“Using conversational AI to solve talent acquisition challenges”
Mya Systems – “Using conversational AI to solve talent acquisition challenges”
Who are they?
For decades, companies have used various tactics to connect with the best talent all over the world. HR teams have spent millions of dollars on innovative processes, search tools, ad campaigns, and partnerships to find good matches. And, let’s be honest, we have ALL personally struggled with online job portals, wondering what will happen after we’ve spent hours filling out all the forms, uploading our documents and then hitting “submit” on the career pages. We have wondered: will anyone see our precious documents or are they gone forever somewhere in a black hole?
Founded in 2012, and headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, Eyal Grayevsky and James Maddox saw the potential of using AI to solve talent acquisition problems. They recognized a huge need to help organizations process the thousands of online job applications they were receiving and connect with talent immediately. They knew timing was everything and believed their solution – a conversational AI platform/hiring chatbot – could address the problem head on.
The founders were certainly on to something – they went on to support more than 500+ brands globally, including massive staffing agencies and Fortune 100 companies. And, once they launched their mobile app – making it easy for talent to use anywhere at any time – the companies saw record high usage.
How does it work?
- Guides candidates through the complete hiring process – search to onboarding
- Enables natural conversation with job seekers
- Leverages state-of-the-art approaches from natural language processing and understanding
Why is Mya so successful?
To put it simply, they make the bots feel more human.
- They know that hiring bots need to actually engage job seekers, keep the conversation going, and that’s a big focus for them.
- They pay extra attention to crucial aspects like semantic parsing and intent classification which helps the bot gather crucial data from the real humans.
- They rely on dynamic dialogue management which helps the bot understand complex phrases and context.
- They have millions of data points from job seeker conversations to feed back into their data base and AI technology. The tool is always evolving.
(Source: Kate Koidan. “7 AI Companies Revolutionizing Recruiting” https://www.topbots.com/ai-companies-hr-recruiting/)
Mya may have started out as a simple conversational AI tool however the founders soon realized that the intelligent chatbot could do more than just service initial job seekers. There was tremendous opportunity to impact the entire talent acquisition cycle and also integrate with other standard platforms such as CRM, ATS, and HRIS platforms. These integrations and opportunities to work with global partners such as WorkDay and SAP SuccessFactors proved to be wildly successful and new partnership and integration opportunities were popping up everywhere.
Mya’s unique chatbot has been a global success – they have expanded across North America, EMEA and APAC with customers in 35+ countries – and the technology continues to advance due to their strong stream of funding. However, despite the chat bot’s overall success, in my opinion, there are and will still be challenges as the company tries to support different countries and cultures. There are crucial factors such as language, conversational style, legal considerations and more.
In addition, the conversational chatbot mainly just covers the initial conversations with job seekers. The AI is based on helping eliminate hours of tedious work and gathering key data from job seekers. The bot does not make decisions for the employer (i.e., role recommendations). Therefore, the complex work still falls on the shoulders of the HR employees.
What changes are needed to take advantage of these opportunities?
While the company has done a tremendous job of gathering millions of data points and creating a hiring bot that eliminates hundreds of hours of manual work and clear the backlog from job portals, the key piece moving forward will be understanding the data and making recommendations. This will no doubt be a massive undertaking and the tool may need several versions of itself to focus on the different categories of recommendations but I believe that’s what companies are really looking for and needing.
Plus, with the bright light being shined on DEI, there could be a great opportunity to adapt the tool (e.g., maybe add voice capabilities?) and have it better connect with individuals from underrepresented groups and also support individuals from different/non-traditional backgrounds. (Does everyone need a college degree? What about individuals who have completed apprenticeships?)
Looking forward, in order to truly service this ever-changing talent landscape, the hiring bots will also have to think about going wider not just narrow and deep.
Student comments on Mya Systems
Great piece Adela! I was curious as to who you thought was their target customer? Are they aiming at bigger companies with more to gain from the process, but also potentially more entrenched HR organizations that would resist this, or small companies, with the idea being hoping that one in every hundred do become large?
This is a great write-up Adela – thanks for sharing. I’m curious…do you think they see a bigger opportunity in eventually deploying this AI tool to handle the more complex pieces of HR (e.g., cold outreach, candidate selection, comp negotiation, etc.)? Or do you think there is enough whitespace for them in this existing use case? I also wonder if this could be an interesting acquisition target for LinkedIn, as it would allow them to support enterprise clients with both (i) sourcing interesting candidates for new roles and (ii) conducting initial outreach / intros to gauge interest.
Thank you so much for the sharing, Adela! I think Mya definitely accompanies with applicant on their career hunting process. I would think about how Mya adapt the difficulties as all chatbot service would encounter that will be unpredictable applicant’s reaction or the standardization text, and the coldness from the lack of human connection. But I believe that, after being acquired by StepStone, Mya will have the opportunity to store more data for training their model and eventually optimize the whole experience. I would very much like to see how they take this opportunity and benefit their service.
Thank you for sharing, Adela. I think this is an interesting topic as HR tries to manage the influx of recruits especially during this remote hiring phase. I wonder if Mya has been an advantageous tool during the pandemic but will lose part of its value come when more people return to the office? Or, alternatively, if a recruiter’s role could be displaced altogether by the automation process? I wonder if there are industries this may not make sense for altogether or if that will change come the proliferation of more automized processes? Thanks for the interesting piece!