10 min read

Chatbot in HR & Recruiting — annoying or helpful?

Each second customer today expects services to be available 24/7. So Google and Microsoft are already predicting what your morning will look like in 20 years. They imagine a world in which a personal digital assistant looks at your schedule while you sleep. And by the time you have your morning coffee, it will inform you of upcoming meetings, weather, major world events, and whatever you think is necessary for you.

This caring artificial intelligence will help you become a better version of yourself. It will perform all the daily tasks that once took up most of your time and energy. And you can focus on what you really like.

„People want chatbots to be more like them.“

Wally Brill, Google’s chatbots development specialist.

There’s no single standard for chatbots development now. This industry is extremely fragmented. Each company is trying to come up with its own know-how. Though, every chat-bot has three elements at its core:

1/ The principle of cooperation: we want our conversations with the virtual assistant to be truthful, informative and understandable.

2/ Word transmission: we want the virtual assistant to know when it is his turn to talk and when it is ours.

3/ Context: we want the chat-bot communication to be appropriate for the situation we are in.

What matters is the feeling that the chat-bot is in something like us.

Stanford researchers Clifford Nass and Scott Brave write in their book „Wired for Speech“ that to some extent users treat voice interfaces in the same way they treat other people.

Oral speech originated before writing. So when we hear a voice, we unknowingly assign an identity to it. The brain automatically creates an image of who we listen to. We pay attention to attributes such as age, gender, education, origin of the speaker and his or her intentions.

We have noticed that people tend to call Google Assistant „she“ or „he“ rather than „it„. We say, „she told me a joke“ or „I will ask him about the weather“. That’s because we can’t help but create characters from these attributes.

Just think: what is a bot lacking to be like a competent person who wants to help you? As a rule, a chatbot answers lightning fast. Even the indicator „Chatbot is typing…“ instead of an instant response provides the feeling that this is a real dialogue, that the chat-bot with its „pens“ prints the answer. The main thing is not to overdo it and not to make the user wait too long.

Chatbots are designed to solve specific problems.

54% of people say they would prefer a bot to a human consultant if it saves them time. However, 6 out of 10 people, having talked to the machines, complained about the mechanics of the process. People want chatbots to be more like them.

Only 3.3 % of the top 1.000 companies currently use digital chatbot career advisors.
However, 4 out of 10 believe that they will use chatbots more frequently in the future.

Areas of chatbots’ application in Human resources management

1/ Chatbots have been „working“ alongside HR for a long time. E.g., on career sites, they answer questions about vacancies, career opportunities or they inform about the company. What is more, most candidates believe that chatbots are a good way to get the right answers.

2/ Today chatbots can do more than just formulate standardized information about an employer. So, the virtual assistant developed by the startup Joboti  supports the application process using AI.

Eva, the smart female robot recruiter

In a simulated chat, Eva first answers open questions from the candidates and then requests all the candidate’s data that is relevant for the recruiter: name, address, career stages, etc. The virtual HR employee processes this information and stores it for the recruiter in a structured candidate profile. Afterward, through the matching algorithms, it can be found out how well a candidate matches an advertised position. The skills required for an advertised position are automatically compared with the talents of a candidate. If everything fits, the talent can be directly addressed and invited to the next step. The Joboti chat module is fully integrated into the Carerix platform, so all data collected in the chat are immediately stored in the ATS (Applicant Tracking System).

„Candidates have become more impatient. The application process „should take a maximum of two months; The patience of 1/3 of candidates breaks down after just one month. First binding feedback is expected from most of them after a WEEK at most.“

Barbara Wittmann, Member of the Executive Team LinkedIn™ DACH

3/ Chatbots handle the simplest administrative tasks, such as vacation days, sick leaves or maternity leave regulations. Instead of sending such offers to the HR department and waiting for an answer it can be overtaken and carried out by a chatbot within a short time.

4/ Working time arrangement

5/ Onboarding. Especially in larger companies, one quickly loses track of the various processes involved in payroll accounting, travel expense forms, vacation requests, file sharing, etc. At this point, a chatbot could also be used to guide the new employee through the onboarding process. In this way, new talents can be informed about all important processes and facts from day one. Besides, the information sets can be queried again by the chatbot in case something has been forgotten.

Advantages of chatbot recruiter:

/ users can collect more data from candidates in a very short time.

/ in contrast to a physical recruiter, the chatbot does not need sleep, vacations or other time-outs. This allows companies to provide the candidates with information and encourage them to apply even outside business hours.

/ candidates ask a chatbot 24/7 without having to speak to a physical employee. Companies lose fewer potential candidates.

/ it considerably relieves the burden on recruiters and thus contributes to greater efficiency in personnel recruitment.

But why do the chatbots still annoy us?

/ The ethical dilemma. Consumers meet chatbots more and more frequently. Often the people are not even aware that they are communicating with a robot.

/ Not personalized. Chatbots are pure algorithms for communication tasks that select the appropriate response from a variety of possible answers. If you are a Ph.D. who asks in a pretty scientific way or if you are a new user who is not acquainted with all services being offered, it is mostly impossible to get the right answer from the chatbot.

Now is the right time to focus on the chatbot technology, as 80% of customer interactions can be solved by a well-designed bot. Nevertheless, whereas chatbots are useful, above all, for the newbies, our App smartPeople is looking forward to supporting your existing employees with their career journeys! Try a demo and make sure it is worth it!

Bonus form HRForecast: three stories about failed chatbots.

#1  The bot that upset Taylor Swift

In 2016, Microsoft released digital teenager Tay, who was introduced as „our man, super cool“. This chat-bot learned from those who wrote to him and picked not the best role models. After talking to some users, Tay learned to send inflammatory and offensive messages supporting Nazism, genocide, and racism. Tay’s life was short. Just 16 hours after launching, the company closed the project. Taylor Swift wanted to sue Microsoft for nefarious chatbot named after her. So, an attempt to personalize the bot can have legal consequences.

#2  The bot that became sexist

Amazon decided to use a special algorithm for recruiting personnel. In 2014, the team created software to view job applicants‘ resumes. Its goal was to automate the search for top talents. But a year later, the company realized that when selecting potential employees for technical positions, the system sifted out women. The problem was that Amazon’s computer models had been analyzing resumes for the past 10 years. Since most resumes were made by men, the algorithm found them preferable. Later, Amazon discovered a bunch of other flaws in its system and shut down the project.

#3   The bots that flirted and made money

Ashley Madison is a Canadian social network for people in marriage or serious relationships. It was founded in 2002 with a simple message: „Life is short. Start an affair.“ In July 2015, a group of hackers leaked personal information about 37 million users, including their real names, home addresses, search history, and credit card transaction records. As a result of the hacking, an interesting detail has surfaced. Ashley Madison claimed that the men and women on the platform are equal. And that disproves the stereotype that the former are more prone to cheating.