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.