By Sheryl Lee
As anyone who’s ever interviewed for a job can attest to, a well-written resume can only get a candidate so far. The in-person interview remains one of the most crucial elements of the recruitment process, but with COVID-19 restrictions, most companies have been forced to shift their hiring processes online.
While helpful, a traditional video interview is unlikely to be as comprehensive as face-to-face interviews, which can give recruiters irreplaceable insights on body language and confidence, including how the candidate may function in an office setting. This gap is something X0PA AI, an artificial intelligence (AI)-based software-as-a-solution (SaaS) hiring platform, plans to address with a host of virtual tests. These include AI-powered pre-screening, virtual career fairs, video interviews, psychometrics, situation judgement assessments and real time AI-driven analytics.
AI: an attractive alternative
Founded by its CEO Ms Nina Alag Suri in 2017, Singapore-headquartered X0PA AI has its roots in the Nastrac Group, a headhunting firm Ms Suri first set up in 1997. It was through Nastrac’s ventures that Ms Suri grasped what she called the “inefficiencies and subjectivity of traditional hiring processes.” This made her pivot to X0PA AI, an AI-driven recruitment business.
“X0PA takes [hiring] a step further by using AI to not just manage the candidate experience, but to provide a holistic end-to-end recruitment platform that caters to each company’s needs,” shared Ms Suri.
Through X0PA, companies can ensure that they are getting the best hire. Indeed, according to the company, its solutions have helped firms and academic organisations alike reduce hiring time and costs by as much as 87 percent and 50 percent respectively, while also ensuring objectivity in hiring.
Their goal is to help more employers digitalise their hiring process, tapping on the latest technologies including AI, machine learning, natural language processing, and video analytics to effectively and efficiently find the best-fit candidates for roleswhile eliminating bias and human errors. Using these technologies, X0PA AI is able to process and analyse large amounts of candidate data, carry out emotional and sentiment analysis, and even predict candidate loyalty and future performance.
Given the new norm of virtual hiring practices, the company also created X0PA ROOM—a hybrid assessment and video interviewing platform that helps recruiters remotely screen candidates through video, text and other assessments. Apart from new hires, X0PA’s technologies are also used to help existing employees maximise their talents by matching and re-allocating them to best-fit current or future roles in the company. Now that the company is enrolled under SG:D Spark by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), X0PA AI’s technologies can be reliably harnessed by government agencies and large enterprises.
By tweaking its in-house algorithms, the company customises its software to fit different organisations, industries, and geographies. Over time, these machine learning algorithms will also grow to adapt to each organisation’s recruiting needs and environment. So far, the firm’s solutions have been used in a range of establishments, including enterprises, governments, academia and SMEs in Singapore and the wider Asia region. Having established several reseller and go-to-market partnerships, including one with Microsoft, X0PA AI is hoping to continue expanding to international markets.
Towards a more inclusive workplace
Besides using AI to facilitate hiring processes at corporations and institutions, X0PA AI is also using its platform to make workplaces more inclusive for differently-abled persons. To this end, the company recently launched a new initiative, “Empauwer”, to create more job opportunities for persons with autism.
The platform, which is partly funded by local agency SG Enable and technology giant Microsoft, has three parts: a virtual mentor for employers to teach them to be more inclusive in hiring persons with autism and harnessing their talents; a virtual mentor for employees with autism to assist them in navigating working life; and lastly, a job marketplace to connect employers and employees with autism.
“It’s time to go beyond gender, racial and sexual orientation inclusion to make workplaces inclusive for neurodiverse persons with autism and help employers understand how to leverage the strengths of this talent pool,” Ms Suri said.
As X0PA AI proves, technology doesn’t just allow us to hire better, faster, and more efficiently—by making recruitment more inclusive, it adds to the diversity of our workplaces too.
This feature forms part of a series of articles profiling SG:D Spark companies under IMDA’s SG:D Spark programme. First launched in November 2018, the programme aims at addressing the key challenges and supporting the growth of promising Singapore-based ICM start-ups through selected government tools as well as creation of a vibrant, collaborative ecosystem and network. For more information, please refer to this link: www.imda.gov.sg/sgdspark