HR Chatbot Overview

Last Updated February 2019 - Why trust SSR?

Quick Hits on HR Chatbots:

  • Expect to increase the percent of career site visitors who are convinced to apply into the ATS

  • Expect to increase the overall candidate experience by answering key questions early

  • Expect the quality of applicants to rise as those who’d otherwise bounce now convert

  • Beware of lengthy implementations, especially with solutions that are very nascent and haven’t developed their machine learning algorithms

The 6 Best HR Chatbots

Why trust SSR?


The Good

Xor’s solution boasts impressive data around driving new conversions into the ATS (>85%). Plus, they understand that chatbots aren’t just about more applicants, they’re about happier candidates. >90% of applicants who engage with Xor’s bot say it’s a good experience. Oh, and this data is based on 1 million conversations with candidates!

The Bad

Most of this company’s customers are based in Eastern Europe right now. Not the worst thing in the world, but worth noting.

Visit Xor’s site


The Good

Drift’s chatbot is one of the most advanced on the market. They have a large and growing engineering team that releases new features on a weekly basis. In fact, the first live “HR Chatbot” that we saw was Drift. It asked us what job family we were interested in, and then how much experience we had. If we said engineering with >3 years, it let us block a time on a recruiter’s calendar, else it directed us towards the ATS.

The Bad

Here’s the thing, Drift isn’t an HR Chatbot - it’s a marketing chatbot. So, their product roadmap is focused on driving sales for their customers, not hires. And, they’re more focused on SalesForce integrations than your ATS.

Visit Drift’s site


The Good

Olivia has one of the most robust Recruiting Chatbots out there. Their founding team has been in HRTech basically forever and have built everything from job boards in the 90s to recruitment marketing software in the 00s, and now chatbots.

The Bad

We’ve got it from insiders that this solution takes a lot of effort to setup. Basically, they’re sending you a spreadsheet with a few hundred questions the bot will most likely get asked, and then HR to fill in what the response should be. A good way to make sure the bot is comprehensive and accurate, but also a lot of time!

Visit Olivia’s site


The Good

Ideal says you’re sitting on a gold mine with the folks already in your ATS - and we agree. Their solution will go in to see who is a good fit for your existing reqs, resurface them, screen them, and put them in front of your recruiters.

The Bad

Their top of funnel chatbot seems to be very focused on screening, as opposed to driving incremental conversions on the careers site. This means one of the core ROI drivers for recruiting chatbots is under-optimized, at least for now.

Visit Ideal’s site


The Good

The team that pioneered the recruitment marketing software space is back with the first chatbot that is tightly integrated into a leading candidate relationship management (CRM) offering.

The Bad

This solution is only for companies who’re using Smashfly and is not available as a standalone offering. And, Smashfly’s software is really only designed for companies with >5,000 employees.

Visit Smashfly’s site


The Good

Mya has grown insanely fast with $30 mm of venture funding, and has apparently invested much of that capital into R&D as their offering boasts a 79% reduction in time to interview, a 93% applicant completion rate, and many more interesting stats.

The Bad

While this solution is robust for corporate HR as well as staffing use cases, their solution is enterprise heavy and thus designed for larger organizations, not the mid market.

Visit Mya’s site

Other vendors we considered in our research: Job Pal, Arya, Phenom People, Jobvite, Canvas, GoHire, Hire Humanely, RoboRecruiter, Wade&Wendy, Montage Talent, TextRecruit

ROI of HR Chatbots

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The Return On Investment (ROI) driven from HR Chatbots is fairly straightforward. These bots allow you to get more quality applicants into your funnel that otherwise would’ve bounced from your page without applying through the ATS.

So, you can see the effectiveness through the number of new hires you’ve made that came through this channel as well as the amount of time saved by utilizing a chatbot where recruiters would’ve had to be involved previously.

Fill out the form on the right to download our ROI calculator.

4 Key Metrics for HR Chatbots

Yes, we are data nerds here at Select Software Reviews. Here are the metrics we think you should be tracking for HR Chatbots, and why:

  • Conversion rate: What percent of career site visitors are converting into your ATS and talent communities - “We were getting 5% of traffic into the ATS prior to implementing the chatbot, and are now getting 7% which means 250 more applicants/week, 3 of which we hire on average.”

  • Quality of applicants: How many applicants are interview/hire worthy - “We were hiring 1% of applicants that applied through our carer site, now it’s 3%.”

  • Chat engagement: What percent of visitors interact with your chat - “15% of career site visitors chat with our bot, which is around 200/month.”

  • Candidate NPS: Do candidates enjoy engaging with your chatbot - “Our candidate NPS for applicants has increased from 10% to 15%.”

Our Advice

Getting an HR Chatbot is a no brainer for talent acquisition teams. This concept has absolutely exploded in the marketing realm during the last few years - how many times a day do you see a chatbot pop up on your screen from a company’s site? They’re so popular because they work in driving leads down the funnel. In the world of talent attraction, it’s the same concept - get more leads down the funnel by engaging passive candidates.

Higher Quality Applicants

Candidates who are dipping their toe into your hiring funnel are much higher quality. They aren’t spamming their resume, or else they’d show up in your ATS. Most likely, they heard about your company through some means beyond a job board and are simply interested, but not ready to apply. From our research, we’ve seen these applicants are being thoughtful about their careers, which correlates highly with quality. Expect to see that hard to attract candidates come in through this channel.

HR Chatbot Pitfalls

There are two major pitfalls we’ve seen with HR Chatbots.

  • One is that many companies are interested but haven’t pulled the trigger (see “where to start” below - it’s super easy to get started).

  • The other is that some of these offerings can be setup easily, but take a long time to do it “right.” Instead of “AI” they are regurgitating the hundreds of responses you had to input into a spreadsheet when you get setup - be warned that these offerings are not that functional and can take a ton of your time to get started.

Where to Start - Your HR Chatbot Strategy

  • Do you have a chatbot on your site already? Get marketing to shell out the extra $50/mo to get you a seat. Have a recruiter message each career site visitor and track your results (see key metrics above) to see if this is ROI positive for you and how much to invest.

  • Don’t have a chatbot, or want something bespoke to your HR needs? Check out the above vendors and do a 15 min call with each to get a sense for 1) implementation, 2) ongoing time you’ll need to monitor this channel, 3) integration with your existing systems (mostly ATS), and 4) what key results you can expect.

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