17 Jul 2018

The year of the Bot | Chatbots and Artificial Intelligence

human vs bot

For a few years now, people have been revolting, so to speak, on the impending doom of the AI takeover. They talk about the looming future of disruption where bots and AI take over a series of jobs and tasks, resulting in an increase in global unemployment. The AI camp however offers a different perspective on this, highlighting the endless possibilities for humans, when the bar on actually being human is raised.

It may be the year of the dog; but in our industry it’s the year of the Bot. Are you prepared?

Chatbots and AI in HR

Globally, businesses are moving at a frenetic pace in a quest for efficiencies. Our valued clients are not looking to pay us any more than they already are. Instead, they are looking for ways to further develop their in-house resources.

HR teams are looking to tone down their recruitment sources, aiming to work only with those that offer a greater return on investment; fair enough, too.

Over the recent years, we have already seen the work of bots and artificial intelligence seizing our industry expertise:

1. Predictive Analysis in HR

We have been using predictive analysis and behaviours for years; in fact, our clients may even well be savvier than we are.

Be it fair to say, in-house HR teams are battling for relevance for a seat or two at the senior leadership table. They have and continue to up their game, utilising predictive analysis to develop a structure for the following year’s hiring needs - what worked and what didn’t work.

2. Behavioural Analysis in HR

With data more available now than ever; HR teams are able to analyse this and predict behaviour that is relevant to their business.

This means that business and HR teams have learned how to stereotype and skills match candidates based on behavioural analysis; resulting in less and less opportunities for recruiters.

3. Access to Candidates

Thanks to social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook, candidates are now easier to find. LinkedIn, for example, has created fairly new features which make it easier for businesses to connect with individual candidates without putting anyone at risk.

The Recruitment Industry is Under Attack

As you can see, there is no question that our industry is - for lack of a better term - under attack!

Whether one may see it as being under attack, or otherwise; it’s important to highlight that going against the machine takeover is a feeble exercise. Instead, to keep up with this disruption, we must embrace it and evolve with it, and make it work to our advantage; because that my friends is what it is - an advantage.

Through the introduction of different fee and delivery models, optimised with the use of these new technologies; speed and efficiency is the future.

The Rise of Chatbots and AI in the Recruitment Industry

Instead of turning our backs on new technology, the question we must ask is where do bots and AI fit in our industry; and how do we use it to our maximum advantage?

1. Data Cleansing Bots

Recruiters commonly talk about their large databases and CRMs, naively using it as USP when talking to clients. You might have a database with tens and thousands of candidates, but how valuable is that really?

It is widely known that large databases are graveyards for information, gathered in a feeble attempt to bring candidates on board. Just like a brand new car you drive off with from the dealers; shortly after a candidate’s details are loaded on to a database, their value depreciates.

As recruiters’ workloads get larger and industry competition gets tougher, our use of data has become lazier and uninspired. Days go by and the data becomes outdated, unmeasured, and undervalued with many recruiters choosing to turn to social platforms to find candidates to shoulder-tap.

Intelligent bots can be programmed to work the way you need them to work. Bots have the ability to scan large databases and clean it up for you. They can engage with candidates whom you might not have spoken to in a while. Bots will even gather relevant information from your candidates, ensuring that your database is current and of real value to you as a recruiter.

Just like a robot vacuum, you can leave a HR Bot programmed, doing its thing, while you do something of better use of your time. And in a matter of minutes, you will have a current and engaged database to work with.

2. Payroll Bots

How many times have you received a call from your candidate asking if they’ve gotten paid, or if they can get a copy of their payslip, or even that their bank details have changed?

Too many to count, right?

A payroll bot can take this task away from your recruiters, allowing them to focus on what really matters.

3. HR Bots

How many recruiters enjoy looking into their candidates’ leave balances? Or chasing after them to sign their contracts? Perhaps gathering HR information for compliance?

I would hazard a guess that none of you do.

Imagine how productive your day as a recruiter could actually be if bots were to take these tasks away from you. You could actually put your efforts into actually engaging with candidates and clients, instead of performing repetitive administrative tasks.

4. Scheduling, Rostering, and General Work Enquiries

AI-powered bots can be programmed to execute a range of activities, ranging in complexity, as required by any business.

5. Other Artificial Intelligence tools shaping the industry

The most impressive bots – and also the most intimidating – are those that act as junior recruiters. Those bots that can do all of the above!

Now let me point out first that I use the word intimidating, because this is what people are afraid of. It is this kind of artificial intelligence that threatens humans, and affects the way we perceive our roles in the workforce.

If seen as an ally, AI powered bots can be programmed to automate the candidate sourcing part of recruiters’ roles; resulting in a range of benefits, including unbiased selection, speed to market, increased efficiency and productivity.

Take a look at these players in the Rec tech space as an example

  • 360Hired – A global CRM that allows you to review applications and schedule interviews from your own 360Hired Dashboard.
  • HiringSolved – This platform uses a layered approach to candidate sourcing; intelligently boosting search relevance.
  • Ubidy – Expands recruitment capacity by supplementing teams through access to the Ubidy Exchange – a database of local and global agency networks, which goes beyond traditional job boards.

There are literally 100’s of new sourcing platforms that are hitting market globally, all designed to simplify hiring methods, short list candidates and assist not just your clients but you to do your job more effectively and efficiently.

Embarking on the Intelligent Journey in the Year of the Bot

By relinquishing our mundane and onerous tasks to recruitment bots, we are setting ourselves up for an exciting and incredible journey.

You see, the real advantage of AI and Bots in recruitment is in the early stages of recruitment i.e., screening and sourcing. That’s the key thing to remember here.

Bots are not here to replace us humans. They are here complement us - to help us and allow us to be more productive.

Think of them as your own personal digital assistant - your personal bot.

Find out how bots can be implemented into your business and contact one of our team members at Rec Tech Solutions


Col Levander
About the Author

Col Levander FRCSA – Founder & CEO With over 25 years’ experience in the recruitment and on-hire industry and in technology, Col is the industry professional recruitment organisations trust to find, the right solutions for their needs. Col has proven track record of reviewing, managing and implementing end-to-end resourcing for large industry projects and he has real world experience you can trust. Designing multiple enterprise software solutions for medium and large corporate recruitment businesses over the past 5 years, he’s focused on finding the right solutions for your business. Committed to reviewing new and emerging technology and an innovator himself, Col and his team are absolutely committed to their clients’ success.

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