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If you’ve ever shopped or sought information online, you likely have encountered a chatbot, a service that enables people to interact via an online messenger. Powered by basic rules or machine learning, the chatbot can have specific types of “conversations” with users, often eliminating the need to wait for a human response that could take minutes, hours, or even days. This can be significant for HR, where job candidates—especially those in great demand—can lose interest and go elsewhere if they can’t get prompt information or answers.
Chatbots can be reliable, valuable members of your HR team. They can be used to:
· Answer frequently-asked questions and direct others to a human agent.
· Build relationships with job candidates.
· Create questionnaires and live event announcements/reminders.
· Plan employee vacations and time off.
· Share information in a more conversational, personalized fashion.
Taking some of the tension out of a stressful process, chatbots can be used to conduct preliminary job interviews. This can enable candidates to relax and answer, as well as ask, questions more honestly and comfortably. Then you can review the person’s answers. This lets you decide who will get callbacks without scheduling and sitting through dozens of interviews.
Programmed accordingly, chatbots also can ensure a unified, standardized approach to each candidate, so that everyone gets consistent information about the company, its missions, culture, and brand.
Chatbots are especially helpful when time is of the essence. If a job candidate has a question, for example, about benefits or policies at 3 am, the chatbot can provide at least the most basic information and refer the question for follow-up in the morning by your team. This accomplishes two goals; it gives the person the information they need when they need it, and it alerts your team that this individual is interested in the company and may benefit from more personal attention. Technology called hybrid Agent+AI® can help eliminate the risk of the chatbot sending out wrong answers: and the bot can be “trained” to learn from each new interaction. Chatbots also can be programmed to add a human agent to the process when it gets a specific question for the first time.
If you think chatbots are a passing trend, think again. Not only are these being used in sales, marketing, and HR, healthcare chatbots—such as those designed to provide information about medical conditions or schedule appointments—also are growing in popularity. This is a proven technology that can have a valuable role in your organization.