Since summer 2019, Contractor Consulting GmbH, a human resources consultancy, has been using an AI-based research system to select highly specialized IT freelancers for its client projects: The „Computer Aided Recruiting Matching Algorithm“ – Carma for short – determines the ideal IT expert even faster and from a significantly larger data pool – and with an accuracy that is probably unique on the market. Thanks to Carma, Contractor’s entire team can focus on its core competencies: dialogue with the customer and checking the personal fit of the candidates. The results speak for themselves: thanks to Carma, customers of Contractor Consulting GmbH receive the most suitable business partner for their project, both professionally and personally, within 48 hours – the “best match” from personal consulting and artificial intelligence.

Optimal expert rankings through automated analysis

The search for the perfect IT expert for a challenging project is often like the proverbial search for a needle in a haystack: Around 100,000 resumes and profiles of freelance IT specialists are stored in the relevant online networks for the German market alone. They contain around 1.2 million so-called skills, professional qualifications and IT knowledge. And this is exactly where Carma’s algorithm comes in: In an automatic process, the terms found in the resumes are analyzed and weighted according to pre-set criteria. The result is a ranking of the most suitable experts, from which the contractor recruiting specialists then select the business partner who is actually available and personally best suited for the IT project at stake and then propose this person to the client.

High accuracy through continuous refinement of the algorithm.

The reason for Carma’s high accuracy lies in intensive training, used to refine the algorithm before it was applied, as CEO Alexander Ulrich, himself a computer science graduate, explains: “During the development phase, Carma read more than 50,000 resumes and analyzed the descriptions of more than 100,000 IT projects, took in 1.2 million skills, checked for multiple mentions and thus learned a basic vocabulary of around 10,000 relevant IT skills.” A major advantage of the system is that Carma can expand the search process to include similar or synonymous terms as stored in the RFP. These are weighted so that the terms with distant similarity are only slightly included in the ranking, and those with high similarity are included more strongly. And Carma is constantly learning: night after night, the system processes new resumes, thereby expanding its database and the currency of the skills. A quality routine ensures that no nonsensical words are taken into account. Only terms that Carma has found at least seven times in different CVs are approved as search terms for skills.

Carma recognizes the topicality of IT skills.

An essential criterion for the selection of suitable IT specialists is the topicality of professional skills. The challenge for the system here is to find the correct correlations between skills and dates: “The resumes to be evaluated are found in various sources and are sometimes formulated as continuous text, sometimes in tabular form, sometimes listed from young to old and elsewhere also vice versa. Again and again, we find different spellings for dates or another formatting.” Together with the Fraunhofer Institute, Contractor Consulting GmbH has therefore developed a special “reading machine” for Carma. This enables the system to recognize the time specifications, associate them with the neighboring text, and thus evaluate the aforementioned skills in a flash to determine whether they are up to date.

Dialogue with customers is the basis for best consulting results.

Artificial intelligence is now a core competency for Contractor, but personal customer consulting remains the focus. “Carma can perform routine tasks much faster and more thoroughly with its intelligent algorithm, thus supporting our team. However, our core competence is and remains to consult and the exchange with our customers,” says Patrick Berger, co-founder of Contractor Consulting GmbH. First and foremost, he says, it is a matter of precisely understanding the customer’s requirements for highly complex IT projects and matching them to the right search profiles. In addition, there are the requirements for the personality of the business partners, be it experience in project management, leadership style or the fit with regard to the organizational culture. “IT is our core business. It is our own know-how that lies in the development and constant refinement of our search algorithm. Our customers also benefit from this know-how – be it through even better, AI-based search processes or through our experience in personal consultations,” Patrick Berger summarizes the Contractor business philosophy.

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