HR technology was one of the main themes at #UNLEASH in London, and chatbots dominated the conversation. Chatbots can dramatically decrease your time to hire and make your company accessible to your candidates 24/7, but they can also require timely trial and error to perfect. Here’s what to consider about chatbots, and how to integrate them in your hiring process.
Candidates Like Them
Recruiters worry that chatbots may feel impersonal to candidates, but it’s actually the opposite. Candidates enjoy being able to ask your company any questions, without feeling like they're annoying a recruiter. In fact, according to Ideal
, 58 percent of candidates are comfortable with recruitment chatbots in the first phases of the hiring process. Even more, 66 percent, are fine with chatbots scheduling interviews.
Recruiters Love Them
According to Ideal,
chatbots can automate up to 80 percent of the recruiting tasks at the beginning of the hiring process. This includes obtaining resumes from candidates, scheduling interviews, and even conducting screening interviews. When your team uses chatbots for these processes, they can focus on the higher stakes part of the hiring process-- the final interviews, the negotiations, building relationships, and getting candidates to want to work at your company.
Attract More Candidates
The great thing about a bot is that you can have it running whether or not you’re actively recruiting for positions. If you have a chatbot on your careers page online, potential candidates can ask questions about future openings, they can send their resumes, and they can learn more about their companies. Bots can also send out inquiries to people with traits matching your company. According to SHRM
, ESPN worked with a bot to recruit interns and find more diverse team members for their on-air presence. Using a bot, they attracted 560 candidates from 53 countries in six weeks.
How to Train Your Chatbot
Your chatbot is only as good as your HR and programming teams build it. A good way to start programming your chatbot is by taking your FAQs and converting those into automated answers that chatbots give when candidates ask the questions. Next, consider any scenario in which a candidate has a question. Are they looking for a job with your company? Do they want to know when your company is hiring next? Do they have questions about something they saw on an application? Consider as many of these scenarios as possible. Then, consider all the ways a candidate might respond to your chatbot’s answers. Also, be sure to program keywords that are relevant to your industry, so your chatbot can pick up on them.
Though your chatbot works best with lots of preparation, the first few months of using a chatbot will require lots of edits and improvements. In these first months, have your team closely watch the conversations, so that they can jump in and contact the candidates if there were errors.
Keeping the “Human” in HR
Bots are a great way to decrease your time to hire, but too much automation will make your hiring process appear ingenuine. It’s important for your HR team to monitor the chatbots, and reach out to candidates if the bots make a mistake. And, your team should decide what aspects of the hiring process the chatbot can handle, and which aspects are best for a human. The nice thing is you can always program your chatbot to redirect candidates to your HR team if candidates ask questions the chatbot doesn’t know the answer to, or if they ask questions that you’ve determined are best answered by humans.
While chatbots can make the beginning of your hiring process easy, credible background screening companies can help you finish the hiring process strong.