If you have ever booked a flight, bought a product online, or needed help from customer service, it's likely you've crossed paths with a chatbot. These automated systems have helped streamline quite a few tasks for consumers and associates alike.
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Could the same be said for industries outside of customer service? Here's what you need to know about chatbots and the future of recruiting:
Keeping Candidates Interested
A CareerBuilder survey found 67 percent of job seekers have a positive impression of a company if they receive consistent updates throughout the application process. Unfortunately, a Workopolis poll found that 43 percent of candidates never heard back from a company following their last interview.
Chatbots can help employers avoid this radio silence during the recruiting process. Individual recruiters may not have time to follow up with every candidate, but a chatbot can connect with candidates on a regular basis, update them on their standing, and maintain their interest in the position.
In addition to keeping candidates interested, chatbots also give applicants the opportunity to ask questions about the job or the hiring process itself. Application processes are often long and grueling. In fact, according to another CareerBuilder survey, 60 percent of job seekers have abandoned an online job application due to its length or complexity. If you implement a chatbot into your process, however, candidates will have somewhere to turn when they need clarification.
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Speeding Up the Process
Using a chatbot to help candidates through the application process will ultimately produce better quality candidates for your company overall. The most qualified candidates will also have other options. It is likely they will have many questions to ask as they try to decide between your organization and your competitors. If they can turn to a chatbot, they can get those questions answered quickly – which allows your company to make a positive impression on the candidate.
When a chatbot handles QA duty, it speeds up the recruiting process. Individual recruiters will not have to take time out of their days to answer candidate questions, meaning they can focus on more important things. Plus, chatbots can respond to candidates much more quickly than individual recruiters could. Along these same lines, chatbots can give highly accurate answers to candidates, which will reduce the number of follow-up questions candidates need to ask, thereby speeding up the applicant's decision-making process as well.
While it is impossible to fully automate sales and customer service – and the same can be said of recruiting – companies that have incorporated chatbots into their sales and customer service departments have seen major savings. According to the Business Insider Intelligence Team, 29 percent of customer service positions in the U.S. could be automated, which would lead to $23 billion in savings.
It stands to reason, then, that recruiting chatbots could also save companies money. With chatbots handling a number of duties, the average recruitment team would require fewer people to operate efficiently.
According to a SHRM study from 2016, the average cost per hire is $4,129, and the average time it takes to fill a position is 42 days. A chatbot's abilities to talk to multiple candidates at a time and scan thousands of resumes would likely reduce both of these figures. Additionally, chatbots could potentially help recruiters select the most qualified candidates with better precision, decreasing the amount of time and money spent on making the wrong hires.
It won't be long before chatbots become the norm in the recruiting world. With all the benefits they bring to the table, why not start integrating them into your hiring process today?
A version of this article originally appeared on Money Inc.
Noel Webb is cofounder and CEO of Karen.ai, a "cognitive recruiting assistant."