L’ORÉAL: How to Incubate Initiatives and leverage AI in our recruitment process

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In 2017, a group of L’Oréal’s HR Leaders created Disrupt HR, a collaborative platform to generate transformative and concrete initiatives, to accelerate our progress towards our vision and serve our business growth. The main goal of Disrupt HR is to put people at the heart of L’Oréal’s strategy by testing and learning.


It works as an incubator centre, where new transformative ideas and initiatives are developed. We follow an approach of inventing together, co-designing, testing and learning and piloting in the countries, evaluating scalability. This approach helps to create an agile way of change.


Most of the Disrupt HR initiatives leverage technology, while others concern internal ways of working and the organization. Internal job postings, preselection of candidates powered by AI, prescreening chat and flex learning, MOOC certification at scale, new performance management, flex rewards, feedback on the go, employee experience, flexible contract solutions and more… 


By freeing our HR people from tasks that can eventually be done by technological innovations, i.e. Bots, and AI, and by eliminating non-essential processes, we can increase their capacity to spot issues and create deeper connections with our employees. 


MYA and Seedlink: Use of AI in the recruitment process to improve the candidate experience  


Each year, L’Oréal receives more than 1 million applications, including 250,000 for internships and apprenticeships. Everywhere in the world, our teams need to find the right balance between handling this volume of applications and delivering a stellar candidate experience every day.


MYA and Seedlink are two of the major AI solutions rolled out globally by L’Oréal.


MYA is a chatbot that interacts with our internship and apprenticeship candidates to consider their application beyond their CV credentials. Giving equal chances to every applicant based on neutral criteria (e.g. Do you have a work permit? Do you have experience in retail?) and offers a Q&A service. The chatbot helps to create a more qualitative relationship with the candidate since the recruiter can really focus on the human exchange rather than repetitive manual tasks. 


As of today, MYA has generated 72,000 conversations, and about 1,000 candidates were hired after a conversation. This solution has been rolled out since September 2018 in 14 markets worldwide.


Seedlink uses a predictive algorithm based on a semantical analysis to determine the level of adequacy of a candidate with the culture of the company, using a simple digital interview questionnaire. Its main ambition is to diversify.


A benchmark, comprised of a sample of L’Oréal’s employees (interns, young graduates and managers), is built and used to compare the candidates’ answers. This exercise prevents human bias based on education or gender background and helps the recruiter to find the best match for the candidate. 


Seedlink is now live in 11 countries, including France, and L’Oréal has hired more than 1,200 candidates who passed this assessment. 


By automating some of the tasks at the beginning of the recruitment process, both AI initiatives are already helping L’Oréal to deliver an increased candidate experience while bringing more efficiency and diversity to the process. It is an ongoing journey which L’Oréal monitors and enriches continuously, based on the same motto: The most valuable kind of intelligence is not AI; hiring decisions will remain in the hands of - better informed - humans.

About the author:  Aurélie Gasnier is the AVP, Global Diversity, Inclusion & Corporate HR Communications for L’Oréal.


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