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R13 Opinion

Using chatbots in recruitment

As recruiters we are always looking for new ways to utilise technology to streamline the recruitment process and make it easier for both candidates and clients. One of these emerging technologies is chatbots, which can become an interface for various stages of the process. There is potential that this could be a key tool for recruitment companies and companies in the future, so let’s find out more.

What are chatbots?

The goal of chatbots is to make our lives quicker and simpler. Chatbots can work through a variety of platforms including Email, SMS, Social Media and Messaging Apps (e.g. WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger etc..) to converse with people. They are powered by artificial intelligence and can be applied in a variety of different ways. They are programmed to respond in a certain way to whoever they are speaking with, but they cannot communicate like a human would. 

How can hirers use them?

There are many ways in which hirers can incorporate chatbots in order to improve engagement.

Chatbots can be used in order to allow candidates to search for jobs by providing key snippets of information to the bot. It could then produce a list of potential job vacancies, taking candidates straight to the roles that might be of interest, instead of scrolling through pages of information. They could then send off an application for the role to be received by the hirer. Chatbots can also respond instantaneously, which could work to improve candidate satisfaction and allow candidates 24/7 access to your agency.

They can also be used to provide FAQ information by being pre-programmed with the commonly asked questions so that candidates can get their queries answered quickly and in real-time. This could even include queries about the company they have applied to, such as salary structure and potential benefits.

Furthermore, they can be used to screen candidates by asking them simple questions including name, job, salary expectations etc… which could then provide hirers with key information before they make first contact, making the process of gathering those important details more efficient and allowing hirers to focus on talking to candidates about the available vacancy.

Candidates could also use Chatbots to schedule meetings with hirers, as these could be linked to their calendars, knowing when they are free to meet.

One of the potential benefits of using Chatbots is that they are relatively new, so getting ahead of the trend and having one could really help you to stand out against the competition and target those talented candidates. Chatbots are also a great marketing tool for your business and can be used to promote events and key news.

Chatbots also work to reduce admin time and often have a higher open rate than emails, meaning you will engage more with candidates.

Here are some examples of recruitment Chatbots you can investigate for your company…

Chatbot Challenges

Whilst there are many ways this tech can be utilised in order to improve candidate satisfaction and speed up the process, this will never beat having a proper experience speaking to a real person. Whilst Chatbots are efficient, they cannot gauge candidates’ reactions, have no empathy, may not understand some slang and may struggle with some responses that require a decision on their part. They may also provide frustrating to candidates due to this lack of direct engagement and understanding, running the risk of those valuable candidates becoming dis-engaged and gaining a negative impression of your company.

Chatbots also, as with any kind of tech, are susceptible to malicious attacks and hackers could use these to gain information about your company, your candidates and could destroy key information.

With very few companies utilising this technology for recruitment, it is hard to tell whether this will be trend that will catch on and truly benefit the process.

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