Chatbots are a form of AI. They're integrated digitally via a chat interface mainly used for customer services. You'll have trouble finding a company that hasn't started using them. Some of my personal favorites include Ari, for its text to apply feature. Jobpal for its passion in candidate experience, and Robo Recruiter for its accessibility across platforms and devices. 

So I guess you could say, the robots are coming. Well, sort of.

Chatbots are a big opportunity for you as an employer. They're not just appealing to you because of all the tedious work you get to delegate. No, really. Candidates and customers are also welcoming chatbots. The more digital we become, the less we depend on face-to-face interaction.

The rise of social media has also meant online messengers have taken off. It's no wonder every major platform has now integrated a direct messaging feature. It's the main form of communication these days.

People don't mind talking with a chatbot, as long as they're getting the information they need.

So what are chatbots especially good at--particularly within recruitment?

1. Candidate experience

It's not the first time I've talked about candidate experience, and it won't be the last. Recruiters and hiring managers integrate chatbots to make their lives simpler. But also quicker, and this benefits the candidates too. They don't want to be waiting around to hear back from one of the many roles they applied for weeks and weeks ago.

Every good experience starts with cutting down the time between the candidate submitting their application to them hearing back from the recruiter.

It's no surprise you'll want to get a chatbot involved with this part of the process. With a vacancy that has attracted a high volume of applicants, it can be a big task for a human to take care of. Efficiently that is.

Your chatbot can intervene with quicker responses and speed the process up.

2. Building rapport

Communication is important during the recruitment lifecycle. That's for both the candidate and recruiter. The messaging aspect available with chatbots makes it an easy and intuitive approach.

The chatbots are powered through rules. They're smart. A chatbot will ask choice questions and make sure the conversation is comfortable. Always recording details ready for the recruiter to meet the candidate.

Mya is a good example of an effective chatbot. Designed only for recruitment, it talks and engages with candidates through a messaging app. It records all the data and answers questions asked by the candidate. This way, it increases productivity as you can qualify a large number of candidates.

3. Q&A

Chatbots can be set-up to answer FAQ by recognizing keywords mentioned by the candidate. These questions will be about the role and your company. It's important to make the answers clear and informative.

This gives candidates the chance to gain knowledge and a better understanding in a timely manner. Again, this makes for a better experience.

It's all about timing. It's unlikely you have time to sit there and respond every time a candidate has asked a question--not always in the same place too thanks to social media platforms. It's also normally a question you've probably answered thousands of times--that's why they're called frequently asked. Having a chatbot provides immediate replies in one place.

4. Qualifying candidates

It's not just the candidates asking the questions. Chatbots can ask questions on anything from skills, and qualifications, to past experiences. It will then rank and qualify a whole group of candidates in terms with your criteria. Saving you the job of filtering out the good from the bad.

With all the copious admin tasks that come with hiring a candidate. Chatbots can take a lot of the load. It sets up and schedules (again- with both parties in mind) the inevitable calls and meetings. Obviously, these stages of the process require the human but your chatbot will ensure all requirements are addressed before you take over.  

5. Not being human

Don't forget, many industries are predominantly human-based. Especially recruitment. Chatbots rely on the input from its creator and what it's programmed to do--they don't evolve on their own.

Chatbots can only get you so far. There comes a time when any kind of communication needs human interaction. This is because humans have emotional intelligence and can offer more to the candidate. 

For you to succeed with candidates during the recruitment stages you need to find the right mix of human and chatbot involvement.