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Yobs Leverages AI to Identify Soft Skills from Video Interviews

Yobs Technologies is a USC-founded startup that leverages AI capabilities to help companies remove costly bias from recruiting and retain the best talent. I sat down with Raphael Danilo (CEO), one of the co-founders at Yobs, to hear how they are helping companies make smarter hiring decisions.

It all started with long-lived friendship

Two friends, co-founders Raphael Danilo & Federico Dubini, had known each other for many, many years before university, only to meet again when they started the same international business program at USC. The icebreaker that kicked off the program sparked a rekindling of their friendship. They immediately hit it off. Two months into the program, the initial idea of Yobs was pitched over a Sunday brunch – an AI-powered solution to help companies make smarter hiring decisions.

Previously, Federico had built two six-digit businesses where he found hiring to be the most important obstacle. Particularly, how he could find people who were reliable and good at people skills when he only had their resume to make the decision. As Raphael described it, “you could go to Harvard and be the most awkward human being ever. That didn’t work for him (Frederico) because he didn’t care if you were a genius, he cared if you had the right people skills.”

“You could go to Harvard and be the most awkward human being ever. That didn’t work for him (Frederico) because he didn’t care if you were a genius, he cared if you had the right people skills.” Raphael Danilo, Co-Founder and CEO of Yobs

With Federico’s experience building profitable 6-figure businesses from the ground up, Raphael’s expertise of product and AI technology, and Netanel’s (CTO) background as a technologist and enterprise architect, Yobs became a reality. Combined with their early access to breakthrough technology in Artificial Emotional Intelligence, the founders claim that Yobs Technologies is the first to combine video interviewing with the capabilities of AI.

Interviewing is a prediction problem

Between the average of 42 days it takes to fill a vacant position and a hefty price tag of $4,129 on a new hire, there’s a lot of room for improvement when it comes to finding the next best employees. Moreover, the average overall turnover rate is 18% in the US, with 89% of new hires failing due to a lack of coachability, EQ, and motivation.  When turnover is high, the cost to search for more engaged employees becomes increasingly expensive. Recruiting can get especially difficult when there is the pressure of time to make an accurate assessment of candidates.

Video interviews are rapidly becoming an integrated part of recruiting. According to RIVS, 90% of hiring managers already have experience using video platforms. The problem begins when recruiters are put in front of a video interview, where they may easily introduce unconscious bias in the hiring process, towards women for example, or minorities. “They have all of these preconceived ideas, and they’ll typically tend to favor folks that look like them,” Danilo says. To minimize bias in the hiring process, Yobs leverages the capabilities of AI to make data-driven talent decisions, enabling companies to find the best fit for the company better and faster.

Raphael Danilo, Co-Founder and CEO of Yobs

If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it

Yobs helps companies perceive which soft skills traits are possessed by the highest performing employees to develop a company’s fingerprint for success.

From a single video, Yobs can analyze hundreds of psycholinguistic, prosodic, emotional, and facial data points. The combination of these data points can determine the five most important dimensions of personality, known as the “Big 5” Personality Traits: Openness, Extraversion, Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. For example, behavioral characteristics can be derived by decoding the tone and pitch of the interviewee’s speech.

These behavioral insights can help predict candidate performance on the job by determining their soft skills. With actionable suggestions, companies can improve their teamwork by making sure new hires are a culture fit and can easily blend in a team’s unique dynamic. Yobs’ API allows clients to do things such as shorten their pre-screening process, add a reliable soft skills assessment tool, or add diversity to the team. From developing company culture and improve company onboarding, Yobs gives companies the tools to measure an important asset of their company – the people.

Telling a fuller story

Apart from the $2 billion Workforce Analytics market, Yobs Technologies is tapping into auxiliary markets with big budgets. Companies currently spend $161.7 billion a year on training in the US alone. Raphael and Federico found that companies can easily divert capital intended for training towards a subscription with Yobs.

Only until very recently, technology was limited to assessing one aspect of video interviews. Gecko, the AI-based video interviewing bot, can only uncover emotional analysis and candidate sentiment. Yobs has introduced a multimodal architecture, in which given a video, the AI examines your voice, body language and facial expressions, and what you say. IBM, an established player that has been around for 100 years, offers IBM Watson which, for example, can transcribe what the person says in a blurb of text and then run an algorithm on that paragraph. This process only evaluates what is said, with no interpretation of how nervous, anxious, or confident that person may be. As Raphael describes it, “all of this context around the communication would be lost in translation, so the ability to capture all of that is really powerful because it says a lot about someone.”

“All of this context around the communication would be lost in translation, so the ability to capture all of that is really powerful because it says a lot about someone.” Raphael Danilo, CEO and Co-Founder of Yobs

Yobs developed technology that analyzes both verbal and non-verbal communication, illustrating a fuller story of the person. However, vendors such as HireVue, a prominent player in the space, are also tapping into video intelligence. Their AI algorithms analyze a video interview based on 25,000 distinct data points and produce what they call an ‘Insight Score,’ a ranking of a candidate against others. Now, it’s up to Yobs to build a track record to show to its enterprise customers.

Completing the analysis

Yobs’ next challenge is scaling the company. With clients expecting a lot from a company of seven people cramped in an LA office, Yobs is doing their best to hire an expanded team of data scientists and software engineers.

Fast forward to today, the Yobs platform is used by KFC and several Fortune 500 companies and will be launching in Europe this September. They are also working on new features that go further than just assessing video interviews. Yobs will be closing their second round of funding in the near future. In the meantime, stay in the loop and learn more about them here.

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