We had a chance to get to know about EdgeNetworks, an AI startup in Human Resources industry, from India. It was a pleasure to understand the vision of the company, and to get a perspective of the CEO - Mr. Arjun Pratap.


What is your vision for EdGE Networks?

Since our inception, advanced technology has been the at the core of all our offerings. Our strength is in harnessing Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data Science to solve the toughest talent acquisition and workforce optimization challenges faced by organizations.

AI coupled with analytics is gaining ground within the HR domain. From talent acquisition and workforce optimization to workforce transformation, AI can act as a strategic enabler for HR. In the talent acquisition space for example, AI is bringing about a sea change in the speed, accuracy and timeliness of delivery.

At EdGE, our vision is to ensure that all segments under the HR umbrella are addressed in a 360 degree manner, allowing us to become the intelligence layer of our customers’ HR systems.

How is AI going to impact workplace productivity, in the next 10 years?

Businesses are adopting AI in a big way not only because it is helping them become smarter and efficient but also largely because it is helping their workforce become more productive. A recent TCS Global Trend Study says that 68% of companies use AI for IT Functions, but 70% believe AI’s greatest impact by 2020 will be in functions outside of IT such as Marketing, Customer Service, Finance, and HR.

The benefit of the technology (AI, Robotics), is that it can learn the workers' capability, help them understand best practice and help workers do higher-skilled jobs with higher quality, higher productivity, more effectively and efficiently.

AI will not only complement high-skill workers at the workplace but also allow, low-skilled employees to leverage its benefits and up their game in order to perform better. High-skill workers can further leverage AI to extend their abilities and will not have to worry about a machine replacing the work they do. Thereby, AI will increase the overall workforce productivity.

How big is the knowledge-workers market that will be positively impacted by AI in the next decade?

Artificial Intelligence is fast becoming the go-to technology across sectors like IT, Retail, Healthcare, HR, Banking and Finance, Automobile, Gaming and more. There is no doubt that the market for AI will flourish. Not only larger corporates but numerous startups too are betting big on AI to scale.

Organizations are extremely positive of AI bringing sea changes to the way their workforce will perform in the near future.

As the debate on AI taking away human jobs is almost becoming a passé, it is to anyone’s imagination that AI will do away with the redundancy, which lies among various aspects of business functions, and therefore pay way for people to perform more evolved and intelligent jobs. This also means that there will be a growing demand to upgrade and up-skill talent to keep up with the widespread AI adoption across job functions. Thereby creating a smarter workforce.

AI is a force that will drive the new employment economy. From talent acquisition and workforce optimization to workforce transformation, AI will act as a strategic enabler to HR and get them a seat at the strategy table.

As AI becomes a mainstream technology, many progressive companies are beginning to make major investments in AI. It will gradually become a key and an integrated component of an organizations success strategy and including a successful workforce strategy.

What does AI-enabled EdGE Networks look like? What digital transformation initiatives (if any) are you adopting in the company?

At EdGE, AI coupled with Data Science and Analytics forms the very base of our product offerings. While our product and solutions are based on some of the most cutting-edge technologies, we have also worked towards creating a responsible and agile organization that is ready to partner with customers to build game changing HR tech solutions.

Our key distinctive offerings include the following:
• HIREalchemy is our innovative Talent Acquisition Product that enables the search, rank and recruitment of talent with amazing ease and accuracy

• Our Talent Analytics Suite helps in predicting attrition, forecasting resource demand and more – enabling fact-based decision making across the HR value chain

• Our Workforce Optimization Solution forms the intelligence layer on top of HR systems and helps effective organization building

What has been the average ROI witnessed by your clients, who use EdGE Networks’ AI solutions?

We cater to a wide array of clients including Wipro, Microland, HCL, Virtusa and more. Our products and solutions have a layer of analytics built into them which allow us to measure the business impact juxtaposed with data shared by client. We have impacted both revenue and profits of the company resulting from improved time, cost and accuracy of talent management.

Some of the benefits include: 20-40% Cycle Time Reduction; 4 times increase in supply visibility; 36% increase in allocation via Project Manager; 51% reduction in allocation failures; 33% improvement in fulfilling external requisition with internal people; 28% conversion rate from recommendation to actual joinees; 100% resume/profile coverage.

Our solutions help HR specialists fight challenges such as filtering CVs, ineffective screening methods, low ROI from job portals, increased cost due to external hiring, low quality resume, incorrect visibility of complete workforce, limited movement of talent from one domain to another, to mention a few.

We help organizations hire human capital in a smarter, faster and more accurate way with our automated search and download and scored and stack ranked resumes. EdGE’s workforce optimization solution helps organizations reskill and reassign human capital efficiently based on business needs.

An efficient workforce management approach combines demand generation, skills repository, talent acquisition, allocation, learning and analytics to deliver robust talent connect. This is what we deliver in EdGE – an end-to-end AI driven solution for workforce transformation. We start with enhancing internal supply visibility through a robust skills repository enabling internal fulfillment and reducing cost incurred in external hiring. We help create intelligent job descriptions with appropriate keywords, lack of which is one of the key reasons for inaccurate resume matches.

Auto-sourcing and intuitive user experience of our platform promotes self-serve recruitment by hiring managers and increases portal utilization. This enables instant resume matches, faster job fulfillments and lower hiring cycle time. Due to its inbuilt ability to parse structured and unstructured data, our platform produces more accurate matches resulting in fewer or nil demand cancellations and allocation failures.

Our predictive and prescriptive analytics algorithms help optimize resourcing through accurate demand forecasting as well as curb attrition through flight risk scoring. Completing the workforce transformation cycle is the feature of Intelligent Learning Path that maps staff’s career path, identifies skills gap and suggests training courses to bridge the gap.

What competitive advantage do you plan to leverage, over the next 2-3 years?

Our unique value proposition to clients is that we use Natural Language Processing (NLP) Algorithms with a Data Science and AI-based approach to analyse job descriptions and profiles/resumes and provide a scored and stack ranked set of people for the job in question.

This is further bolstered with our ability to do this for an internal workforce and to acquire talent from portals. We do this using advanced technology with minimum human intervention - the disruption we create is the value of time and accuracy, delivered consistently.

While our product and solutions are based on some of the most cutting-edge technologies, we have also worked towards creating a responsible and agile organization that is ready to partner with customers to build game changing HR tech solutions.

In addition to our technology and team, we have also found exceptional mentors in Google and NSDC (India) who, through their guidance have helped shape our business and product strategy.

Which markets do you see most potential in, as far as workplace productivity solution is concerned ? What are your strategies to go after those markets?

The HR Technology market is worth USD 15 billion. The industry is undergoing a disruptive change owing to the rapid advances in digital technologies and the changing nature of work. The increasing focus on Artificial Intelligence combined with Data Analytics has huge potential for the HR technology market and we are witnessing the market expand steadily.

We are looking at expanding our footprint in the global market through our UK expansion in the next 6 months. We had won the Deloitte-MIDAS awards in December 2016 and UK’s India Emerging Twenty (IE20) Awards by London & Partners recently which will catalyse in our expansion plans further.

We were also one of the six Indian AI startups for the Google Launchpad Accelerator program (batch 4), via which we expect to make our mark in the USA too.

How is AI in general, slated to transform HR industry in its functions: Recruiting, & Employee Engagement?

AI coupled with analytics has been gaining ground within the HR domain and the time is ripe to build HR solutions for enterprises looking to take their workforce to the next level. From talent acquisition, workforce optimization to workforce transformation, AI can act as a strategic enabler for HR.

In the talent acquisition/recruitment space for instance, AI is bringing about a sea change in the speed, accuracy and timeliness of delivery. Auto-sourcing, just-in-time hiring, and self-serve hiring are expected to improve utilization and drive revenue growth.

AI driven applications can act as HR’s weather man helping them analyse the engagement level of employees, determine flight risk, uncover great talent in the front-line and more. AI can help build loyalty by acting as a career guide to employees. With AI, HR managers can realise their goal of being a strategic business enabler.

AI is poised to be a game-changer not only for areas such as recruitment and engagement but in solving workflow problems too. In the not too distant future we can expect to see tools and software that handle processes such as interview scheduling, employee onboarding, and even the answering of basic HR questions. This will free up HR practitioners’ time and help them focus on more strategic and impactful areas. It will also ensure the human judgement comes back as automation will never be able to do what a human interaction can.

In the future we will see CHROs harnessing AI and data science driven technology to study and understand their workforce and take effective as well as timely decisions. Not only can this put a check on the attrition rate but predicting attrition tendencies in employees but help them module retaining measure.

Moreover, workforce transformation, which is indeed the call of the day can be ensured by deploying analytics and artificial intelligence to prepare the existing employees for upcoming projects or positions by training them and upskilling them. Artificial intelligence, data science and analytics together can be used to identify the skill gaps in the employees and train them accordingly.

What is your advice to entrepreneurs who are building AI technologies to solve key problems?

AI is poised to be a game-changer when it comes to solving many problems, including workflow problems. My advice to entrepreneurs is that AI-powered technologies combined with human experience and judgement will definitely set successful companies apart.

AI has the power to help organizations become even more people-centric — creating happier employees, reducing bias, enabling more valuable programs, and allowing more time to focus on talent development. In other words, AI will help companies embrace the ‘Future of Work.’