Entrepreneur

Rafizi Quit Politics For His Startup That Tackles Unemployment With AI. Here’s How It Works.

Rafizi Ramli has recently announced his retirement from politics.

Now a free man from both his legal and political battles, he wrote on his LinkedIn that he would be returning to corporate planning.

For those of you who only know Rafizi as PKR’s vice president, he is also known as CEO of both INVOKE, a local data firm and adnexio, an AI-driven job portal.

Since he said that he would be focusing his attention on adnexio specifically, I decided to see for myself what the platform was all about.

The ‘NEX’ Big Thing In Job Recruitment

Rafizi wrote in his blog that he spent a lot of time with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) during the GE14 elections.

He found that SMEs faced difficulties in hiring the people they needed, while job candidates lacked information about the job market and needed help to make themselves more marketable.

Image Credit: Rafizi’s LinkedIn

So, since September 2018, he alongside a group of data scientists and software engineers have been working to address these problems.

The result was adnexio, a job portal where candidates are interviewed by artificial intelligence (AI) named NEX.

NEX was created to solve the problems of unemployment and human capital development in Malaysia.

She (yes, ‘she’, as the AI was given a female voice) conducts interviews with thousands of candidates in order to identify qualities that employers look for.

She does this by evaluating a candidate’s education, job experience, skills, and even personality.

The AI then uses this data to match up candidates to available jobs, thus eliminating 80% (so she claims) of the recruitment process.

For jobseekers, NEX generates a performance report based on your online interview with her, highlighting how marketable you are and how you rank amongst other candidates.

For employers, NEX recommends the best fitting candidates from the entire talent tool (not just those who apply for the job) for the employer to consider.

When a candidate gets hired, NEX uses that data to further develop her ability to match up the right candidates with the right employers.

This same machine learning allows her to serve as a career coach, suggesting ways for candidates to improve their employability.

She honestly sounds like a one-woman (or machine) job recruitment firm.

An Interview With A Robot

Having only used traditional job portals like WOBB and Jobstreet, this all really piqued my curiosity, so I decided to ‘book’ myself an interview and meet NEX myself.

Heading to the website, I was immediately greeted by a warm (albeit robotic voice) voice that guided me step-by-step through the entire process.

I filled up my personal details, all the while accompanied by NEX’s voice, which really helped set the mood that I was ‘talking’ to an actual recruiter.

An example of a question from the personality test / Image Credit: adnexio website

Then came the personality test which was a series of photos and traits which I had to decide was ‘Me’ or ‘Not Me’.

After that was a video interview, where I was recorded answering a number of interview questions, the kind you find asked at most job interviews like “How do you deal with stressful situations?” or “What are your greatest achievements and biggest mistakes?”

I found the whole process engaging and (dare I even say) fun, like filling up one of those online personality tests but with a lot more depth.

I was excited to see my results. But then…

Apparently I only match 40% of what employers look for in a candidate

Ouch, this is awkward.

It looks like I didn’t score very high overall. (I hope my boss doesn’t see this.)

The full report is a bit more flattering, showing where my strengths and weaknesses lie.

Turns out, I scored pretty well against other candidates, having ranked amongst the top 10-40% in academics and leadership while scoring lower in my work experience and extra-curricular activities.

It’s Report Day all over again

I think this is a pretty fair assessment, considering my Master’s degree (Yeah! It was worth it after all!) and some leadership roles I have taken in the past.

And it is true that I have not been working very long, only about 2 years or so.

Interestingly, NEX is also able to score your communication skills and confidence levels from analysing the video interview.

Speaking of confidence, here are the results of my personality test.

I’d say this was all pretty accurate

Traditionally, one would try and gauge that during a face-to-face interview, but with adnexio, employers will at least have some indication of the candidate’s personality before that step.

I think we can agree that personality goes a long way in determining whether a candidate is a right fit for a particular job or organisation.

Currently, I have not been matched to any of the jobs on the platform yet, but I could always just apply to an interesting listing like usual.

Categorised according to field / Image Credit: adnexio website

The jobs are categorised by field and are displayed with the salary range, job description, location, and how many views the listing had.

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It’s a promising platform that uses tech to solve common problems that candidates and employers have faced since the existence of jobs.

While this is far from the kind of sentient AI you see in sci-fi movies, I found it charming that they tried to make NEX feel that way.

Time will tell what Rafizi has in store, but if his impact on our political landscape is any indication, here’s to hoping that he makes waves in the tech industry as well.

I wish him good luck in his future endeavours and welcome him fully to our startup ecosystem.

  • You can also read what we’ve written about startups here.

Featured Image Credit: Rafizi’s LinkedIn

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