Recruiters Aren’t Using Recruiting Chatbots—And Here’s Why They Should Be

By: on August 1, 2019

Recruiting chatbots are on the rise.

Chatbots can take over the labor-intensive and time-consuming communication-based tasks that recruiters are usually responsible for, like interview scheduling and answering candidate queries.

Though Gartner says HR chatbots won’t achieve market maturity for at least another 10 years, it’s evident that some organizations are still keen to test-drive this type of technology in its current state (full research available to clients).

But what do we really know about this market, and how can organizations make a decision to invest in a recruiting chatbot without data? If a pop-up recruiting chatbot is the easy answer to improving recruiter efficiency, then why aren’t all organizations using one?

To take a look at the current market and its future, we surveyed almost 200 recruiting professionals (both current users and non-users of recruiting chatbots) to find out:

  • The benefits they’ve seen from adopting this technology
  • The reasons they don’t currently use chatbots, and their plans for future investment.

Recruiting chatbots improve candidate engagement levels and hiring times

When asked what the most beneficial outcomes of using recruiting chatbots has been for their organization, recruiting professionals say that higher levels of candidate engagement and faster hiring times are at the top of the list. Recruiting chatbots are known for automating top-of-funnel recruiting processes such as responding to candidate queries and interview scheduling.


AllyO recruiting chatbot screens and schedules candidates (Source)

High levels of candidate engagement are important because at this moment in time there simply aren’t enough qualified candidates to fill all job openings, and quality candidates have many opportunities available to them. Over 70% of our respondents say that higher levels of candidate engagement has been the most beneficial outcome of using recruiting chatbots.

Benefits of recruiting chatbots

A sure-fire way to scare off top candidates during periods of record low employment is to keep them waiting. According to Gartner, the amount of time it takes a hiring manager to extend offers to candidates after interview is 33 days, representing a massive 84% increase in hiring times since 2010.

Candidates want quicker hiring times—in fact they want the entire process to take less than a month. Almost 60% of respondents to our survey who are currently using recruiting chatbots say that the most beneficial outcome of using recruiting chatbots has been faster hiring times. This outcome is likely linked to the fact that recruiting chatbots can automate candidate qualifying, screening, and interview scheduling.

Key takeaway: If you’re planning on adopting a recruiting chatbot, choose one specific task for it to complete based on your current recruiting pain points.

For example, if you’re struggling under a large volume of candidate queries then your chatbot’s objective should be to answer them quickly and efficiently, screening out unqualified candidates. This allows recruiters to focus on more middle and bottom-of-the-funnel tasks such as assessments and interviews.

Cost and impersonal feel are keeping recruiting chatbot adoption down

When asked why their organizations are not currently using a recruiting chatbot, we found that concerns about the impact of a lack of a human touch on candidates, costs, and losing qualified candidates were among the top reasons.

Reasons for not using recruiting chatbots

In terms of recruiters’ doubts over recruiting chatbots being a less human touchpoint for candidates, they’re not intended to be used in place of recruiters entirely. While this is a legitimate concern, artificial intelligence is already being used in the recruiting space, and recruiters are comfortable with using it. Applicant tracking systems can screen resumes and then rank candidates based on their data—a tool recruiters have been using for years.

Besides, people often prefer chatbots over human interaction, especially during top-of-the-funnel conversations.

Takeaway and recommendation: Artificial intelligence has already changed the way the recruiting industry works. There are already multiple “non-human” touch points along the hiring timeline, and recruiting chatbots are not meant to be used as an alternative to a recruiter, but rather in tandem.

Depending on which process the chatbot is meant to automate, recruiters have a choice over how much impact the chatbot can have, meaning that chatbots can have as much or as little impact on the candidate as the recruiter desires.

Regarding costs, organizations who are discouraged from adopting recruiting chatbots need to weigh up the costs associated with technology and the business savings associated with reduced operational costs, and the return-on-investment in capturing more quality candidates.

Two-thirds of organizations are likely to start using a recruiting chatbot within the next two years

Despite the concerns regarding recruiting chatbots, a combined 66% of respondents are still planning to adopt this technology over the next couple of years.

Reasons for not using recruiting chatbots

Takeaway and recommendation: Organizations are realizing that artificial intelligence has a massive place in the future of recruiting, and that they’ll be left behind if they don’t begin to think about what this means for their business.

Because recruiting chatbots are in their infancy, it’s very likely that organizations will have more options to choose from over the next two years. Now’s the time to start identifying exactly where your top-of-the-funnel pain points are and if a chatbot can address these.

Also start thinking about how you would plan to integrate a chatbot with your current systems, and remember that while a chatbot will automate a large quantity of tasks, some human interaction will still be necessary.

Prepare yourself for the next wave of artificial intelligence in recruiting

Artificial intelligence is here to stay, and recruiting chatbots are only going to become more intuitive, intelligent, and affordable. Candidates are looking for a mixture of efficiency, speed, and relevant interaction—chatbots can help recruiting teams to adapt to those expectations.

For organizations that are currently dealing with high-volume hiring, a recruiting chatbot could ease a heavy and repetitive workload and improve recruiter efficiency. However, the fact that the market isn’t mature yet means that organizations need to evaluate other recruiting software that may be more suited to both their budget and solving their pain points.

If you’re interested in learning about which recruiting software already offers features supported by artificial intelligence, give us a call on (844) 675-2849. Our expert software advisors offer a free 15-minute phone consultation to give you a full assessment and product recommendations for your unique business needs.

Methodology Text Here

To collect data for this research report, we conducted an online survey of 197 recruitment professionals in June 2019. Responses came from a random sample of the U.S. population. We screened our sample to only include respondents who fit the specified criteria. In this case, respondents were screened to ensure that they were 1) currently employed and 2) managed recruiting functions as part of their job.

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