Before we get to its many functions, let’s understand the basics of a chatbot. For starters, what is it? An AI chatbot is a conversational interface that helps carry out basic processes using artificial intelligence and machine learning. This could be something as simple as letting a recruiter know how many interviews they have on a given day to something more complex, like setting up interviews with candidates.
There are many benefits to using a chatbot, but one big one is the fact that it can be present in more places than an actual human recruiter. For example, the same chatbot can be talking to one person on email, another via SMS, one on a social media channel like LinkedIn, and another still doing actual work with the recruiter within their ATS. If one person had to have all those conversations at the same time, it could get confusing and overwhelming quickly. A chatbot can field all of those questions and help each individual concurrently.
When you’re answering the big question regarding the many roles of a chatbot in recruitment, the short answer is that it can play an important role in converting inbound candidate prospects for all kinds of jobs. So, as long as you are prepared to post the role online on your job page or a job board, you can use a chatbot for the role.
The main goal of having a chatbot is to help move a qualified prospective candidate to your candidate conversion pipeline. It’s a great way to move the candidate along the funnel because it’s interactive. This means that your drop-off rate, when compared to traditional methods of webpage job applications, can be 40-50% lower when you use chatbots.
Some of the things a chatbot can do to help move the candidate down the conversion funnel are company branding, engaging job seekers, scheduling interviews, automated pre-screening, document collection, sourcing candidates, improving diversity, and answering queries. There is no doubt that a well-trained recruiter is better than any chatbot. But it is just not practical to have all inbound candidates talk to a recruiter.
Three of the most widely discussed ways to use your chatbot in recruitment are answering frequently asked questions, pre-screening candidates, and scheduling interviews. But chatbots play other important roles that are less obvious. Here are 8 of those operations:
1. Answering FAQs
Just 38% of consumers want to talk with a human when engaging a brand, and 69% of them prefer to use chatbots because they can deliver quick answers to simple questions and obtain basic information quickly. What are the candidates’ most frequently asked questions? Generally speaking, the most common questions asked are about applying for a job, specifics about a position, salary, and their application status. But since the pandemic began, new questions on Covid preparedness, remote and work from home policies, and medical and personal leave paid benefits have been more popular.
2. Automating pre-screening
An AI chatbot can rapidly pre-screen candidates based on job applications, resumes, and other written materials, as well as on pre-recorded video interviews submitted by job seekers. This leaves the recruiting team free to focus on functions that require a human touch. This includes following up with the most qualified applicants via live interviews conducted either virtually or in person. Pre-screening is just one of the routine recruitment processes that chatbots can handle for you. Automation of processes like background checks, skills assessments, and routing requisitions for approval is also something the AI-digital assistant enables seamlessly.
3. Scheduling interviews
You can add interview scheduling to that process automation list, as well. Companies need to make the most of their HR staff, giving recruiters more time to work on sourcing and building relationships with in-demand talent.
4. Representing your brand
Introducing a chatbot means adding a new touchpoint for your customers to reach out to your business in the customer journey. Every touchpoint represents an opportunity to strengthen your brand equity by evoking your brand’s tone of voice. A total of 39% of women rank company brand as a “very important” factor when deciding to apply for a job, while 33% of men say the same, according to Glassdoor. Additionally, a chatbot can help you boost your company’s bottom line. Data from LinkedIn demonstrates that strong employer branding results in an average 43% drop in recruitment costs.
5. Engaging with job seekers from the beginning to beyond
Potential candidates can get turned off when companies don’t get back to them immediately. In one study from 2020, 52% of job hunters named “a lack of response from employers” as their biggest frustration. Chatbots can do much more than initiate engagement by welcoming newcomers to your career site, asking how they can help, and answering FAQs. When you capture job seekers’ contact info and other data, you can keep your candidates engaged by:
- Thanking them for applying
- Reminding them of interviews
- Keeping them updated on their application status
- Informing them of future job openings when those arise
6. Sourcing candidates
Chatbots can help source job candidates in a variety of ways:
- Connect with passive job seekers: Recruiting chatbots can be a subtle way to approach candidates who are not actively looking for new jobs. These job seekers may be more willing to engage with a chatbot than a recruiter because it’s a lesser commitment. This also saves your team from wasting time on job seekers who are less likely to apply.
- Help candidates apply by text: There are perfectly good reasons to have a longer application, but if you’re losing candidates, it may be time to prioritize the type of data needed. For many, the solution is allowing candidates to apply by text. A chatbot guides candidates through a quick and straightforward application, and just like that, they’re under consideration.
- Facilitate online job fairs: In the pandemic/post-pandemic era, job fairs have gotten tough to pull off. Chatbots can help communicate and facilitate online virtual job fairs, though recruiters can choose to manage conversations themselves if they wish.
7. Opening the doors to diverse candidates
Companies today strive for diversity across regional and national borders, race, gender, and age. In 2020, 77% of talent professionals agreed that diversity will be a crucial factor in the future of recruiting, also according to LinkedIn. Researchers also predicted that the increased remote work options due to the pandemic will help to raise geographic diversity. Chatbots can also be used to help prevent unconscious bias during candidate pre-screening.
A chatbot’s ability to deliver basic assessments within a conversational experience makes it quite an asset for the recruiting team. This is mostly because it automatically advances the candidates to the next stage or schedules interviews if the candidate passes the assessment stage. Chats can also trigger specialised suitable tests that can be integrated into the system.
- Of the 8 things mentioned that a chatbot can potentially do for your candidates, all of these can be effectively delivered for junior to mid-level roles.
- For senior roles or hard-to-fill roles, you are better off taking out screening and assessment from that list and giving more personal attention to these candidates by having recruiters talk to them.
- For manual work, on the other hand, you can likely remove the assessment from the list because it is better to assess manual work live with someone observing the candidate do the work. However, you can still automatically collect certification documents or background information from these candidates.
Here’s our CEO, Sudhanshu Ahuja, giving you helpful insights on the roles of a chatbot: https://youtu.be/uBWEiwKkR9A
Curious about whether to add a chatbot to your recruiting process? Talk to our team for a free consultation today by clicking here.