AI chatbots and other AI tools have arrived in recruiting, and their use is expected to grow exponentially in coming years. Many companies are using AI chatbots to boost communication, answer questions, improve candidate matching, and even bolster employee engagement after hire.
According to LinkedIn’s 2018 Global Recruiting Trends report, 35 percent of talent professionals say AI is the top trend in hiring. While many hiring managers and recruiters are figuring out how to incorporate AI, the majority are not losing sleep that AI recruiting tools are going to replace them. According to the report, only 15 percent of hiring professionals think AI tools will make their work obsolete.
The value of AI recruiting technology lies mostly in the early stages of the hiring funnel, as well as in scheduling and clerical tasks. By taking on many of these time-consuming, yet important hiring touchpoints, many believe AI is enriching later, people-to-people interactions. Here are some of the top ways AI chatbots and hiring tools improve recruiting:
They Make Communication 24/7
Prospective job candidates want immediate answers. Yet hiring managers and recruiters need time off, and even large-scale, global companies don’t have the available staff to answer questions around the clock. Enter the AI chatbot. These ‘automated conversation agents’ can handle many of the early questions candidates have about available jobs and the skills required for particular jobs.
In the fall of 2017, for example, Marriott launched MC, a Marriott Careers chatbot for job seekers available through Facebook messenger. By asking questions of the chatbot, people can find out if Marriott jobs that fall in their skill set are available in their geographic area. They can also ask questions about the culture at different organizations within the brand.1 Most importantly, they can do it when they are commuting home from a job they are considering leaving, or over the weekend. When people can’t get fast, simple answers about a job opportunity, they tend to move on. This is especially true of highly-prized passive candidates.
They Reduce the Resumé Pile
Newer AI chatbot technologies can help with the initial culling of resumés, so people without ‘must-have’ skills don’t wind up in the mix. The Mya chatbot launched by FirstJob, for example, can analyze applications for specific skills and ask applicants to expand on their experience. Mya and other chatbots can guide candidates through questions normally found within online applications, forms that are often left incomplete. These chatbots can follow up with applicants and encourage them to finish, as well as rank them based on their engagement levels.
They Keep Candidates Engaged
Candidates often rank poor communication as their primary frustration after they’ve applied for a position, completed an interview, and even between job offer and onboarding. AI chatbots can schedule second interviews, explain next steps, answer questions, and keep talent up to date on their hiring status. Companies are much less likely to lose candidates to offers from other organizations when they keep them in the loop.
They Can Read People
AI technology is also being used during video interviews to analyze the applicant’s facial expressions and word choices. The technology can determine levels of interest and engagement in the candidate’s face during the conversation, and pick out words that indicate qualities such as commitment, positivity, and flexibility.
They Improve Human Interactions
Rather than making recruiting more mechanical, many experts believe that AI chatbots and recruiting tools will allow for improved people-to-people interactions in recruitment. Hiring managers and recruiters have long lamented not having enough time for relationship building because of the demands of scheduling and emailing. With AI chatbots helping to answer candidate questions and determine job fit, however, they can spend more time getting to know candidates better, further through the hiring funnel—when it matters most.
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1 McManus, Brendan. “Marriott International Launches Careers Chatbot for Facebook Messenger.” 25 Oct 2017. Web. Marriott International. News Center.
2 Dishman, Lydia. “This Chatbot Can Make Sure Your Resume Won’t End Up In A Black Hole.” Fast Company. Web. 17 July 2016.