WeChat bots are huge in China. The machine-powered being that Microsoft runs on China’s most popular messaging app has 20 million followers alone — and it is a cult hero — which shows that messaging isn’t just about chatting to your friends.
Why not use it to find a job or practice your interview technique? That’s what Jobot, a creation from this weekend’s TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon, aims to do.
The service uses WeChat, the hugely popular Chinese messaging app with over half a billion monthly users. It’s essentially a chatbot that asses the best kind of company a user should work for using questions, powered by IBM Watson, to develop personality insights like culture fit and sentiment, for each user. The idea is that information gleaned from users can help them find the right cultural match in a future employer.
Not only does it let job finders seek out potential employers, but also helps them practice responses to the kinds of questions that they’ll be asked during the recruitment process.
Jobot uses an automated system to manage questions based on each answer, but David Collier, one of the brains behind the service, said that a human could easily step into the process at any point. That might be useful once the formulaic questions are out of the way and a recruiter wants more specific information. Likewise, Collier told TechCrunch that companies themselves could get involved in the project to seek out specific types of hires, entry-level positions for which interns might be best suited.
Right now, the service is a work in progress — for one thing it isn’t an official bot. Aside from fixing that, Collier said there are plans to tweak the analytics to give companies the option to use Jobot for prescreening purposes. An admin dashboard and potential integrations with Glassdoor and LinkedIn are also on the cards.
“With 1.1 billion users on WeChat, we can safely say there are great things in store. People already have chat integrated into their daily lives — we plan to capitalize on that,” Collier, who has an English learning app for WeChat and works with other messaging apps, said.