New Roads in Recruiting: A Chatbot for the HR Department
Faced with a shortage of skilled workers, quickly finding qualified applicants constitutes a daily challenge for HR departments. A new approach makes use of the opportunities digitization has to offer: a chatbot can help with the recruiting process.
When it comes to recruiting, companies are active on many different channels: Alongside traditional job postings, they solicit applicants, for example, in posts on their social media channels and on career websites. However, more increasingly, applicants are not finding information that interests them quickly enough or do not want to use the contact form because its set fields do not fit their situations. As a result, many desirable applicants give up before contacting the company.
At the same time, the requirements and questions put to applicants are so broadly spread in many sectors that an online form can hardly accommodate them. Interested applicants therefore submit their documents, the company agrees on an interview with them and only then, in a face-to-face interview, are these topics covered. It then turns out that what the applicant and the company had in mind do not match, and both parties have wasted a lot of time and energy.
The recruiting robot
This is where chatbots can be implemented. As a virtual recruiting specialist, a chatbot is available 24/7 on the company’s social media channels and career page. Interested applicants can chat about the vacancy with the bot and also clarify various questions they may have about the position. Things like whether particular language skills are necessary and which ones, or whether different working hours are possible, without media disruption and regardless of time and place.
The recruiting process is therefore a good place to implement chatbots, because ultimately many steps involve the same recurring actions from which data can be harvested and compared. For example, certain information about the candidate must be collected and their stated skills must be compared to the job requirements. That can be carried out very efficiently via a chatbot.
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Even the company benefits, as it receives important information about the applicants and their skills via the chatbot conversations. This way, the HR Department can immediately assess whether an applicant is suited for an advertised position, or whether perhaps there is a suitable position for them. Alternatively, a chatbot can narrow down the suitable candidates. Where appropriate, the bot can immediately inform the applicant that applying would not be worthwhile due to certain requirements not being met – and perhaps immediately direct them towards a better-suited post. In this manner, a lot of questions which are not covered by contact forms or checklists are clarified right at the start of the application process. Furthermore, the bot can remain in permanent contact with candidates whose applications are currently being reviewed and can keep them updated. And this is all scalable, since a chatbot can undertake hundreds or thousands of conversations at the same time.
Of course, even the best-designed bot cannot replace a face-to-face conversation. And there are times – particularly in the early implementation phase – where the bot won’t understand everything. Just like with customer service, the conversation must be handed over to a human recruiter as smoothly as possible.
Better candidate experience, more efficient recruiting
Like their implementation in customer dialogue, chatbots can also be applied to recruiting: The quality of the results and the candidate experience heavily depends on the bot having been suitably designed and, above all, adequately trained, with a team in the background that can jump in when problems occur. Then, companies lay out their application processes interactively and orientated to dialogue. In doing so, they measurably improve the candidate experience. The HR department also benefits, since, like the applicants, they receive better information earlier on.
Recruiting is not the only possible place where chatbots can be implemented in HR, however: they can also support onboarding by providing new colleagues with important information, or can be used more generally to answer questions that colleagues may have for the HR department.