Top 5 Questions Your Recruiting Chatbot Should Ask Job Seekers

Sep 25, 2019 - Cat DiStasio

The best kind of recruiting chatbot is one that can answer most, if not all, of the questions job seekers pose to it.

The question is… what do job seekers want to know during a job interview? 

Well, instead of blindly throwing darts at a dartboard to guess what job seekers want to know, we decided to look at the actual data. One of our customer’s chatbots has had thousands of interactions with job seekers and so we decided to start there. As you’ll see, these common interview questions aren’t too complicated and you could probably guess most of the questions they are asking. What you may not be able to guess is which questions are asked the most, and that’s why we’re sharing these insights based on real customer data. 

Answering job seekers’ questions - before they start their application - is crucial to your talent acquisition goals. We already know most job seekers will abandon an application if it’s too long or complex. But did you know that over 90% of job seekers will abandon your career site? Part of the reason is that those job seekers aren’t finding answers to their most pressing questions. Making sure your recruiting chatbot can answer their questions up front can reduce that figure substantially.

And remember - you want to set up your recruiting chatbot as a valuable partner on your talent acquisition team, and this means it should be able to answer the most commonly asked questions (such as a candidate's desired professional experience or your company's corporate culture) so your human recruiting team can focus on screening candidates, building relationships, and addressing more complex behavioral interview questions. (That’s just the tip of the iceberg of the benefits of a recruiting chabot.)

Here are the top 5 questions that your recruiting chatbot should be equipped to answer.

Question #1: What kind of benefits are offered? 

It’s probably no surprise that our sample company sees more questions about compensation and benefits than any other category, and I’m willing to bet money it’s the same for just about every other organization as well. You don’t have to break down your entire benefits package on your website but, ideally, your recruiting chatbot can share the basic broad strokes that will help job seekers determine whether your benefits are attractive enough for the types of positions you're advertising, compared to the other potential employers they are considering. 

Don’t limit yourself to discussing health benefits and vacation time, either. If a job seeker is asking this question, they will likely want to know about other perks, so if your company offers tuition reimbursement, paid time off for volunteering, or other unique benefits, make sure job seekers know about them. 

Question #2: What are the requirements for this position?

Hopefully, the answer to this question for any current role can be found in your job requisition page. If not, you may want to invest some time and update it accordingly. While more and more job seekers are encouraged to apply even if they aren’t 100% qualified for a position, they still need to know the basic requirements, especially when it comes to citizenship, location, and other things one can’t easily change. 

Your recruiting chatbot can reiterate the details of the requirements from the job posting, or you can set it up to begin a screening process and ask the job seeker a series of questions to collect data, including their contact information. This way, a human recruiter can follow up and answer any of the more nuanced questions they might have about what it takes to fulfill the requirements of the position they’re interested in.

Question #3: What type of people does this company hire?

Culture fit is a huge buzzword among employers but it’s incredibly important for job seekers as well. When looking at the data from our sample customer, almost half of job seekers asked this question. And it makes sense. Before they invest the time and energy in an application and recruiting process, today’s talent wants to be sure that the potential employers is a place they actually want to work. 

If your organization has a well-defined company culture and you’ve created candidate personas to inform your talent acquisition strategies, it should be fairly easy to answer this question. Your recruiting chatbot can link to the appropriate page on your website where you explain your ideal employees, and this is also a great time to incorporate video into the process, giving job seekers a real behind-the-scenes look at their potential future coworkers.

Question #4: When will I hear back after submitting my application? 

The third most common question among job seekers is information about the application. Job seekers want to know what will happen next. They want to know when to expect a response, who will contact them and how, and what the interview process looks like. Addressing these questions with your recruiting chatbot (which can retrieve the answer from an FAQ page) gives job seekers the transparency they crave

Question #5: Are you a live person?

Most of us can spot a chatbot a mile away. Because transparency builds trust - and we already know that more than half of job seekers say they are comfortable interacting with chatbots during the recruiting process - there’s no reason to try to pass off your recruiting chatbot as a real live person. Yes, your chatbot should have a name and a personality (that matches your employer brand). But recruiting chatbots should always be labeled as what they are, regardless of communication ability. No exceptions. 

Ideally, job seekers would never have to ask this question. But if they are asking, be sure your recruiting chatbot is set up to answer - and to explain how it can help them find answers to many of their job search questions right away without making it a challenging process. 

When your recruiting chatbot is out of answers

However many questions you program your recruiting chatbot to answer, there will always come a point when it can no longer help the job seeker. Always offer options for job seekers to connect with a live recruiter for follow-up questions, whether that’s in an online chat right then, a scheduled chat at another time, or by providing their contact information for a recruiter to follow up at a later time. With every option, be transparent about the interview process, set the right expectations, and then follow through. With any luck, visitors to your careers site will get all the answers they need from your recruiting chatbot, and they’ll complete an application. For those who need a little more assistance before deciding that your company has their dream job, setting up your recruiting chatbot to answer their basic questions can offer a positive experience, rather than a frustrating or confusing one, all the while offering prospective hires a deeper understanding of your organization and what matters to you. 

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