Chatbots, HR, and the Future of Employee Experience

Part I: Recruitment

Introduction to AI

Who would have thought back in 2011, we could foresee what would happen so many years down the line — that too about AI? As Gartner predicted then, “by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationships with the enterprise without interacting with a human.” The same applies equally to employees and job candidates as well.

Many organizations have already jumped on the AI bandwagon. Conversational AI or Chatbots enable human-machine interaction through advanced Natural Language Processing (NLP), automatic speech recognition (ASR), advanced dialog management, and machine learning (ML). Popular examples include digital personal assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google Assistant.

Why Chatbots?

Today, Chatbots are transforming the way organizations conduct their business. In fact, they provide a huge number of advantages over humans. First, they don’t need downtime (or sleep, like humans), so they can function 24×7 and help the employees of global companies to interact with a worldwide “HR system” round the clock. This can save time and costs, increase efficiencies, and enable HR teams to dedicate more time for more strategic initiatives, focus on upskilling, undergo training and development, and so on. Secondly, Chatbots can learn as they go, and the more they engage and interact, the more they develop their learning capabilities. 

From Talent to Hire: Chatbots in HR

Internal business functions such as HR have shown significant interest in Chatbots. According to HR’s ‘Future State Report 2021: The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Talent Processes,’ “45% of survey respondents agree that AI technology in HR creates efficiencies in processes that facilitate scalability” and “nearly 82% believe HR teams will adopt more AI tools into their talent management processes over the next five years.” 

Owing to this confidence in adopting AI and by leveraging Chatbots, conversational AI applications are poised to play a significant role in the recruitment and talent acquisition process. In fact, Gartner states that “by 2022, 35% of organizations will turn the job application process into a simple conversation by utilizing conversational user experience and natural language processing [NLP] in their recruiting process.”

For HR managers, Chatbots can significantly simplify the recruitment process. By leveraging automation, tasks such as profile sifting, candidate meetings, interview scheduling (and prompt feedback) become more manageable, along with easier assessment and reviewing an applicant’s appropriate skills, capabilities, and work culture fit. Chatbots can also be integrated with scheduling software or calendars, integrate with HR systems to upload candidate information, save time in such basic, repetitive, and manual tasks. This can help reduce time, effort, and manual (and possibly error-prone) form checking and provide a seamless job application experience. As a recent IFC report has mentioned, “Automation of the recruitment process typically cuts time-to-hire from 10 weeks to 2 weeks, and the time to shortlist candidates from 2–3 weeks to almost nothing.”

Chatbots can also play a significant role in easing and streamlining the entire job application cycle for candidates. From round-the-clock support and guidance to automatically uploading applications (and other relevant documents) and directly setting up meetings, these virtual HR assistants can benefit both candidates and HR teams by providing seamless user experiences. Candidates can also save time and effort with simplified form filling options and instant query responses (in multiple languages), as well as receive regular follow-up and application status tracking notifications.  

Conclusion: The Future of Chatbots in HR Recruitment

With global trends like remote working, gig economy, and digital nomads, the HR function needs to constantly review its candidate sourcing methods. A superior interview and onboarding experience is critical and can benefit recruiters by providing a more substantial pool of applicants and saving time by engaging with better and more suitable talent.

For HR managers, it is crucial to decide upon the appropriate mix of human-machine interaction for applicants and the level of Chatbot sophistication to be implemented. However, training Chatbots to reach levels even close to mirroring nuanced human conversations requires building a complex of data sets, deep knowledge, and a lot of time and effort. AmplifyReach chatbots infrastructure can understand complex data sets, consume rich data, and be trained to handle complex queries. AmplifyReach also provides training and ongoing support to make the experience richer.

Given the rapid advancements in AI, and with Chatbots playing a more significant role in HR, the evidence that the future will witness a substantial change in human-machine experiences is clear. Chatbots are poised to benefit HR teams and applicants alike immensely.

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