There’s a lot of buzz about bots for talent acquisition. People are excited about artificial intelligence and machine learning, for good reason, but we’re still in very early days. The companies that are using bots for TA right now are early adopters. That means that for all the buzz, bots are not about to replace humans. But they could save humans a lot of time, and let them focus on high-value work.
So, while you shouldn’t expect bots to bring cognitive powers to your Talent Acquisition process any time soon, I’m optimistic about where bot technology will take us. Let’s look at the promise of bots for talent acquisition: improving the candidate experience and creating a faster, scalable, data-rich recruitment process for hiring teams.
Improving the Candidate Experience
In the past, hiring organizations could talk to candidates through one-to-one phone calls and in-person meetings, or by collecting information through online forms. Bots make those conversations more engaging than submitting a resume online, and more scalable than talking one-on-one with a recruiter.
Candidates get a response in real time, without waiting for someone to follow up. In other words, bots can help create personalized interaction at scale.
While a chatbot on a career page might seem basic (and the technology is), the experience for candidates is pretty transformative. Drew Austin, CEO and co-founder of Wade & Wendy, says that even when candidates know they’re talking to a bot, they feel respected and cared for. “People humanize it,” he says. “They actually say things like ‘thank you for listening’ to a machine, because they like the opportunity to be heard. It’s giving job seekers a platform to actually be able to tell their story without being rushed off the phone.”
Collecting More Candidate Data and Freeing Up Recruiters’ Time
For the hiring organization, bots save massive amounts of time and supercharge candidate data collection. Instead of tasking recruiters with scheduling and completing individual candidate screens and interviews, a hiring organization can deploy a bot for a number of those initial candidate conversations.
When you remove repetitive, time-consuming administrative tasks like scheduling from recruiters’ plates, they’re free to spend more time on high-value recruiting activities like interviewing and building relationships. As a result, organizations can screen more quickly, schedule interviews more efficiently and, eventually, decrease time to hire and increase the output of recruiting teams.
“When you can bring people quicker from A to B to C to D, and eventually reduce the time to hire, that’s something companies can quantify,” says Luc Dudler, founder and CEO of jobpal. “That has a huge impact on their ability to hire great talent.”
The eventual goal of chatbot-powered recruiting? To create a platform that connects data from each stage of the candidate lifecycle to reveal new insights about ideal candidates and the recruiting process.