Chatbots in HR: Friend or Foe?

Apr 26, 2018 6:07:48 AM / by XOR

For many potential employees properly filling in their resume, mentioning years of prior experience, education and important personal characteristics, still remains quite problematic. It is especially evident in the fields for which the resume itself is quite unnecessary — line staff and blue collars rarely need it to get a position. Employers recently started offering simple questionnaires for these types of applicants, but even this option seems to become outdated now, being actively displaced by employer’s chatbots.

In nowadays world, chatbot is probably an optimal solution when it comes to mass hiring or when you are employing candidates for standard positions. To be honest, mass hiring is the most painful and complicated part of modern recruitment. Due to high turnover rates, companies are craving for a constant flow of relevant candidates at minimal costs. That surely means it’s important to work on staff retention, but this does not change the fact that corporations constantly need a lot of people. Over the past two years companies managed to start solving this problem technologically. That means: minimal level of actual involvement in process and maximal results, which is purely a dream-come-true for most of the mass-recruiters. Ironically, it turned out that people who are responsible for hiring the least technological staff are now the major drivers of modern HR-tech.

So, how does this look like?

Chatbot is a program that is taught to imitate real communication. The main goal of every chatbot is to get some standardized information from its interlocutor.

For instance, to figure out whether the applicant has the necessary driver’s license category, or whether he/she is permitted to do specific work, or to figure out the competitor’s address, or whether he/she is willing to start working on a specific date. Chatbot also briefly describes the job vacancy and if the person’s application is finished, chatbot accepts it and sends it on to the recruiter with all the necessary information on whether this candidate fits the position and meets all the requirements. If so, the candidate can be invited directly to a job interview and can also be accepted for a job as soon as possible. This last phase can also be automated if you furnish your bot with a meeting calendar. In this case the program will be able to set the convenient date and time for the applicant and find another option if the one suggested by the candidate is already occupied. If everything goes just as planned, then — bingo! — , your employee is ready to start working in the next couple of days.

Chatbot’s obvious advantage is that it automates the process for recruiters, whereas for the employees the traditional part of the job seeking process remains virtually unchanged.

Recruiter greatly saves time by delegating interviews to bots, while candidates are offered a comfortable and, even more important, familiar type of “question-answer” interaction. All the possible answers are already digitized and sorted out according to the position’s requirements.

Another advantage, particularly important for employers, is that this technology can easily be embedded in corporate ATS (Applicant Tracking System) for recruiting purposes or in TMS (Talent Management System) to fully maintain HR functions. That means that everyone who connects the bot automatically, falls into an informational system that gathers the flow of job-seekers from all channels. These are not only competitors interviewed by chatbots, but also those who left replies on a company’s official site or in social networks. Later on, employers can sort out all applications, ranking them according to the common criteria and comparing them, regardless of the source. It also makes it possible to create cost estimate funnels. In other words, chatbots can be easily integrated into existing informational systems used in HR.

Among other things, it is important to mention that, even though recruiting and pre-screening are currently the main reasons for chatbot’s existence, these technologies may also be helpful when it comes to inner communication with co-workers, since there are no technical obstacles.

For instance, the program is ideal for questionnaires of all kinds, starting with those measuring worker’s involvement and ending with simple surveys helping you to choose an ideal place to hold a corporative party. Bots can also collect comments on any company’s innovations and receive staff’s propositions on any possible improvements. These programs can also be extremely helpful for team’s newbies, explaining them the basics of their job, bots may contain useful information on a company’s inner structure or departmental tasks, F.A.Q., address books and many, many more. In fact it is only company’s regulations and employees’ initiatives that establish the framework for the use of the product.

But, predictably, there are also complexities.

The first is the actual set-up of a bot. It is quite a complicated procedure, requiring specific skills from an HR-specialist. It all starts with working out a certain logic of communication that bot is going to use. The algorithm has to make bot’s manner of speech attractive and involving, instead of being bothersome or funny, as some poorly made programs are. It would be a good idea to test a couple of bots with different scenarios in a pilot project. By doing so, you get a chance to observe various options in practice and to choose the optimal logics and texts that provide maximal conversion, before actually introducing the novelty to potential clients.

Still, it is unfair to ignore the fact that some users seem to reject the entire concept of robotized communication, saying it could be very uncomfortable for certain groups of people. The reasons are different: some may simply dislike the idea of talking to robots, others do not take bots seriously or find it hard to stay on track, some ignore the bots, and others literally start trolling. But if you really think of it, you’ll see that none of these reactions are unpredictable. It is a totally understandable behaviour that people demonstrate when trying to check the limits of virtual space, yet being unfamiliar with them. It is the responsibility of a chatbot to get the interlocutor back on track and to make the communication productive.

So, chatbots in HR — friend or foe?

XOR offers an AI-driven chatbot that is changing recruiting forever. Imagine a bot that engages and pre-screens candidates, gathers necessary data, schedules interviews, provides instant feedback and automatically texts them when their application status changes.

We at XOR have processed over 500 000 applications and have valuable insights to share.

Hit us up at info@xor.ai and schedule a short call to discuss how XOR enhances the recruiting process.

There’s one crucial difference between a bot and a real person and in this case bots totally beat human recruiters — these programs always give you a feedback, regardless of your results and they also offer you plenty of different options that can work for you. We all know that usually, human recruiters either don’t have time for this, or simply feel uncomfortable when rejecting candidates. Luckily, bots are entirely heartless, so they willingly provide everyone with an exact answer. We guess it will be most probable that unbiased algorithm of a chatbot may one day help us fully overcome one of the most topical and most permanent problems of the online-recruitment era.

XOR

Written by XOR

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