Russian Robot Uses AI to Recruit and Hire Humans for Major Companies

A new recruitment software is revolutionizing the industry by having a robot source and interview candidates. The robot named Vera already counts PepsiCo and L'Oréal as it clients.
Loukia Papadopoulos

A Russian startup called Stafory has created an artificially intelligent (AI) robot called Robot Vera to source, interview and ultimately hire human candidates. The virtual recruiter can screen over 1500 candidates a day and send follow up emails.

An impressive list of clients

Robot Vera, created only in 2016, already has an impressive client list. The robot has recruited for multinationals such as PepsiCo and L'Oréal.

“We wanted to create something that functioned like Uber for job recruitment, but instead of calling a car, a company would be able to call a pool of people looking for a job,” co-founder Alexei Kostarev told The Washington Post. “Right now, we have 200 companies using Robot Vera, which means the software is conducting about 50,000 interviews a day.”

Robot Vera is estimated to reduce both the time and cost of recruitment by at least a third. The computer simulation is fluent in Russian and English and is considered to be most suitable for the recruitment of blue-collar jobs.

The process works as follows. Robot Vera is connected to five different job sites where she can scour resumes and cover letters.

When recruiters have a position to fill, they provide Robot Vera with a detailed job description and a script of relevant interview questions. Vera uses this information to spot potentially qualified candidates.

If a match occurs, Vera can call the candidate. “When you answer the phone, she says ‘Hi, my name is Vera, and I am a robot — are you still looking for a job?’” Kostarev said.

If the candidate answers affirmatively, Vera conducts a phone or video interview using the script provided. Interviews last approximately eight minutes.

Positive reviews

So far, the program has received positive reviews. PepsiCo used Robot Vera last year to fill 250 sales support vacancies in Russia in just two months.

Natalya Sumbaeva, talent acquisition manager for Russia and the CIS, told ComputerWeekly they decided to use the virtual agent due to limited resources. However, the recruiters added an interesting additional step to the usual hiring process.

After every interview, they called the candidates to ask how they felt about being interviewed by a robot. “Some 95% of candidates told us it was interesting, inspiring, great, something new,” said Sumbaeva.

Sumbaeva added that the success rate from calls made by the robot was equal to that of recruiters but took only one-fifth of the time. In addition, PepsiCo stated they are considering plans to use Robot Vera in the future for exit interviews.


The company speculated that it may be easier for unhappy employees to share negative feedback with a robot. Vera’s creators have ventured a similar guess.

Kostarev said he found candidates spoke more candidly with Vera. Currently, the program has an 82% success rate when it comes to responding to candidates’ questions correctly.

Still, there are some things Vera cannot yet do. “As far as searches for executive hires, I don’t see any opportunities for the robot to do that job,” Kostarev said. “Humans can do it much better.”