CSIRO Reduces Time Spent On Shortlisting By 60%

Learn how Curious Thing helped CSIRO improve recruiting efficiency and use more than a resume to screen candidates.

CSIRO Reduces Time Spent On Shortlisting By 60%

"By using the Curious Thing, my team saved a huge amount of time that would have been spent making repetitive phone calls."

David Burt

Executive Manager of CSIRO’s ON program


  • 60% reduction in shortlisting time
  • 91% interview completion rate
  • 67% of interviews conducted outside of working hours


CSIRO's ON program is Australia's national science and technology accelerator. It helps teams of researchers take their ideas and research out of the lab and into the world. The CSIRO ON team receives more than 300 applications per cohort. From this pool, they need to select only 10 teams to enter the program. The intake process is extremely competitive and the real challenge for the ON team is making the process consistent, fair and scalable.

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Making the process efficient and analysable

Curious Thing started working with the ON team for their Accelerate Cohort 5 intake.

Curious Thing’s AI phone interviewer was used as the first step of the intake process. All candidates performed a 15-20 minute phone interview with Curious Thing’s AI phone interviewer. The results would be converted to data the ON team would use to make the shortlisting decisions. Data would also be used to prepare for the next part of the process which was an in-depth interview.

The results

Curious Thing reduced the shortlisting time by 60%! Within five days, 5,304 interview minutes were recorded. An interview completion rate of 91% was achieved. 67% of the interviews were conducted after work hours and over the weekend. The candidates performed their interviews across 5 different countries and the average time per interview was 16 minutes.

“By using the Curious Thing, my team saved a huge amount of time that would have been spent making repetitive phone calls. We reduced our total shortlisting time by around 60%. Curious Thing collects consistent data points conversationally, which is very aligned with our data-first policies and decision making. My team now has additional time to be more strategic within their roles.”

David Burt, Executive Manager of CSIRO’s ON program.

The unexpected benefit

In addition to delivering the benefits of efficiency and consistent data points, Curious Thing helped ON quickly identify the candidates who were adaptive. They could easily spot the candidates that felt comfortable using a technology they have never used before. In the world of innovative science, this is an important skill to have!

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