Keep Talking: Candidates and Chatbots

Posted July 7th, 2020

As recruitment technology continues to evolve, new tools are changing the ways recruiters can engage with candidates, particularly in the early stages of the process.

Chat functions, including those powered by chatbots, have become an increasingly popular means of communication. And, according to our research of US jobseekers at the end of last year, chat functions are something that candidates themselves are ready to embrace. It’s good to talk, clearly!

Quick responses and basic information are key for candidates

From our research we discovered that 54% of candidates would be happy to use live chat during the recruitment process, with speed of responses to basic questions seen as the biggest benefit by 59% of candidates.

This importance of instant interaction is underlined by Chris Wirt, Director of Sales - Eastern US and LATAM, DaXtra Technologies, who says “Chatbots are clearly becoming more popular among candidates and this makes sense if you look at what chat functions are expected to do. Speed of response and getting basic information quickly is a key thing that candidates want, and this is what they see live chats as being able to offer them.”

But what is also interesting about attitudes towards chatbots, is how many candidates expect the technology to be able to carry out multiple tasks – some potentially harboring unrealistic expectations about what chat functions can do for them.

Chat function more popular than speaking to actual recruiter

23 percent candidates prefer chat to personWhen it comes to the basic benefits that candidates expect to get from a chat function, 48% like the idea of having the chat available 24/7 to answer questions at their convenience, while 58% would expect the system to be able to answer questions quickly. In fact, 58% of candidates expect live chat to be able to answer questions faster than a recruiter.

Another 23% say they simply don’t want to talk to a person during the initial stages of the recruitment process. This is particularly true of the 18-24 year old age bracket, 31% of whom would prefer using a chat function to speaking to an actual recruiter.

Do candidates expect too much from a chat function?

However, when it comes to more advanced functions, this is when some candidates are perhaps overestimating what a chat function can do for them.

41 percent candidates expect chat to prep them for interviewFor instance, while 52% expect a chat function to be able to provide them with basic job information, 41% believe it would be able to prepare them for an interview. Meanwhile 28% would even expect the function to help them improve their resume before submitting it! Naturally, candidates’ expectations are changing rapidly with the times. As Joe Essenfeld, Vice President Strategy at our partner iCIMS, says in this article “Now, additionally, candidates are increasingly asking questions about remote and work from home policies, COVID preparedness and medical and personal leave paid benefits.” 

Our research shows that while candidates might overestimate the capacities of a chat function, it is evidently a vital component of the recruitment process. Therefore it is in recruiters’ best interests to make their chat functions as accessible and capable as possible, to ease candidates in at the early stages of the process. To read more about candidates’ expectations around the recruitment process, download our US Market Research Report.

Tags: DaXtra Blog, Recruitment technology, Candidate Experience, market research