Why recruiters and HR need conversational AI chatbots

We’ve all had negative experiences with chatbots, where answers seem narrow and unhelpful, particularly in customer service interactions. Let’s face it, they can be infuriating, and this turns many people off when thinking about using the technology in their own organisations.

However, technology is rapidly advancing, and this mindset might have you missing out on a new generation of chatbots that can enhance every step of your recruitment process. Conversational AI powers today’s chatbots, and it could be a game-changer for your business.

Bots, chatbots, conversational AI – what does it all mean? 

It can feel like these terms are interchangeable, but there are some notable differences. A bot is a piece of code that can perform actions without language-based interaction, such as moving data between two spreadsheets. A chatbot answers inquiries, and conversational AI is the technology that allows it to determine intent. 

Intelligent chatbots can play three critical roles in your recruitment process, all of which can save you significant time and money while delivering a better first impression.

Collecting information with ease

The first role is information collection. Recruitment is all about data, and you want to capture the right amount of information to make the best hiring decision.

From basic screening questions to scoring assessment submissions, collecting and reviewing this information can be incredibly time-consuming. Traditionally, online applications collect all this information via long and detailed forms, which can be overwhelming and even off-putting for candidates.      The data then needs to be reviewed by a team member, a process that quickly becomes exhausting and is open to human bias.

impress.ai chatbots eliminate the need for these forms, replacing them with a bite-sized step-by-step guided process that’s seamless for candidates. The data is then transitioned smoothly into your system, giving you a single source of truth.  

Delivering a winning experience 24/7

With this technology, your recruitment process is always on. Applicants can start and progress their application anytime, anywhere. This approach is perfect for candidates who need to apply after hours or even international recruitment programs.

Detailed and intelligent FAQ modules mean your system can answer FAQs, learning as it goes along. And they are effective. impress.ai conversational AI has up to a 98.4% success rate in answering candidate inquiries instantly, without human interaction. And the small number of questions that are too nuanced and complex are escalated to a dashboard where they can be answered by a team member at the next available opportunity.

Guiding your candidate from pre-screening to first interview

With impress.ai, chatbots can guide candidates through the process, keeping them informed and engaged at every step to reduce candidate dropout. Intelligent chatbots can guide your applicants through each step seamlessly, making decisions based on real-time information.

For example, in the pre-screening phase, if the candidate doesn’t meet the criteria for this specific role but may be suited to other roles at your organisation, the system can guide them away from the application process to your careers platform to review other opportunities.

Those candidates who meet your screening criteria are guided through to interview questions or skill-based assessments, such as Aon Assessments. The chatbot can even decide which assessment is best for each candidate based on their stated skill set.      It can then score assessments and rank candidates, putting all the information at your fingertips.

By completing these steps and guiding your candidates through the process, the chatbot has ultimately performed the first interview for you, delivering a high potential shortlist ready for progression. 

Time to revisit your options?

If it’s been a while since you last looked at chatbot technology for your organisation – it may be a great time to revisit. Organisations worldwide are gearing up for the Great Resignation, where some great talent will be out there on the jobs market, and speed and efficiency will be vital to making the most of the opportunity.

impress.ai clients have seen significant time and cost savings, with one client saving 311 hours of productivity and another, an impressive $66K (SGD) on just one graduate program. Our AI-powered solution increases speed, accuracy and quality of hires, all while delivering a winning candidate experience. If you are looking for a competitive edge in the recruitment market, get in touch to find out how we can help.

How AI can eliminate bias in your recruitment process

Today, most organisations promote themselves as equal opportunity employers with fair and diverse hiring policies. And while most recruitment and HR teams have the best intentions, this can be almost impossible to guarantee when manually screening candidates because we all have unconscious biases – those underlying stereotypes we don’t realise we hold.

Unconscious bias in your recruitment process has a flow-on effect, impacting a range of commercial outcomes. In fact, recent global research by McKinsey highlights the deepening relationship between high levels of diversity and financial outperformance.

Alongside the many productivity and cost benefits, impress.ai’s AI-powered recruitment workflow is the best way to eliminate bias in your recruitment process and advance your diversity agenda. Here’s how it works.

#1 Automating the application and screening process

By automating candidate screening, applicants are evaluated and progressed against specific role criteria, not personal opinions. From essential application criteria to intelligent review of written submissions and question responses, impress.ai can deliver bias-free hiring.

A specific template guides the process for each role. The recruiter simply selects the corresponding template, which breaks the role down into the required competencies, knowledge, skills and experience. At every step in the process, applications, resumes, assessments and responses are evaluated against these alone. AI-powered chatbots can even perform interviews, intelligently reviewing and evaluating open-ended text responses.

impress.ai integrates a range of best practice tools to achieve this, including behavioural interviews, situational judgement interviews, work sample tests, industry and role-specific assessments and case study interviews.

#2 Hiding information that could lead to bias

impress.ai automatically hides demographic and personal information that could influence outcomes. This includes name, gender, picture, date of birth etc., so this irrelevant data doesn’t form part of shortlisting decisions.

Where this information is relevant to the hiring process, it’s easy to disable the filter, allowing recruiters to view it. However, as a further safeguard against human bias, an audit process takes place when the filter is turned off and is available to senior management for review.

#3 Fighting the halo effect

The ‘halo effect’, whereby a candidate’s submissions or responses are evaluated more positively or negatively due to a belief you already hold about them, can contribute to making the wrong hire.  For example, suppose a recruiter sees that an applicant attended a top university or perhaps their own alma mater. In that case, they may be more likely to score that applicant’s written submission higher than others, regardless of the quality.

impress.ai removes this risk in two ways. Firstly, by automating the screening process and secondly, by allowing the recruiter to evaluate all candidates’ responses to each question in sequence, rather than evaluating all the answers from one candidate at once. This means the recruiter assesses each answer independently, without carrying over the judgement of a candidate based on a previous response.

#4 Making it easy to do the right thing

We understand that resources are finite, and teams must decide where to deploy them for maximum impact. Technology can be an enabler, but if it’s challenging to learn, hard to use or requires a developer to customise, it won’t be used, or corners will be cut.

That’s one of the ways impress.ai is different – we make it easy for your team to do the right thing with technology that is simple to use, flexible and easily customisable in-house.

#5 Continuously learning and updating

Your impress.ai workflow uses machine learning to continuously improve and update itself based on real-time candidate and recruiter actions. It’s simple to train the algorithm, any recruiter or HR team member can do it, and we’ve even gamified it to make it engaging.

Diversity is a critical part of your recruitment, but it can be challenging to deliver with a manual process. If you are ready to experience what AI-powered recruitment can do for your business, increasing productivity, reducing costs, and finding the best candidates while delivering on your fair hiring agenda, get in touch with the impress.ai team.

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.

Everything you need to know about Recruitment Chatbots

Technology is so intricately intertwined with human lives these days that it is difficult to imagine one without the other. It won’t be unfair to say that technology dominates our lives in ways one couldn’t have imagined earlier. With new advancements and cutting-edge innovations, technology is beginning to emulate the human mind and behaviour. Alan Turing, who is considered to be the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, once said that a computer would deserve to be called intelligent if it could deceive a human into believing that it was human. With intuitive chatbots, we can safely say that the time has come. Chatbots are being used in businesses in scenarios that were hitherto unheard of. More specifically, chatbots are helping in the growth of enterprises.

Apart from their various uses in transforming businesses, chatbots have found a special place in recruitment. Hiring, which was till recently, a conservative sector, has evolved in this new age of technology. Earlier the process involved the recruiters to write job descriptions, post on job boards and interview candidates. Applicants, on the other hand, had little say in the entire process and would have to wait endlessly to hear from the recruiter. However, in recent times the power needle has taken a full 180-degree turn and how. Companies are trying hard to woo skilled candidates to build a talented workforce. As per a survey by SHRM, a staggering 83% of HR professionals said they were facing troubles in finding the right candidate. 

In this scenario, when businesses are competing to attract talent, candidates expect a high level of engagement. They expect a seamless hiring process with complete transparency and regular feedback. Recruitment chatbots, coupled with AI, are supporting recruiters in improving the overall hiring scene. Let’s dig deeper to understand what recruitment chatbots are, how they work and the benefits they bring to the table.

What is recruitment chatbot?

A recruitment chatbot is an AI-powered tool that can converse like a human with the candidates. It can be defined more accurately as a conversational agent or a recruiter’s assistant. It is a software application that uses natural language processing and machine learning to understand a conversation and respond appropriately. 

Here are the tasks that it can do on behalf of a recruiter.

  • Greet a candidate on the company’s website and ask if the visitor is looking for any specific information.
  • Ask for personal information from the applicant so that the recruiter can contact at a convenient time.
  • Answer candidate queries and provide general information. The chatbot can be equipped to handle more complex queries about work-life balance, office timings etc.
  • Assist in the recruitment process by asking relevant questions related to experience and interest. This can be used to pre-qualify the candidates.
  • Scheduling the first round of interview.

What are the benefits of recruitment chatbots for an enterprise organisation?

Enterprise organisations have an immense scope of expansion. Needless to say, they cannot grow unless there is a corresponding growth in their workforce. This growth has to be both qualitative and quantitative for the organisation to become a market leader. This puts tremendous pressure on the HR department to recruit and retain a talented workforce. 

However, it is also a fact that HR professionals find it difficult to run HR processes efficiently due to lack of resources. SHRM corroborated this in their survey report of 2016.

A recruiter’s work responsibilities include a host of activities like:

  • Writing attractive and accurate job descriptions.
  • Screening a vast number of applications to pin down the most qualified candidates.
  • Scanning the market to find passive candidates who can perfectly fit into the open positions.
  • Engaging the candidates right from the first point of interaction until they are on-boarded.
  • Completing operational tasks like scheduling interviews, negotiating offers, rolling out offer letters and ensuring a smooth onboarding.

Amidst all this, the recruiter gets little time to give strategic inputs at the workplace. Moreover, candidates expect constant engagement or they may lose interest in the job. As per a study by CareerBuilder, 78% of candidates said they use their hiring experience to gauge how the company will treat them. In this scenario, one can only imagine the immense workload that recruiters get buried under.

Enterprise organisations, that at are the cusp of expansion, can benefit from chatbots in the following ways.

  • Saving time – Since a recruiter is burdened with so many tasks, there may be no time to engage prospective candidates and build relationships. As per Fornstack, 55% of recruiters lose 8 hours in a week to manual and administrative tasks. Chatbots can ease this challenge by taking on several of these tasks. For instance, it can handle candidate queries and schedule interviews. They can also be customised to take preliminary interviews and qualify candidates. This can, in turn, increase the productivity of recruiters.
  • Enhanced candidate experience – As per a survey by Allegis, 58% of candidates are comfortable interacting AI apps during the initial stages of the hiring process. Since the chatbot will be available 24X7, a candidate will always have “somebody” to talk to. This can drastically improve the candidate experience who regularly complain about low levels of communication. 
  • Reduced time to hire – The Allegis survey also found that 66% of candidates were comfortable with a chatbot scheduling their interviews. Considering this benefit, coupled with the previous one, the time to hire can be reduced drastically. 

Intelligent chatbot can be developed on Impress platform that can give you several benefits along with the ones mentioned above.

What are the challenges of using recruitment chatbots?

  • Language differences – People may use slangs or short forms while texting. It can become challenging to program a chatbot to understand all these variations. Impress, however, has solutions to cater to such localisation of the language.
  • Lack of emotional quotient – A robotic chatbot may defeat the purpose of using them. To bring in a human context, there has to be a mix of humour and slangs for building a better connect with the candidates. Digging deeper into this issue, Impress has personalised chatbots to deliver an emotional connect.
  • Unknown situations – Although chatbots can learn from their past experiences, they may still encounter unknown situations. They may not know how to respond in such circumstances and may even spoil the candidate experience. However, such occurrences may be far and few.

How are organisations using recruitment chatbots?

Impress has collaborated with esteemed organisations to develop their custom chatbots. Two such cases are illustrated below. 

  • JIM – DBS along with Impress developed JIM to hire wealth managers more efficiently. Short for Job Intelligence Maestro, JIM has automated a significant portion of the hiring process by reviewing applications and collecting applicants’ responses for pre-screening questions. Besides, JIM can also conduct psychometric profiling assessments for further information. The main objective was to reduce the workload of recruiters so that they can give more strategic contribution and also to fulfil the demand for a vast number of wealth managers. This initiative saw a huge positive response from the candidates where 90% of them were satisfied with its performance. 
  • EVA – Impress worked with Ngee Ann Polytechnic to develop EVA to assess candidates in the early stages of the application process. The colleges receive about 4000 applications every year and it would take around 470 man-hours to go through the individual write-ups. EVA has reduced this time to 2 hours and simplified the screening process 

Apart from other benefits, Impress chatbot can offer further advantages like:

  • Scalability – Since it is based on technology, the chatbot can be empowered to hold several simultaneous conversations. This is an outstanding feature as a human can only talk to one person at a time. 
  • Eliminating human bias – Hiring managers and recruiters can inadvertently bring in an element of unconscious bias in the recruitment process. Such bias can cost hugely by losing some really talented candidates. Chatbots can remove human bias and support in building a diverse and inclusive workforce
  • Real-time response – As per careerarc, 65% of applicants said they rarely or never receive any information about their application. 51% of those who did say the response takes more than a month to come their way. Chatbots can give real-time responses and resolve such alarming situations. 
  • Automating FAQs – Candidates hesitate to ask certain questions to a human face. However, they are more comfortable talking to a bot that they know won’t judge them. Thus chatbots can effectively handle queries about working hours, work-life balance, leadership and culture.
  • Customisable – When it comes to bots, one size does not fit all. For instance, volume hiring is significantly different than niche recruitment. Impress allows you to customise your bots as per your role and organisation.

Impress has improved the hiring process considerably by achieving the following metrics*.

  • 75% reduction in time to qualify for a candidate.
  • 30% reduction in the cost of hire.
  • 30 minutes screening process instead of 7 days.
  • Increases the quality of hire by 2 times.
  • 95% of candidates had a positive recruitment experience.

Recruitment chatbots, with their several advantages, are here to stay. They are fast, intuitive and can certainly support an organisation’s recruitment strategies. We are still at a nascent stage in this technology and with time, chatbots are slated to get only better. 

* These metrics are based on the data collected from internal clients of Impress.

Solving the hiring anomaly for SMBs

Remember the first time you started a business. The excitement, the passion, the sleepless nights. All that hard work has lead you to who you are today. A proud owner of a thriving small business.

With new possibilities come new responsibilities too. Your business is growing so is your client list. In order to handle this additional workload, you need to increase your workforce too.

Which takes us to the subject of hiring. As the owner of a successful business, you don’t need me to tell you that hiring is hard. Finding the right candidate! next to impossible.

It takes a lot of money and more importantly it takes a lot of time. Although the amount of money may vary from region to region, it still represents a significant investment for any business.

Workable’s Benchmark tool, which gathers anonymized data from more than 5,000 customers, presents time to hire categorized by business function and location. The following table shows average time to hire (in days) globally and in North America:

Business functionGlobal time to hireUS & Canada time to hire
Administrative/ HR 4035
Analyst / Consulting57 54
Customer Service 4038
Engineering 6260
Finance/ Accounting 4645

According to different studies, for an SMB in America, the cost of hiring can be anywhere between $1,600 to $18,000. Now your business may not be in America, it could be in Asia or even Europe where it may not cost so much. But the factors that drive the high cost for hiring is the same in all places.

There are many individual costs incurred during the hiring process, including advertising costs, in-house recruiters’ salaries, third-party recruiter fees, travel expenses, sign-on bonuses, and employee referral bonuses.

Some of these problems can be solved by having an outside recruiting firm. Sure, it is an additional expense but the upside is the time wasted is not yours. The recruitment agency would prescreen candidates and send you the ones that they think would be a good fit for your business.

Time-saving does not come cheap and you’re faced with a larger problem. One that no recruiting agency can solve.

What kind of candidates are you hiring?

Money, inventory or office are things that are used to start a business. But businesses are not started because of them. You started your business because you had an idea, a vision of your own. Your business has a distinct character that has been shaped by you. Any person that works for your company needs to fit with that character to become a successful employee. And no recruiting agency, with their generic, questions can shortlist such a candidate. They might get you candidates that meet the requirements, but not ones that raise them.

In order for that to happen, they need to be asked questions that you would ask them. Some person looking at a bunch resumes shouldn’t recommend the first one that has basic qualifications. You should be able to interview all the candidates that apply for a position at your company because every candidate deserves a fair shot at the job and only you can then truly judge whether they are a good fit or not.

But this is physically impossible not to mention all the money and time constraints outlined above. But what if you could do it? What if you could interview all the candidates, some even at the same time! I know that I just said it’s physically impossible and it is but in the virtual world anything is possible.

If I said that you could interview all the candidates that apply for a position at your company, ask them the all the questions that you want to ask them and do it in a shorter amount of time for a lesser amount of money. You would be Interested, wouldn’t you?

If you said yes then let me introduce you to impress.ai, we are a Singapore based company that uses AI and machine learning to produce chatbots that are capable of guiding the candidates through the recruitment process.

Using our platform you can create chatbots that can be customised to ask the questions that you want to ask. And once you have customised a chatbot It will conduct the interview of the candidates using these questions. You can even specify the criteria used for evaluating the answers thus saving you even more time and effort.

Until now we have mainly sold our recruitment services to Enterprise level clients. We have been fortunate enough to have some of the biggest companies in the world as our clients. We were able to achieve an 81% reduction in the candidate qualification time for one of our client.

We have recently decided to expand our services to small and medium business. For this purpose, we have launched a new product which is tailor-made for SMBs.

And as an introductory offer, we have decided to provide this service at a massive discount to our first 100 clients. If you would like to avail this discount, signup right here