Register for our upcoming webinar:  

Strategic Upskilling in the Age of AI

Tuesday | July 23, 2024 7:30pm IST

Register Now

Unlock skill-first hiring with HackerEarth today

Learn more
piller_image

Recruitment Chatbot: A How-to Guide for Recruiters

Recruitment-Chatbot-A-How-to-Guide-for-Recruiters

Recruiters constantly look for innovative ways and solutions to efficiently attract and engage top talent. One of the recruiter tools at their disposal is the recruitment chatbot. These digital assistants are revolutionizing how recruiters work. 

Are you looking to add a chatbot to your hiring process?

Our comprehensive guide will take you through the essentials of a recruitment chatbot—from its role and benefits to planning and building one and optimizing your own. 

The rise of AI in recruitment

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a transformative force reshaping most industries, if not all. Today, you’ll find AI-generated marketing content, financial predictions, and even AI-powered contact center solutionsThe recruitment field has not been left behind. Professionals are using AI technologies, such as machine learning, natural language processing (NLP), and predictive analytics, to enhance various aspects of recruitment. 

A report by Facts & Factors projects the global AI recruitment market size will grow to $890.51 million by 2028.

AI-Recruitment-Market-Size
Source

Chatbots are a prime example of AI’s practical application in the hiring process. They efficiently handle tasks that traditionally require constant human intervention–as we’ll see in the next section.

Understanding recruitment chatbots

Now that you understand the role of AI in modern recruiting processes, let’s focus on recruitment chatbots in particular.

  • What is a recruitment chatbot?

A recruitment chatbot is software designed to assist in the recruitment process by simulating human-like conversations and automating various tasks. The core functionalities include:

  • Asking candidates predefined questions about their qualifications, experience, and skills
  • Instantly responding to common questions about job openings, company culture, benefits, and application process
  • Automated interview scheduling process with human recruiters 
  • Keeping qualified candidates informed about their application status

As of 2023, 35%-45% of companies were using AI recruitment tools. Here are two key notable ones:

General Motors

General Motors (GM) has a conversational hiring assistant, Ev-e, that appears as soon as you land on their career site.

General-Motors-Recruitment-Chatbot
Source

This AI-powered chatbot enabled GM to manage candidate communications efficiently. The company also lowered its interview scheduling time from 5–7 days to just 29 minutes. They also save around $2 million annually. 

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) also has a great recruiting chatbot– the HPE Career Bot. It also pops up when you land on HPE’s career site.

HP-Career-Chatbot
Source

HPE’s goal was to use the chatbot to convert passive candidates into actual job applicants, and they did just that. 

Within the first three months of its rollout, the career bot more than doubled its usual career site visitors, reaching over 950,000 candidates. Additionally, HPE converted 26% of job seekers into actual hires. 

  • Benefits of using recruitment chatbots

The key benefits of using a recruitment chatbot include:

  • Saving valuable time: Recruitment chatbots can automate repetitive tasks like answering FAQs. That speeds up the recruitment process, allowing recruiters to focus on other administrative tasks.
  • 24/7 availability: Unlike human recruiters, who can only work 9–10 hours daily, chatbots are available around the clock. 
  • Better quality of hires: Chatbots use predetermined criteria for the initial candidate screening process, meaning they only approve qualified candidates.
  • Lower hiring costs: By automating various time-consuming tasks, chatbots help significantly reduce recruitment costs.

By doing all the above, recruitment chatbots help you save resources that would be unnecessarily wasted if you were using the traditional hiring process.

Planning your recruitment chatbot

Without a well-thought-out plan, even the most advanced chatbot will fall short of expectations.

  • Defining your chatbot’s objectives

Before building your recruitment chatbot, clearly understand what you want to achieve with it. Setting specific objectives. Some objective examples are:

  • To screen applicants
  • To schedule interviews
  • To provide company information

To identify the ideal objectives for your recruitment chatbot, map out the candidate journey from their initial interaction to the final hiring decision. Then, identify the touchpoints where the chatbot can add value.

For instance, if you waste most of your time screening candidates, create a chatbot that can efficiently assess qualifications and experience.

Establish metrics to measure chatbot success. They should align with the goals you set. Some great metrics could be a reduction in time-to-hire or candidate satisfaction scores.

  • Designing conversations for optimal engagement

The next step is to design the conversations your chatbot might have with candidates. Cover everything from greetings to solutions to misunderstood queries.

  • Greetings: Always begin with a warm greeting. 
  • Language: Avoid jargon and overly formal language. Use simple, straightforward, conversational language. 
  • Guided approach: Steer the conversation, providing clear instructions. You can also include quick reply buttons for common responses.
  • Misunderstood queries: Ensure your chatbot handles misunderstandings gracefully by politely asking for clarification.

Don’t forget to include options for the chatbot to escalate complex queries to a human recruiter.

Building your recruitment chatbot

Now, you’re ready to build a recruitment chatbot that will improve your overall talent acquisition strategy.

  • Choosing the right platform

Start by choosing the right chatbot platform. For this, there are factors you must consider.

The first is whether it will help you build a chatbot that meets your needs. To determine this, refer to your objectives. For instance, if your objective is to reduce repetitive inquiries, ensure the platform has strong NLP capabilities to understand and respond to candidate queries naturally.

The other factor is your technical expertise. Determine whether you need a no-code/low-code platform or have the technical resources to build a custom solution. 

The no-code or low-code solution with pre-built templates is ideal for recruitment teams without extensive technical expertise. The custom solution, on the other hand, suits teams with technical resources.

Besides that, consider the features each chatbot tool offers. For instance, does it have multi-channel support, customization options, integration capabilities, and detailed analytics? Also, ensure you choose an option within your budget. 

Some popular chatbot platforms include Mya, Olivia, XOR, and Ideal.

  • Development and integration

Developing and integrating your recruitment chatbot is the next. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Define the scope and workflows: Identify the ideal candidate touchpoints—where and how the chatbot will interact with potential candidates. 
  2. Scriptwriting: Write scripts for possible interactions the chatbot will have with candidates. Use generative AI tools to generate great responses that align with your desired conversation tone and style in minutes.
  3. Build the chatbot: Use your chosen platform to build a chatbot that aligns with your workflow and scripts.
  4. Testing: Conduct thorough testing to identify and fix any issues. You can start with your team and then beta-test it with a small group of suitable candidates.
  5. Integrate with existing HR systems: Integrate your recruitment chatbot with your Applicant Tracking System (ATS), your calendar, among others. 

Once you’re confident in the chatbot’s performance, roll it out to candidates.

Training and optimizing your chatbot

Continuously train and optimize your recruitment chatbot to keep it aligned with your goals, changing recruitment needs, and company policies. Let’s break this down:

  • Training your chatbot with AI and Machine Learning

Start by collecting historical data from past interactions, such as emails, chat logs, and support tickets, to use as the initial training data set. Leverage the data to teach your chatbot how to understand and respond to various candidate inquiries. 

The data should include a wide range of scenarios.

Also, use NLP to train your recruitment chatbot to understand and process human language. You can use NLP frameworks like AllenNLP, Apache OpenNLP, or Google’s BERT. 

Implement a continuous learning loop where your recruitment chatbot can learn from new interactions to expand its knowledge base and adjust its conversational strategies.

  • Monitoring and improving chatbot performance

Regularly monitor your recruitment chatbot interactions and metrics to improve your recruitment chatbot performance and ensure candidate satisfaction. 

Constantly review your interaction logs to understand how candidates are interacting with the chatbot. Identify common issues or misunderstandings. You can also collect user feedback directly from candidates who have interacted with the chatbot.

Track metrics like response accuracy, conversation completion rate, candidate satisfaction scores, and time saved for recruiters. You can then use the valuable insights to refine the scripts, improve responses, and address the knowledge gaps.

Additionally, keep up with the latest trends and advancements in AI and recruitment technology to maintain the chatbot’s relevance over time. 

Legal and ethical considerations

Using AI in recruitment comes with legal and ethical challenges. These include:

  • Ensuring compliance and privacy

Ensure your chatbot complies with data protection laws and regulations to avoid unnecessary legal suits.

Most regulations require you to inform candidates about the personal data collected, how you will use it, and your data retention policy.  

Popular regulations include the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and Canada’s PIPEDA.

  • Addressing bias in AI

AI-driven recruitment tools can unknowingly carry on biases from the training data or algorithms. You must address these biases to ensure fair and equitable treatment of all candidates.

Use diverse and representative training data to reduce the risk of biased outcomes. Also, regularly audit your training data for biases related to gender, race, age, disability, or other protected characteristics.

Best practices and tips

Implementing a recruitment chatbot requires you to follow best practices to effectively meet your hiring goals while providing a positive candidate experience.

  • Dos and don’ts for recruitment chatbots

Here are some of the most essential tips and common pitfalls:

Dos

-Ensure your chatbot is user-friendly and capable of handling various inquiries at a go.

-Offer personalized experiences.

-Provide relevant and timely information.

-Ensure the chatbot is accessible to all candidates, including those with disabilities.

Don’ts

-Don’t over-automate. Maintain a balance with human touchpoints

-Don’t overwhelm candidates with too much information at once

Future trends in AI recruitment

The future of AI in recruitment looks promising, with trends such as advanced natural language processing (NLP). The advanced capabilities will allow chatbots to understand and respond to more complex queries. 

Besides that, we can expect future chatbots to use more interactive content, like video intros, virtual reality (VR) job previews, or virtual workplace tours to boost candidate engagement. A company like McKinsey & Company is already using gamified pre-employment assessments.

McKinsey-Gamified-Recruitment-Chatbot
Source

We will also see more advanced AI-powered candidate matching that provides personalized job recommendations based on a candidate’s skills, experience, and career aspirations. 

Conclusion

Recruitment chatbots are revolutionizing the recruiting process. By automating routine tasks, providing instant responses, and offering data-driven insights, chatbots enhance both recruiters’ and candidates’ experiences.

As discussed in this guide, implementing a recruitment chatbot involves several crucial steps. 

Define the objectives and design conversation paths. Next, choose your ideal platform and build your chatbot. After that, train and continuously optimize it to ensure it remains accurate and relevant. Also, ensure you’re complying with the core legal and ethical considerations.

Now go build a recruitment chatbot that slashes your workload and gives your candidates a great experience. 

Hackerearth Subscribe

Get advanced recruiting insights delivered every month

Related reads

Interview Scorecard: What It Is and Why You Need One for Effective Recruitment
Interview Scorecard: What It Is and Why You Need One for Effective Recruitment

Interview Scorecard: What It Is and Why You Need One for Effective Recruitment

Looking to make your hiring process more effective and less biased? An interview scorecard might be the solution you’re seeking—it’s a tool that…

Progressive Pre-Employment Assessment – A Complete Guide
Progressive Pre-Employment Assessment – A Complete Guide

Progressive Pre-Employment Assessment – A Complete Guide

The Progressive Pre-Employment Assessment is a crucial step in the hiring process, as it evaluates candidates through various dimensions including cognitive abilities, personality…

How HackerEarth’s Smart Browser Has Increased Integrity of Assessments In the Age of AI
How HackerEarth’s Smart Browser Has Increased Integrity of Assessments In the Age of AI

How HackerEarth’s Smart Browser Has Increased Integrity of Assessments In the Age of AI

At HackerEarth, we take pride in building robust proctoring features for our tech assessments. The tech teams we work with want to hire…

Top Sourcing Tools for Recruiters in 2024: Free and Premium Options
Top Sourcing Tools for Recruiters in 2024: Free and Premium Options

Top Sourcing Tools for Recruiters in 2024: Free and Premium Options

Imagine a world where you can easily find candidates with the exact skills and experience you need, regardless of their location or online…

The Best Recruitment Software of 2024: A Comprehensive Guide for Employers
The Best Recruitment Software of 2024: A Comprehensive Guide for Employers

The Best Recruitment Software of 2024: A Comprehensive Guide for Employers

Recruitment platforms play a critical role during recruitment. These platforms offer a suite of tools and services designed to streamline the entire hiring…

Best Pre-Employment Assessments: Optimizing Your Hiring Process for 2024
Best Pre-Employment Assessments: Optimizing Your Hiring Process for 2024

Best Pre-Employment Assessments: Optimizing Your Hiring Process for 2024

In today’s competitive talent market, attracting and retaining top performers is crucial for any organization’s success. However, traditional hiring methods like relying solely…

Hackerearth Subscribe

Get advanced recruiting insights delivered every month

View More

Top Products

Hackathons

Engage global developers through innovation

Hackerearth Hackathons Learn more

Assessments

AI-driven advanced coding assessments

Hackerearth Assessments Learn more

FaceCode

Real-time code editor for effective coding interviews

Hackerearth FaceCode Learn more

L & D

Tailored learning paths for continuous assessments

Hackerearth Learning and Development Learn more