Adam Crow, the CIO and founder of Australian firm MyRecruitOnline spent the past 15 years working on a software program that uses advanced artificial intelligence to gradually learn and simulate the decision-making of recruiters, cutting down on the time it takes to process hundreds of job applications.
The open source program is a Web-based system, but is also available as an iPhone app, is Facebook-integrated and QR code-enabled as well.
Crow, who gained a master’s degree from the project, said the program grew from the need to monitor vast numbers of systems, make decisions on how to fix and maintain them, and automate those processes.
Computerworld Australia had a chat to the man himself.
What does MyRecruitOnline do?
The main attribute of MyRecruitOnline (MRO) is to automate in a real-time fashion, appropriate recruiting decisions for a business and present up-to-date processed information to the relevant stakeholders.
Customers can specify their workflows and business rules, which can then operate immediately on incoming recruitment information, such as registrations, job applications, job processing and social media.
The system is hosted across a combination of Cloud technology, customer PCs/servers, iPhone and Android devices.
What are the origins of MyRecruitOnline?
MRO was inspired by an earlier JBoss/Rules development that managed a large fleet of remote Linux Servers for a firm called DCLABS.
One of DCLABS’ customers was a recruitment firm called Caden Recruitment, headed by Domenic Saporito, and he and I discussed the idea of building an applicant tracking system that made use of modern open source technologies. With the addition of a third director, Damien Schulze, we then formed DC123 to pursue this project.
How did you get started?
We already had extensive experience in Linux Servers and JBoss/Java. We adopted the relatively new JBoss 5.1 — we’re now in the process of moving to JBoss 7.0 — and began design and construction of the architecture.
We took over the premises of one of Domenic’s companies and incorporated his existing staff into DC123. We then established the general development framework and deployment systems.
What kind of challenges have you experienced?
The specifications have changed considerably from when we first started. The Webservice API was initially going to be the main product but has since been demoted as we focused on the real-time Web front end and iPhone.
We’ve always had to manage the balance between creating a general purpose real-time CRM against the commercial demands for a Recruitment specific system. I’m very satisfied with the current balance.
We also had severe issues with migration of older data. It has always been important to us to maintain data integrity. Unfortunately, many of the systems we’ve imported from have poor data such as invalid emails or addresses. Such importing efforts robbed us of a significant percentage of our development time.
We’ve also been starved for high-end resources. The technologies we use require serious experience, persistence and intellectual capacity.
Performing real-time operations across a distributed system is much trickier than a simple website attached to a database.
Finally, there is always the pressure to deliver a product immediately, zero defects, with the minimal set of customer requirements.
How did you overcome such challenges?
We’ve had to continually made trade-offs in the allocation of our time and resources. A continual professional focus on the end game has largely contributed to avoiding rash design decisions and emotional panic.
Is it a good time for start-ups in Australia?
It is an excellent time to do a start-up in this country. Open source products continue to get better and offer companies the best tools and platforms for which to deliver their product. Australians take to new technology readily and internet usage continues to widen within our community.
What else is MyRecruitOnline working on?
We’re looking at better ways to integrate existing business processes with our systems in a live manner. We also understand there are many ways of extending automation within the recruitment industry and we wish to pursue those mechanisms.
Artificial Intelligence is going to play a greater role in our software, some very exciting technologies looming on the horizon.
What are your top tips for people wanting to create their own start-up?
Immerse yourself in an industry and become an expert in it. Good ideas survive robust and aggressive attack by others.
Test your start-up premises. Watch cash flow at all times. Work off conservative projections. Team with complimentary partners. Establish your legal framework and code of ethics early and regularly review. Do not fall in love with your business model. Enjoy the dream and ignore all advice (however good) to get a real job from loved ones.
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