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.

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