Why ChatBots Can’t Answer Your Candidate’s Questions

Okay… I just want to start off with a disclaimer: I AM NOT ABOUT TO BASH CHATBOTS. Fact is, there is certainly a place for chatbots in any industry.

Chelsea Hancock
By Chelsea Hancock 08/17/2018

Okay… I just want to start off with a disclaimer: I AM NOT ABOUT TO BASH CHATBOTS. Fact is, there is certainly a place for chatbots in any industry. They help facilitate connections and can automate a light screening process. I’m totally a fan of chatbots, but only when they’re used correctly.

Right now, we’re in a world where there is a push for intelligent chatbots to automate our recruiting and communication with potential candidates. It’s commonly known that chatbots are proven to effectively begin a connection with candidates visiting career sites, but how are they set to engage candidates?

Chatbots Aren’t Equipped for Live Chat’s Purpose

Most of the chatbots on the market today are programmed to initiate a conversation with candidates on your site. They can ask pre-programmed questions to those candidates and through programmed logic will send them to landing pages or search results on your career site. This is great and will help candidates get what they need from your career site, but it doesn’t help you as the recruiter.

FlashRecruit has taken a different approach, we are focused on connecting the actual recruiter with the candidate in that moment. The purpose behind the “chat with a recruiter” or “chat live now” isn’t for a chatbot to route the candidate to an appropriate contact us landing page. It’s to give the candidates an opportunity to ask questions, so they feel more comfortable about the job and therefore more likely to apply.

Modern chatbot are designed to go through a list of pre-programmed screening questions and answer candidate questions with programmed answers. However, when it comes to grey area questions, the chatbot falls short. Say the job requires 5 years of experience, but the candidate viewing the job posting has about 4 years of experience and is over qualified in other areas. Human connection recognizes these idiosyncrasies and can get this candidate into the recruitment cycle, while the chatbot will dismiss the candidate or may even provide an extra step for the candidate to take just to get their answer.

Seeing Through the Candidate’s Eyes

Put yourself in the candidate’s shoes at the point where a chatbot tells you to call or email to get the answer to your questions regarding the job. A candidate would be frustrated. If they wanted to call or email, they had that opportunity, but instead chose to chat live because they don’t have time to wait on hold or wait for someone to respond to their email. At this point, the candidate has a bad start to their experience with your company because it’s associated with the waste of time they had with your chatbot. This is typically where that candidate drops out of the process.  

Effect of Chatbots and Live Chat Working Together

Truth is, my intention of writing this post isn’t to bash chatbots like I said in my disclaimer. It’s to explain that chatbots and live messaging needs to work together to connect with candidates. FlashRecruit has implemented this in their software to incorporate bot technology to initiate the conversation with the candidate, lightly screen the candidate, and helps facilitate the connection by sending the recruiter(s) attached to the chat the full list of answers that the candidate provided, plus their contact info in case the chat is disconnected. The recruiter can then decide to accept or decline the chat.

This process of the chatbot and the recruiter working together to connect with the candidate helps the candidate get their questions answered without having to be pointlessly routed to another form of communication. FlashRecruit has advised their customers to use these chatbot features and has seen candidates are 3X as likely to submit an application after communicating first with the recruiter.  The chatbot in this instance keeps the candidate engaged until the recruiter is ready to take action on the chat.

Chatbots will continue to play a role in the recruitment cycle. We all will continue to watch the role they play, but today connecting the candidate to the right recruiter live is helping organizations fill their roles with better candidate, faster than ever before.  


Chelsea Hancock

Chelsea Hancock

Chelsea Hancock is the Director of Marketing at FlashRecruit. Before joining the team, she spent some time in the world of recruitment working for a staffing agency. Beyond her work in marketing and recruitment, she has a passion for public speaking and volunteers as a coach and judge for Michigan Interscholastic Forensics Association (MIFA), an organization for competitive speech and theater.

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