With the tremendous advances in AI-driven hiring technologies in the last year, TA leaders are getting questions about recruiting chatbots from all directions. The C-suite wants to know if an investment in a recruiting chatbot will deliver ROI; your recruiting team is asking if chatbots can be part of the 2019 strategy. Here’s what you need to know about recruiting chatbots to respond effectively.
What are recruiting chatbots?
That’s the basic question. Recruiting chatbots are applications that simulate conversations via email, text and voice. They can be part of an interviewing platform, ATS, social media, and messaging applications. Though the earliest bots were mainly database-driven, today’s recruiting chatbots utilize AI technologies like machine learning and natural language processing to dialog with candidates, recruiters and hiring managers. Chatbots are being used for a variety of recruiting tasks, including scheduling interviews, answering candidates’ questions, screening and onboarding. Some also assist recruiters in prioritization.
How can recruiting chatbots improve the hiring process?
The main advantages of today’s chatbots which are designed for recruiting fall into three categories:
- Improving speed to hire. A chatbot can remove delays and streamline hiring so recruiters are able to engage candidates more quickly and make job offers to qualified candidates sooner.
- Increasing recruiter efficiency. Recruiting chatbots handle repetitive and administrative tasks so recruiters can spend more time with candidate engagement while still getting the administrative work done.
- Improving the candidate experience. By making the process faster, easier and more convenient for candidates, chatbots help TA teams create a modern hiring experience that candidates appreciate. In addition, recruiting chatbots can use an organization’s vernacular, so they carry the talent brand forward in their interactions with candidates.
At what stages in hiring are recruiting chatbots being used?
Today’s chatbots are a natural choice for tactical recruitment activities which are necessary and require a lot of time, but don’t take advantage of recruiters’ relationship-building skills, like
- Scheduling interviews. Pre-qualification with on-demand text interviews. Chatbots can text multiple candidates with a few basic questions related to salary preferences, work times available, possession of a driver’s license and other requirements. Candidates can answer quickly by smartphone, and chatbots can then send qualified candidates an invite to the next step in hiring, often an on-demand video. On-demand text enabled by AI accelerates high-volume candidate management and qualification and is often used for campus recruitment, call center hiring and seasonal hiring.
What do candidates think about recruiting chatbots?
Though more candidates are accepting than not, there is a way to go before acceptance becomes universal. A 2016 survey by Allegis indicated that 66% of candidates are comfortable with chatbots scheduling interviews and helping with interview preparation. About half (58%) are comfortable interacting with recruiting chatbots to answer initial questions in the application and interview stages.
Organizations using Mira, Montage’s intelligent recruiting assistant, have experienced a positive reaction from candidates. Those using Mira to schedule interviews have seen candidate response rates increase to 84%, and time to schedule an interview drop from days to just hours. When Mira invites candidates to complete an on-demand text interview, 90% of candidates respond, and more than 50% respond in 30 minutes or less.
Will we need to train the chatbot?
To perform successfully, chatbots need some human supervision to ensure they are teaching themselves correctly and continuing to respond to candidates in the correct way. It’s something to keep in mind as you determine whether you need a recruiting chatbot, and start exploring solutions. In some cases, you may need to assign the supervisory responsibility to a team member in your department. With other chatbot technology providers, that work is done by them, providing you with a double benefit: Your team isn’t spending time or resources on it, and it’s likely your recruiting chatbot is learning from millions of candidate interactions rather than thousands.
What can TA teams do to enhance the value they get from a recruiting chatbot?
Today’s chatbots are most successful in providing a strong candidate experience when used for very specific tasks in your hiring process. At this point in time, the technology is not designed for or recommended to replace critical human conversations. Modern candidates are looking for a blend of efficiency and personal, human interaction. Chatbots can help TA team adapt to those expectations.
Another key point is transparency. In recent Montage research, 82% of candidates said it is important for them to be informed when they are interacting with chatbots. TA teams should be upfront with candidates in communicating how AI is being used in the hiring process.
Where should I start exploring recruiting chatbot options?
There are a number of stand-alone chatbot platforms available in the HR tech market. However, recruiting chatbots that are integrated with an interviewing platform or ATS are typically a better business value. Integration with your video interviewing solution ensures your chatbot can handle the complexities of enterprise hiring, and can support your employer brand consistently in the candidate experience. The single solution approach is also a more seamless experience for candidates and hiring teams. A strong technology partner will help you pinpoint areas of your hiring process where recruiting chatbots can deliver the best ROI.
If you’d like to learn even more, download our whitepaper on bringing AI to the table in your organization to drive better hiring results.