Human Resources

5 Ways Conversational AI Improves Talent Acquisition

Conversational AI gives HR leaders the power to go beyond recruitment process automation and dramatically improve the talent acquisition process.

Employee recruitment and talent acquisition are naturally very people-focused. That often translates into many human touchpoints for each candidate in the hiring process. 

While that human interaction can make the process more personal, it also means that the number of interactions is limited by recruiters’ time--and that’s a precious resource. 

Conversational AI automation with chatbots for HR offers recruiters and HR leaders a scalable, cost-effective means to improve talent acquisition, eliminating administrative, repetitive work so that your team can focus on meaningful interactions with qualified candidates. 

More Than Just Recruitment Process Automation

Your applicant tracking system (ATS) probably provides some rudimentary automation options, such as sending automated acknowledgment emails to applicants. And your company may also use a chatbot on the website or other recruitment channels. 

These can be a great place to start, especially if they include the robust functionality provided by conversational AI that uses machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) to actually improve its capabilities with every interaction. Conversational AI can be used where the user’s responses might not fit into a “script,” or where intent matters. 

These robust capabilities make conversational AI an ideal fit for talent acquisition because it provides a much more human interaction for candidates. Unlike regular chatbots, conversational AI chatbots deliver a personalized first touch for candidates.

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Top Benefits of Conversational AI for Talent Acquisition

Savvy recruiters and HR leaders are using conversational AI to save time, reduce costs, and improve the candidate experience. Check out these six key benefits of conversational AI in talent acquisition. 

Faster Follow-up

According to a survey conducted by Careerarc, 69% of candidates wish that employers would improve response time. And that seems like a reasonable expectation--it’s not unusual for candidates to hear from company weeks or even months after they apply for a position. 

During that time, candidates might find other jobs or even decide they’re not interested in working for a company with such poor response times. Delays directly translate into missed hiring opportunities for your organization. 

Conversational AI gives you the power to communicate with applicants instantly, using their preferred communication channel. It can be used on your website, email, Facebook, WhatsApp, or anywhere else that candidates might connect with your company. 

Automated Pre-screening and Interview Scheduling

The average corporate job posting receives 250 applications, and plenty of those will be from candidates who aren’t the right fit. But recruiters still have to spend time sorting through all these candidates.

Conversational AI chatbots integrated with RPA bots can conduct pre-screening via natural-language interactions with candidates and schedule qualified candidates for interviews. This allows the recruiter to spend more time preparing for more meaningful interactions with qualified candidates. 

Furthermore, conversational AI virtual assistants can also reach out to candidates to confirm interviews and reschedule or cancel as needed. This saves time for the recruiting team and reduces no-shows.

Reduced Candidate Attrition

Candidates expect to spend about 40 minutes filling out an online job application. Yet about 60% of prospective applicants drop out because the process is too long or complicated. That high attrition rate represents a serious opportunity cost for employers--and points to the need for a shorter, less complicated process to begin with. 

Recruiters can boost completion rates by as much as 365%, simply by reducing the application process to five minutes or less. One way to do that is to rethink pre-screening: what do you really need to know? It’s usually less information than you think: name and contact information; a resume; perhaps a LinkedIn profile; and maybe answers to a few basic questions about professional interests or qualifications. 

Generally, conversational AI virtual assistants can gather this information via a short, friendly conversation with an applicant. This format is also preferable to a traditional lengthy application because so many people (86% by some estimates) use their phones to fill out applications.

Better Outreach to Passive Candidates

When’s the last time you connected with your pool of passive candidates? This group includes people who aren’t currently active in the job market but might be interested in the right opportunity. They’re a great resource if you’re having trouble getting qualified candidates to apply for a position. 

But most organizations simply don’t have the capacity to keep up with passive candidates. As a result, their contact information might be way out of date, they may have completely changed careers, or they might have left the labor force altogether. All of these scenarios make it more difficult and time-consuming for recruiters to connect with the right passive candidates when the time comes. 

“Outsourcing” passive candidate outreach to conversational AI is the perfect way to solve this problem. In a matter of minutes, conversational AI can jumpstart the talent pipeline for a position by reaching out to passive candidates whose qualifications are right. 

Conversational AI chatbots can also reach out to passive candidates on a regular basis (for instance, every six months) to check-in, gather updated contact information, and learn about their career goals or interests. This way, the passive candidate pool will never get stale. 

Increase Employee Retention

Conversational AI can help engage prospective employees from the beginning of the hiring process. But what happens after the hire? Consider the following statistics: 

  • The average US employer spends $4,000 and 24 days to hire a new employee. 
  • Excellent onboarding can improve employee retention by up to 82% and increase productivity by 57%. 
  • New hires who have a negative onboarding experience are twice as likely to look for a new job. 

Despite these compelling numbers, most companies still have lackluster onboarding programs that mostly focus on processes and paperwork. 

An emerging role for conversational AI is the employee onboarding and training process. Conversational AI can answer new employees’ questions or direct them to the right resources, chatbot-style. But it can also go further, tracking onboarding activities, assigning orientation curriculum, and even scheduling Continuing Education classes. 

Improve the Bottom Line

Most recruiters know that a poor candidate experience can make someone rethink a job. Indeed, 83% of people say that a bad application experience makes them reconsider taking a job. 

But we often forget that candidates are also potential customers and clients--as are their friends and family. And 65% of people say that they’d be less likely to patronize a business if they have a poor candidate experience. 

Conversely, 52% of businesses that prioritized the candidate experience enjoyed a revenue increase of 10% or more. Investing in conversational AI is a cost-effective way to make that commitment and enjoy the resulting revenue growth. 

Conversational AI is a natural fit for talent acquisition because it provides instant, personal interactions in each candidate’s desired communication channel. If you’d like to learn more about using conversational AI for talent acquisition and HR, let’s talk!

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