Artificial intelligence is a trending topic in business today, but it’s far more than just a trend.
In talent acquisition, AI-powered recruiting tools are giving employers an advantage over the competition at all stages of the recruiting process. A recruiting chatbot can be your brand’s advocate at the top of the funnel, where many job seekers get frustrated and bail, often without ever completing an application.
And with candidates holding the cards in today’s talent market, companies that prioritize candidate experience have an edge. Look no further than these recent insights from Talent Board, which outline best practices of companies doing well in the area of candidate experience. So it comes as little surprise that employers are not just delving into the implementation of chatbots but, more importantly, they are considering the chatbot experience.
But how do you incorporate a recruiting chatbot into your hiring process so it simultaneously benefits your candidates as well as your recruiters? If your recruiting chatbot does its job correctly, recruiters also reap some hefty advantages. A recruiting chatbot can help save time by automating menial tasks that prevent human recruiters from spending quality time building relationships with top candidates.
Here are some tips to help you understand how to incorporate a recruiting chatbot into your talent acquisition team.
Know your roles
You wouldn’t hire an employee without knowing what you want that employee to do for your company, and installing a recruiting chatbot is somewhat similar. The difference is, of course, that you get to program your chatbot to execute your strategy to the letter. Before you set up your recruiting chatbot, outline its responsibilities. Decide how your chatbot will partner with your human recruiters to offer a stellar candidate experience.
A recruiting chatbot can play a lot of roles. It can act a greeter and an assistant, offering quick answers to common questions job seekers have when visiting your career site. A chatbot can also help candidates learn about your company’s history, mission, and culture. And, perhaps best of all, a recruiting chatbot can collect information from candidates and connect them with a human recruiter in live chat.
When you’re designing your recruiting chatbot and defining its role, it’s crucial to acknowledge and accept the limitations of chatbots. Don’t forget the ‘artificial’ part of AI. Regardless of how or where you decide to implement a chatbot, it’s important that candidates know when they are interacting with AI and when they are chatting with a real live human.
Improving the chatbot experience
A poor chatbot experience typically ends in frustration or annoyance. We’ve all been there. The best way to avoid such an outcome is to ensure that your recruiting chatbot can control the conversation from beginning to end. It’s less about designing a natural conversation and more about helping job seekers find the information they need. After all, the last thing a job seeker wants to do is spend time randomly poking around your entire website looking for answers. And when it comes to decisions about their next employer, job seekers want those answers fast.
For many companies, this can be as simple as deciding whether to allow your job seekers to use open-ended text responses when interacting with your chatbot, or setting up your chatbot with multiple-choice questions that force site visitors to select from a few options. The latter is known as an interaction bot, which has no text input option. Chatbots aren’t always (or even often) able to interpret text from job seekers, because natural language processing is still in its infancy. Setting up your chatbot with multiple choice options eliminates the confusing back-and-forth that might follow, which is the same confusion that might alienate candidates you actually want to hire.
Using an interaction bot can help cut down on frustration and confusion, and reduce the number of job seekers you lose at the top of the funnel. A recruiting chatbot can also help expedite the rest of the recruiting process. For job seekers browsing your career site after hours, connecting with a human recruiter may not be an immediate option, but a recruiting chatbot can start the conversation and collect basic information that your human team can follow up on, preferably within 24 hours.
And, throughout the process, don’t try to pass off your recruiting chatbot as a real human. You can—and you should—give your chatbot a name and a personality (we call this the brand voice), but job seekers have a right to know when they’re talking to a chatbot. It’s best to make it clear up front, since (fortunately) most people are smart enough to figure out the difference between a chatbot and a real person, and of all the things you want candidates to learn about your company, the absolute last is that you’re dishonest.
How chatbots help human recruiters improve candidate experience
Earlier, we touched on the ways a recruiting chatbot allows human recruiters to do their jobs better than ever. This is, perhaps, one of the most tangible benefits. While a chatbot works around the clock on your career site to help job seekers find answers and convert more curious visitors into actual applicants, your team of human recruiters is freed up to spend more time having conversations with qualified candidates.
This means your recruiters can spend more time with each candidate having quality conversations, rather than rushing through interviews, or they can talk to more candidates in the same amount of time, thus speeding up the overall process. Either way, having a recruiting chatbot representing your employer brand makes it easier for recruiters to build relationships and deliver the candidate experience that top talent craves.
When humans and AI work together in harmony like this, everyone wins. Candidates get the experience and information they want, recruiters are relieved from menial tasks that get in the way of relationships, and your employer brand becomes stronger in the process.
AI on your side
While many people remain skeptical about the benefits of AI tools, talent acquisition leaders are starting to realize they can’t compete without this advantage. The key takeaway here is that your organization must treat your recruiting chatbot as a partner, rather than expect it to provide a magic solution to all your recruiting challenges. Making use of a chatbot where it makes sense, and knowing when and where humans need to take over and do the heavy lifting, is the best way to approach the future of recruiting.
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