An Armenian start-up is developing an artificial intelligence recruitment tool that harnesses the power of data and deep learning algorithms to save recruiters' time and boost the hiring process by providing pipeline of targeted quality candidates.
This year, the company secured an EU-SMEDA Innovation Matching Grant (IMG), funded by the European Union under its EU4Business initiative, described by its co-founder as a "game changer"that allows them to target new markets in 2019.
Hirebee.aiis an AI product developed by staff.am, a start-up working with a team of 15 people and its own in-house tech and marketing capacity.
According to startup co-founder Vahe Avetisyan, HireBee actively analyses HR and job-seeker behaviour, professional background and other aspects to understand what makes them a good fit.
“We provide layered recommendation, which is a hybrid system considering multiple features. The stack that we use varies based on what problem we solve – Node.js, PHP, Python are main technologies that our team utilises on our product. Our solution is uniquely positioned to analyze our experience in the market, and convert it to multifunctional learning algorithms,” he says.
The tool was born of the company's own frustration at a time when it needed to expand and hire staff: “It was not only hard to find good talent, even spending a lot of time, money and resources on Facebook advertisement, job boards, etc. It was also literally impossible to promote the company’s employer brand through social media channels. While speaking with our network, we understood the problem,” explains co-founder Luiza Avetisyan.
The team therefore decided to research the HR industry, with the idea to create an end-to-end experience for recruiters, helping companies solve multiple problems, and provide a one-stop-shop for their hiring needs.
Earlier this year, the start-up received and IMG grant from EU-SMEDA. Vahe Avetisyan describes it as a game-changer for the startup:
“Even though we have only closed our first project milestone, and have two ahead, we can say with confidence that our start-up has been positively affected by more accelerated growth. Almost the entire budget is planned for staff costs, and we have already taken on new team members, and are rapidly developing both the product and the start-up in Armenia and Kazakhstan.”
Avetisyan says the start-up is currently concentrated on CIS market and will expand to Kazakhstan next year.
“We might consider the EU market later, but at this point CIS is a priority,” he said.
The start-up faced various challenges in its early stages: “A lot of hard work, commitment and determination are needed to build a start-up and grow it further, not only in Armenia but in general. Sometimes, it seems that for many start-ups and products, success came overnight, but success is only the tip of the iceberg, and a great deal of persistence is required to actually get things going,” says Luiza Avetisyan.
At the same time, head of marketing and communications Nazeli Badalyan points out that in Armenia, a lot of start-up milestones are easier to achieve.
“For example, we really have great talent here, our market is quite developed in terms of product testing, and the young generation feels comfortable working for start-up companies. Of course, we have a long way to go to have really developed ecosystems, but I think that during the past two years, a lot of effort was made by organisations supporting start-ups, and these effort are starting gradually to pay off.”
2019 is going to be very intense for the startup: “The next 12 months we will be focusing on increasing our client-base. Our tech team is actively working on developing new features, our AI driven Applicant Tracking System will be presented during 2Q 2019, and most importantly we will present our platform in Almaty during 1Q 2019. So much work to do, and very exciting times ahead for staff.am and HireBee,” technical team lead Hayk Karapetyan concludes.
Since 2017, the ‘Support to SME Development in Armenia’ (EU-SMEDA) project, which is funded by the European Union under the EU4Business initiative and implemented by GIZ in cooperation with the Enterprise Incubator Foundation(EIF), has been supporting Armenian startups with two types of grant – Innovation Matching Grants (IMG) and Science and Technology Entrepreneurship (STEP) grants.