Best HR and Recruiting Chatbots - November 2019

The best HR chatbots, key metrics, pitfalls, and ROI calculations

Are you looking to decrease the time your recruiting team spends sourcing and screening candidates? Then you’ll probably want to look at adding a chatbot to your talent acquisition tech stack. This is especially true if you are in a company that does high volume recruiting.

The best part about using AI in your recruiting efforts is that these tools can bring a tangible ROI, as well as more intangible benefits to both candidates and recruiters.

We’ve done the research to understand which are the best recruiting chatbots, how they can impact your recruiting process, and what key mistakes companies make when looking at this type of recruiting software. Enjoy!

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Top Recruiting Chatbots

We track thousands of HRTech solutions, these are the best HR chatbots per our research and expert council as of November 2019

AllyO’s chatbot has had over 10 million conversations with candidates, and boasts customers like FedEx and Cheesecake factory. The company’s founders left jobs at McKinsey and Google to start this business. While doing so, they went as far as to start a staffing company to understand their customer needs, and were the first “candidates” to apply through their bot to better understand the candidate experience.

If you take a look at their product, check out the ATS re-discovery feature that allows for surfacing of previous candidates, along with their text recruiting module which is now sending 13k texts per day to candidates. Learn More About AllyO

Xor uses AI to convert more candidates into your ATS, automate screening, and handle candidate scheduling. Their solution works across 100 different languages, and many different modes of communication including SMS, Faceook, web, email, etc.

They also understand that chatbots aren’t just about more quality applicants, they’re about happier candidates. ~99.3% of applicants who engage with Xor’s bot say it’s a good experience. Learn More About Xor

Brazen’s bot is designed to convert more career site traffic into applications in your ATS by answering candidate's most pressing questions, or navigating them through the application. They’ve found their bot engages 40% more career site visitors than just asking candidates to apply, and that candidates who’ve engaged with the bot are 100-200% more likely to be hired.

The simplest version of their platform can be live in a few days, which gives your team the ability to try their solution before committing 100%. Learn More About Brazen

Ideal’s chatbot saves recruiting time by screening and staging candidates throughout the hiring process, all done through their AI powered assistant. Also worth checking out is their ATS re-discovery product which will go into your ATS, see who is a good fit for your existing reqs, resurface/contact them, screen them, and put them in front of your recruiters. Learn More About Ideal

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.

To set this up, you’re basically filling out a spreadsheet with lots of canned answers to questions. A good way to make sure the bot is comprehensive and accurate, but also a lot of time!

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.

Please note, this solution is only for companies who’re using Smashfly and is not available as a standalone offering.

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.

Eightfold’s recruiting chatbot is designed to engage job seekers on the career site to answer pressing questions, and direct them to the best fit jobs for their interests and background. Their bot can also screen candidates. This is just one module within a broader recruitment marketing platform that is centered around a dynamic career site designed to convert more applicants into the right jobs.

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

Benefits and Use Cases of Recruiting Chatbots

If you’re going to use chatbots for recruiting, you probably have one or two things in mind already that it can do to add value to your recruitment process. Here’s a list of the key ways this segment of recruiting software can help:

  • Interview Scheduling: HR chatbots are wonderful at scheduling screens and interviews. They can easily update calendars, look across multiple people’s openings, and of course can do this while taking the burden of the cumbersome back and forth off the plate of an HR coordinator.

  • Automated Screening: Chatbots are great at screening candidates with rudimentary questions (are you available to work starting in 4 weeks, does this comp align with your expectations, etc). They can also leverage natural language processing to have a deeper conversation with your job seekers about their experience, expectations, and how well they align with the open roles. This is a core use case for all of the best recruiting chatbots.

  • Candidate Sourcing: Most of the sourcing capabilities we’ve seen revolve around re-engaging your talent pool members and ATS database. The bot will look at open reqs, match them to people in the database, and then reach back to see if they want to engage. It will also screen them, and schedule the ones who make it through the screen. Not bad!

  • Career Site Conversions: This is a page out of marketing’s playbook. The bot’s conversational interface can help people who land on your career site get key questions answered, and then guide them either to the relevant job postings in your ATS, or send them direct to a recruiter to engage (imagine a software engineer with the right experience hits your page - you want them to talk to a human ASAP).

  • Text Based Recruiting: Chatbots can communicate over many different mediums, and of course SMS is one of those. Probably are favorite use case here is text to apply where you can drive candidates to apply via texting a shortcode, and then screen candidates all via text. This is especially useful for places where you’re engaging candidates where texting is easiest (billboards, PR, presentations), or for candidates that don’t necessarily have a resume and are more likely to text than apply via ATS.

  • Employee Referrals: The best recruiting chatbots now enable employees to make referrals through their interface - and will actually ping your employees with reminders about open roles, and how much the bounty is for each. There is most likely a day in the not too distant future when these bots will leverage a bit of machine learning to reach out to employees and ask if they’d make an intro to a person in their network for an open role that seems to be a good fit.

  • Candidate Experience: Candidates have questions, HR chatbots have answers. Throughout the interview process a chatbot can easily answer applicant questions on status of application, or many of the pertinent info you may find in an employee handbook (benefits, PTO policy, etc).

  • Artificial intelligence: This is sort of a large bucket of benefits. And, perhaps the biggest benefit is that you can join the club of next generation talent acquisition leaders using AI in their recruiting. Most of these recruiting chatbots use some form of AI to more effectively communicate with candidates via natural language processing, or do things like vet candidates via machine learning.

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.

Other potential drivers of value are saving recruiter time, and decreasing time to fill. But, these aren’t contemplated in the calculator (don’t worry, these are icing on the cake).

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 SelectSoftware 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 career 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%.”

Beyond metrics, it’s important to make sure you are keeping your recruiting process human, despite your new found efficiency. While unconscious bias should be eliminated through standardized automated screens, this can actually be exacerbated in edge cases. Make sure you have sanity checks in place via metrics you track as opposed to letting artificial intelligence start to dominate your recruiting process.

Stay Organized

If you’re looking at adding an HR chatbot to your recruiting efforts, you’re probably looking at specific criteria to judge which vendor you should actually move forward with. We highly recommend staying organized as you vet various providers by using a simple spreadsheet that keeps track of which vendors meet which criteria, along with other key considerations such as pricing and rep likeability. Below is a spreadsheet you can modify to your needs. It has some sample questions, but the most important aspect is the structure that we’ve setup.

Download our Recruiting Chatbot Demo Organizer

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.

Beyond conversion, there are so many use cases a recruiting chatbot can help with. What we have glossed over above are the non-recruiting jobs like onboarding, answering employee questions, new hire checkins, employee engagement, and internal mobility. The best hr chatbots are extremely powerful, and only getting better.

HR Chatbot Pitfalls

There are a few 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).

  • Next is that some chatbot 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.

  • Human interaction is key to making sure your candidate experience doesn’t degrade. AI and chatbots should augment what your team is doing, not replace it. And never lose site of the person who matters most, the applicant.

  • Don’t get overwhelmed with the many ways a chatbot can help. You came to this page most likely because you have one or two use cases in mind. Start there, but try to pick a vendor with a broad offering you can leverage further over time.

  • Don’t get caught up in the hype around AI. It’s here, it’s helping, but it will not solve all of your problems by any means. At least, not for another few decades.

  • Engage your hiring managers to help you understand what’s important to them. Definitely get sales and marketing’s take on how they’re thinking about using chatbots to engage customers. There are a lot of parallels and ways you can learn from chatbot examples across your business.

Companies using HR and Recruiting Chatbots

In case you want to see what these tools look like from the candidate perspective, here are a few examples of companies using recruiting chatbots:

  • IKEA

  • Netflix

  • Heineken

  • Hot Topic

  • McDonald’s

  • Arby’s

  • Cheesecake Factory

Next Step

If you’ve made it this far, you’re serious about adding an HR Chatbot to your recruiting tech stack. Whether it’s to cut down on scheduling, and screening time, drive more applicants into the ATS, or one of the many other use cases, the next step will be to get a demo with one of our pre-vetted vendors to take a deep dive into their product:

AllyO’s AI powered chatbot has a wide spectrum of functionality that spans across all the core use cases you’d expect in an HR chatbot: scheduling candidates, screening, onboarding, referrals, etc. It’s not surprising they work with some of the world’s top brands including Avis, Cheesecake Factory, Randstad and more.

Xor’s chatbot is used by companies like McDonald’s, IKEA, and many more. Take a look at their solution if you’re looking to convert more applicants into your ATS, or looking to automate screens to save your recruiters time.

Are we missing something on this page? Let us know and we’ll research it for you!