Peter Gold, Principal Consultant at Cornerstone OnDemand, deliberates on the use of chatbots and the ways that they can be beneficial for company reputation when hiring new staff.
The digital age has created a seismic shift in the recruiting industry. No longer are recruiters cold-calling potential applicants or putting job adverts in newspapers – instead, they are monitoring analytics and recruiting through LinkedIn and digital job boards. This change largely comes from new technology, which has fundamentally changed the way recruiters source talent and as such, they are having to learn new skills and adapt to this new environment.
The rise of the bots
The huge growth of LinkedIn and other social media sites has opened up the talent pool even more and has created a new opportunity for recruiters. However, recruiters are unable to keep up with the demand and often find themselves sifting through thousands of profiles without any direction. Simply, they lack the information to find both high quality and relevant candidates and they lack the tools to create a positive recruiting experience. With the development of new technologies such as machine learning and AI, the recruiting industry has a chance to catch up and innovate.
A chatbot is a computer programme that helps businesses communicate with their staff or customers. Chatbots, such as Siri or Alexa, can respond to questions based on a series of pre-programmed algorithms. They can understand speech and text and are able to search for information and then relay it back to the user. Most chatbots are compatible with a variety of messaging apps and they allow businesses to communicate in a way that is personalised and convenient — both improving the candidate experience and company reputation.
Here to help
The job application process can be tiresome for applicants. After submitting what feels like hundreds of applications and receiving very little feedback, applicants are left feeling frustrated. In fact, slow feedback from potential employers is one of the biggest frustrations for job seekers. Candidates — like consumers — demand personalised, immediate communication that’s easy to access. Poor applicant communication and a lack of feedback can impact your business negatively and prevent future applicants from applying to your company. To eradicate this issue, chatbots can help.
During the recruitment process, chatbots can analyse a candidate’s profile, understand any questions they may have and identify common patterns to help them come to an answer. They can act as a ‘mobile concierge’ for a candidate, passing on their information to recruiters and giving feedback on their progress. This immediately reassures the candidate, opens up a direct line of communication and gives the candidate a far better experience.
The robot recruiter
Not only do chatbots allow for ongoing communication between the candidate and the company but they can be used within various media and accessed by a variety of devices. You can access a chatbot via email, text, social media, messaging apps, a website, or specific software platforms such as an ATS using your mobile, laptop, PC or tablet. However, with messaging apps making up 79% of smartphone usage, it is clear that having your recruiting chatbot available for mobile use is a must.
By implementing a chatbot on the platforms that candidates use on a day-to-day basis, your company shows that it understands the job application process and acknowledges that the easier it is to find and receive information on job roles, the better. By creating a positive candidate experience, you will improve the perception of your employer brand while making your recruiting process more efficient.
The right tools for your brand
A recent survey found that 88% of respondents withdrew their job application because of “communication issues”. With the demand for transparency increasing, companies cannot afford to ignore job seekers anymore. Creating a negative recruiting experience could potentially be extremely damaging to your brand. Even if the candidate isn’t offered the job, it’s essential that companies communicate closely throughout the process. It makes the candidate feel more appreciated and less likely to write a poor review of their experience on Glassdoor — which is available online for any potential candidate to see.
It’s understandable that recruiters cannot always respond to each candidate one-on-one, as they are already stretched in their role and responding to hundreds of applicants can be time-consuming. However, if your company finds itself in this situation then it’s HR’s responsibility to find a solution.
Chatbots are important to consider in any recruiting strategy but, don’t rush into it. Make sure you choose a chatbot that has real intelligence and can be fully integrated into your systems. The most useful chatbots are able to scale and deliver engagement that is truly unique and relevant to the candidate. Don’t just enable a chatbot on your website and then forget about it. It should serve as a valuable tool that creates a gateway to new opportunities.
The most important asset of any organisation is its people. If you want to be seen as a company that cares about its staff, even before they have been hired, then consider a chatbot and get ahead in the race for talent.