It’s a Monday morning. You enter the office hastily, grab a quick cup of coffee and then rush to your seat, contemplating on the huge stack of work that needs to be done before the 3:30 PM meeting. You have to close two positions urgently, and the stakeholders are getting impatient. So, you open your mailbox, recruiterbox, angel/linkedin account etc all together, completely determined to touch base with few candidates before lunch.
And you have received a lot of applications indeed, some 50 in your email, some 100s in our other job posting sites! Amazing!
But, what now? How many calls do you make? How many candidates will be responding at all? Above all, even if you narrow the list down to say 50, can you call them all by lunch? Not forgetting the offer letters that you have to email, the new joinee that you have to walk through the onboarding process or the payroll issue that’s been haunting you since the last week.
Have you faced this situation before? We, sure as well have. And we were just having almost 25-30 profiles for 2 openings on AngeLlist, and we had no idea how do we get in touch with all of them. Even if we did with some, maintaining the data was a problem. We, of course, had tons of other things to do as well.
This is how we tried to maintain our database of candidates
That’s when we realized, man, we got a Problem!
And if this was a problem for a 10 people team, how big is the problem for companies who are hiring for 4-5 positions? What about the recruitment agencies who source 1000s of candidates a day?
Thus, the idea of HR Chatbots was born.
Once we identified this problem that recruiters face, we decided to dive deep into it and speak with some experienced recruiters.
One of our clients, who was a lead recruiter at a leading recruitment consultancy in Bangalore said,“Man, my team spends a lot of time in the calls. And each candidate has different queries, it’s very easy to get lost in all the mess.”
Another of our client, who is an in-house HR stated,”Calling indeed is a time-killer, especially when all you get to hear is, I am at a meeting, please reach out to me after 8. Well, what would I be doing at my office after 8!”
The problem was indeed huge, and it pushed us to think of the probable solutions. We had earlier worked on simplifying the screening process and the interview process, now we were determined to fix the middle of the funnel, i.e calling. Our development and the product team scratched their heads for the next few months, went on and on over the edge cases and tried to find the most viable solution. These are the few problems which HR Chatbots can fix.
According to Gary Stauble, Principal Consultant for The “Recruiting Lab”, a seasoned recruiter makes at around 40 calls per day with an average duration of 10 mins per call. For a novice, the number might rise up to 100.
So, this is how a typical hiring funnel starts. You get the applicants, browse through their resumes(which is a time killer as well, and you can avoid it), select a few and then you think “ Let’s call them!”
So, you dial each one of the shortlisted candidates, tackle through the not responding and disconnected calls and manage to speak with some. Generally, the basic questions revolve around Proficiency in Skills, CTC, location, notice period etc.
Research shows that the top talent is usually hired within just 5 days, so you have to get in touch with the candidates before your competition does.
Even if this process takes up your 4-5 hours, you are nowhere nearer to your final aim, i.e onboarding!
Another major problem is the overwhelming amount of unorganized paperwork. It’s a challenge to source quality resumes, to ensure you don’t call the same candidates multiple times, and to consistently capture candidate information.
And most of the times, this is usually done in spreadsheets. Especially for agency recruiters, the job becomes even more challenging, since you are dealing with multiple clients, so one spreadsheet for each client with several sub-sheets for each position! Now, as your resources increase, the problem increases exponentially.
Looking at the above problems, we decided to inspect the problems and tackle the challenges head-on. We not only wanted to automate the entire calling process but also wanted to make sure that the bot addresses each candidate with a personal touch.
There were loads of brainstorming sessions where our product and the engineering team contemplated on what could be the ideal user flow.
With HR Chatbots, we had no limit till which we could experiment. We have built chatbots primarily focusing on custom questions which each company asks the candidate in the first screening process over the telephonic call.
We spoke with over 24+ clients and recruiters to frame the probable generic and specific questions. For example, considering the role of a Frontend developer, few such questions can be,
We trained our bot not only to answer the specific questions, but also to come up with follow-up questions, because one of our main purpose was to build a database for the companies with precise and structured responses from the candidate, so that it could help them in identifying their sourcing channel issues besides providing relevant insights through analytics.
To achieve this, the bot was trained with NLP to read in between the answers that the candidate would provide, and ask real-time & precise follow-up questions, following a consistent pattern for each candidate to avoid ambiguity.
You can upload 100s of candidates whom you want to screen at one go in our portal. This is how you can upload them.
Now, it’s time to create questions. We have a standard template, which you can customize and add any no of questions that you wish. These are the ones which our bot will ask your candidates in the chat.
All done, now just press, Initiate against each candidate. Our system will send an email and an SMS to the candidates to start the chat. They can just click on the link which will start the chat.
Now, you go home and let the magic happen!
Next morning, you come to the office and you see this in front of you:
All your questions have been answered in a very structured way.
You can now filter the candidates on various parameters like expected CTC, YOE, Location etc and get the chosen few down your hiring funnel.
No calls, no spreadsheets, no disconnects. And hours saved? Feel free to do the maths yourself :)
We have launched HR Chatbots and are offering Free Trial for one month, you can request for an early access from here.
The article was originally published here.