How Chatbots can Transform Recruiting Processes

The modern recruiter has it far from easy. In today’s dynamic business landscape, recruiters must often juggle multiple tasks at once. They must cope with the many complexities of a highly competitive market, and parse through large volumes of incoming resumes, in pursuit of the best talent.

Technology is a game changer for HR teams, as is the case, for any enterprise sector or vertical. Here, ‘Chatbots’ could make a massive difference. Geared to transform the candidate experience, Chatbots are a form of conversational artificial intelligence, now being deployed to automate hiring processes. So, the big question is, do you need a chatbot for your HR/hiring processes? Here’s everything you need to know before deploying a chatbot for your business.

What is a chatbot?

Let’s begin by defining a ‘chatbot.’ In the simplest of terms, a chatbot is a tool or a software program, used by organizations to automate conversations with humans to answer their queries, based on a pre-set list of rules and algorithms.

While chatbots have been around for a while now, however, the widespread adoption of chatbots is a relatively new phenomenon. Chatbots like the Phenom Chatbot, even allows candidates to search for jobs, ask questions and get answers about registered companies, and receive personalized job recommendations.

How do HR and recruiting chatbots work?

For HR teams, chatbots can locate possible applicants based on the available data. What’s more, HR leads can also extend employee engagement capabilities, by leveraging chatbots’ ability to assess and evaluate the satisfaction levels of employees. Further, HR chatbots can also be used for career management, coaching, and training sessions. There’s also advanced technology like ServiceNow’s virtual assistant that is able to contextualize queries and offer personalized responses.

How will chatbots transform the recruitment process?

In the recruitment space, chatbots analyze candidates’ sentences or phrases to detect an underlying pattern and arrive at a decision or response. This is, in many ways similar to how recruiters evaluate multiple applicants, and select deserving candidates, even as they get closer to the final hiring stages.

Imagine for a moment: A chatbot that has completed interviewing a large batch of candidates (say 250+), and has submitted its recommendations to the recruiter, has effectively automated the entire initial round of scoring or ranking applicants. Now, recruiters can focus on candidate engagement and build long-lasting relationships with selected candidates to close the position.

“According to staffing and recruitment firm Allegis, 66% candidates are comfortable interacting with a chatbot, so the market seems poised for mainstream adoption. As chatbots prove their value in the early part of the recruiting funnel, their use will logically move downstream to processes such as onboarding and new employee training for the same advantages: on-demand, real-time feedback,” reports Ideal’s head Data Scientist, Ji-A Min.

Chatbots can engage multiple candidates at the same time, and are at work 24/7, thereby reducing timelines significantly. Their ability to scale processes like this will help organizations save time and money.

Will chatbots improve candidate experience?

Often, candidates complain of poor or unsatisfactory experiences when carrying out online applications. Notifications are vague or obscure, and then there’s also an element of uncertainty along with the pressures of having to wait for feedback – sometimes, leading to a negative impression about the company.

With the integration of artificial intelligence, several candidates can be accommodated into the hiring pipeline simultaneously, notifying recruiters when they’ve completed the initial screening processes. Shorter turnaround times reduce candidate anxiety, allowing them to scout for other opportunities that are better suited for them. Chatbots can essentially create richer, more meaningful candidate experiences.

Will HR chatbots eliminate the need for humans in the recruitment process?

The answer to this question is a definite ‘No’!

An HR chatbot can address several everyday challenges, and make the recruiters’ life much simpler, expediting systems and hiring timelines. However, in no way, can the application stretch itself beyond being a software tool. This is why chatbots find widespread adoption for automated tasks such as payroll. Pocket HRMS’ chatbot smHRty is built precisely for this purpose.

Remember, transparency builds trust. Businesses which invest in chatbots for HR programs must fully disclose the use of such technology for initial screening and other activities. This helps to dispel any doubts and manages candidate expectations. Additionally, when transparency is maintained, candidates are ready to discuss future job possibilities and discuss other potential employers.

“One of the biggest benefits of using a chatbot to promote your employer brand is that it ensures not only objectivity in how candidates are treated, but also the consistency of messaging,” says a study by Cornerstone OnDemand. “Some companies are taking this branding even further by programming their recruiting chatbot to have a personality that aligns with their values and company mission. An interesting example of a branded recruiting chatbot is the U.S. army’s SGT STAR.”

What the future holds – ‘Great Expectations’

There’s no denying the transformative impact of AI. “Whether engaging hundreds of candidates at once, contributing to a strong and consistent employer brand or keeping current employees happy, the chatbot might just become HR’s best friend,” Cornerstone concludes. And they’re not wrong: TextRecruit includes two chat agents as part of its candidate engagement solution – a live platform called JobChat, and the AI drive ARI!

With time, Chatbots will have taken over a wide-ranging array of repetitive tasks, and recruiters will primarily concentrate on the more ‘human,’ organic, and connected side of hiring, shaping genuine relationships and offering truly effective job-roles for candidates. Hiring, talent management and acquisition, and the search for tomorrow’s business leaders will become an enriching and revitalized pathway.

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