Using BigEars to weed out the NoddiesComments Off

Written by Julia Forsyth for The Talent Buzz blog post contest.

Using BigEars to weed out the Noddies… (Or How we Discovered a Great Tool for Screening Job Applicants.)

Anyone who’s ever interviewed people, knows the feeling of a dud interview. You’re 3 minutes in and you know its not gonna happen…..but you have another 15mins to kill before you can tell them that politely!

So, this is my first ever blog post. You see I’m involved with a company called BigEars (which actually has nothing to do with Enid Blyton’s Noddy) BigEars is an innovative way to collect verbal feedback from customers, employees, members of the public…you name it.

Pre Interview Screeing
What I really want to blog about is our experience of using BigEars in a recent recruitment project.

We had dabbled in recruitment before, and did a project for a customer who needed to do some mass recruitment for a big event, (read the case study here) so using BigEars for recruitment has been something we’ve had at the back of our minds for a while…

We are a small company and decided the time was right to employ a sales manager. We advertised the position online and got a good number of responses and CVs sent to us (about 20). I flicked through the CVs and rejected many of them immediately for the usual reasons, under qualified, inexperienced, etc.

I ended up with 3 strong candidates and an additional 5 that I thought might be OK.  Time was short, I was snowed with other projects, I really didn’t have time to ring them all, play phone tag, talk to them for 5 mins and then decide whether or not to invite them for a face to face. We also had a couple of investors who wanted to be part of the process, and I didn’t want to call them out to interviews that could be duds… So, I decided, damn it…we can use BigEars to set up an automated telephone interview, lets use it to help us in this process.

How we did it

  • I recorded a warm and fuzzy greeting. (3mins)
  • I wrote a survey asking some pertinent question (7mins)
  • I emailed the 8 potential candidates and explained that the next stage in our process was for them to ring this number and take 5 mins to answer a few questions (10mins)

I was kind, and I gave them the list of questions they were going to be asked

  • Name and contact details
  • What attracted you to this particular job
  • Why should we be interested in hiring you
  • What qualifications or training do you have that would relate to this role
  • What are your interests outside of work

This is a screenshot of what the interview looks like. Our computer voice reads each of the questions for the candidate to answer


Time for a tea break?
I sat back and waited…well I didn’t actually sit back, I went back to my crazily busy workload and was emailed every time a call had been completed. As the emails came in, I clicked and listened to the audio files…and read the transcripts. The ones that sounded worthwhile I forwarded to our investors and the CEO. A few days later we all met with 4 potential candidates and interviewed them all face to face.
The first interview essentially becoming like a 2nd interview as we felt we knew these people already!

Job Done!
We rang the referees and one day later made our appointment, saving heaps of time.

The candidates all said they thought it was a great process (although given they were at an interview for a job with our company we can’t really take this as a totally unbiased view…), our investors thought it was fantastic too.

So what now?
So this process really worked for us. Got us a good result and saved us a heap of time. My question…Is this something that could be beneficial to other companies? Small companies like ours? Bigger companies who actually have an HR dept? Recruitment companies? Can others see value in having the ability to store audio files with CVs for future hires? Share audio files with other decision makers? Assess a candidates telephone manner?

I live and breathe BigEars. So its not surprising that using BigEars for our own recruitment seemed natural to me. But what I’d like to know is this. Am I living in a bubble, or do others think this really has legs in the recruitment space?

Try it yourself via Skype. Or if you don’t have skype you can call this US phone number 1 (617) 500-5232.

This is the recruitment survey our candidates took part in. Feel free to answer the questions as if you are applying for a job interview.
I might even post some of the audio you leave in the comments section below.

About Jason Buss

Talent HQ’s creator and editor is Recruiting & Diversity Leader, Jason Buss. Talent HQ is a premier online news and information channel for the Recruiting and Human Resources community.

  • Posted on: Sunday, March 1st, 2009