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Recruitment Chatbots: The New Generation of Recruiting

By March 29, 2018 February 14th, 2019 No Comments
Recruitment Chatbots: The New Generation of Recruiting

Throughout the history of the corporate world, recruitment has always been a challenge. Time and time again though, a solution has been found and companies have found a way to source and attract the right talent for them.

However, in the last few years, financial constraints, increasing expectations, and a competitive labor market have signaled a need for recruitment to once again reinvent itself. Improvements in technology and artificial intelligence suggest that recruitment with chatbots could be the key to 21st-century recruitment.  But first, let us establish what exactly is going wrong with today’s recruitment:

1. Not addressing the candidate journey

Just like sales and marketing’s success relies on addressing the buyer’s journey, a recruiter must take account of the candidate’s journey. From a company’s perspective, there are thousands of other companies competing for the same talent and this means that if a company wants to secure the top talent, it needs to provide them with a tailored candidate journey. Whether a candidate is either actively or passively searching for openings, you need to proactively communicate with them and offer them things they may be looking for. Today, companies are not doing this. 

2. Not Engaging candidates meaningfully

Creating personal engagement from the start of the recruitment process has always been difficult. Automated emails that are blatantly sent to every single candidate means that companies fail to fine-tune their responses to give candidates a great feeling about their company. Fully understanding the candidate you require, the goals and aspiration of the role, then making targeted content to this will get the right candidates in from the very beginning.

The key then is to understand who they are, they’re background and tailoring communications to them – this will inspire a better candidate relationship. Although this seems incredibly difficult to do, a little-personalized engagement right at the beginning of the process will go a long way to understanding the candidate’s needs.

Winning over candidates and creating good advocacy for your company really can hinge on how important they feel to you as a recruiter; regardless of if they get the job in the end. However, the time and energy it will take to build this type of close relationship with each candidate who comes into contact with your hiring process are exhausting even just to think about.

3. A Need for End to End Engagement

One of the key findings from studies on candidate experience and satisfaction throughout recruitment processes is that they feel better relationships are formed when they get honest, real feedback and consistency. A competitive labor market simply means that companies have no time to do this. This type of 360 communication ensures positive relationships with candidates, which is great for your brand advocacy, and also for having a rich talent pool of highly engaged candidates. Without it, candidates are unengaged and will not be attracted to work for you.

The question is how to do all of this successfully without overheating your recruitment team. The answer is with chatbots.

Recruitment with chatbots

In short, chatbots are a software using AI to respond to users on a messaging interface and they will be the key to managing recruitment in the future. AI and robots managing recruitment? I must be crazy right.

The truth is 58% of candidates are comfortable interacting with AI and recruitment chatbots in the early stages of the application process, opening up time and resources for recruiters to spend in the more important later application stages. Chatbots and AI should not replace a recruiter, rather they should complement and advance the capabilities of a recruiter. Technology in HR is changing the way candidates, and organizations communicate and interact with each other. It is time to adapt.

With chatbots, you can manage and build the important relationships and engagement mentioned earlier. You can teach the chatbot all that it needs to know so that it can serve potential candidates instantly and provide them with a fantastic user experience. One thing recruiters hate is to provide the hard and negative news to candidates. With chatbots, this is easy.  Chatbots allow applications to be updated on the overall progress of the application constantly, meaning that recruiters do not have to worry about maintaining the relationship.

Chatbots work 24/7 meaning that your candidates can communicate with you constantly and speak to a chatbot is way more efficient than going back to emails and phone calls. Finally, chatbots could collect analytics and filter candidates based on the skills and attributes it asks about and rank candidates based on your specific requirements. The potential for chatbots in recruitment is huge and must be harnessed. Below we highlight 2 great use cases for a recruitment chatbot.

Increased Numbers of Applications

Social media is bigger than ever so it makes sense that Facebook recruitment via Facebook groups and Facebook promoted posts is becoming a more and more popular way to attract new candidates.  The dilemma however is, how do you guide someone from clicking on your company’s career page to actually making and submitting an application? Chatbots form a simple solution! As soon as someone goes on your company’s careers page, an automated Facebook Messenger Recruitment Chatbot can prompt a potential candidate to opt-in for job alerts and provide you with their Facebook profile information, as well as showing them open jobs, information about the application process or even videos about working at the company. By engaging an applicant from the point of initial interest, a candidate is far more likely to make an application as they’ve already had contact and established a rapport with the company.

Responding to Questions and Answers

Candidates want to know all about the job, company, and requirements before they apply for a job. I am sure you already how frustrating it is to look for your answers on an FAQ page. Chatbots change this completely. They can respond to users in a user-friendly way if it doesn’t know the answer, direct you to the right person or contact details and keep you happy throughout the experience. Talking to a chatbot can be seen as a less intimidating experience than talking to an actual recruiter. If you feel more comfortable you can be yourself and stay more relaxed.

In a time where data drives all decisions, your chatbot should be linked to a platform that can collect vital analytics. Imagine many of your potential candidates asking the chatbot if your company has a graduate program, to which the chatbot defaults to a fallback such as “Sorry I do not know if we have a graduate program, please contact our careers team”. A platform that allows you to tag how many times a particular question has been asked can tell you what candidates want and are looking for.

Increased Completed Applications

Shockingly, the 2017 Jobvite Recruiting Funnel report states that only 8.52% of visitors to a career site actually complete their application – this means that over 91% of potential candidates leave a site without leaving any information for the company to get back in contact with them in the future! For companies trying to attract the most talented people to fill their job vacancies, this could obviously be a massive problem. A chatbot can help to minimise this as an issue; through a messenger it can engage candidates, answering questions regarding any misgivings they have which may deter them from making an application and gathering contact information and creating a candidate profile in a format which may seem like less of a commitment than formally filling out and submitting an application. Chatbots can even remind candidates to finish questions and complete anything where they’ve given insufficient information, in a way that static application forms cannot.

Simplify the First Stage

Screening candidates after their initial application is an extremely time-consuming process.  Recruiters often confirm which candidates are suitable during the first round of pre-screening calls; whilst we do know this works, this can be a very lengthy process which is in need of updating.  Chatbots are a great solution which can make this stage of the assessment far more efficient! By sending out a text message to all potential candidates, that leads to a series of short, pre-defined questions, the suitable candidates can be easily be filtered out from the unsuitable. Recruiters can send out hundreds of texts in a couple of minutes and get responses quickly, in contrast to the days or even weeks that phone calls and emails may take!

66% of candidates are comfortable with AI and chatbots taking care of interview scheduling, initial questions on skills and attributes and preparation. Early stages of recruitment are generally systematic, repetitive and focused on collecting information on candidates. Using chatbots at the early stages, and automating social recruiting, is the perfect answer to spend less time at the start of the recruitment funnel and more time at the end when you have highly qualified candidates to choose between.

A platform that lets you collect analytics on candidates can save your recruiters a lot of time. By ranking candidates on the skills and attributes based on your specific requirements, you can easily ensure that you are only left with suitable and talented candidates at later and more important stages. With our platform, users can seamlessly switch between AI and humans.

Responding to the Unsuccessful

Eyal of Mya has said that “About 85% of candidates never hear back” after submitting an application.  Unsurprisingly this leads to a poor candidate experience and negative impression of the company, potentially deterring someone from reapplying for a different position (to which they may be more suited) in the future.  This is obviously a major issue, as (as previously stated) in order to remain competitive, companies need to attract the best talent; the chances of which are heightened if the company is seen to treat people well and with respect. It is understandable that for jobs with hundreds of applicants it may not be realistic for recruiters to personally reject everyone, which makes chatbots the most viable option. Chatbots can respond to a candidate instantaneously once a decision has been made – candidates appreciate this kind of promptness and it minimizes any bad feeling towards the company!

The Next Generation of Recruitment

As the corporate world has evolved, recruitment needs to once again reinvent itself. It is not a secret that companies find it difficult to create a connection with every applicant. This is something a chatbot can do effectively. Chatbots help an organization reach a large number of candidates in a short period on any device and at any time, saving both time and money. Organisations are gearing up to use AI in their future recruiting processes. It’s time for you to take part in this exciting reinvention with recruitment chatbots.

Gerardo Salandra

Gerardo Salandra

Gerardo Salandra is the CEO of Rocketbots ( An IBM & Google veteran, with deep expertise in growth hacking, machine learning, and chatbots. Chairman of the AI Society of Hong Kong, promoting the development and understanding of AI technologies in the Region.

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