Sometimes HR managers and recruiters have a tough time finding the right candidate for a job.
Can conversational AI save the day?
Recruiting the right talent is one of the most challenging tasks for recruiters. For this, they have to go through the process of:
● planning and creating engaging content that will be posted on job portals to attract the candidates
● creating a strategy to attract passive candidates
● performing follow-up actions to make sure that recruitment strategy is implemented correctly
On top of these responsibilities, recruiters have to develop a recruitment strategy that meets business goals, takes into consideration competitor analysis and employee satisfaction rates. In reality, managing this workload effectively is a hard task to do, that’s why many companies turned to Artificial Intelligence for extra help.
In one of their recent reports, Deloitte covered a use case of a multinational bank struggling to optimize the workload of hundreds of service desk agents, who support HR management processes. Deloitte helped their client to introduce an HR chatbot to meet the bank’s needs for HR automation, and here’s what they got:
● HR chatbots helped cut the time to answer queries by 50%
● the bank received an opportunity to cut expenses due to increased accuracy, process standardization, and reduced exceptions
● chatbots minimized the complexity of managing onshore and offshore operations, and
● helped service desk agents to maintain 24/7 coverage
HR chatbots were also tuned to perform recruitment tasks, such as scheduling interviews and screening candidate applications. Thus, productivity and employee satisfaction of the HR department grew by 60%.
Amazing, isn’t it?
Well, before you jump the gun and start looking for a solution to implement a recruitment chatbot for your business, we want to help you make a more informed decision.
Let’s take a look at recruitment chatbots from different perspectives, dwelling more on their perks and avoidable pitfalls.
It’s a fact that users prefer contacting brands via social media. Research, put together by Smart Insights, has shown that 63% of consumers expect companies to respond to their queries on social media, while 90% have already interacted with brands on social media platforms.
Answering recruitment-related queries are one of the HR team’s regular tasks. However, the recruitment process can get too competitive and time-consuming, thus not leaving an opportunity to respond to these questions.
This problem pushed Marriott to introduce its first recruitment chatbot back in 2017. David Rodriguez, EVP, and global chief HR officer at Marriott International, said that the recruitment chatbot was set up on their Facebook page and helped answer the following queries:
● Do you have event manager job openings in New York?
● Do you have restaurant manager job openings in Chicago?
● How to contact the recruiter?
● How many brands does Marriott own?
● What are Marriott’s corporate values?
Here’s what Marriott’s recruitment chatbot experience looks like:
Image credit: Marriott
If you take a closer look at these queries, you’ll see the main three characteristics that help these chatbots navigate and select the candidates:
● specific job position
● fitness of a candidate to the corporate values
Mr. Rodriguez says that, as the majority of their job openings are for low-level positions, their recruitment chatbot helps them process thousands of queries a day, leaving no question unanswered and taking a huge load of work off his colleagues’ shoulders.
One of the biggest HR challenges is finding the right candidate for a job when the competition is high. Recruiters can sometimes receive hundreds of applications for one job position, making it hard to devote enough attention to each of them. Not to mention that recruiters are also limited in time to close a job position.
To tackle this issue, Merrill, technology, and engineering company, introduced a recruitment chatbot that performs all tasks of the screening process during recruitment.
Besides answering questions about corporate policies and company values, their recruitment chatbot holds a kind of a pre-interview process with all the applicants, interested in working for Merrill.
Image credit: Merrill Careers
This recruitment chatbot also helps the candidates find job positions that fit their profile, by having them answer a set of simple questions about their education, experience, as well as location and language.
Another company that succeeded in applying chatbots for staff recruitment is Zappos, an online retail company. Their recruitment chatbot is designed to:
● Browse job by entering a “Match me to jobs” query
● Answer the questions about work benefits, perks, and sponsorships, available to their employees
● Respond to questions about corporate policy and company values
Image credit: Zappos
Ultimately, these recruitment chatbots serve to improve candidate experience. Chatbots can get back to the candidates almost instantly, answering their most common questions and tackling a huge pile of work for HR managers at the same time.
Now, whether you’re contacting a chatbot to order a pair of shoes or best essays for your Physics class, or to find the job position of your dreams, there’s always one lurking fear: chatbots are not humans.
As chatbots are designed based on machine learning, there’s an assumption that they primarily give standardized answers to the questions. Like, “whenever I ask a question that is out of their profile, I’ll get ‘Sorry, try again’ response”.
In the recruitment process, on the other hand, there are cases when a human reaction is necessary. For instance, some candidates may express their strong desire towards working in a certain company.
Today’s bots, particularly ones developed on advanced platforms such as Kore.ai, are programmed to register emotions and process highly complex queries. Kore.ai Platform can detect the sentiment of interaction and help steer the flow of the conversation. Beyond completing tasks, Kore.ai Bots can also understand a user’s mood throughout a conversation, and scores sentiment based on connotation, word placement, and modifiers. Kore.ai analyses six possible emotions — anger, disgust, fear, sadness, joy, and positivity.
Slang, jargon, a variety of communication styles — all this can be processed by a recruitment chatbot. The best, most memorable bots have conversation flows that feel natural and human-like. Human conversations are characterized by twists and turns, and no two directions are ever the same. Advanced bots account for this by allowing users to pause a task, start and complete another task, and then seamlessly return to the original task — all without losing important contextual data and conversation continuity. Today’s bots handle virtually all nuances related to human conversations, including interruptions, clarifications, and more.
Since chatbots use machine learning to function, they collect all previous responses and deduce solutions to certain issues.
However, sometimes there are several solutions to one issue, and if all these solutions are not registered by a recruitment chatbot, it won’t be able to process a request and respond appropriately.
For instance, if a recruitment chatbot asks a question about experience, like “Do you have an experience working on the projects involving social media for B2B?”, it will only process “Yes” and “No”. An answer with “Yes, but…” or “No, however…” is unlikely to be recognized by a chatbot.
In such cases, chatbots need to effective handling process that hands-over conversations to human agents (in this case HR personnel) in case of complex queries. Advanced enterprise chatbots have capabilities to detect the nuances of conversations and had it switch to a human agent where information is lacking or insufficient.
Since artificial intelligence and machine learning being still evolving, carry with them concerns regarding malicious attacks and personal data leaks.
Recruitment chatbots collect tons of personal data from job candidates, starting with their name and location, and ending with their biographical information. Since they carry so much personal data, there’s always a threat to digital privacy from hackers.
There’s also another side to this problem. Chatbots may also be the target of fraudulent job candidates, who may be hackers in disguise, trying to illegally obtain personal data that recruitment chatbots carry.
Advanced chatbot platforms are resolving these concerns by enforcing the highest enterprise standards for performance, security, and scalability through application security and secure coding practices while developing chatbots.
Conversational AI is exciting. With its possibilities and the opportunities, which machine learning brings along, businesses can get on the whole other level of innovation.
Recruitment chatbots, in their turn, can be of great help for HR managers in terms of dealing with basic recruitment tasks. They can answer the most popular queries and help candidates find the jobs that fir their profiles.
However, since AI and machine learning are still developing, it brings along certain pitfalls. Candidates often look for human interaction during the recruitment process, which chatbots lack. Moreover, there’s always a threat to digital privacy, since chatbots carry a lot of personal data.
Nevertheless, recruitment chatbots will be of huge help for your business, not only screening job applications and selecting the best candidates, but also bringing innovation to your business.
Credits — Melanie Sovann
Melanie Sovann, born in 1990 in the greater LA area, is a seasoned writer and blogger, passionate about a broad spectrum of topics, ranging from technology to sociology.