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Recruitment chatbots: How to get more great talent in the door

Leif Wennerstrom

VP of Talent Acquisition

Recruitment chatbots Header

Regardless of the job market, employers are always looking for new ways to improve the attraction and selection of talent. One increasingly popular solution is by using a recruitment chatbot.

Not only can chatbot technology be used to automate repetitive tasks, such as answering common questions from candidates to reduce the burden on a busy recruitment team, chatbots can also improve your candidate experience by providing personalized communication and a more efficient application process.

From tasks like responding to questions about a position, scheduling interviews, and follow-ups after the interview, there’s a lot that chatbots can do.

Investing in a recruitment chatbot can be a great way to get more qualified candidates in the door. But before you do, there are a few challenges to keep in mind. In this blog post, we'll cover everything you need to know about chatbot recruitment, from the benefits to the challenges to the how-tos.

What is a recruitment chatbot?

Recruitment chatbots are artificial intelligence-powered tools that use natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning to simulate conversations with candidates applying for roles at your company, on behalf of your recruiting team.

Recruitment chatbots are designed to engage with candidates—some of the more sophisticated ones can even collect contact information, skills and experiences, and ask other pre-screening questions to match candidates with open positions.

Job seekers can message your chatbot and ask questions, just as they would in a human interaction. The chatbot then responds accordingly, providing information or carrying out actions like putting through a job application.

For example, a job seeker might ask a chatbot on your website clarifying questions about the application process for a particular role. The chatbot would then provide information on how to apply, what the next steps are, and so on.

Setting up a recruitment chatbot is generally pretty simple and doesn’t require any coding knowledge. There are a number of off-the-shelf solutions and contact center software available that lets you do this, like Dialpad Ai Contact Center. The no-code drag-and-drop builder lets you build conversational flows in just a few minutes:

Creating a chatbot flow in dialpad self service

Once you’ve set up your chatbot, you can promote it to potential candidates through your company website and other digital channels like social media and SMS text messaging.

📚 Further reading:

Learn more about Dialpad’s conversational AI functionality.

The benefits of investing in chatbots for recruitment

It automates tasks to save your recruiters time

One of the biggest benefits of using chatbots for recruitment is that they can automate repetitive tasks in the recruiting process, such as answering candidate questions, scheduling interviews, and sending reminders.

This can save time and resources for the recruiting team.

It improves your candidate experience (and employer branding!)

Recruiters are busy, and they can’t always respond quickly to candidates. By providing quick and efficient responses to questions, chatbots can help with candidate engagement and create a positive impression of your company for potential employees.

In turn, this may lead to good reviews of your hiring process on popular third-party career sites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn—which widens your talent pool and can lead to more applications for open positions in the future!

It improves your response rates

Additionally, chatbots can improve response rates. Today, there’s a wide variety of different touchpoints that candidates can use to apply for a job. Not everyone prefers or responds to phone calls, especially if you’re sourcing candidates in the Gen Z demographic. SMS text messaging and social media, on the other hand, tend to get more responses (and often, more quickly too).

It speeds up your time-to-hire

Another benefit is that chatbots can be used on a variety of platforms, including websites, social media, and messaging apps (like Facebook Messenger). This gives job seekers more opportunities to interact with the chatbot and learn about open positions.

📚 Further reading:

Learn more about recruiting tips in this guide by Alice, our Talent Acquisition Lead!

3 challenges of recruitment chatbot tools to keep in mind

1. They can’t fully replace the human touch

One challenge of implementing chatbots for recruitment is that they can’t yet replicate the intuition and personal touch of a human recruiter. They may be able to ask all the same pre-set list of questions when screening candidates, but they lack the ability to build rapport and really get to know a candidate. This can be a problem if you’re relying on chatbots to do all the heavy lifting in your recruiting process.

That’s actually an important consideration in the design of Dialpad’s cloud contact center platform. We’ve built the self-service / chatbot functionality so that it can transition an automated interaction to a live conversation with a recruiter via chat, email or even a phone call or video meeting:

UI of Dialpad Self Service escalation options

This allows you to keep the human element in your client experience and improve digital customer engagement—and more importantly, link everything seamlessly to the automated chatbot piece of the experience.

This way, your candidates can easily escalate the chatbot interaction to a human (under the right circumstances) if needed.

2. The quality of the experience depends on the quality of your inputs

Another challenge is that chatbots are only as good as the data they’re given. If you don’t input high-quality data, you won’t get high-quality metrics and results. This is why it’s important to have a well-designed recruitment strategy from the outset. You need to think about what data you want to collect and how you will use it to improve your recruiting process.

But having to constantly input new data and workflows can be pretty high-effort (and potentially costly). Dialpad's no-code chatbot solution is designed with this in mind too. It monitors every chatbot interaction and identifies key patterns and insights, and then uses this data to flag opportunities for improving the automated logic:

UI of Dialpad Self Service flagging opportunity to improve conversational AI logic

The result? Over time, the recruitment chatbot itself can get better and better at its "job,” with minimal human intervention needed.

3. Potentially high costs

Finally, chatbots can be expensive to implement and maintain, especially if you’re purchasing this software separately from your other contact center or communications platforms.

If you can, look for robust, fully integrated tools. Not only will this save you from having to pay for multiple disparate hiring tools, it’s also easier for end users (since they don’t have to juggle a large number of apps) and your IT team (since they don’t have to manage and admin so many tools).

Innovative uses cases for chatbots in recruitment

When it comes to recruiting activities, chatbots can be used in a number of innovative ways in order to help you save time and attract more candidates. Here are three examples:

Automating the initial screening process

One way that chatbots can be used in talent acquisition and recruitment is by automating the initial screening process. This means that rather than having a recruiter or HR Manager manually review each application (which can be incredibly time-consuming), a recruitment bot can be used to do this instead. This helps recruitment teams streamline their workflows considerably, and save on both time and resources.

Supporting a more high-touch candidate experience

Another innovative use case for chatbots in recruitment is to improve the candidate experience. One common challenge when hiring is that candidates often feel like just a number—once they submit an application, they don’t really hear back from hiring companies unless they’re moving forward in the interview process.

No follow-ups, no acknowledgments of receipt, no way of asking questions about the job posting. This can create a poor employer brand, which can negatively impact your recruitment efforts. A recruitment chatbot can help reduce the burden on your busy team, while still providing answers and giving the impression that your business is responsive to potential employees—whether or not they end up getting the job.

Interview scheduling

Finally, chatbots can also be used to schedule follow-up interviews with candidates. This is a great way to keep candidates engaged throughout the recruitment process in real time and ensure that you don't forget to follow up with them.

Improve your recruitment experience with Dialpad

If you have a busy recruitment team that’s finding it challenging to handle all the applications and candidates coming in, a chatbot can help. Used strategically, it can help your business get more qualified candidates, all the way from recruiting through to the onboarding process—while still maintaining that human touch throughout.

Looking for a recruitment chatbot tool?

Book a personal walkthrough of Dialpad, or take a self-guided interactive tour of the app on your own first!

Recruitment chatbot FAQs

How do hiring bots work?

Hiring bots work by automating repetitive tasks in the recruiting process. They can answer questions, schedule interviews, and send reminders to candidates. Hiring bots can be used on a variety of platforms, including websites, social media, and messaging apps.

There are many benefits to using hiring bots. They can automate repetitive tasks, improve response rates, and improve the candidate experience. In addition, they can be used in recruitment in a number of innovative ways, such as automating the initial screening process, conducting candidate interviews, and scheduling follow-up interviews.

How do you set up a recruitment chatbot?

Does Dialpad have a recruitment chatbot feature?

How can Dialpad make my recruiting process easier?