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4 Ways Conversational AI Enhances The Candidate Experience In HR Recruiting

March 24, 2022  •  7 minute read

The so-called “Great Resignation” has seen top-class veterans and business leaders leaving their positions in search of something better. With so many valuable, high-quality candidates available in the current market, organizations are scrambling to attract this glut of new talent.

As an HR professional, what’s the key ingredient in securing top talent? Oftentimes, it’s the candidate experience. Today’s candidate experience has become a crucial factor for modern jobseekers when choosing their future employer. People’s experience of screening, interviewing and even onboarding is critical in their decision-making process about whether to accept an offer or not. 

However, offering an excellent experience for candidates is easier said than done. What’s one tool that can be a huge help? Conversational AI. 

Why does candidate experience matter?

Research has found that 95% of candidates believe there’s a direct correlation between how organizations treat them as candidates and how they will be treated as employees. In a different study, 80% of professionals currently working for their employers say a positive candidate experience is an influencing factor in their decision to accept the job offer.

Companies that fail to deliver delightful experiences to their candidates will ultimately push top talents to competitors. In the process, unoptimized candidate experiences also result in bad employer branding. Consider the following figures:

1. 50% of applicants will reject any job offer due to poor candidate experience.

2. 79% will abandon their application and pursue vacancies in other companies.

3. 37% will leave a negative review.

4. 69% of candidates will share a negative experience with their circle of family and friends. 

From a hiring perspective, this clearly is not a good sign.

What are the challenges of recruiting today?

If organizations don’t start to prioritize a focus on candidate experience, the so-called Great Resignation may be here to stay. That said, offering an excellent recruitment process for all prospects is challenging for a number of reasons:

1. Large talent influx

While there is no shortage of job applicants, the influx of job seekers for similar roles has increased by 1300%. The last days of 2021 saw job vacancies in the U.S. reach 10.93 million, according to a report by Statista. Workforce observers predict as many as 730,000 jobs will be created in the early part of 2022.

Recruitment teams that use traditional acquisition processes are seeing their workloads escalate. More applicants mean added pressure to quickly discover and hire qualified talent.

Fatigue due to hours of pre-screening can impede the recruiter’s objectivity and affect judgment and decision-making. Screening inconsistencies due to large volumes of applicants, unconscious bias, fatigue, and human-related errors not only hamper the integrity of the recruitment process but also result in poor candidate experience.

2. Slow, unresponsive communication

“Candidates are increasingly disappearing in that crucial time frame between the offer and the first day, and this is quite often due to a lack of communication,” says Tom Stokes, Director at Sterling EMEA.

Candidates expect organizations to be responsive and communicative about the status of their applications 24/7. Jobseekers feel it’s important for companies to immediately get in touch after their initial application (84%) and later (85%) in their recruitment journey.

Despite the need for constant communication from organizations, a large majority of applicants say lack of communication is still a persisting problem. According to Gallup, 77% of candidates said they never heard from companies they applied to after their initial application. 

3. Complex candidate journey

From unclear job descriptions to untransparent hiring timelines to complicated application processes, all these contribute to candidates feeling anxious, undervalued, misled, and frustrated.

An estimated 57% of job seekers report being put off when job ads don’t contain relevant information. And when the process takes long or when the steps become too complex, 60% of candidates say they would not pursue their application.

4 Ways to uplevel your candidate experience 

Conversational AI streamlines the whole recruitment process right from the start by automating time-intensive, mundane tasks that don’t require human judgment.

Apart from accelerating the recruitment legwork for your HR team, conversational AI contributes significantly to a great candidate experience, which helps shape a more positive outcome for both parties. How? Here are some key ways following the flow of the recruitment journey:

Step 1: Automated pre-screening 

On average, Glassdoor reports just one corporate job opening attracts 250 applications. Processing each candidate manually means you’ll be spending valuable time and resources on something that’s basic and repetitive.

Deploying conversational AI agents at the pre-screening phase helps recruitment teams filter down qualified candidates from those who don’t meet job requirements. These AI agents can engage applicants in human-like conversations, providing them with information regarding the job application while analyzing their resumes and qualifications to see if they meet the criteria.

Dynamic AI agents can filter inquiries and send candidates to a FAQ page or section to immediately provide them with answers or explain what the job entails. This helps both parties save time and further drive candidates in their journey.

The result? Top-quality jobseekers proceed to the next step of the recruitment process with minimal to no human involvement, freeing recruitment teams to focus on more complex tasks.

Step 2: Enable proactive communication and tracking

Conversational AI gives HR teams an opportunity to communicate with and nurture candidates across a variety of communication channels throughout the recruitment journey. This omnichannel approach enables organizations to track candidates and engage them through email, chat, or other preferred channels and vice versa.

AI-powered, omnichannel self-service tools allow candidates to immediately and conveniently access relevant information such as FAQs, track their application status, check interview schedules, and more through their devices at any time. Yellow.ai’s conversational AI agents can quickly provide clear, concise instructions on how to proceed with their application, removing anxiety and frustration stemming from waiting for HR teams to give it to them.

Leveraging data analytics, all communication to candidates can be personalized to deliver a better experience. This, in turn, helps build and enhance the organization’s relationship with the candidates while taking a huge workload of their HR and recruitment teams.

The AI agent collects information of non-successful candidates and stores them in a database. If a position that requires their skills and experience opens up, the AI agent automatically contacts that candidate, effectively kickstarting another hiring process.

Step 3: Accelerate the offer process

Once a candidate is selected for the job, HR teams need to quickly extend the offer in order to begin the onboarding process. Conversational AI agents can immediately generate and deliver a personalized job offer letter to the successful candidate in a matter of moments through the candidate’s preferred communication channel.

All of the candidate’s information collected through forms and interactions are automatically ported to the offer letter, eliminating the need to manually craft a letter and copy and paste information. Companies can include essential information such as salary, date of deployment, benefits, company policies, and job title among others, all of which can help a candidate make an informed decision whether to accept the offer or not.

Digitized job offer letters enable candidates to instantly receive them and respond to them immediately. In terms of candidate experience, accelerated job offers help candidates to make quick decisions whether to pursue or not their applications. Because they value speed, the instantaneous nature of digitized offer letters adds great value to candidates, impacting their experience.

Step 4: Improve and maximize hiring efficiency

Conversational AI lets your organization assess, accelerate and improve your talent acquisition process by 32%. The data your AI tool gathers helps you accurately track and measure the results and effectiveness of any changes you make on the way. 

When executed right, conversational AI helps eliminate barriers to efficient recruitment and fully opens the doors to faster, data-enabled hiring decisions while improving the candidate experience. You get the right people for the job, create a strong and positive brand, and build a workforce of top-quality professionals who are engaged and empowered to deliver value to your bottom line.

Superior Candidate Experience With Conversational AI

A large majority (80%) of 400 HR leaders believe conversational AI’s role in recruitment will become more significant in 2022, particularly in candidate screening, onboarding, and competency assessment. They’re right.

For most candidates, the job application phase serves as their first touchpoint with any company. Yellow.ai allows your HR teams to capitalize on this huge opportunity to showcase your organization, attract top talent, and onboard the best people to add value to your bottom line.

Employers that are able to deliver positive candidate experience are those that provide candidates with clarity and inspire success. With traditional recruitment now proving ineffective, it’s high time for companies to integrate conversational AI into their hiring strategy to optimize their processes and empower candidates to choose and grow with them.

Ready to use dynamic AI to attract and hire top-quality candidates? Request a demo from one of our conversational AI experts to get started. 

Natalie Elmquist

Natalie is a Senior Content Marketing Manager who is helping build Yellow.ai's presence in North America through brand storytelling. With more than a decade of marketing experience, Natalie has spent the last 7 years working for high-growth B2B SaaS companies. Her marketing passions involve all things content, persona, and SEO-related. Work aside, Natalie is a proud mom of two identical twin boys and enjoys spending most of her free time these days keeping them entertained.
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