Chatbots and their role in supporting recruitment efforts
Chatbots have quickly made a mark on the recruitment landscape and undeniably are here to stay.
Jose Laurel, G&A Partners' director of recruitment services, offers his insight on the use of chatbots in recruiting.
The recruitment industry is experiencing a top-to-bottom transformation that has altered how we view every aspect of the process and more importantly how the market is reacting to the changes.
What adds a secondary level of complexity to this transformation process is that we are currently navigating through the most dynamic workforce we have ever seen in American history. However, what’s most encouraging about that is that it’s a workforce accustomed to constant learning and acceptance of technological advancements. Many elements of the recruitment process have been turned upside down by new and innovative methods now being deployed to power this transformation.
It is also important to note that many parts of the United States are experiencing low unemployment and some states - such as Texas - are at or nearing full employment. Dig deeper and you will find out that cities such as Austin and Houston will dip below the 4% unemployment rate in 2018. This, of course, intensifies the challenge of finding top talent and in a timely fashion.
So what can employers do to more effectively manage their workforces during a worker shortage while still keeping up with productivity demands?
Some employers are finding a unique answer to this dilemma by using "chatbots" to supplement recruitment efforts.
What is a chatbot?
Simply put, a chatbot is a computer program that has the ability to conduct a conversation through automated responses or textual methods. Chatbots have several applications, including customer service, information acquisition and now a potential recruitment tool as a part of a best practice hiring criteria. Just as any technology before it, there are early adopters embracing the change and harnessing its powers in hopes of becoming market leaders through its use. As for the candidates, it's becoming more commonplace and an acceptable part of the job search process.
Could chatbots replace traditional recruiters?
Recruiters shouldn't worry about being replaced by bots because chatbots and other artificial intelligence (AI) tools (such as applicant screening algorithms) are only a part of a sound and effective hiring process.
In fact, the ability to churn through thousands of resumes, make as many telephone calls and penetrate social media channels can be instrumental to bringing the human element back to recruitment. Looking at it from this perspective, chatbots can actually help recruiters spend more of their time with genuinely qualified candidates and assessing key success factors that a computer program can't determine, like cultural fit.
Human resources and recruitment experts are urging business leaders to take the initiative and strike early and make sure your hiring practices are aligned with current market conditions. This is the time to reexamine, assess, redesign and deploy top-of-the-line talent acquisition strategies. Now more than ever, it is imperative to have an innovative and well-planned recruitment strategy that will not only provide you the talent your company requires, but also give you a competitive advantage over other companies that fail to embrace emerging technologies as quickly.
Of course, chatbots aren't the only way for employers to use technology to improve recruitment efforts. For companies who aren't quite ready to adopt chatbots, applicant tracking systems offer a considerable value when it comes to automating and streamlining their hiring processes.