading over time. They are improving each day because of the data we collect,” Amrit says.

Every candidate who takes an assessment test shares around 100 plus data points. Xobin has conducted around 1.5 million tests, and now has a huge data repository that has helped create a standardised data model.

“Our system can now tell a recruiter, whether they should hire a candidate or not. Now to arrive at such a decision we must act in a responsible and unbiased manner. The system arrives at a decision after going through volumes of data. There are around 80 personality traits that we assess. We do not rely on a random data source,” Amrit says.

To ensure fairness, Xobin tells recruiters to avoid considering the gender, location and religion of candidates appearing for assessments. The intelligence platform is assessed every three to six months in terms of the accuracy levels it has been able to achieve and improve.

Xobin’s smart proctoring system eliminates the need for a ‘human invigilator’ by using artificial intelligence (AI). A proctored assessment tests typically involves monitoring candidates during an online assessment. This involves both webcam-based proctoring and browser monitoring.

“Quite often recruiters are sceptical about a candidate’s integrity and fairness while taking an online assessment. We remove this doubt for them,” Guru says.

The AI-enabled proctoring platform can detect if the candidate opens another browser during a test. At the end of the test, it generates a comprehensive report that explains a test-taker’s activity during every minute of the examination. This provides conclusive evidence of any cheating activity by the candidate.

Xobin also conducts coding tests to evaluate programming skills of tons of candidates at once. “We achieve this through our in-house built compilers that can check a candidate’s proficiency in over 15 plus programming languages,” Amrit says.

Talent will need a new Operating System

Xobin is currently working to launch its own browser to conduct assessments. The homegrown browser (scheduled to go live in January next year) will help view candidate activity, and track behaviour more closely during assessments.

Over the next few quarters, it also plans to offer Behavioural Event Interviewing (BEI) for its customers. BEI is a technique that asks the candidate to describe a situation or an experience they had in a previous job.

In the not-so-distant future, Xobin wants to transition itself and become a ‘Talent Operating System’ for the workplace.

“This is how we see ourselves evolve over the next couple of years. We do not want to focus merely on recruitments. The talent operating system will be one single platform where the talent of the organisation will revolve, right from employee learning to engagement and so on,” Guru says.


Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members