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.

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!