We all want to be efficient when it comes to our recruitment processes and we all want to provide a great candidate experience. But are these two aims mutually exclusive or can you streamline processes for the benefit of both your teams and your candidates?
With 79% of in-house recruiters expecting their delivery targets to increase over the next three years, and their budgets to remain the same, it’s no wonder that HRDs are looking at ways they can make the recruitment process simpler and quicker for their teams to manage. Automation is an obvious solution but is often thought to be at the detriment to a positive candidate experience. But is that really the case? Here we discuss how introducing efficiencies for your team can actually create a better candidate experience.
When you’re dealing with high volumes of applications, how can you ensure your candidates get the chance to ask your team questions without these multiple conversations taking up all of their working day? Online group chats allow you to communicate with multiple candidates at once. Take one of the largest police forces in the UK who at any stage have high volumes of candidates going through the recruitment process. They introduced two hour-long online group chats a week to allow candidates to ask questions about their upcoming assessment day.
During March this year they hosted a total of nine chats (that’s nine hours of the team’s time) and had a total of 323 candidates attend those chats (that’s an equivalent of 1.6 mins per candidate). By comparison, if the team had to speak to each of those applicants individually, it would take considerably longer – a staggering 53 hours if you allowed 10 minutes for each chat.
But what about the candidate experience? Well, with an average NPS score of 74 for these nine chats, as well as the sheer volume of those who attended, it’s clear the candidates found it a useful and valuable exercise too.
“I found the recent chat very helpful, there were questions asked by other candidates that I had not thought about.”
— Candidate feedback
Yodel’s introduction of a screening chatbot for its driver roles has not only had a huge impact on enabling the recruitment team to manage their time more efficiently (by not having to call upwards of 2,000 applicants a month), but it has also clearly shown that delivering a great candidate experience doesn’t necessarily fit into a 9 to 5 working day.
Since its introduction in October 2018, 51% completed the bot during standard office hours but 49% completed it outside of these hours with completed screens coming in literally 24/7. As Yodel’s Ben Gledhill says, “Candidate experience is about giving a true experience and choice to people; not a process”. And if validation were required to show that the candidate experience has only been enriched by replacing a human call with an automated bot, then the 97% smiley face feedback that it has.
It’s clear that chatbots can have a significant impact for both recruiting teams and candidates. But what happens when the bot can’t provide the answer the candidate is looking for? You don’t want to turn what might have been a positive candidate experience into a negative one. A natural solution would be to offer up the traditional email and phone but that feels like going back a step technology wise and not continuing with the efficiencies you’ve started to create for your team.
How about handing over to a live 121 chat instead? From a candidate perspective the transition from bot to human is seamless and provides that continued positive interaction with the organisation. The 121 chat allows your teams to not only see the candidate’s responses to the chatbot at the top of the chat, but they can also tag the conversation – something that can be hugely beneficial when it comes to analysing chat data. It might even lead to updating the chatbot workflow if you’re finding the same questions are cropping up.
Admittedly, the handover can only be done when the live chat is open, typically during office hours, but outside of this there’s always the option to ask them to leave a number for a recruiter to call them back the next working day.
The three points highlighted above are of course just a few ways to show how efficiencies in your recruitment process don’t have to compromise candidate experience. They demonstrate that the two things aren’t mutually exclusive but instead can have significant and positive impacts for both your teams and your candidates.