In the past few years, chatbots have been leveraged in a multitude of cases. Bot adoption in customer support, lead generation, and eCommerce, in particular, has been single-handedly stealing the spotlight. Yet, there is still more value to be found… Did you know that recruitment chatbot is ready to bring communication back into the abyss of confused silence and lost time that embodies the majority of current hiring processes?
It’s no joke.
Whether you are looking into recruitment and chatbots for human resources as a way to expand your bot use cases or as your first-ever practical chatbot application, be assured! Recruitment is where chatbots can work true magic!
Let’s see how it’s done…
It’s hardly inaccurate to say that hiring culture today is somewhat broken.
During the course of my career, I have been both in the position of a job seeker and recruiter. I can honestly say neither of those experiences has been pleasant. At times, they’re outright frustrating.
As a job seeker, I was incredibly frustrated with companies that never even bothered to get in touch or took months to do so. As a recruiter, I was frustrated with lack of time, resources and an incredible tsunami of applications for every advertised position a devastating majority of which was not even qualified for the position.
Recruitment statistics stand witness to my experience.
Were you aware that:
- 65% of candidates claim they rarely or never receive update or notice about their application?
- If they don’t hear back, 85% of them doubt anyone has actually reviewed their application?
- 51% of applicants that receive a notification claim it takes one month or more?!
Why is that a problem?
Well, to start with, 72% of candidates who did have a poor application experience claimed having shared it online on an employer/business review site, social media, or directly with their professional or personal contacts.
Glassdoor study found that businesses that are interested in attracting the best talent need to pay attention not only to employee experiences but also that of applicants.
It seems the experience economy is not exclusive to customer experience.
You need to realize that not only there are hundreds of candidates competing for your position, but also, at the same time, there are numerous talent-hungry companies competing for the same pool of skilled applicants.
These applicants are demanding, above all, better communication!
Well-designed recruitment chatbot can not only help you organize but also communicate.
In short, chatbots are software that may or may not rely on AI to manage recruitment and communicate with users via a messaging interface 24/7. In fact, the industry estimates that chatbots could automate up to 70-80% of the top of funnel recruitment interactions.
So, what can these virtual creatures actually do for your recruitment process?
- Gather applicant information such as their resume and contact information
- Ask key screening questions about applicants’ knowledge, experience, and skills
- Rank applicants based on metrics such as qualifications, seniority or engagement
- Answer FAQs about the position and application process
- Schedule an interview with a human recruiter or facilitate human takeover during the course of a chat
- Provide information on company culture and convey company character
- Do all of the above 24/7 and simultaneously, serving tens or hundreds of applicants feeding the information to the designated management system
Moreover, they can be used on various channels:
- Social media like Facebook
- Messaging apps like WhatsApp
- Websites and landing pages
In 2017 survey by Allegis, 58% of applicants were comfortable interacting with a recruitment chatbot in the initial stages of the recruitment process and 66% of them were comfortable with chatbots scheduling and helping to prepare for an interview.
Today, chatbots are far more common, present on a variety of channels including messaging apps, assisting users across a myriad of industries.
It seems the hunger for timely answers and better communication beats the weariness of talking to a machine.
Plus, real-life case study, such as L’Oreal hiring bot, demonstrate the bot can not only help your business save time and money but also eliminate unconscious bias giving equal opportunities to applicants of all backgrounds.
So, OK, having a recruitment chatbot would be interesting… But isn’t AI software development expensive? More expensive than the average cost of talent acquisition?
Well, if you decide to work with Natural Language Processing (NLP) and machine learning, the cost will be steep.
However, for a bot to be able to engage with applicants in a friendly manner and automate most of your top-funnel processes, using AI is not necessary.
Furthermore, no-code drag-and-drop applications such as Landbot, allow you to put together functional chatbots significantly faster and cheaper.
So, let’s get started!
For this section to be of any use, you should register with Landbot (that is if you are not a user yet).
No worries! It’s free and for the first five days, you get access to all the PRO features.
Naturally, you are wanting to build a recruitment bot.
But, as I mentioned before, there are a number of different tasks within the recruitment process this bot can cover. You can design one or all of the following:
📝 Application Bot – Collects essential personal data as well as candidates’ experience & qualifications information. Speeds up the time-consuming screening process by pre-screening all applicants.
🤔 FAQ Bot – Answers frequently asked questions about the hiring process & company culture.
🗓 Scheduling Bot – Asks for additional information, provides interview prep and schedules interviews
🏅 Skill Test Bot – Sent to eligible candidates only. Tests position-specific practical skills.
🤪😩😎🤷♀️ Attitude/Personality Test Bot – Can be used to test if the candidate’s attitude and thinking are aligned with company values and direction (e.g. being customer-centric or a good team player).
It’s especially important to identify which of these tasks are unique to the open positions and which can be used on multiple occasions.
In a bit, you will see why!
Let’s start with a “simple” application bot.
There are two ways to go about it.
When you enter Landbot dashboard you can either choose to build a new bot from scratch or look up a relevant pre-designed template. Templates are a great way to find inspiration for first-timers or to save time for those in a hurry.
The template offers a sample flow that asks the candidate for basic details but for the purposes of this exercise, we will make our very own.
Landbot’s drag-and-drop interface is very easy to use.
Note: If this is your first time with the platform, you might want to check out our bot-building tutorial that covers all the basic features.
To kick off the application process, start by adjusting the welcome message.
You can begin the conversation by asking personal info and key screening questions off the bat or start with sharing a bit more information about what kind of person you are looking for.
You can play around with a variety of conversational formats such as multiple-choice or open-ended questions.
To make things easier many of the common questions are already formatted (e.g. date, address, phone number, URL, Yes/No questions, etc.).
You can even ask your applicants to upload files such as a CV, a cover letter or a portfolio:
Integrate the Bot with Your Your Preferred Management Tool
As you might have noticed in the screenshot above, each of the answers has been saved under a unique variable (e.g. @resume).
Within Landbot app, you will find pre-existing common variables. However, you can always create new ones to serve any personalized purpose as we created above.
Why group the answers under variables?
Well, variables are the key to effective automation. They allow you to easily pull data from the bot and send them to a third-party integration of your choice in an organized manner.
One of the easiest and incredibly effective integrations you can implement withing Landbot is Google Sheets.
Before you try to connect a particular spreadsheet to your application bot, you need to create the sheet with the information fields you wish to collect.
Inside your bot builder, draw the arrow to create a new block and select “GoogleSheet.”
If you haven’t connected your Google Drive account with Landbot yet, click “Add Account.”
- Select your email address to access all spreadsheets on your Google Drive
- Set the document where you want to store the information
- Select “Insert a new row”
- Assign the respective variable to the header of each row
- Done, the spreadsheet will update with every conversation!
These simple steps allow you to screen through applications efficiently focusing on candidates with the right type or years of experience and qualifications.
Even if you are already working with a certain applicant tracking system, you can use Landbot to give your application process a human touch while remaining efficient.
Connect Landbot with Zapier account and send the collected information to virtually any tool or app out there.
Apply Conditions to Screen Candidates in Real-Time
So, now we know how to create a basic job application.
However, there are ways to take it up a notch and set sail towards the attractive horizon of sophistication 😎.
The Conditional Logic function allows you to hyper-personalize the application process in real-time. Simply put, when a field exists or equals something specific, you can contextualize the application experience based on candidate’s answers.
To build a “Conditions” block, click on green output dot from which you want to continue the flow, drag an arrow and type “Conditions” to search for the function in the block selector and voila:
Essentially, you are determining “If THIS and/or THAT is true THAN this Happens”
You can use conditions to screen out top applicants as they are filling out their applications.
Example: Identifying Top Applicants
To separate top candidates from the rest in our fake sample application, I set the conditions of our application as follows:
- @education equals XXX
- @yearsofexperience equals 5+
- @teamleaderexperience equals Yes
Once you hit “SAVE,” you will be left with this block:
Condition block has two outputs GREEN and PINK. The green is the TRUE output and the pink is the FALSE output.
In this case, we connected the FALSE output with the original flow, storing all the information into the Google sheet.
What about if the output is true?
You have a myriad of possibilities and combinations to follow:
- Knowing the applicant fulfills the essential requirements, you can personalize his or her application and ask them further questions. The kind you would usually proceed to ask after you screened through all the applications.
- Send a Slack or Email notification to the responsible recruiter to notify them a qualified candidate has just applied so they can get in touch with them promptly.
- Export the collected information to a sheet dedicated to top applicants only.
- Schedule a Skype call
If you choose your questions smartly, you can easily weed out the applications who give HR managers headaches. The kind that is not qualified for the role at all. So, in case the minimum required conditions are not met, you can have the bot inform the applicant that unfortunately, they are not eligible for the role right on the spot.
Remember when I said identifying which recruitment bots were position-specific and which were generally applicable was important?
Now is the time to use that knowledge.
Landbot builder enables you to create so-called bricks – clusters of blocks which can be saved and used in many different bots.
For example, although requirements for every position are different, there is certain information you need to collect every time. So, instead of starting from scratch or copying an entire bot, you can turn the universal parts of your application dialogue flow into a reusable brick.
Simply tick the relevant blocks and click “Create Brick.” The brick will be automatically saved in the database along with the pre-designed bricks. All you need to do is to connect it to the rest of the flow:
Rename the brick and click “Edit This Brick.” When inside, you will be prompted to create an initial message that will serve as a connector to the “mother bot.” Finally, before you go back, connect the dialogue brick to the OUTPUT at the end to reconnect with the main flow.
Note: If necessary, you can create more outputs to send users to different points of the main flow – depending on their answers.
Bricks make your backend conversation flow cleaner and more organized as well as speed up the creation of new bots with similar functionalities.
In a similar fashion, you can add design a reusable application process FAQ sequence and give candidates a chance to answer their doubts before submitting the application.
Remember, you only need to create the FAQ sequence once – even if you need to make a few changes for each position, it’s certainly faster to tweak a few answers than create an entirely new flow.
Below is how the brick would look in practice. Notice that when the user selects an answer that connects to the designated output, they reenter the main flow. In this case, exiting FAQ brick means automatically entering the Personal Information brick.
What Should Not Miss in Your Bot?
Before you wrap things up with your new hiring chatbot, you should ensure you covered all basis for the maximum effect.
- Ensure that the avatar character, as well as personality, match your company image and values (it will help you to find the right kind of people).
- Abide by the basic rules of conversational design (otherwise you will end up with nothing more than a glorified online form).
- Personalize the application process as the candidates progress in real-time (it’s an effective way to pre-screen all candidates and make sure you are spending your time effectively).
- Make the steps and timeline of your application process clear to minimize frustration.
- Notify unqualified candidates about their status as well, either using the bot or email trigger.
- Thank your applicant, notify them about the next step and say goodbye (as you would at the end of any real-life conversation).
Job boards are saturated with a job offer, with a large part of the companies looking and ready to fight for the best talent they can get.
Employer branding and positive image have never been more important than in the era of the experience economy when experiences are of the highest value to customers as well as employees.
Recruitment chatbot brings “human interaction” back to the hiring process. They allow for a variety of possibilities to help you organize and streamline the hiring process as well as get the candidates engaged and excited from the first touchpoint with your company.
Bots are not here to replace humans but rather be the assistants you always wanted… In fact, if you don’t pick up the trend your candidates can beat you to it as CVs in the form of chatbots are gaining on popularity.
Try building your very own chatbot today! No coding, no hassle!