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Source: Les Echos as of  30-03-2020

The ready-to-wear group, which owns the Cache Cache, Bréal, Bonobo, Morgan and Vib’s brands, has chosen a chatbot as their recruiting assistant to attract more applicants and facilitate the work of its store managers.

  • Vincent Bouquet vbouquet@lesechos.fr

Photo Pascal Sittler/REA Since the beginning of last year, the group has made available to its fifty outlets based in the Paris region an assistant recruiter developed by Unique.ai.

Beaumanoir is no exception to the rule. Like most ready-to-wear sales groups, the owner of Cache Cache, Bréal, Bonobo, Morgan and Vib’s stores faces a significant turnover and recruitment challenge in its approximately 1,500 French outlets, 40% of which are own-managed. Permanent. “The challenge for us was to provide solutions to stores to make it easier to recruit sales advisors,” says its HR development director, Florent Guillaume. The objective was threefold: to attract more, to have candidates with better pre-qualification and to allow managers to focus on the relational rather than the sorting of CVs during the recruitment process. Artificial intelligence (AI) then seemed to indicate everything.

Since the beginning of last year, the group has made available to its fifty outlets based in the Paris region an assistant recruiter developed by Unique.ai. Available seven days a week and 24 hours a day, this chatbot, accessible via job search sites or flashcodes installed in stores, allows candi-dats to apply in three to five minutes thanks to fifteen questions and answers asked on a conversational mode. They are asked, for example, to inform their availability, to specify their work history at Beaumanoir or in retail, but also to prioritize a dozen statements – related to customer relations, teamwork, taste for products, with the expected professional development – according to their aspirations. “We know that in our trades, hard skills can be acquired fairly quickly and easily,” says Florent Guillaume. We are therefore more interested in the candidate’s well-being, his appetite for collective work or customer contact. »

Towards a uniformity of profiles?

Once the different fields are informed, the recruiting assistant is responsible for classifying the applications according to a score based on the answers provided, but also according to the time slots indicated. As a result, in the dashboard reserved for them, managers only have applications corresponding to their search – to fill a position on weekends or evenings, for example – and, at the top of the digital pile, those who, according to the AI, meet the better than they need. “However, no application is rejected without intervention from store managers and they may very well choose to continue the recruitment process with a candidate who has not achieved the highest score,” says the DIRECTOR of HR Development. Beaumanoir.

Modern, a vector of simplification, is such a solution not likely to standardize applications, or even be a factor of discrimination? “We obviously asked ourselves the question, but we have to bring the recruiting assistant back to what he is: a tool with a simple layer of scoring, without any analytical supplement, replies all go Florent Guillaume. No complex algorithm that would cross and analyze the answers to predict the future path of candidates within our group is at work. Finally, the risk of reproduction is more related to store managers who seek, and it is human, to recruit people who look like them. »

81% satisfaction

According to Beaumanoir’s director of HR development, the latter

“who in all circumstances keep their free choice and can, if they wish, continue to recruit through the good old paper process because they already receive a sufficient number of applications,” he stresses – is satisfied with this method of assisted recruitment. According to a survey conducted in the summer of 2019 among the Paris branches concerned, 81% of managers recommended a deployment of this new tool to all points of sale, which the group is currently doing for 600 of them.

On the candidate side, the satisfaction rate, assessed by a question asked during the preliminary conversation with the chatbot, is 87%. “Over the past 15 months, we have registered some 6,000 applications through this process, and we are experiencing an increase in the number of applications of more than 20%,” says Florent Guillaume.

So Beaumanoir is already looking further afield. “We could push the lights of the predictor by analyzing the history of stores to predict their future recruitment needs or by taking advantage of the chatbot’s features to create a conversational module that would follow the employee throughout his career with us,” Florent Guillaume mused, before adding: “But for now, all this is only in the project state.”

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