AI-based HRTech startup Skillate has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Incubate Fund India, and Industry expert and Director of Zyoin, Anuj Agrawal, says co-founder Anand Baranwal.
The newly raised funding will be used to accelerate product development, expand its team and bolster marketing initiatives to ramp up its customer base in India and abroad.
Founded by IIT Guwahati Alumni, Bipul Vaibhav and Kumar Sambhav and ex-Tracxn member Anand Kumar in 2016, Skillate aims to empower the recruiters to hire the best talent using artificial intelligence and machine learning.
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With a team of seven, Skillate is currently incubated in SAP Startup Studio and is based out of its premises in Bengaluru. Its current client base includes MNC’s like L&T and Expedia and startups like BigBasket, HomeLane among others. The HRTech startup is also working with few large enterprises in BFSI, FMCG and manufacturing sectors.
According to the General Partner at Incubate Fund India, Nao Murakami, “In India, working population is huge and its mobility is also high. In such a situation, how to sort out the right candidates from massive number of applications is always a headache for HR departments. Skillate has a strong AI based SaaS product which can solve this problem.”
Skillate: Aiming To Become A Pain-Killer For HR Departments With AI As Its Tool Set
Skillate is particularly catering to the in-bound hiring problem of the mid and large sized companies. These companies usually have a data of lakhs of resumes, with an unstructured data format. With time, this data tends to become a dead-pool due to the lack of an effective mapping process as per the current job role requirement.
According to the CEO Bipul, for recruiters, resume screening is a very time-consuming process and they end up spending more time with resumes instead of candidates.
“We are trying to address this major pain in the recruitment cycle using our AI and machine learning algorithms, thereby helping organisations evolve from the ‘how’ to the ‘who’, i.e process automation to candidate recommendation.”
Skillate helps companies leverage their resume repository and decrease the dependence on external sources for candidates. By using their AI algorithm, Skillate converts the raw data from resumes into a structured format, thereby reducing the effort as well as time in screening the right candidate for the required job profile.
The startup takes a step further by aggregating the social media insights of candidates, and assist recruiters to keep pace with the shift in hiring patterns.
As shared by Anand, its ‘think like recruiter’ platform stimulated with deep learning algorithms, learns from the actions of recruiters and gets smarter with usage. All this, together with candidate engagement elements, considerably reduce the hiring time and costs for companies.
The flexibility in integration with applicant tracking system (ATS) and a cloud-based platform further makes it easy to deploy and adopt. “Co-innovation with SAP is underway which would be a great boost to the product offerings and scalability,” he added.
Challenges Faced And Plans Ahead
The initial challenges for the Skillate team came from the notion that AI is meant to replace Humans. “We observed some reluctance from recruiters and staffing agencies who perceived Skillate not as an empowerment but a competition,” said Kumar.
A specific challenge initially for the Skillate team was also to finalise a product which can be the perfect market fit. “Currently, the varied hiring patterns across industries and within hiring teams makes it exhaustive for the system to train and learn from the human intelligence, expertise and industry trends. Enterprises prefer to remain single interface users, which creates an additional challenge due to the inherent integration constraints of the products in use,” he added.
In near future, the founders believe that their two core features of Resume Indexing and Matching Engine will always be critical to the advancement of deep learning algorithms. For now, they are in talks with multiple small and large organisations having an average employee strength of 50K.
Further ahead, Skillate also plans to become integrated with the existing HRMS, job boards and chatbot products along with a multi-lingual support.
HRTech: A Crowded But Still An Untapped Segment
The current Indian recruitment industry is estimated to be about $6 Bn. In last few years, the industry has worn off its age-old shackles of manual processes and have resort to the effective utilisation of technology in order to streamline the series of processes required in selecting and training the new employees.
Post the revolution brought in by job search sites such as Naukri.com, a brigade of startups catering to the needs of the HR industry has evolved. This includes names such as Belong, JobSpire (acquired by JustCode), HackerEarth among others.
These startups are not only limited to screening candidate resumes’ but are also providing efficient HRTech solutions to areas such as employee referral, video interviews, corporate training, as well as operations management.
Even with the presence of already established startups in the HRtech space, the constant nature of evolution and the addition of new layers in the job recruitment process has made room for new startups to launch and grow.
Amidst these like-minded entrepreneurs, Skillate founders are trying to make a difference with their AI-based candidate recommendation platform and social media aggregation where its flexibility in customisation and integrations makes it a ready-to-use product.
Going ahead, Skillate can prove to be a go-to product for companies to hire the best talent, by productising the pieces of recruitment cycle and also eliminating the subjectivity associated with AI and machine learning at its core, what new innovations Skillate can bring in the HRTech industry in long run will be worth watching. However, for now, to scale and expand its client base further will be the priorities which startup will try to fulfil with the recent funding.