Ask the Right Questions While Hiring a Banking Accountant

When we talk about candidate evaluation, it all comes down to the questions you ask during the interview. However, executives often ask what is wrong and focus on what the respondents have done in the past rather than what they can do in the future. The same applies to all fields of hire, and that includes our current area of discussion- banking.

The finance and banking industry attempts a range of entrances for graduates from various academic regulations, one of the more popular ones being accounting. Accountants help you make financial decisions. They compile information, correct deviations, and report on the company’s position. This includes examining, analyzing, and interpreting accounting records to prepare financial statements, give advice, or audit and evaluate statements prepared by others. The ideal candidate is ethical, thorough, and has excellent accounting skills.

But how do you pick the right candidate? What questions might rightly qualify your top candidates? That’s where we come in. After working with several giants in the banking industry, we’ve simmered it down to some basic questions that need to be asked in order to evaluate applicants for the job of an accountant.

“Asking the right questions takes as much skill as giving the right answers” – Robert Half

In order to ask the right questions, you need to be aware of the soft skills that are essential to the job. Some of the most vital ones are listed below:

  1. Problem sensitivity: Problem sensitivity is the ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  2. Information Ordering: The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules. 
  3. Category Flexibility: The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  4. The flexibility of closure: The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  5. Arm hand steadiness: This refers to the ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  6. Hand dexterity: The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects. 
  7. Perceptual Speed: The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object. 
  8. Detail Orientation: This means paying close attention to all of the small particulars when working on a task or project.

Besides soft skills, another major requirement to consider is the educational background of the applicant. The applicant must have the following credentials to her/his resume:

• BSc in Accounting, Finance or relevant degree
• Additional certification (CPA or CMA)

The required experience of an applicant depends upon the position that’s being applied for. For example, if it’s for a mid-level/associate level job, an applicant needs to have 3+ years of experience.

Now that we’ve covered the key areas, let’s focus on the questions that can lend you the right candidate for the job:

Assessing an Applicant’s Skills

When you’re trying to gauge a candidate’s technical skills, it’s often best to ask straightforward accounting interview questions. But you can also learn something about applicants’ soft skills with these types of queries.

Here are four interview questions to ask that will help you evaluate a person’s core competencies:

1. How do you stay up to date on current accounting laws and regulations?

2. What are the top three skills every good accountant has?

3. What types of accounting software have you used in previous jobs?

4. Give me examples of the types of reports you generated in your last job.

Finding the right fit with your Accounting Team

Candidates who have all the necessary technical and soft skills must also be able to prosper in the work environment at your company. Here are a few good interview questions to ask to assess how a candidate is likely to handle various on-the-job situations and his or her potential fit with your existing team:

5. Tell me about a time when you made an accounting error and explain how you handled it.

6. Tell me about your experience presenting financial data to non-financial staff.

7. Describe a time when you met a particularly tight deadline and explain how you did it.

8. What’s the toughest accounting challenge you’ve solved?

9. Tell me about a time when you worked with a team to revise or improve an accounting process. What role did you take, and how did the teamwork together to get the job done?

10. Why did you choose accounting and finance as a career?

Besides these basic questions, it is important to consider the current work-from-home situation. You have to gauge how effective they’ll be working from home and the questions you use to assess a candidate’s technical knowledge and abilities — and get a general sense of their soft skills. Here are 21 accounting interview questions that you should consider asking top candidates to cover their skills, experience, and remote work aptitude.

1. What is the difference between accounts receivable (AR) and accounts payable (AP)?

2. When a company is using double-entry accounting, what elements of a given ledger must be equal?

3. What are two or three types of special journals?

4. If a company has three bank accounts for processing payments, what is the minimum number of ledgers it needs?

5. What methods have you used for estimating bad debt?

6. Why is it easier for someone to perpetrate fraud using a journal entry than with a ledger?

7. Which enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems have you used?

8. What is your experience with developing business metrics?

9. If a private company with break-even operations received a $10 million investment, how would you develop a strategy to spend or invest that money?

10. What challenges have you faced in leading a team through an analysis project?

11. What do you consider the top three skills of a great accountant?

12. Can you give me an example of how you would explain a complex accounting process or financial data to someone in HR, tech support, or another team?

13. When you buy a piece of equipment for a company, what is the impact on the three financial statements?

14. How do you define big data, and why is it important for accounting teams to have expertise in it?

15. Describe a time when you’ve made an accounting error and how you handled it.

16. How do you minimize the risk for error in your work?

17. How do you differentiate between auditing and accounting?

18. What accounting software are you most familiar with?

19. What criteria do you use to assess the reliability of the financial information you receive?

20. What do you think of recent updates in the accounting standards?

21. What are the three attributes that make you an effective remote worker? And what are the greatest challenges of working off-site?

In this unpredictable environment, of all the hard and soft skills you interview for, adaptability and a willingness to embrace new challenges may be two of the most critical ingredients for an accounting professional’s success.

How to Design the Selection Process for a Graduate Program

Finding a candidate for a job isn’t as cut out as it may initially seem. You don’t just look up and down the list of candidates and say, “Okay, this person will do just fine.” Instead, you have to go through numerous organized steps to get to the final stage of the employee selection process.

When we address graduate programs, it is important to note that they are the mainstay of developing future leaders for the company. A good selection process is key in finding talent and it forms the backbone for effective performance management. We decided to dwell further into the topic and provide a quick step-by-step guide to follow for your recruitment and selection process so you can get that new star candidate on your team. 

Here are six steps in the selection process for hiring employees when selecting a graduate program and how to best go through each:

1. Brand your program

A candidate applying for your graduate program is definitely applying for other programs as well. This is why it becomes important to help them self-select and understand why your program is good for them. Here are some ways to achieve that:

  • Brand your company as a top employer- Sure, employer branding is not something that happens overnight. You might find it challenging to create an iconic business brand that outshines your competitors, but it is nonetheless important for various reasons. It can be the key to reducing recruitment costs, widening your talent pool, and retaining top talent.
  • Describe the career prospects in your industry and company- Converting leads into candidates by sending them regular email newsletters and content about your company’s new achievements, application processes, vibrant culture. Give them the opportunity to connect with your employees via email, social, or live chat.
  • Share what is needed to succeed in the program, talk about growth parts, and highlight the culture of your company 

2. Make information capture easy

  • Make it easy for candidates to apply for the program. Granted that there’s a lot of information needed, but a long tedious form will only drive candidates out of the process. And no process works if it is too difficult to follow. Make sure your application form is super helpful. If it’s not possible with your ATS, implement processes that can make your process more user-friendly and can sync in with your ATS. Remember that candidates are assessing your company as much as you are assessing them. At impress.ai, we use conversational technology to collect information without making it difficult. It also synchronizes it back to your ATS.

3. Assess accurately and progress fast

Once you’ve screened candidates, you want to look at the surviving candidates and further assess their ability to do the job you’re looking to fill. Assessments form an important part of a strong selection process. The most commonly used tests for graduate programs are personality and cognitive tests. Personality questionnaires assess different personality traits, such as motivation, working style, while Cognitive tests check your reasoning, numeracy, and literacy skills. This is done because most candidates don’t come with relevant experience and knowledge so it isn’t very useful to assess. While conducting these assessments it is also important to explain to candidates why these tests are important, Make sure that they are easy to complete on the mobile and allow for candidates to progress accordingly if they meet particular criteria.

4. Be prepared for the interview

Unstructured interviews make them inaccurate and inefficient. A good interview will help you make better hiring decisions, as you will objectively evaluate and compare candidates’ potential. But there’s a lot more to that- you need to prepare yourself and the entire hiring team to make sure you ask all the right questions. More specifically, you should:

  • Make sure you have a list of questions prepared and are aware of the competencies that you’re looking for.
  • Use behavioral interview techniques and STAR framework
  • Evaluate alignment to company values, also through behavioral or situational judgment questions.

5. Run an effective assessment center

A business cannot succeed without people. It needs the right people who are the right fit for the organization. For the same reason, there is a need to invest in the recruitment process. A business needs an assessment center that is run properly and effectively to select the best candidates for the job. An assessment center refers to the process in which a group of people who are being considered for a position or a job is given a series of tests or interviews. For this, it is essential that you evaluate the candidate for certain key skills and abilities. Some of these are problem-solving skills, the ability to work with others in the team, perform under pressure, and quality of work. 

The two common ways to evaluate candidates include:

  1. Case studies: You’re likely to come across a case study exercise at an assessment center. These can be undertaken in groups but, if the event is virtual, an individual version is more likely. Qualities like initiative, leadership qualities, and analytical and problem-solving abilities are tracked via these exercises.
  2. Group discussions: This is a classic assessment center exercise. If your assessment center is virtual as a result of the pandemic, you may still undertake a group exercise through the platform used. However, recruiters might decide to assess similar skills in another way – such as through questions at interviews. Through these discussions, employers look for qualities such as teamwork, problem-solving ability, and a logical, analytical approach to the task. 

6. Maximize conversion with pre-boarding

The pre-boarding process refers to the process of orienting the candidates with the company culture and the people during the time between acceptance of the offer and actual joining.  This comes in handy because even though the candidate has accepted the offer with the company, they are not guaranteed to join. Many candidates are accepted to multiple programs. A good pre-boarding will improve the conversion. Some ideas for the same include:

  1. Announcing your new hire to your existing staff and introducing your new hire to the team with a friendly email or even an invite to a lunch or a team meeting
  2. Have a regular check-in with candidates who have accepted the offer.
  3. Company culture videos are also a trending topic for a great pre-boarding plan. 

For more information on how to design a good selection process for a graduate program, click here to watch a video with our CEO, Sudhanshu Ahuja, give you insights on the same.

What Roles Do Chatbots Work for in AI Recruitment?

“The world is about to be re-written, and bots are going to be a big part of the future.” – Phil Libin, venture capitalist and co-founder of Evernote

Introduction:

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 Objective:

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 6 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.

8. Assessments

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.

In Conclusion:

  • 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.

How Accurate Are Chatbots in Screening Job Applicants?

To the user, chatbots seem to be “intelligent” due to their informative skills. However, chatbots are only as intelligent as the underlying database. –Peter Gentsch

Are chatbots really the future of recruitment? If so, how do you use them effectively in order to generate a pool of quality talents? To answer these questions let’s understand the basics.

Hiring can be time-consuming, costly, and tedious. It also contains multiple bottlenecks that harm the candidates experience during the recruiting process. However, by making AI-powered recruiting chatbots a part of your talent acquisition and hiring process, you can achieve the following benefits: 

  • Speed up your hiring process

On average, hiring managers spend 13 hours a week sourcing candidates for a single role.  Chatbots can streamline this process, reducing your workload and expediting time-consuming admin tasks- like parsing large volumes of resumes and job applications, contacting candidates, scheduling interviews, and booking interview rooms—allowing recruiters to focus on higher-value activities.

Plus, since chatbots can communicate with candidates via text message or chat box, they can actually improve candidate response times, eliminating the need to wait hours or even days to hear back via email.  

  • Improve the quality of your hires

Chatbots can pre-screen candidates before you ever see them yourself, giving you the power to sift through dozens of candidates and increase your qualified funnel—without ever having to look at a resume, job application, or pick up the phone.

  • Generate better candidate experience

Chatbots open the lines of communication. And since chatbots can respond instantly, candidates won’t feel like they’re being ghosted or like they’re sending their resumes into a black hole. This is especially important since 49% of all job applicants will believe they didn’t get the job if they haven’t heard back within two weeks of applying.  

  • Reduce human bias

Unconscious biases can distort hiring in a number of ways. Chatbots remove this human bias by relying on conversational cues to suggest candidates that are the right match for your roles based on skills, experience, and qualifications—rather than gender, age, and race. In this way, chatbots inject objectivity into the hiring process and ensure that all candidates are being treated equally.

However, if chatbots aren’t used carefully, they can backfire, giving candidates a negative impression of your organization. To use chatbots in order to produce maximum benefits, we need to address the reliability of a chatbot during the screening process of an applicant- how accurate are they?

The accuracy of a chatbot depends upon the screening criteria.

“Screening” is a process to determine that the applicant meets the minimum basic criteria for being considered for the role. It doesn’t mean that the applicant is suitable for the role, rather it measures whether the applicant is worth assessing because they meet the basic requirements. This could include that the recruiter is looking for certain qualifications or experience for the position due to the knowledge required for it. It may also target the location of work and the amount of time that the applicant is willing to work for. 

a. Chatbots can be 100% accurate if the screening criteria are accurate and objectively defined.  

However, you can get screening requirements wrong when we start to use mental shortcuts such as heuristics. In fact, heuristics should be identified and avoided as screening criteria. This is because of the following reasons:

  • The evaluation is only as good as the people who get to do it.
  • You have to do a good deal of analysis and thinking to make sure you choose the right heuristics in the first place. If this is wrong, no matter how good the experts are, you are likely to get less than optimum results.
  • Often the problems identified are not critical (or even real in some cases).

Similar concepts apply to assessments but all the more strictly.

b. To achieve accuracy, chatbots can be coupled with assessments of skills, knowledge and work styles (or work personality).

A chatbot interview can be combined with conversational assessments or integrated third-party assessments to make them even more accurate in identifying the right candidates for the job. This adds an additional layer of evaluation on top of screening criteria. However, not all interview chatbots can do this. impress.ai’s offering is one that does.

So when do we use a chatbot in the hiring process?

Now that we’ve evaluated the pros and cons of recruiting chatbots, let’s focus on when we can use them. Chatbots can improve efficiency and productivity for a variety of recruiting functions, including:

  • Pre-screening candidate applications

Once a candidate applies to your job, a chatbot can begin asking them about their work experience, skills, interest areas, and previous companies. As the chatbot assesses applicants, it can come up with a shortlist of the top candidates to present to you.

  • Scheduling interview dates and times

Intelligent chatbots can access your calendar, check your availability, and schedule interview dates, times, and locations. This can reduce drop-off rates and help find a  time that works for both you and the candidate.

  • Answering candidate questions

Chatbots can serve as an interactive, 24/7 FAQ, there to answer a candidate’s company and role-related questions without taking up your valuable time and resources. 

How to use chatbots the right way

Here are some best practices for using recruiting chatbots to improve the hiring experience based on the benefits and limitations of its accuracy:

  1. Don’t leave out the human touch

Chatbots still require a human touch to work effectively. In fact, 95% of workers agree that technology should assist during the recruitment process, not replace it entirely. One way to keep the human element is to make sure there are other ways for the candidate to contact you throughout the process (via phone, email, etc.). If it’s hard to get in touch with an actual human, your candidates’ experience can suffer.

2. Track chatbot performance

Continually evaluate what’s working and what’s not, to gauge the success of your chatbot and help tune your system. You can use tracking KPIs to do so.

Thus, we see how incorporating recruiting chatbots along, with a little human intervention into your hiring process is a strong way to fuel your talent pipeline, find the right talent for your vacancies more quickly, and ensure that candidates feel like they’re being respected and heard. With the right decisions, a chatbot might just make your recruiting process more human.

Here’s our CEO, Sudhanshu Ahuja, sharing information on the accuracy of chatbots: https://youtu.be/In2QHdk_Qks

Curious about whether to add a chatbot to your recruiting process? Talk to our team for a free consultation today by clicking here.

How Can Chatbots Help in Recruiting?

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” -Arthur C. Clarke

Designed to help save time, money, and improve the overall applicant experience, meet the HR manager’s dream assistant- the recruitment chatbot! If you’re already following some set of standardized processes or looking for greater consistency in your candidate experience, then you and your organization can benefit from using these AI chatbots. 

While there is nothing better than a well-trained human recruiter having a one on one with a candidate, it can become quite challenging to do so if you’re working with a large number of applicants. In this case, it is wise to turn to AI chatbots to help you in the process. To understand these better, let’s focus on what these chatbot assessments are and how they work.

An AI chatbot is a conversational interface that is designed to mimic human conversational abilities during the recruiting process. This software application looks like an instant messenger chat window and carries out basic processes using artificial intelligence and machine learning. This could be something as simple as letting a candidate know where they are in the recruitment process to something more complex, like setting up interviews with candidates. 

Now let’s take a look at the 8 key functions that a chatbot can help the recruitment team with:

1. Employer branding

A strong employer brand boosts your organization to create a sustainable hiring pipeline. Companies are integrating AI to support the work that goes into that. Brand-building basically refers to communicating the company culture, growth opportunities, diversity, and inclusion. It can also be used to show a job preview. The role of the chatbot in this scenario includes screening hundreds of candidates in seconds, help employers plot and build out a whole series of touchpoints, and scrub off hiring biases through a fair selection process. This makes the chatbot a very important functionality for the candidate to explore the fit with the company, and it also helps to lift the employer brand.

2. Job matching and recommendation

As observed in many cases, a candidate applying for one role may also be suitable for another role. In this case, a chatbot can collect basic information about the candidate and help show them recommended roles based on their resume. Not only does this help the candidate find the perfect fit for her/his skills, interests, and experience, but it also aids in increasing the relevance of job applications for the recruiter.

3. Screening

This functionality of a chatbot allows you to collect basic information from the candidate to evaluate their eligibility for the role. Concerns like do they have the legal right to work? Are they able to travel to the job location if needed? What are their notice period and salary expectations? Here’s where the chatbot takes care of things- if the candidate is not eligible for the job, this information can be communicated before the candidate invests a lot more time on the application. This means that the candidate, as well as the recruiter, saves ample amounts of time. While an AI chatbot screens out unqualified candidates more quickly, recruiters can focus their efforts on creating connections and building relationships with interested and qualified candidates.

4. Job application

It’s not news how filling out a job application can be tiresome and time-consuming. Even a form that simply asks for resumes as part of a standard application process observes a significant drop off in the number of candidates. A similar result is observed when they are asked to produce their LinkedIn profile. This could probably be due to the possibility that the candidate doesn’t have an updated resume or a profile. Chatbots resolve this issue by acting as an extremely effective tool to collect the necessary information because of their interactive nature, and the fact that the entire engagement is based in real-time. This interaction also adapts based on the data received from the candidate. The entire process gives an impression of progress and simultaneously helps reduce the drop-offs drastically.

a. Automated scheduling

Interviews include scheduling tasks that take up to 15 minutes. This can take a much longer duration when multiple interviewers are involved, thus making it impractical to schedule interviews manually. Chatbots handle this task much more feasibly by triggering automated scheduling right after an eligibility check or right after the candidate has completed the application form and certain assessments. 

b. Assessments

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. Although the compatibility varies across different providers, our customers report that a straight-through processing system can reduce the time it takes to complete multiple job applications stages from a span of days to a couple of minutes! This is done by minimizing the intervention of the recruiter at early stages.

c. Document collection

Following up with candidates for documents is usually a tedious process. But a chatbot link system makes that easier by helping you keep track of the documents submitted and even helps retrieve missing documents. This makes document collection less of an administrative task for the candidate and more seamless on the recruiter’s side.

d. Answering queries

Applying for a job using a form on the applicant tracking system can be a one-sided experience. This is simply because applicants are asked several questions but they don’t get to ask any. Fortunately, an AI chatbot steps in to ensure two-way communication. Automated query answering can help answer candidate queries fast and avoid the need for the recruiter to answer thousands of questions manually. Our clients report that they are typically able to resolve over 90% of queries asked by candidates without recruiter intervention. Besides making it feel like an engaging communication between the two parties, this feature of the AI chatbot results in the candidates feeling appreciative of the fact that the company put in the effort to make their experience better.

    How impress AI takes it a notch further:

  •   We use Natural Language Processing (NLP) to have meaningful conversations with candidates.    
  • Chatbot interactions are based on deep learning models to ensure a realistic and smooth interview process.
  • Our chatbot shares shortlisted candidate profiles, along with assessment scores and interview transcripts directly with you.  
  • You get to choose which assessments to evaluate candidates with, whether that’s behavioral and cognitive skills, technical skills, competencies, or cultural fit.
  • Our chatbots also integrate with video interviewing platforms and can use the score from video interviews to decide if candidates move to the next round.      

         Let’s discuss the results!

  • With impress.ai, our client (leading Asian Retail Bank) is achieving massive reductions in their overall candidate qualification time (>75%), through automating and integrating their screening, interviewing, and shortlisting processes via impress ai.
  • 400 candidates were hired annually and there was also a reduction in candidate qualification time.
  • About 30,000 candidates applied for the role. This serves the client’s goal of utilizing their personnel for comparatively higher-value work, such as greater quality candidate engagement.

Here’s our CEO, Sudhanshu Ahuja, sharing information on how chatbots help in recruiting: https://youtu.be/_IMK5akzgB0

Curious about whether to add a chatbot to your recruiting process? Talk to our team for a free consultation today by clicking here.

Accurate Hiring of Quality Candidates: A Short Guide

“I am convinced that nothing we do is more important than hiring and developing people. At the end of the day, you bet on people, not on strategies.” – Lawrence Bossidy, former CEO of Honeywell International

Companies are constantly seeking to fill their recruitment funnel with the “best” employees. When it comes to judging the success of your hiring practices, quality of hire should be the number one metric. This is mostly because the cost of employing a candidate that doesn’t meet the job requirements is high. It also leads to lower work productivity, the loss of time associated with hiring and training replacements.

So how do you improve the quality of your hiring process? 

To answer that, let’s understand 4 key areas that need to be taken into account to ensure that the recruitment process is effective and smooth.

1. Defining quality

Hiring based on quality is different from just filling positions.

To achieve success, the recruiting team needs to track performance measures like quality of hire. However, quality of hire is a rather elusive metric, so defining it becomes challenging. This is primarily because companies have different priorities. Fortunately, some common denominators contribute to the success of identifying the right candidate for your company. 

Quality can be broken down into skills, which can further be divided into soft skills and hard skills. They help define the strengths of individuals and teams as well as how projects get tackled. Hard skills are quantifiable, which means you can evaluate the work product based on the technical proficiency of the candidate. Soft skills on the other hand are personality traits that employees bring to the table. Knowing how to hire for either of these specific skills is essential to your company’s success. Knowledge is another important asset to factor in while assessing a person’s skills. Abilities in terms of cognitive, mathematical, or learning can be important for many jobs as well. For evaluating this and other characteristics, large organizations invest in job analysis and validation studies to define what quality means for each job family in their organization. But that most often tends to be an expensive exercise. This is why it becomes practical and easier to start with the support from existing frameworks available from onetonline.org or country-wise equivalents of that. For example, Singapore has developed the Singapore Skills Framework, which is a very detailed framework that allows companies to readily use it as is or with minor changes, without investing much. 

2.   Defining methods to accurately identify quality

In order to meet the demands of the company and accurately define quality, having defined methods to aid you in the assessment of the candidate goes a long way. These methods are usually structured into pre-employment tests which help and identify the strengths and weaknesses of the candidate. They are also useful in generating insights into the organization’s hiring process and in development training. 

When pre-employment tests are properly calculated, employers can focus on specific sources of hiring problems that stem from recruitment before they impact the quality of hire. This helps employers predict the quality of hire for any recruiting campaign 30-60 days before the people are actually hired. 

Now let’s take a look at some pre-employment tests that can help employ a quality candidate. 

a. Assessment:

There are specific and reliable tests via which employees can assess their candidates based on the field of requirement. 

Cognitive ability tests– These test your mental capacity to work in a particular position. These tests highlight your ability to use logical, verbal, and numeric reasoning to approach tasks.
Knowledge tests– They measure a candidate’s technical or theoretical expertise in a particular field. Knowledge tests are most useful for jobs that require specialized knowledge or high levels of expertise.
Personality tests– These tests determine whether the candidate fits within the company’s culture and if their personality leads to an increase in productivity for the particular role. They help measure their engagement level. 
Work Sample Assessment– These tests require the job candidate to perform tasks that mirror the tasks employees do on the job.
Case Studies– This type of assessment includes asking the candidate to present a solution/business proposal based on a set of fictional documents that mirror strategic problems that she/he is likely to encounter in your new role.

b. Structured interviews:  A structured job interview tests the candidates with the same questions and evaluates them on the same scale. The STAR method is one of the most popular ones because it uses a structured manner of responding to a behavioral-based interview question by discussing the specific situation, task, action, and result of the situation that is being described. Structured interviews are found to be better than unstructured ones and offer a wide range of benefits such as effectiveness, fairness, consistency, and legal protection.

c. Background investigations and reference checks: Experience and qualifications are both considered proxies or heuristics for skills and knowledge, and pre-employment tests have revolutionized this part in the process of recruitment. Another important thing to do is to secure information about potential hires through reference checks to ensure that the employee will not be of any type of risk to you/your client or the workplace

3. Remove unstructured processes and bias

Resulting from mental shortcuts that cause recruiters to misinterpret candidates based on their personal experience, unconscious bias leads to inaccurate assessments. It can defeat the benefits of a diverse workforce and the overall productivity of a workplace. To resolve this and other unstructured processes, businesses should use training, teach the importance of a metrics-based, systematic approach, and make those involved in the recruitment process aware of the harms of unconscious bias. 

4. Implement a system that delivers inclusiveness
Studies suggest that diverse teams are smarter and that including different backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences improves the decision-making process in the workplace. In this regard, the organization should focus on making it easy to follow the above approach and ensure a good experience for everyone involved, especially the candidates. If the experience is not good, the system will not be used and that would defeat the entire purpose of this approach. To achieve successful hiring, the organization should make itself inclusive and accessible to candidates from diverse ethnicities, sexual orientations, gender identities, and also people with disabilities. 

Addressing these 4 areas will not just help you to hire quality candidates, but also retain them. impress.ai helps organizations resolve these problems by offering the following services:

● Competency Evaluations: impress.ai’s candidate evaluations are based on competency frameworks built by Organizational Psychologists.

Skills Evaluation: impress.ai offers technical skills assessment solutions in partnership with professional assessment organizations.

Conversational Chatbots: These autonomous interviews, engage, and shortlist candidates at scale 24/7. The impress.ai chatbot-led recruitment platform is fully customizable based on the recruiter’s needs. It can be designed to suit the requirements based on job families.

Thus, we see how an efficient recruitment process can enable an organization to hire top-quality candidates in an agreeable time frame. Through AI intervention,  the recruitment process constantly evolves via quality checks, valid assessments and structured processes, and the elimination of hiring bias. And these groundbreaking upgrades only go to show that the world is full of opportunities for anyone with a dream- only this time it is fairer, more effective, and inclusive!

Let’s do a quick recap on the same by watching a video of our CEO, Sudhanshu Ahuja, sharing insights on how to accurately hire candidates: https://youtu.be/_IMK5akzgB0

Want to see how automated workflows can make a difference? Talk to our team for a free consultation today by clicking here.