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Stella.ai launches a new kind of recruitment marketplace

Stella.ai is launching a 'shared talent network' with about 100 employers, it's own take on a recruitment marketplace. Employers invite job applicants into the pool, who are then matched with jobs at participating employers.

Stella.ai is a new company that asks employers to pool their knowledge worker job applicants in a recruitment marketplace....

It might be odd to expect potential competitors to share their applicants, but this Redwood City, Calif., "shared talent network" firm said it is launching with 100 participating firms.

It works like this: A job applicant applies for a job at a firm participating in Stella.ai's shared talent network. The companies in the network have agreed to invite their job applicants to join Stella.ai. Automation is used to screen the candidates, and once this vetting takes place the candidates are only allowed to see jobs where they are likely to be successful.

Stella.ai's automation approach has capabilities similar to some in-house recruiting management systems. It gathers data about incumbent job roles and uses it to help understand what the employer actually needs. Stella.ai, which claims its systems are AI-based, integrates its platform with employer applicant tracking systems. Humans play a role if an applicant's threshold score isn't decisive.

Adding contact list may aid job matches

Stella.ai's recruitment marketing service adds a capability that a solo employer may not have. If the job applicant makes his contact list available, Stella.ai said its system may be able to make a better job match.

"We look at the percentage of friends that you have in different geographies and the percentage of friends that you have in different industries," said Richard Joffe, Stella.ai's CEO and co-founder.

A job applicant might believe that the industry where they have strongest potential is healthcare, for instance. "But what if it turns out that 20% of your friends are actually in media? Maybe you would be more open to a job at HBO," Joffe said.

HBO is one of the firms participating in Stella.ai's recruitment marketplace, as is Unilever, Hilton, JetBlue, Rackspace, Allergan, Estee Lauder Companies, among others. In total, Stella.ai believes that the firms in its network will send out some 30 million invitations to job applicants, and it expects that about 3 million job applicants will join its network in 2018.

Stella.ai said it has raised more than $10 million for its recruitment marketplace. It received funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which Joffe said is investigating its use in veteran job matching. DARPA did not respond by press time for comment.

Analysts cautious in their assessments of Stella.ai

Analysts haven't been briefed by the company, and until they learn more, are cautious in their assessment of this recruitment marketplace or shared talent network.

Holger Mueller, principal analyst at Constellation Research, said there may be some similarities to Hired.com, which created an online talent pool of people who were screened and job seeking. The firm uses algorithmic matching to help find the right person for the job.

But having one application that can reach multiple vendors, Mueller said "is very different than finding the one that works for you and apply for each one by one."

Independent HR technology analyst George LaRocque wondered whether a model that involves sharing applicants with a competitor will be embraced. But he also said that change has been happening so rapidly in the recruiting area, he can't rule out any new approach.

Some of the factors driving change in HR recruiting are generational -- people are more willing to share information today, especially Millennials, LaRocque said. "They're more open to the concept; they're less intimidated by it."

Along with providing resumes and opting in to share contact lists, Stella.ai also gives its job applicants the option to take a personality test, which Joffe said may help "unlock" other job opportunities; in other words, the candidate will be shown more jobs.

The firm claims that the odds of getting an interview through the platform is one in eight versus one in 100, if an applicant applied to a company directly.

 "Every piece of data that the candidate provides can only be used to help them," Joffe said.

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