Recruiters are faced with a number of challenges, from ineffective and lengthy administration processes, to manually reviewing hundreds of CV’s at a time, analysing the results and creating reports to base hiring decisions on.
Not only is the workload vast, with recruiters having to manage a mammoth number of tasks simultaneously it’s also pretty varied, and - this is where chatbots come in - helping recruiters save money, increase efficiencies and overall take candidate engagement to a whole new level.
During this blog post, we will look at how chatbots and AI can be used to simplify and enhance the recruitment and retention process across any industry sector.
Firstly, let’s look at how chatbots can be used to simplify the recruitment process. There are a number of repetitive tasks that a chatbot can take care of, giving humans the capacity to deal with more complex and mentally demanding matters. Some of these tasks include:
- Reading and rating CV’s
- Screening potential candidates
- Providing status updates of an application
- Answering candidate FAQs
- Conduct first-stage interviews
- Check work eligibility
- Assess whether potential candidates are a cultural fit
- Run background checks
- Set up reminder
Once the recruitment process has been taken care of, the bot can also be used to streamline onboarding process by providing and requesting all the necessary information and documentation, setting up payroll, generating network passwords plus much more - the possibilities are endless.
Some chatbots can reduce hiring time by 80% – from around two months to two weeks.
Not only can a chatbot dramatically reduce hiring times, they can also save recruiters money. According to Jobheron, the average cost per hire for companies is around £3,142 and the average time to fill a position is 42 days.
Chatbots currently account for business cost savings of $20 million globally. And, that number is only expected to rise as chatbot effectiveness increases. Findings from analysis firm Juniper Research show that chatbots are expected to trim business costs by more than $8 billion per year by 2022.
Automation undoubtedly helps businesses save money in a number of ways; reducing operational spend, increasing sales opportunities, cost savings in relation to staff retention - you get the gist. But what about candidate engagement?
Talent is hard to come by so when the right candidate does come along, it’s important to engage with them effectively. Chatbots offer an instant and constant point of contact for an infinite number of interested candidates.
According to CareerBuilder, over 67% of the applicants have a positive impression about organisations who keep them updated throughout the application process and considering that almost 75% of the applicants never hear back from recruiters, it’s clearly time to make some changes in the recruitment process.
Not only does this massively enhance the candidates experience, the chatbots’ analytical and data driven capabilities provide huge insights for recruiters. The candidate data captured through chatbot interactions can be split out into custom segments - we call these ‘swarms’ and assigned key character/personality traits. This allows recruiters to effectively and efficiently retarget certain candidates with job opportunities that are deemed relevant as per the algorithm.
Recruiters are also able to gain candidate experience feedback via a chatbot survey which provides a much more user friendly experience than a hefty form filling process post employment. Oftentimes, candidates drop off mid application process which is where chatbots can automatically and personally reconnect with the candidate and guide them through the final stages.
Bias in recruitment comes in all shapes and sizes whether that be around gender, age, beauty or conformity. Many of these biases are deep rooted and unconscious making the patterns difficult break.
Diversity and equal opportunities are slowly becoming more ingrained into hiring culture however it can take hundreds of years to iron out unconscious bias. We recently interviewed Dr Zara Nanu, CEO at Gapsquare on The Botcast - we talked about how Artificial Intelligence systems are only as good as the data you feed them and what they are doing at Gapsquare to reshape bias within business.
Although AI can be fall foul of unconscious bias, it can also identify it. AI enabled analysis can identify and flag potential patterns of bias. By using a chatbot as a recruitment, retention and HR tool and consciously enabling AI that detects bias stands a recruiter in good stead when it comes to facilitating an unbiased and diverse working environment.
A study by Employee Benefits News states that the average cost of losing an employee is a staggering 33% of their annual salary, so employee retention is important. . Unfortunately candidates are not always given sufficient information or guided through their onboarding and employment journey effectively which can result in communication breakdown and as a result, loss of talent.
So, how can AI and chatbots help with this? Chatbots can become a valuable candidate and employee concierge tool, providing a central and consistent point of contact. Not only does this help bridge the gap between candidate/employee and employer but it can also provide both parties with instant information and documentation. Chatbots can also provide any necessary training and flag when an employee needs additional training.
Another beneficial impact of AI on retention is that it can be used to detect when an employee may be having issues or flag behavioural shifts that an employer may not notice. Overall, the implementation of a chatbot can significantly enrich the experience for both employee and employer.
By 2022, chatbots have the potential to reduce business costs by more than $8 billion.
Human resources (HR) is an area ripe for intelligent automation. AI-powered chatbots in HR offer a number of benefits as they are able to streamline and personalise the HR process across the board for employees of different levels.
Chatbots are able to assist an employee at every lifecycle stage which provides a constant and consistent touch-point for high levels of employee engagement which, according to HR Drive is something that 38% of HR respondents claim is the primary challenge they face.
Think about it, when you start a new job, the bureaucracy of onboarding can be overwhelming, laborious and time consuming and essential training can feel intense and restrictive so what if a chatbot could guide you through any of the above at a time that suits you on a channel that you choose to communicate via?
Additionally, as an employee, you are likely to have questions that you’re not entirely comfortable asking your boss or HR department. In these circumstances, a chatbot offers instant, impartial and unbiased answers to employee queries.
In Summary, researchers predict that within the next five years, between 75 and 90% of queries will be dealt with by chatbots, resulting in cost savings of up to $0.70 per interaction. With benefits spanning far and wide, there are undoubtedly huge rewards to be reaped in recruitment, retention and HR. If you’d like to learn more about our AI powered chatbot software IntelAgent, you can reach us on firstname.lastname@example.org or book a demo here.