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 have been 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