In case you have decided to bring a virtual recruiter, assistant, or buddy into your team, let us look at the process of building a bot step by step.
Now, along the way of discovering the approach to building chatbots, try to keep the core idea in mind: building a Recruitment Chatbot does not imply replacing a human. Such bots replace certain functions that a human can also handle and perform specific tasks that a human can perform as well. In other words, such bots are created to help a human and make his/her job easier and faster; they free up resources and drive productivity.
Stage 1 — Identifying the goals and objectives
Your goals should be divided into several groups:
- Goals of the whole bot: why are you building this bot and which business results are you planning to achieve?
- Goals of each segment within the bot: what information will your interlocutor receive, and what information are you going to receive? How does this correlate with the bot goals — particularly in terms of conversation flows, message flows?
To shape a map of the goals to be accomplished at each stage of interacting with the bot, we highly recommend building a Solutions Map, which will show the issues both parties (i.e., the company and potential candidate) will solve while communicating via the bot.
It is important to remember that the ultimate goal of your bot should always coincide with the goal of your end-user. In your case, this will be your potential candidates or job seekers who activate the bot.
Stage 2 — Designing End-user Profile
After you have identified the Goals and built your Solutions Map, you can proceed with designing your end-user profile.
That said, the next stage is dedicated to studying your interlocutors and building profiles. Here you should take into account demographics, social, professional and other characteristics. While working on a profile, you should always look at it through the prism of your goals, leaving aside those characteristics that are not important or irrelevant in terms of achieving the common goal.
Stage 3 — Planning Bot’s Capabilities
After you have designed a profile of your target interlocutor of who you should lead to the result planned, go straight to planning your bot’s capabilities. Rachel Batish in her book «Voicebot and Chatbot Design: Flexible conversational interfaces with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Facebook Messenger,» gives a great piece of advice. She recommends approaching the description of your bot’s capabilities as if you would describe a job opening or a profile of a professional you are keen on attracting to a certain role or position.
- How old is your bot?
- How many years of work experience does it have?
- Where and what did it study?
- Who were its employers and what was its area of specialization?
- What does it know better than others do?
- What are the most valuable personal characteristics to you?
- Which tasks will it handle in this particular role?
- What are the KPIs would you apply to this role and tasks?
The capabilities of your bot will build the basis for its evolving personality as well as the host of topics it will be able to discuss and how.
Stage 4 — Technologies, instruments, and types of content
Understanding the bot’s capabilities suggest a direction in terms of which technologies, instruments and types of content we should fill it within the context of our ultimate goal.
Among technologies and instruments, we can name the following:
- Route planning — the best way to get to your office
- A virtual tour around your office (photo and video 3D tour)
- Scheduling meetings with your company representatives via built-in calendar functionality
- Video interviews
- Testing, etc.
All texts, videos, and photos belong to forms and types of content. You upload these materials to the bot in the context of a particular task and feature within each conversation flow according to the content plan built to retain and engage the interlocutor.
Stage 5 — Bot’s Structure
The goal and capabilities of your bot will further define its structure. In this case, we are talking about a conversational bot structured according to your goals and objectives as well as in line with your potential candidate’s journey from the point of activating the bot towards achieving the common result.
It is very important to avoid turning the structure into a series of additional questions. You should carefully consider the number of steps your interlocutor should take at each stage of their journey.
Of course, you can both decrease or increase the number of additional questions your bot asks. Which option to choose — will be the matter of the next stage that implies playback of all conversation flows in a team with roles clearly distributed.
Stage 6 — Rehearsing First Contact
By the way, have you ever talked to an imaginary interlocutor in your mind? Perhaps this was the case when you were getting ready for a meeting or negotiations, etc. Rehearsing this first contact would be your first step towards a clear picture of your bot. It is worth imagining here what happens — from the point of meeting to departure — when someone comes to you in a certain mood, with a certain background and characteristics.
Based on your bot’s capabilities, goals, image, and structure, you begin honing its manner of running a conversation, i.e., tone, character, the logic of phrases, etc. It is highly recommended that you work as a team and distribute roles at this stage. Someone in your team will act as a recruiter (i.e., the bot) with his/her own characteristics. Someone will act as a potential candidate. The third team member will be an observer monitoring the strength and weaknesses of your conversation, attractive phrases, jokes, gaps in logic, etc.
Several prototypes are created at this stage:
А) conversation logic
Б) engaging and entertaining elements
В) connections between conversation flows
We also start filling the bot with what makes it more “human.”
- The process of meeting, learning and setting the contact with the interlocutor
- The process of completing or interrupting the conversation
- Moments to switch off the main topic, the so-called “small talk.”
- Jokes, quotations, use of information that will be clear to this particular audience only
- Use of slang, jargon, phrasal verbs, etc.
Stage 7 — Writing first scenarios
Now it is high time to bring all the materials and ideas together and start writing scenarios for your bot. If there is a Content Architect or Designer on your team, make sure you involve him/her at the early stages of bot planning.
Stage 8 — Technology Design
Along with scenarios, you should embark on technology design and subsequent A/B testing of your bot.
Stage 9 — Hurray! Your bot is ready. You can launch it and then analyze the results.
This is not the end of the story; however, continue working with your bot, leaving it alone would be a huge mistake.
The work that will follow is perhaps the most interesting period of all. You will be correcting and fine-tuning the moments of conversation when your bot gets lost or switches off. Should you like your bot to eventually outgrow rigidly structured conversations towards free and more spontaneous dialogues, the next months should be dedicated to educating your bot and filling it with content for the most effective retention and attraction of existing and prospective candidates and employees.
Happy Recruitment Chatbot Building!