How Do Recruiting Chatbots Impact the Candidate Experience

In the customer service space, 83% of consumers prefer to interact with real-life human beings instead of chatbots. In recruiting and hiring, where the stakes are critically higher, we believe the majority of candidates have the same preference. In fact, we recently explored how AI is sparking evolution of the recruitment process (grab the eBook here), and we are particularly interested in the role of AI in the candidate journey. A candidate’s experience is significantly impacted by who or what is driving the interaction, and we believe that no matter how smart recruiting chatbots get, the humanity of a real-life recruiter is impossible to replicate.


That said, let’s explore how recruiting chatbots impact the candidate experience.


The Advantage of Recruiting Chatbots

The most obvious benefit to implementing an AI-powered recruiting tool like a chatbot is the sheer volume of applicants they can process in the least amount of time. The ease of submitting a resume through job boards and career sites has always had the negative impact of creating a “resume black hole,” in which candidates receive little to no feedback about the positions they apply to. That’s where recruiting chatbots are changing the game.


A CareerBuilder survey reveals that over half of all applicants give up on a company if they haven’t received feedback within two weeks of applying. But recruiting chatbots can provide an immediate response, answering any questions the candidate may have about the company or the position. Plus, with 31% of those candidates expecting a customized message, intelligent chatbots are the perfect solution, leveraging big data, machine learning, and natural language processing to deliver a valuable, personalized interaction within hours, or even minutes, of a submitted application.


AI recruiting tools also have the power to more thoroughly cross-reference candidates against job requirements, assessing resumes, test results, and even interview transcripts for skills alignment and cultural fit. Once again, the volume at which these tools can execute far surpasses that of a real-life recruiter.


Drivers of the Candidate Experience

According to statistics from the company that created AI recruiting tool Mya, a massive 73% of candidates didn’t even realize they were speaking with a chatbot when interacting via text about basic application questions. That’s great, but will that statistic really hold up deeper in the hiring funnel when candidates are looking for career advice?


Our highly educated guess is, no.


Responsiveness and personalization are key drivers of the candidate experience, but they aren’t the only factors. No matter how quick or cute the feedback, the journey from applicant to new hire can be intimidating, confusing, tedious, or frustrating without the help of a true advisor. A recruiting chatbot can only understand a candidate’s challenges and motivations from a semantic point of view, but it’s a genuine connection that really defines a successful candidate experience.


A recruiter’s experience, intuition, and compassion – as well as their drive to make a real difference in the lives of the people they’re recruiting – is what fuels the quality of candidate experience that leads to the absolute best-fit placement.


This is especially true in the case of passive candidates who aren’t actively looking for a new job opportunity in the first place. These candidates are some of the most valuable on the market, especially in hard-to-recruit fields like IT and engineering, among others. In these scenarios, recruiting chatbots have little to no capacity to engage these professionals. The candidate experience for them begins with conversation and relationship-building; something only an experienced real-life recruiter can do.


Recruiting Chatbots and the Candidate Experience

According to CareerBuilder, 68% of employees say that the candidate experience is a reflection of the employee experience. Furthermore, another survey reveals that 82% of candidates will refer friends and colleagues if they had a positive candidate experience.


In short, the data shows that the candidate experience is a critical component in a professional’s decision to accept a job offer and, subsequently, make referrals. Thus, it is crucial that employers consider how AI-powered recruiting tools like chatbots impact this experience. Advancements in natural language processing and machine learning have enabled valuable interactions at impressive volumes, but it’s the recruiter relationship that results in the most fruitful kind of candidate experience – one that leads to a best-fit, long-term placement.


For a deeper dive into chatbots and AI in the hiring process, grab your copy of our latest eBook: AI in Hiring: The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread? Or Is It Toast?


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