HR functions are no longer only about entry and exit management, and payroll. They play a critical role in business strategy and brand building. Given the wide range of HR functions today, it has become imperative for large organisations to automate repetitive tasks and appoint personnel to focus on more strategic functions.
HR Chatbots and Recruitment
An HR chatbot proves to be highly useful during a recruitment cycle. It takes the load off of the HR personnel, and makes candidate and employee management easier and more satisfying for everyone involved.
HR chatbots automate and simplify some of the most time-consuming processes of talent acquisition for an organisation. These bots can even be customized to fit organisational needs, and thereby, complete the job efficiently.
What are chatbots?
Unless you have been living under a rock and not been using the internet, you have interacted with a chatbot. In the simplest of terms, a chatbot is a software program that simulates and processes human conversation – spoken or written – and allows human users to interact with digital devices. Chatbots are driven by artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), natural language processing (NLP), and automated rules.
What are HR chatbots?
HR chatbots are virtual employee assistants, designed to replicate certain roles of the organisation’s HR department. Not only are HR chatbots convenient and quick sources of reliable information, they can also carry out certain automated tasks. An HR chatbot is like a portable HR manager who never gets tired!
Reduce recruitment time, effort, and cost
Recruitment involves many time-consuming steps such as filtering through applications, finalizing shortlists, making calls, sending emails, and scheduling interviews. All these tasks can be easily performed by the right HR chatbot.
AI-enabled HR chatbots can select resumes with the greatest fit, filter them, get in touch with the applicants, and schedule interviews. They can easily update the interviewer’s calendar and schedule interviews too. Using a set of customized questions, chatbots can screen candidates efficiently and decide if they align with the organisation’s expectations.
HR chatbots can complete almost all these processes within minutes, and simultaneously, for many applicants. Needless to say, using HR chatbots can not only reduce time and effort, but also bring down operational costs.
Do not lose candidates through avoidable gaps
HR chatbots, like all chatbots, can communicate through different mediums such as text messages, WhatsApp messages, and emails. Candidates who prefer to apply through text messages can be encouraged to do so, or even those who are unlikely to have a resume but are perfect for a position, can be coaxed to apply through text messages. In other words, don’t lose good able candidates because of rigid application processes.
Handle candidate queries with speed and clarity
Most applicants have similar queries during the recruitment process – status of their application, where they stand, and other related questions. And they want the answers quickly. Studies show 31% of applicants expect customized messages. Executives naturally find it difficult to handle the sheer volumes and as a result queries pile up unanswered. Sluggish HR responses can be the bane of any recruitment process.
This problem can be solved by HR chatbots. Using a Q&A feature, applicants can get instant answers to their questions. In fact, almost 80% of all standard questions can be answered within minutes. HR chatbots dip into the large amounts of existing data, and use ML and NLP to understand questions and personalize answers.
Onboarding can become less stressful
Talent retention in an organisation shoots up by at least 82% with a standardized and thorough onboarding system. Repetitive meetings and orientation processes can be packed away and made faster and simpler by using HR chatbots. New employees can quickly get familiar with their team, company policies and structure, communication styles and culture through HR chatbots. Since end users do not have to be trained before using an HR chatbot, the conversational interface makes the onboarding process seamless and pleasant for the new employees. Further, HR chatbots can be easily tweaked to suit different roles.
Gather User Insight
HR chatbots can be effectively used to gather feedback from both existing employees and new employees. Any opinion about information or a process that’s perceived to be missing or is ineffective as per a new/existing employee’s opinion, can be easily procured and integrated with a feedback structure.
Handle referrals with ease
With timely communication, improved engagement, and smoothened processes HR chatbots can accept referrals from employees. In fact, a chatbot can even remind a recruitment executive about roles that are vacant and suggest adding a referral for the role. Perhaps there might come a day when HR chatbots will reach out to employees and ask them to refer a suitable candidate in their network for an open position!
So, are you convinced to look for the HR chatbot that best fits your organisation? Chatbots are getting smarter every day, and almost 73% of candidates don’t even realize they’re interacting with a chatbot when they get their queries answered. Studies have repeatedly proved that AI-driven technologies bring tangible ROI to organisations.
Finally, not to be a wet blanket, but it is important to be cautious while incorporating an HR chatbot. AI should not be allowed to take over your recruitment process completely. The complete absence of a human connection may be disconcerting for a few applicants. Balance judiciously.