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With $2 Million In Series A, This Mumbai-Based Startup Is Using AI To Help Companies Hire Better

With $2 Million In Series A, This Mumbai-Based Startup Is Using AI To Help Companies Hire Better

Ambika Choudhury

As of 2019, organisations across the globe are facing problems in hiring and keeping talented individuals. As the job market is growing significantly, talent acquisition and recruiting remain critical issues for most enterprises. But now, Indian companies have started to embrace technology to improve hiring outcomes. To mitigate such problems a startup called Shortlist is helping Indian enterprises to bridge the gap between applicants and job profiles.

This week, Analytics India Magazine reached out to Sudheer Bandaru, CTO, Shortlist Professionals to understand the company’s end-to-end functioning. 

Founded by Paul Breloff, Simon Desjardins and Matt Schnuck, Shortlist is a Mumbai-based recruiting technology company that helps employers in major countries like Kenya, Rwanda and Nigeria in Africa and India build and develop world-class teams. It is a talent matching platform which makes it easy for companies to create smarter job applications on the platform — combining chat, skills assessments and audio or video interviews, among others.

Launched in 2016 in India and Kenya, the company has launched in the two markets almost simultaneously. Currently, it has three offices across two countries, along with consultants and board members in New York City, Washington DC, San Francisco and Mauritius (not to mention clients in 12+ countries).

Earlier this year, the company has closed a $2 million Series A financing by Blue Haven Ventures, with participation from Zephyr Acorn, Compass Venture Capital, Potencia Ventures, and others.


Flagship Products

The Shortlist platform screens candidates using predictive chat-based interviews and competency-based assessments, so that they can be matched with great jobs based on skills and interests. It creates an interactive flow for candidates applying for a job, as well as for the clients reviewing them on a tracking platform. The product offering ranges from a full-service tech-backed recruiter model to lighter-touch software which allows employers to efficiently and objectively identify top talent for junior- to more senior roles.

Use Of Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning

According to Bandaru, Shortlist follows the data-first culture. The core focus of the company is to build a recommendation engine that helps employers identify potential hires for a job as soon as candidates start applying on their platform.

The recommendation model is an AI-based model based on supervised learning which focuses on finding the right kind of candidates by studying our past hiring data. It also stresses to feed more data into the training sets and focuses on increasing their prediction accuracy. The company has a comprehensive data engineering architecture with a data lake hosted on AWS. It has also invested heavily in the areas of data engineering and visualisation tools. 

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When asked about how the company uses AI and ML in their products and services Bandaru explained, “While most players in the market focus on scraping CVs or Profiles for candidate information, our platform is unique in collecting data from their performance on assessments which mirror the job role. The recommender system that we have built puts important in the assessment scores to figure out candidates who have the competency to perform a role, rather than only have demonstrated experience for that role.”

Technology Stack

The startup is leveraging on the cloud services offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS). The company also leveraging some popular data science tools like MySQL, RedShift Data Lake, Python, Jupyter, AWS SageMaker, Power BI and EC2 Instances. Below is a list of technologies that the company is utilising to make a robust product.

  • Backend Technology: Java, J2EE, Spring MVC
  • Front-end Stack: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Angular JS, Bootstrap
  • Server: Tomcat
  • Database: MySQL, MongoDB, RedShift
  • Caching: Redis
  • Distributed Architecture: Microservices, Spring boot
  • Logging: ELK stack
  • QA Automation: Selenium

What Next

Talking about competitors, Bandaru said that their potential competitors are a mix of traditional recruitment companies who have been following legacy recruitment processes and the new age companies who are exploring recruitment tools through technology.

And for the future, the company will be driven by data and a keen focus on generating more value for the job seekers by creating functional communities, generate self-awareness, career paths, and job opportunities.

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