Elevating candidate experience with specialised chatbots

A dynamic and tough economic environment requires businesses to optimise Human Capital Management (HCM) processes. Attracting and retaining the right talent is a top priority in Talent Acquisition (TA) as bad hiring can prove to be extremely expensive in terms of time and cost. TA efficiency and effectiveness thus plays a vital role in strategic recruitment. Hiring platforms powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) can help optimise talent acquisition processes all the way from pre-screening to onboarding. AI-driven recruitment software can automate several low-level operational processes, freeing up recruiter time to handle other processes that require human intervention.

Recruiters spend critical hours searching for candidates, and screening them to ensure that the best-fit candidates are presented for further assessments and interviews. Candidates too can get increasingly frustrated with sluggish recruitment processes, especially in the initial stages. The lack of response to candidate queries can often lead to a search for greener pastures, resulting in losing talent even before you begin. By providing positive experiences to candidates, recruitment chatbots can prove to be a gamechanger in capturing talent.

Here come the bots.

Elevating candidate experience with specialised chatbots

Recruitment chatbots are software agents that are used to provide a human-like natural conversation flow while hiring. Typically, they are used to answer simple candidate queries, collect basic candidate information, ask screening questions, and sometimes even schedule meetings for candidates with recruiters. Powered by tremendous strides in AI technology and natural language processing (NLP), companies are using chatbots for automating the initial phases of recruitment. With the huge prevalence of digitisation, people are increasingly comfortable chatting with digital assistants or bots, so why not in recruitment? Using specialised recruitment bots offers several advantages for both employers and candidates.

Candidate experience can be vastly improved with the effective use of chatbots. Rather than waiting for replies from recruiters (challenging in high-volume recruitment scenarios), candidates are treated to immediate replies. This virtual assistant often becomes the very first touchpoint for the candidate. A relevant conversation helps with immediate candidate engagement. Recruitment bots can ask simple questions such as “Please share your domain and years of experience”, and present relevant job opportunities on the career site . Candidates feel less stressed and daunted when information is gathered in a conversational manner. So, both candidate experience and engagement see a huge boost with recruitment bots. These chatbots also eliminate redundancy, as captured data can be stored and made available to other steps in the process.

Recruitment bots are available 24×7 to chat with candidates, irrespective of their geographic location. Consequently, candidates submit their details or get their queries answered outside of regular business hours, and anywhere around the globe. Recruiters can source candidates from a wider talent pool, with increased interaction with candidates. With remote and hybrid working being the order of the day, chatbots become a convenient way to respond to candidates in different time zones, and minimise any delays in the hiring process. When the initial screening is done by automated  assistants, it also reduces any unconscious bias in the initial phases of recruiting, opening up equal opportunities for all candidates. With improved screening efficiency, recruiters have better bandwidth to handle other critical aspects of recruitment.

Generative AI is a huge boost to recruitment chatbot technology. So, in the near future, we could for instance look at potential candidates listing their skills, and ask a recruitment chatbot, “Which relevant job openings do we have?”. Deep learning capabilities of such AI-powered chatbots result in more meaningful conversations to provide hyper-personalised responses based on the queries, profile and prior conversations.

The ability to provide an immersive candidate experience during the hiring process is increasingly necessary to be able to attract the right talent. Chatbots have the potential to answer queries immediately while capturing information. However, rather than providing a “robotic” experience, companies should work towards providing a natural and seamless experience. Additionally, the company should be transparent about the usage of chatbots, and the potential candidate should be aware that the conversation is being conducted with a bot. When part of a larger recruitment strategy that is based on the organisation’s needs, recruitment chatbots can be a powerful ally for job hunters and recruiters alike.