CIEL HR, a Bengaluru recruitment firm, now has a wonder employee called Tony.

Once a recruitment order comes to the staffing company, Tony, an artificial intelligence-driven bot, goes through a pile of resumes looking for candidates. When the task is done, it pops up on a manager’s screen and sends across the data. Tony can also do a preliminary screening of the candidates by sending them a fixed questionnaire and assessing their responses. By taking over such sundry functions, Tony has reduced some 20% of the workload of human resources managers at the company.

“The big staffing firms typically use search-word driven searches to sift through the pile of resumes,” said Aditya Narayan Mishra, CIEL HR’s chief executive officer. “However, this isn’t the most efficient way as sometimes the exact keywords may not match with the job profile that consultants are looking for. Bots, such as Tony, are more effective in finding out the more suitable candidate by using a higher level of intelligence to identify the right fit.”

Tony isn’t alone. Bots like it are making cumbersome tasks – scanning resumes, collating data on candidates, mock interviews, on-boarding new employees – easier and efficient in several Indian recruitment firms. As a result, recruiters are now able to take more informed decisions, spend time on complex tasks, shorten hiring timelines and streamline the entire recruitment process.

It’s a bot’s life

“By delegating low-level tactical work to machines, recruiters gain time for more meaningful conversations with identified high-potential candidates, giving them the personal attention they deserve,” said Francis Padamadan, country director of recruitment firm KellyOCG India.

These tools are currently only being used to recruit entry-level employees at companies that hire at scale. However, bots and related technologies could also soon begin helping mid-sized firms cut cost, said Rituparna Chakraborty, executive vice-president of recruitment firm TeamLease. Sectors such as IT and banking are likely to adopt these tools earlier than others given the volumes involved. In fact, consultants point out that the likes of Accenture and Ola already use AI for hiring. Emails sent to the firms remained unanswered.

Apart from engaging with applicants on the job market, digital recruitment tools also help employers discover potential candidates who aren’t actively seeking new jobs. That’s because bots can efficiently scour social media platforms that are deeply intertwined with a person’s work life. There are, for example, professionals who end up leaving critical information sprinkled across various specialised sites such as GitHub, Stack Overflow, or a personal website. Bots can potentially piece together all this data and put out a comprehensive profile of an individual, Padamadan of KellyOCG India explained.

There are others functions, too, which these new tools could serve. For instance, with hiring getting digitalised for some time now, particularly since the arrival of online job sites, recruiters have access to a lot of data that candidates leave behind on the internet. By closely analysing this data, employers can get a better sense of a candidate’s employment pattern: whether the person sticks to a job or moves often, the individual’s salary requirements, and overall behaviour at the workplace.

“This has opened up a whole new world, which is not just limited to hiring but also to the extent where the whole employee life cycle can be planned in an intelligent manner,” said James Agrawal, managing director of executive search and recruitment consulting firm BTI Consultants India.

So the next time you’re on a job hunt, be prepared to impress a bot before you can knock the manager’s socks off.

This article first appeared on Quartz.