Bots Before Bros

What the WhatsApp integration and the switch to conversational experiences means for recruitment.

’Tis the season for prognosticating, when industry experts tell us which trends are staying, which are fading. One hot trend that doesn’t seem to fade away is the rise of the chatbots. Over the past few years, we’ve seen the use of chatbots during the recruitment process on the rise. As employers are hustling to get a hold of candidates ahead of competitors in this tight labor market, this was bound to happen. The hype around chatbots has driven some organizations to experiment in the past couple of years and make the switch to conversational interfaces.

Beyond the buzz, those interfaces are stickier, convert at a higher rate (and look way cooler). Most of the early adopters of chatbots have been rewarded for their gamble and are not looking back. The world is catching on to a core concept:

Recruitment is a social activity. If you want to #levelup your recruitment experience, connecting people with people through conversations should be your first priority. Integrating chatbots — correctly — to your processes, will not only make your funnel more effective, it will improve the experience in a few critical ways:

  • Jump-start engaging conversations with your candidates with personalized messages. Candidates feel more open and relaxed when chatting with a friendly bot (than a boring form). Our customer saw their average application completion rate rise from 52% to 71% after changing the tone and style of their bot to a more friendly one.
  • Shortlist instantaneously. Deciding which candidates get to the next stage in the application process is a task that takes a few hours in the best cases, days or weeks for many others. This task can easily be handled by chatbots. When you are looking for general qualifications, doing background checks, looking for key data in a candidate’s profile, you can set up a few rules in your chatbot to get 80%+ of that work automated.
  • Always available, 24/7, from everywhere. Your candidates have lives, busy lives. Sometimes they’ll submit an application at 6am or when they’re coming home from work after 8pm. When this happens, wouldn’t it be nice to greet them and start the recruitment process? With a digital assistant, you can be your most welcoming self 24/7, you are literally building your talent pool while you sleep.
  • Build rapport and establish your brand personality with your candidates. When customized to the core (like the awesome chatbots we build at Talkpush), chatbots will personify the organization’s style, tone of voice and overall personality. You can build a great experience for the candidate; one that will actually build up your employer brand and make you more relatable to them.

Chatbots are meant to handle the heavy lifting and free up your recruiters to do more meaningful and deeper work. In this very real way, technology is a strong enabler for people to people connection.

Having established a few of the benefits of using chatbots for the recruitment experience, I’d like to dive into one of the most exciting news of 2018:

Back in August, WhatsApp finally opened it’s Business API and allowed companies to communicate more directly with their clients. We became the first company to offer WhatsApp as a recruitment channel shortly thereafter.

Offering access to the masses

This is a step towards the democratization of jobs all over the world. While access to a laptop may still be restricted, almost anyone now has a mobile phone, and people worldwide are enjoying the free voice and text communication offered by WhatsApp. In countries with high SMS costs like Brasil, India, Mexico and Malaysia, WhatsApp is by far the most used messaging platform. WhatsApp now has more than 1.5 billions monthly users, sending close to 60 billion messages every single day!

Talkpush clients are able to communicate with their candidates through the most popular instant-messaging platform, without having to use personal phone line, which has been the default move for thousands of individual recruiters worldwide.

We have launched a couple of WhatsApp campaigns with a few selected clients and have gotten great initial results, specially in the high-volume space. Why? Essential to the candidate experience is consistency and ease of use. We process candidates throughout the full recruitment funnel without ever having to redirect them somewhere else.

Most companies will just have a chatbot sitting in WhatsApp to greet the candidates before eventually moving them to another platform to continue with their application process. We’re not into that, we believe in treating your candidates like you would your customers and providing a fully integrated experience is the first step in that direction.

How It Works

WhatsApp works as any of our other integrated communication channels (FB Messenger, SMS, WeChat, etc):

1. The chatbot greets and pre-screens the candidate.

2. The CRM assigns (round-robin style) said candidate to a specific recruiter.

3. The recruiter has access (through our web or mobile app) to the bot’s conversation with the candidate, where he or she can read and listen to any voice notes provided by the candidate.

4. The recruiter can, if he/she chooses to, take over the conversation and send any messages he or she decides to the candidate and then give it back to the bot.

5. The recruiter can choose to move the candidate to short-listed or rejected through the platform. In the case of shortlisted, the chatbot will schedule an interview with the candidate. If rejected, the bot informs the candidate through a customized message.

As you can see, the whole process happens without having to ask the candidate to move from WhatsApp to any other platform. This works wonders in completion rates, sentiment score, time to hire and overall candidate experience. HOME-RUN.

When you put great candidates in front of recruiters and jump start the conversation, good things happen. The global workforce has evolved and it’s time Talent Acquisition evolves with it. This is the way people are communicating every single day. You want to be there too, and the way to be there is through high quality chatbots. Bots before bros, bro!

Watch below an extract of the full demo our CEO made for the Chad&Cheese Podcast so that you can get a complete overview of our CRM and how it works: