Here’s a modern recruitment riddle.
Can you name something that increases efficiency, improves the customer experience, and even reduces costs?
Something that will streamline recruiting tasks, and something your competitors may already be using?
If you said ‘chatbots,’ you nailed it!
While chatbots are relatively recent technology, they’re already simplifying the lives of professionals everywhere. And across all business sectors they’ve already been shown to save organisations a packet.
Despite this, only 5% of companies worldwide were using chatbots regularly in 2016 while a paltry 5.6% of UK and Ireland agencies are considering the addition in 2018.
In a survey by Oracle, 80% of businesses in France, the Netherlands, South Africa and the UK are intending to incorporate automation technology by 2020.
Global companies leveraging the technology for their organisations include British Airways, eBay, Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Sephora, Marriott, and Coca-Cola.
Recruitment lags behind. It’s no secret that HR teams still focus 70% of their time on administrative and transactional HR activities.
The result? Only 30% of time to focus on high-value human capital work like HR strategy and talent and performance enhancement.
Meanwhile, chatbots are quietly revolutionising cutting-edge recruitment, making things easier for HR by eliminating much of the heavy-lifting and repetitive tasks.
Currently, the average cost per hire for companies is around £3,142 and the average time to fill a position is 42 days. Some chatbots can reduce hiring time by 80% – from around two months to two weeks.
There are a myriad of ways that chatbots can up your recruiting game, but before elaborating, let’s have a look at the technical nitty gritty.
Chatbots work in one of two ways. Some are simple and limited in their applications while others use AI and advanced machine learning to continue to evolve.
1. Decision tree or scripted chatbots follow a simple set of pre-programmed rules to give predictable answers and can only answer questions for which they were prepared. If a scripted chatbot encounters a question it doesn’t know, it won’t be able to answer it.
a. Examples are Facebook Messenger, Kik, WeChat, and Slack. These types of chatbots are only capable of interacting with users following a specific set of rules.
2. A.I or intelligent chatbots understand the meaning of language and complex requests. They can carry on conversations with humans using advanced machine learning and can personalise responses and improve interaction over time. Questions asked to intelligent chatbots don’t have to be specific; they relate and link ideas using the power of machine learning.
a. Examples are Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant. These rely completely on artificial intelligence to learn and answer any questions asked.
Chatbots are the dream assistant for the busy recruiter, taking on all the heavy-lifting and boring jobs and doing them efficiently, in bulk!
An effective chatbot will make your life easier and speed up your hiring process. A whopping 80% of recruiters believe that sourcing and testing should be automated. And 52% of talent acquisition leaders report that the hardest part of recruitment is identifying the right candidates from a large applicant pool.
Not only can a chatbot strip out bad candidates or perform fact-finding to aid report building, they are your willing helper, always on the go.
Here are some key advantages;
Many everyday recruitment and HR chores are easily transferable to a chatbot. Some chatbots claim they can automate as much as 75% of a company’s recruiting process. And Gartner predicts 85% of all customer service interactions will be automated by 2020.
Further evidence that hiring professionals could use some automated help can be found with those unfortunate applicants that fall through the cracks — 43% of candidates never hear back from a company after one touch-point.
But that’s just the applicants who get to the finish line. 74% of candidates don’t even complete the application process!
A chatbot deals with cumbersome hiring tasks while improving the customer experience. You’ll save yourself crucial time to focus on building relationships – one thing automation can’t do.
Chatbots are wonderful solutions to overworked HR professionals everywhere but they’re limited. While they do make the hiring process easier, they can never replace the human touch.
Tech is growing smarter everyday, but there is no algorithm that can top real human interaction.
Still, chatbots are the new reality. In one survey of 200 candidates, 58% were comfortable interacting with chatbots in the early stages of the application process while 66% were happy using recruitment automation for interview scheduling and preparation.
But the technology isn’t seamless. Too many people — 73% of consumers – can tell whether their last customer service interaction was with a human or a chatbot.
Nevertheless, recruitment automation is here to stay. For consumers, familiarity and increased efficiency are paving the way to acceptance.
Chatbots speed up the first stages of hiring, bringing the human interviewer and the candidate together sooner. And recruitment automation can — and does — save early adopters a lot of money.
But chatbots can only go so far. Human resources and recruitment are people-centric and always will be.
The sooner we realise that the skills of chatbots do not match those of the human brain, the sooner we can embrace this technology.
Think of chatbots as your automated virtual assistant, your best friend.
Chatbot technology will never replace hiring.
It will redefine it.
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