Sarthak Agarwal's iview leverages AI to streamline recruitment
Sarthak Agarwal, an NITK graduate, laid the foundation for iview while he was still in college. What started out as a paperless selection platform for a student club at NITK, is now an Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled pre-hiring assessment platform trusted by both—start-ups and enterprises. In conversation with NewsBytes, he shares his journey, learning, and his platform's role in corporate hiring.
Agarwal's first paperless recruitment platform took shape in college
In 2014, Agarwal and his senior at college Abhinav Pathak, built an online recruitment platform for a club at NITK called Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). This made the club's processes paperless and less effort-intensive for the students wanting to join, as well as club members who screened profiles. The idea was a grand success and subsequently, other clubs also followed suit.
At Goldman Sachs, Agarwal came across a systemic recruitment flaw
In 2016, Agarwal graduated and was hired by Goldman Sachs. During his stint at the company, he was actively involved in campus recruitment and junior-level lateral hiring. He observed that despite filtration through a pre-interview assessment, nearly 70 percent candidates were rejected in the first round of interviews. This statistic was consistent industry-wide, and hence was indicative of room for improvement in the system.
iview bridges the gap between candidate skills and on-job skills
Agarwal realized that pre-interview assessments weren't testing candidates for on-job skills. Aiming to solve this problem, iview.ai came into existence. With a goal to deliver an experience resembling an in-person interview, the platform uses a humanoid bot called Avi to assess the candidate. The name iview is derived from interview, and sounds like "I am viewing you," Agarwal explains.
iview's assessments account for a candidate's prior work experience
Agarwal says deserving candidates are struck down by poorly designed questions. Experienced professionals are also apprehensive to attempt present-day "bookish" hiring assessments. He adds that iview's assessments take a candidate's prior work experience into account. The platform avoids using fixed questions, and adapts to a candidate's responses, grilling them on topics they are good at—just like a real interview.
Corporates can completely tailor assessments to suit their requirements
Agarwal compares iview to a highly advanced version of a resume screening tool. Corporate clients can customize assessments in terms of the question format and the skill being tested. Once configured, companies can invite prospective candidates to attempt the assessment on iview. iview provides corporates with comprehensive assessment reports, saving them time, money, and effort in their hiring process.
iview's asynchronous platform can assess thousands of candidates simultaneously
The company regularly tweaks assessments after evaluating rejection rates. Clients can pay for the service through a pay-as-you-go model or on a contractual basis. Agarwal says iview's biggest advantage is that assessments can be taken on any device, anywhere, at any time, and simultaneously by thousands of candidates. iview is also integrated with Greenhouse ATS so corporations can seamlessly integrate iview into their workflow.
Robust measures in place to curb malpractices, assessment result tampering
To curb malpractices, iview records a candidate's live video, warns them if they switch tabs, prevents them from copy-pasting text to and from the test platform, and penalizes them for repeated violations. Simultaneously, iview's clients are informed of each interviewee's activities with the exact timestamp and duration of each violation. Agarwal confidently adds that a free-for-all mock test is available on iview's website.
Agarwal envisions iview as a centralized interface between college students seeking job opportunities and multinational companies looking to hire suitably-skilled talent. He is a strong believer of the fact that the best candidates aren't always in tier-1 institutions. iview is determined to back up good candidates who lack premier institution branding by highlighting their candidature to large multinationals.
Agarwal's advice to young entrepreneurs: 'Solutions first, technology next'
Advising young entrepreneurs irrespective of industry, Agarwal says, "Technology is just an enabler and building good tech doesn't equate to solving a problem". He adds that in hindsight, he spent a lot of time developing iview before mulling over a scalable way to help solve a problem. Agarwal strongly urges entrepreneurs to identify and solve a problem before leveraging technology to scale the solution.