Recruiting Chatbots: Definition, Benefits, and Uses

by Sarah Reyes

Also called digital assistants, recruiting chatbots have been around for quite a while and have been proven to be a big help for many industries. In the HR industry, chatbots, which are automated robots, are in use and help make a smoother candidate experience.

They continue to evolve and develop into smarter and better tools that recruiters can rely on in terms of improving the overall candidate experience. They have quite a function, which many are automatically answering common candidate questions. Many can also pre-screen candidates and schedule interviews, depending on their features.

Their popularity continues to rise especially with the ongoing pandemic. The experts agree that this will keep going in the coming years.

One of their most innovative features is their ability to work and recruit 24/7 when compared to humans because they do not get tired and never need to sleep.

They’re always ready to connect applicants with vacant positions, which match their experience, interests, and skills. Regardless of where the candidates are located, chatbots are always ready to assist.

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What’s a recruiting chatbot?

Its journey started in he 1960s and since then has continued to evolve in interface and functionality. MIT professor Joseph Weizenbaum was the first one to develop it, calling it ELIZA. But in 2009, WeChat, a China-based company, developed a more sophisticated chatbot.

Back to chatbot definition, it is an AI-powered assistant that can carry out basic processes in the recruitment process. Some functions can include answering the basic questions of applicants as well as letting the recruitment specialist know about the number of interviews they have for the day. Some can also help with automatically scheduling candidate interviews.

This conversational agent can mimic human conversations in the application process.  It can be on the career site where the candidates can engage directly with the chatbot.

What are the benefits of using recruiting chatbots?

Recruitment isn’t a simple task because it requires keen attention to detail, which can only be possible with thorough scrutiny and analysis. That said, recruiters need reliable software like recruiting chatbots, which can guide your candidates in the process. They can also help in matching the candidates and different opportunities that match their skills and experience for better results. 

Here are the detailed benefits of using chatbots in the recruiting process.

Screen the candidates and assess their potential

The dream HR assistant can provide candidates with the assistance they need in the recruitment’s initial phase. It can aid in the initial recruitment function as well as in shortlisting qualified candidates.

These chatbots have NLP capabilities that make it possible for them to perform the initial functions of the recruiter.  They can ask several questions to the candidates regarding their experience, qualification, and interest. Once done with the initial conversation, they can match their skills with the position you’re looking to fill.

Schedule interviews

A chatbot can help you schedule interviews, reducing the time that your recruitment team spends in this process manually.

It is intelligent enough that it can schedule the interview with your potential candidates through its built-in calendars. It can help in making the job of the recruitment process easier and reduce the time that your team has to spend on scheduling interviews.

Answer questions and provide instant answers

These AI recruitment chatbots have sufficient knowledge in attending to questions and answering them right away. As the candidates when they are interested in your company, they’d want to know more about it. 

The AI chatbot can provide the candidates with readily available information, such as incentives, salary, and job requirements, to name some. These details can be easily shared through chatbots that can answer the queries instantly 24/7.

Manage referrals

A smart chatbot can help you manage referrals by checking the credentials and qualifications of a candidate and finding out if they match the skills and knowledge required for the position. 

And for candidates finding more information, a chatbot can also attend to their questions. Chatbots can also help the hiring manager in reviewing the candidates, helping them decide better on the people to hire.

This task reduces the time that the hiring manager has to spend on it; thus, they can attend to other matters, like improving the overall hiring strategy of the organization.

Engage and nurture the talent pool

Engaging and nurturing your talent pool is an important HR strategy. This connects you to top talents who can potentially become a part of your team. However, keeping in touch with them can be a challenge without a good strategy in place. But by using recruiting chatbots, you can easily interact with the talent pool and stay in touch with them about the latest events and happenings in your organization.

As the AI bots continue to evolve in time, they can improve their function, and one of those is managing the talent pool.  Intelligent bot systems can nurture the pool and interact with them more consistently.

Improve the overall candidate experience

Recruiting chatbots can also improve the overall candidate experience in more ways than one. The most important here is their ability to communicate in real-time and give immediate feedback/answers. They fill in the gap in interaction and ensure that candidates are attended to without delays. These chatbots can enhance the experience of job seekers through improved communication.

The new age and candidate-focused recruitment strategy can become less challenging with these chatbots.  For one, they can also prevent a bad candidate experience from happening by reducing the time they need to wait for feedback. They can provide detailed and fast feedback and give immediate responses. These responsive and prompt chatbots can overall improve the candidate experience.

Recruiting chatbots keep you competitive

With the younger generation receiving multiple offers at the same time, many of them won’t spend a long time waiting for feedback, which can be very slow in some companies.

The tedious and long process involved in the application process can make you lose ideal candidates, and this can cost your organization.

Top talents, who can make quality hires, can make your company more productive and top-performing; however, if you won’t be able to win them, you can suffer from a bigger loss due to lack of productivity and poor performance of your team.

To stay ahead of the competition, you should keep up and use new technologies in your hiring process.  This includes the use of chatbots that can streamline the application process and benefit both you and the candidates.

Where are these recruiting chatbots?

You can find these digital assistants in many places. Even big brands are now using chatbots. That’s why you might want to consider using them for yourself to compete with other companies operating in the same industry.

Think about including these intelligent assistants in your hiring strategy – to save money and time and screen candidates for you. They can also give you insights about candidates and their profiles and behavior. Chatbots are in some software, ATS, and social media like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

Getting the most out of the recruitment chatbots

Chatbots are intelligent software that you can utilize to streamline many processes involved in talent acquisition. They can answer frequently asked questions as well as pre-screen candidates, to name some. However, there are other ways that you can use these intelligent assistants. 

Answering the FAQs

Instead of your people spending time to answer common queries of candidates, chatbots can do it.  They can also respond in real-time and no matter the location of the candidate. They can provide immediate answers, improving their experience while also reducing the time that your HR has to spend on this repetitive task.  Chatbots can deliver basic information fast without any delays.

Basic information that a chatbot can provide an applicant with includes position specifics, application status, and salary.  It can also include personal leave paid benefits and other benefits.

Automating processes

You can also train your digital assistant to prescreen candidates according to their job applications and submitted written materials. Recruitment chatbots can also help screen the pre-recorded video interviews.  In this case, your recruiting staff can instead do other tasks, including life interviewing a qualified candidate, that can be done through in-person or virtual interviews.

Pre-screening, however, is only one of the things that a chatbot can do, but it can do more depending on what you’re using. You can think of other automation processes, such as skills assessments and so on.

Scheduling interviews

In the automation list, you can also add automatic scheduling of interviews. In this case, your recruiting team can have more time to work on other strategic activities, such as building relationships with your talent pipeline.


Another significant contribution of chatbots in the HR industry is in branding. Studies had it that people put much importance on the reputation of a company when applying for a job (GLASSDOOR).  

For instance, recruitment chatbots improve communication and in turn, help recruitment teams offer a better candidate experience. They can help in avoiding delays and speeding up the entire hiring process overall. And this can leave a good impression on your brand.

It is also cost-effective to use a recruiting chatbot in hiring and recruitment because you can save resources, time, and money. Your team can also focus on more important tasks other than doing repetitive HR tasks.

Engaging with candidates

Again, candidate experience is one of the best ways to improve branding and your reputation. Companies with poor communication, for example, turn candidates off. It is because they do not get back to them immediately. They also leave candidates in the dark and keep them guessing.  Lack of response from the company is one of the biggest frustrations that candidates experience from a brand.

Chatbots can welcome applicants to your career page. They can answer their questions immediately and engage them by thanking them for applying, giving them feedback, reminding them of any upcoming interviews, and informing them of the latest job openings when they come.

Sourcing applicants

These AI recruitment assistants can help in sourcing candidates in several ways and in less time than you would otherwise spend doing it yourself.

For one, they can connect with passive candidates, who might not be actively looking for a job but can be nurtured and be potential hires in the future. These people can be more willing to engage with a chatbot than they would with a human. This also saves the time of your people from spending time on this activity.

Helping applicants to apply by text

A long time-to-hire is one of the issues organizations faced. A recruiting chatbot can help streamline some of the processes including allowing applicants to apply via text. They can guide the applicants with a straightforward and quick application.

This is much simpler than attending to them individually.  If you want to improve your application process, it might be time to consider using recruitment chatbots that allow you to speed it up and make it more convenient to apply.


Facilitating online job fairs

Job fairs are important activities that allow your team to invite and source candidates to fill up a vacancy or several vacancies fast by receiving many applications at the same time. However, holding one can be a challenge with the ongoing restrictions.

You can also use chatbots in job fairs online. They can also help you communicate with applicants and make the application easier for them to apply.  They can take the place of some staff when it comes to pre-screening the applicants and eliminating the unqualified ones. In this case, your team will only be interviewing those that qualify after the prescreening process. 

Communicating in multiple languages

With the ongoing pandemic and rise of remote work, there is now an increase in the diversity of employees from all geographical locations. Based on a 2015 McKinsey report, those companies who are opening their doors to diverse candidates are more likely to get better financial returns.

Seventy-seven percent of talent professionals also agreed that diversity is a significant factor in recruiting the future (LINKEDIN, 2020).

It’s great news that chatbots can be multilingual. Thus, they can be used in preventing any unconscious bias due to language in the prescreening process This will help a lot of companies welcome diversity and inclusion in their workforce, and thus make them more prepared and competitive in today’s changing business landscape.

Automating conversation basics

Many modern chatbots are easy to set up and are transparent, so using them in your system can feel less overwhelming. 

Candidates can even ask questions using a list and then wait for the preprogrammed responses from the chatbots.

This method can allow a smoother conversation between the candidates and the organization. These chatbots can also interpret the answers and then get back to the applicant with a response without a delay.

They can also initiate the conversation when candidates visit your careers page, or they can also wait for the candidates to initiate the conversation themselves.

Analyzing the behavior, including frustration, of the job seekers

A recruitment chatbot can also be programmed to encourage a candidate to apply for a particular job that they browsed when they visited your website.

This will allow you to assess if your current job description is effective or needs some improvement to attract more candidates to apply.  It will also help you figure out which part of your recruitment strategy to adjust.

These chatbots can also engage candidates and communicate with them through a messaging application or via text. For example, when the candidate sends a text message with the advertised keyword to a short code, your chatbot will be launched and collect applicant information through text.

Why would a recruiter use a recruiting chatbot?

As we’ve discussed earlier, recruiting and hiring teams can benefit from using an AI chat assistant. Recruiting chatbots can be used in automating many of the recruitment processes, including the prescreening process. They can also answer the most commonly asked questions of candidates, who are also expecting quick responses from you.

Recruitment chat assistants can also be more in places at once. This is something that a human cannot do. They can attend to multiple candidates at the same time, saving you resources and money in the process. Aside from that, they can also answer queries in real-time, 24/7, without any delays.

This ultimately also improves the communication between candidates and your organization. For example, your digital assistant can be talking to one person via text and then to another person on social media. It can also be talking to another person by email.

The chatbot can eliminate the confusion if only one recruiting staff will attend to all of these. With one, more applicants will be attended to at the same time.


Next Steps…

If you haven’t considered using a recruiting chatbot in your human resource team, you might want to look into this now. It plays an important role in an improved candidate experience and increased HR team productivity. It also improves communication, welcomes diversity into your team, reduces time-to-hire, and importantly automates many of the basic HR functions.  A recruitment chatbot also ensures a more streamlined application process and helps you save costs on manpower and resources.

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