Big Data

How automation and algorithms are the future of tech hiring

The tech sector is growing rapidly. Ashish Vachhani, CEO of crowdsourcing recruitment firm, lists the top jobs in tech, and how automated word-of-mouth referrals are changing the information economy.

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Image: Reflik

The tech industry economy is booming. As the US economy continues to add jobs, tech firms— particularly e-commerce, cloud computing, IoT, and mobile companies—are inundated with qualified applications. Businesses large and small rely on automation to sift and surface the best candidates.

SEE: Industry cloud research report 2016: Adoption Plans, Decision Factors, Strategic Results (Tech Pro Research report)

Companies use algorithms to sift and sort piles of application data. And recruiters, often paid per referral, rely on automated tools to match successful candidates with job opportunities. Reflik's algorithm targets information at the intersection employer data, recruiter talent data, and the social web. "We tap into recruiters' and industry professionals' networks using a smart candidate matching algorithm," Vachhani said. "To find the best candidates, [Reflik processes] their social and professional networks."

Vachhani spoke with TechRepublic about how Reflik's technology gives the company unique perspective on various sectors of the technology industry.

Explain how automation is at the core of your product, mission, and business model.

We crowdsource top candidates for open jobs from thousands of recruiters and industry professionals. We are able to fill positions in half the time and for half the cost of traditional recruiting methods. From this large pool of qualified candidates, [we] deliver the top 10 candidates for the job in less than 10 days. We narrow the field using our proprietary sorting algorithm and dedicated account managers, who filter and screen the best candidates.

Employers only pay for successful hires.

Your algorithm provides unique insight about the tech industry. What sectors and what jobs types are trending up this year?

FinTech, e-commerce, and mobile tech are growing sectors in terms of how many jobs there are to fill on Reflik. We also see several roles growing in popularity, including cybersecurity, analytics, and cloud dev-ops positions.

We launched a year ago, so while our data set is relatively small, we are noticing software developers, both iOS and Android, are in high demand and there is a surge of positions in e-commerce.

Also, we have noticed a demand for more diverse tech hires, including minorities and women.

What tech sectors are shrinking?

We have noticed [fewer] positions in technology used by the oil and gas [industries].

How does the algorithm work?

Our smart candidate matching algorithm pulls available data from social sites, including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, and compares the profiles in your network to the open job [position]. If someone's experience matches the qualifications for the job—for example, more than 5 years of experience programming—the algorithm recommends individuals from the network for the open job. More specifically, the algorithm prioritizes candidates by recency and frequency of desired skills.

The algorithm also works on recruiters' databases. Recruiters have thousands of candidates already in their databases and the algorithm makes it easy for them to cross-sell their candidates to a variety of jobs.

Our algorithm gives us a competitive advantage because it reduces the length of the interview cycle by finding only the right candidates for the job based on the job description. Its ease of use makes recruiters more likely to engage with Reflik's platform and the algorithm makes Reflik's technology very scalable.

The tech: what's your code stack?

Reflik's stack is LAMP: Linux Operating System, Apache Web Server, MySQL Database, PHP. We have adopted open source technology because it is scalable, cost efficient, and there is talent and community to support it. We also use AWS, which is cost efficient for a company like ours in the early stages, and easy to scale.

How does cloud computing help startups scale?

Reflik has designed its web app hosting architecture by using various AWS services such as Amazon EC2, Amazon EBS, Amazon S3, Auto Scaling, Elastic Load Balancing, Amazon CloudWatch, Amazon Route 53, and Amazon CloudFront. By leveraging the multiple Availability Zones, we can protect against the potential failure of web servers or database servers. [We use] Amazon Web Services to achieve a simple, cost-effective, scalable, and high fault tolerance system.

Based on data from your algorithm, what advice do you have for technology industry headhunters?

Our advice to tech headhunters and hiring managers is to tap into networks to find their next great hire. Great tech professionals know other great tech professionals, and Reflik can help you find them.

Also, tech headhunters and hiring managers should prioritize a thorough evaluation of a candidate's technical skills and ensure the candidate is a good fit for the organization and company culture.

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Note: This interview was edited for clarity and brevity.

About Dan Patterson

Dan is a Senior Writer for TechRepublic. He covers cybersecurity and the intersection of technology, politics and government.

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