Conversational Recruiting Chatbots: Enterprise Guide to Fast Screening

Recruiting chatbot benefits for enterprise organizations

Want to add efficiency to your pre-screening process and streamline time to hire? Implement a conversational AI chatbot for recruiting.

There are many benefits to a recruiting and screening chatbot. Whether you hire for retail, restaurant, or other high-speed hiring roles, your enterprise organization can leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and automation to:

  • Speed up time to hire to best compete for talent
  • Save your recruiters time and effort
  • Minimize drop-off by engaging candidates
  • Provide a more satisfying candidate experience
  • Strengthen your employer brand to attract top talent

Read on to learn what is a recruiting chatbot, how to evaluate conversational recruiting chatbots for screening, and what to do to optimize time to hire and more.

What's in?

What is a recruiting chatbot?

A recruiting chatbot is an automated solution to engage candidates and increase application completion rate. Instead of candidates filling out boring or confusing forms, an AI-powered recruiting chatbot can collect screening information in a more satisfying way for candidates.

Chatbots for recruiting and HR can have a wide variety of capabilities. Some recruiting chatbots, such as Harver CHAT, are conversational and can communicate in a natural-sounding and friendly manner. This adds some professional yet warm interactions at the start of a candidate’s hiring journey, such as when they visit your careers page.

Some of these conversational chatbots for recruiting can even go beyond simply asking questions and recording answers. For instance, Harver CHAT (Conversational Hiring AI Tool) also has a premium version that can parse a candidate’s questions and intent to respond relevantly and safely from an employer brand perspective.

Evaluating HR chatbots for the first time or switching providers? Either way, here’s your enterprise organization’s guide for successfully implementing an AI chatbot for recruiting purposes.

1. Recruiting chatbot best practice: Identify your needs

Start by determining your organization’s business needs when it comes to a conversational AI chatbot for recruiting. Once you align on the why, your team can then align on goals and requirements to help inform your search for an AI chatbot solutions provider in the HR space.

For instance, let’s say your main goal is to screen applicants fast. By conversationally asking candidates some questions to collect required fields for your ATS, you get the information needed for screening without boring or frustrating application forms. A conversational AI chatbot like Harver CHAT’s standard version would meet your organization’s needs.

Meanwhile, what if you want more robust functionality? You know, like your chatbot being able to parse and respond to candidate questions. In that case, you’d want to narrow your search to providers who offer a more advanced HR chatbot solution, like the premium version of Harver CHAT. If you’re not sure which is best for your needs, prioritize recruiting chatbot providers like Harver who offer both options and can help advise your team.

Recruiting chatbots like Harver CHAT can engage, screen, and hire in the same day

2. Recruiting chatbot best practice: Choose your provider wisely

In addition to whatever else you align on in the “identify your needs” step, there are some qualities to ensure are available with your recruiting chatbot tool. Based on our experience helping organizations hire better and faster, here are five capabilities that are critical for improving time to hire, application completion rate, and candidate satisfaction.

Choose a chatbot that mitigates bias to avoid chatbots with no or limited fairness safeguards. You don’t want biased automated chats that can cause candidates to self-select out. An automated chatbot that supports fair hiring is a key step to improving completion rate for top-of-funnel job seekers.

Tip: As part of due diligence, ask how chatbot providers mitigate bias. For instance, Harver CHAT removes triggers such as gendered words and culture-specific language.

Choose a conversational AI chatbot to better engage candidates and improve candidate satisfaction. With a conversational chatbot for recruiting, your enterprise organization can minimize drop-off with a friendly AI and personable “human touch.”

Choose an applicant-friendly chatbot to increase candidate satisfaction and attract top talent. Most applicants for retail, restaurant, and other hourly roles tend to apply via mobile. As such, it helps to have a chatbot with a modern and mobile-first solution. Accessibility accommodations (such as a color blindness setting) also help, while supporting fair hiring at the same time.

Tip: Have recruiters and other volunteers test out your chatbot during the design phase. This user testing can help uncover frustration points to fix, like switching from asking open-ended questions to using faster and easier buttons to minimize typing on a smartphone.

Choose a brandable/customizable chatbot to strengthen employer brand right from the start of your hiring journey. Having an automated chatbot that looks and sounds like your brand helps build trust with candidates. Customizing options enables fine tuning to suit your organization’s preferences and requirements.

Choose a chatbot that integrates with your ATS to automate screening and applications. With a conversational chatbot for recruiting, you can collect key screening information and pass it on to your ATS to keep the application process moving.

Tip: Ask potential chatbot solution partners which ATS they integrate with. As an example, Harver CHAT currently integrates with 10+ leading ATS platforms, including iCIMS, SAP SuccessFactors, and Workday.   

3. Recruiting chatbot best practice: Customize your chatbot

Your HR or recruiting chatbot is one of the first experiences a candidate can have with your employer brand. Once an eager job seeker visits your careers page or sees a job ad somewhere, what kind of first impression do you want to make? One that builds confidence and trust to encourage application completion and positive employer brand affinity.

Think of your conversational recruiting chatbot as a great smile and engaging yet productive banter. To help put your employer brand in the best light possible, follow these tips for designing a custom recruiting chatbot experience that’s uniquely and identifiably “you.”

  • Customize your chatbot for recruiting with your brand logo, colors and general look and feel
  • New to implementing chatbots? Harver CHAT customers get chatbot design guidelines to streamline implementation and ensure smart branding best practices.
  • Personalize your chatbot experience so it sounds like your organization’s brand voice
  • Engage candidates with rich media, like images, GIFs, or videos
  • Configure your chatbot for recruiting with 10-20 starter questions (and answers, if you’re using a more robust option like the premium version of Harver CHAT)
Harver CHAT chatbot customization
Harver CHAT enables powerful and flexible customization options to best showcase your brand and engage candidates.

4. Recruiting chatbot best practice: Train your recruiters

Want to best set up your recruiters for success when it comes to a hiring chatbot? Start by securing buy-in from your recruiting team prior to implementation. Show them how an automated recruiting chatbot can save them time and effort while speeding up time to hire. Some options, like Harver CHAT, are so efficient that they can enable you to engage, screen, and hire in the same day.

Once your team understands the personal and organizational value of a recruiting chatbot, they’ll be more likely to make the most of your new recruiting efficiency solution. We recommend customers automate sending chatbot invitations to candidates. However, Harver CHAT does allow for sending invites manually. If that’s your situation, train your recruiters to send invites as soon as possible. This will allow candidates to complete their part while still engaged.

Another tip is to train your recruiters prior to launching your chatbot. This will help with managing change as you evolve processes and streamline workflows. One action we highly recommend is making sure recruiters review Harver CHAT transcripts prior to interviewing candidates. Just like candidates don’t want to fill out multiple forms with the same info, they also don’t want to answer the same questions after already providing answers through chat. Reviewing chat transcripts in advance will demonstrate the recruiter is already familiar with the candidate, which increases candidate satisfaction.

5. Recruiting chatbot best practice: Implement and iterate

While a conversational chatbot powered by AI can automate screening individual candidates, you still want to do some ongoing monitoring and optimization over time. Think implement and iterate, not set and forget.

Check your metrics on a regular basis. Some common chatbot-related metrics to track are:

  • Chat engagement – how many applicants interact with your recruiting chatbot
  • Conversion rate – what percentage of chatbot-engaged applicants convert into your ATS
  • Pre vs post conversion rate – The difference in conversion rate before vs after implementing your chatbot

Also, update questions/answers to stay current. We’ve seen some recruiting chatbots that try to be conversational and informative yet spit out outdated facts about the employer. Choose a reasonable cadence upon which to audit and update the inputs that help inform your AI-powered chatbot. Quarterly might work for some employers, while others might prefer shorter or longer time frames. Lastly, another trigger to update your chatbot inputs is whenever you make key updates to your website, other recruiting tools, or recruitment marketing channels.

Screen candidates fast & at scale

In addition to improving your recruiting chatbot based on metrics and internal updates, we also recommend following up on candidate feedback. By taking a candidate-first approach here, your organization can continue optimizing chatbot performance and candidate experience. And both of those contribute to reducing time to hire and increasing completion rate of applications.

One way to make it easy to collect candidate satisfaction with your chatbot is by picking a solution like Harver CHAT. Our conversational hiring chat tool includes the option to add a candidate satisfaction rating question at the end of each chat. It’s about as real-time as feedback gathering can get.

Your next step for an enterprise-grade recruiting chatbot

If your organization has a focus on recruiting retail, restaurant, or Gen Z candidates, a recruiting chatbot is a great solution to minimize top-of-funnel drop-off. And with our enterprise guide to conversational recruiting chatbots, you now know how to evaluate and implement the best option for you.

If your goal is to engage applicants, speed up hiring, and streamline recruiter workflows, consider Harver CHAT. Our Conversational Hiring AI Tool has a standard version and a premium version, with customization options available for both.

Schedule a Harver CHAT demo for a personalized walkthrough of how our conversational AI chatbot works.

Picture of Keith Leong
Keith Leong
Updated on:
May 27, 2024

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