Brazen Technologies launched new features intended to leverage its chatbot technology to better engage candidates “conversationally.”
Based on Brazen’s “conversational recruiting” model, the new live chat and text messaging chatbot features work with the company’s chat-event and scheduled-chat modules. The company says the features will help reduce job-application abandonment rates spurred by poor mobile experience or complexities caused by the use of multiple systems.
By integrating into an employer’s career site pages, Brazen’s chat and messaging suite provides candidates alternatives to more traditional “Apply Now” functions. Before spending time filling out an application, candidates can chat with a recruiter or hiring manager immediately, at a scheduled time or during an online chat event.
Though they’ve been around for several years, chatbots have only recently begun to gain traction as a recruiting tool. Driven largely by artificial intelligence and cognitive processing, a growing number of tools are both streamlining and increasing the flexibility of hiring processes.
According to Deloitte’s annual report on human capital trends, the recruiting chatbot Mya can eliminate up to 75 percent of candidates’ questions have during the recruiting process and Wade & Wendy’s recruiting bot Wendy, now in beta, helps candidates understand an organization’s culture, job opportunities and hiring process
Brazen CEO Ed Barrientos said the product’s new features were designed “with a recruiter’s bandwidth and efficiency in mind without sacrificing the power and immediacy of chat communication.” Given the pressure talent acquisition teams are under nowadays, that sounds like a good way to position them.
Chatbot Use Grows With User Convenience
The market for recruiting chatbots has been heating up for at least a year. In May 2017, Allegis Global Solutions reported that more than half of the job seekers it surveyed were comfortable interacting with chatbots and other AI-based applications.
Such apps “apps can really make a difference in sourcing, screening and moving our candidates through the process of becoming our new employees,” Craig Fisher, Allegis’s marketing and communications director for talent acquisition, told SHRM. “And, for now, job seekers seem mostly OK with it.”
SHRM also noted that while not every recruiter was smitten with the use of chatbots, many hope they’ll appeal to younger, more technology-inclined candidates and “may find that they need to explore the concept sooner rather than later.”
What’s not clear to us is how all this squares with Korn Ferry’s recent finding that all of the efforts to incorporate AI solutions into recruiting technology isn’t impressing the people who matter most: candidates. Seventy-six percent of those surveyed said they trusted people more than AI systems to guide them through a job search, while 41 percent were uncomfortable dealing with even advanced technology during the process.
It may be that Korn Ferry simply asked the wrong question: There’s a propensity in HCM to focus on technological process in and of itself, and not view tools in the same context as users do. Ask someone how they feel about AI’s role in the recruitment process and they may be skittish at the idea of giving machines too much influence. Ask the same person if chatting via an employer’s website simplified the application process and they may wax enthusiastic.
Employers need to keep in mind that so far as candidates and employees go, it’s the experience that counts most—not the technology behind it.