Are bots going to make candidates love you like XO?

chatbots candidate experience

This much we’ve always known: the moment a candidate clicks on a job post, their interaction with a potential employer begins. Now the recruitment team is on the clock.

Overall unemployment in the U.S. right now is fairly low, and most talent acquisition professionals — whether they’re front-line or executives — will tell you the market is very competitive, especially around urban areas and tech roles.

We’ve talked a lot about candidate engagement in the last few years. Many organizations aren’t quite “there” yet in terms of consistent delivery of said engagement, but all should be trying.

It’s important because top applicants know their value — and when it comes to finding the right job they seek out opportunities that deliver personalized experiences that are simple, direct, and meet them at their highest point 24/7.  You must be able to instantaneously engage applicants on their terms and let them know where they stand in real-time.

The Numbers: Data clearly shows the challenges facing recruitment teams are multidimensional and dynamic. Almost 60% of job seekers quit the online application process due to complexity and time requirements. For those who do complete an application, 65% indicated that they never received feedback from the employer after submission. The trends are not all negative, however: 67% of job seekers have a positive impression of a company if they receive consistent updates throughout the application process.

Candidate Engagement: Combine the data points and an interesting story takes shape. Active engagement, accessibility, and communication in the application process allow candidates the flexibility to self-select and drive the front-end, and it solves for an enormous obstacle for even the savviest recruitment teams – prioritizing quality candidates in a scalable manner.

Candidates searching for jobs want to feel intuitively engaged with the process, and recruitment teams should want to solve for and remove obstacles to communication to ensure the best candidates are properly engaged and matched with the right jobs.

Complements the Workflow and Scales: Designing meaningful Candidate Engagement requires the same thought and attention to detail as the customer experience. Treat candidates as if they were customers — because, in reality, they are your internal customers.

The employer-employee social contract has shifted over the last few decades. Recognize employees have different desires when it comes to work, and top applicants want more than monetary compensation. Leverage new technology to build out a scalable process that communicates properly with candidates.

Affordable Automation & Assistance: Technology barriers in HR are finally being addressed. Self-service interfaces like conversational ones are helpful solutions to align efforts and produce reliable outcomes. Any recruiting team can now deliver an individual experience at scale for a reasonable price.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions, specifically HR chatbots (bots), allow recruiters to take the heavy lifting associated with an initial recruitment launch, and place it squarely on the shoulders of a bot. Basically, you’re reducing task work in top-of-funnel recruitment activities and handing that to tech.

If you’re properly automating the brute force elements of talent acquisition — Initial Candidate Engagement, Pre-Screening, and Interview Scheduling — now you can be off building relationships, clarifying context with hiring managers, scouring LinkedIn to build a proactive pipeline, and more.

Have a Thousand Conversations Simultaneously: HR bots can perform tasks that no person could ever accomplish. Through a series of questions with a bot, candidates engage in an interactive conversation and, during the exchange, applicants are analyzed to determine suitability for an available position.  

Response capacity to a job posting is no longer an issue. Multiple candidates can simultaneously apply for the same position and each will be provided instant feedback about their individual qualifications and unique questions.

Prospective talent can begin their journey at any time day or night, and each applicant knows where they stand in the process at the end of the conversation. Bots augment and maintain the human element in a scalable way, and instantly ease concerns of top talent.

Fill the Interview Calendar Automatically: As a bot helps prescreen and determine the best candidates, it automatically fills a recruiter’s calendar with interviews. The bot reads the availability of the recruiter and immediately sets up the appointment. Not only does it schedule interviews, the bot reminds all parties with prompts, and it also accommodates instant change requests. Let’s say a candidate has a conflict pop up like a medical emergency; they can ping the conversation via email or SMS, and the bot immediately works to reschedule.  All of this is accomplished automatically without disrupting the recruiter’s day.

Not All Platforms Are Equal: Yes, bots are helpful tools, but beware a one-size-fits-all mentality.

When evaluating AI bot platforms, keep these things in mind:

  • Domain and Launch Expertise – Various AI bots are helping teams in many business segments, but talent acquisition presents unique challenges. Ensure the vendor has significant HR expertise.
  • High-Load Friendly – It’s smart to consider what volume of candidates will be processed before a contract is signed. Many bots a not designed to handle high-loads.
  • Technical and Data Compliance – Integrations with core systems like calendars, ATS, HRMS are a must.  To be effective the bot will need to pull and push data to sensitive environments which means data privacy and security need to be clearly defined.

To maximize resources, ensure the bots under consideration have these features:

  • Answers Frequently Asked Questions about job and employer
  • Communicates employer values and mission
  • Suggests other job vacancies to the candidate in real-time
  • Pre-screens candidates and schedules interviews within 3 minutes
  • Communicates interview confirmations and reminders
  • Constant status updates during the hiring process, keeps candidate engaged
  • Works with a cold database to re-engage with passive candidates

Bottom Line: With a well-designed recruitment scheme, launch plan and bot platform recruiters only focus on candidates that make it through the automated selection process, providing HR specialists the flexibility to maximize their efforts, focus, and energy on only the best candidates for any given position.

Aida Fazylova on Linkedin
Aida Fazylova

Founder and CEO at XOR.ai, mathematician-programmer by education. Previously have been working in IT recruitment and project management for over 6 years. My areas of interest are technology, AI and recruitment.




Founder and CEO at XOR.ai, mathematician-programmer by education. Previously have been working in IT recruitment and project management for over 6 years. My areas of interest are technology, AI and recruitment.

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