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Startup applies AI in hiring to contracting niche

AI is gaining ground in recruiting, hiring and now in contracting. A London-based firm provides some insight about what the future may hold in contracting for niche markets.

Artificial intelligence in hiring is becoming commonplace in recruiting. Contracting may be catching up, and a U.K. firm may be hinting at its direction.

A London-based startup, Curation Zone, offers an example. It is using AI in hiring to connect filmmakers with corporate and brand clients.

The firm has analyzed the works of about 1.3 million filmmakers globally. It uses its AI-developed tool to analyze the videos, as well as the content type. It looks at how many views the videos receive, the connections, networks and links of the people behind them. It evaluates the brands that have sponsored them, in addition to other criteria.

Russell Glenister, CEO and founder, Curation ZoneRussell Glenister

The platform is invitation-only, said Russell Glenister, founder and CEO of the firm.

"AI systems have to find them and score them before we will even consider having them on our platform," he said. It makes filmmaker recommendations to clients out of a final pool of about 220,000.

AI in hiring contractors

What Curation Zone is doing is similar to Nexus A.I., said Ben Eubanks, analyst at Lighthouse Research & Advisory, based in Austin, Texas. That firm uses AI in hiring to find contractor talent, although the work it does is much broader, he said. HR may oversee or manage contractor labor hires.

AI systems have to find them and score them before we will even consider having them on our platform.
Russell GlenisterCEO and founder, Curation Zone

But AI in hiring is also raising concerns. The biggest is about bias, Eubanks said. This could be a consequence of using too few data points to make a decision about a candidate, he said. It's possible the Curation Zone approach deals with this problem by providing "objective analysis of a wide variety of data points to evaluate capabilities," he said.

Eubanks compared it to GitHub, a software development platform. Recruiters use GitHub to evaluate candidate code and project experience.

"This sounds like it builds a similar profile for job matching," he said.

Users of Curation Zone get recommendations based on their specific needs. It asks three filmmakers to develop treatments, or short proposals for the work. Curation Zone has film production capabilities to help develop a project, Glenister said.

Tim Cook's view on credentials

It's possible that AI in hiring may put less emphasis on academic credentials. This is something Apple CEO Tim Cook has hinted at.

"So, we've never really thought that a college degree was the thing that you had to have to do well," Cook said at a White House meeting with the federal American Workforce Policy Advisory Board. "We've always tried to expand our horizons."

Cook said about half of Apple's U.S. employees were people who did not have a four-year degree. "And we're very proud of that, but we want to go further," he said.

Cook said workforce needs and college-trained skills are mismatched.

A new survey suggests many people in the workplace who have earned advanced degrees might agree with Cook.

Hired Inc., which runs a career marketplace, recently released its latest "State of the Salaries" report for tech workers. The salary data for tech workers is pointing up in all categories. But Hired's most eye-popping finding concerned advanced degrees.

When asked, "Do you think your master's or doctorate degree has impacted your career?" nearly one-third of the respondents agreed that, "No, I could have the exact same job without it."

Nonetheless, 25% of respondents credited an advanced degree for their current job, and 23% said their degree has led to higher pay. The balance -- just over 20% -- were not sure. Hired surveyed more than 1,800 people and used the data it collects on its platform to assemble this report.

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