How to improve candidate engagement using AI: Chatbots, big data, job ads, and more
What is candidate engagement?
Candidate engagement is similar to customer engagement in that both focus on fostering a long-term connection between an organization and an individual.
Candidate engagement, on the other hand, is more relational than transactional in nature, rather than geared toward persuading them to make a purchase. For a successful recruitment effort, it’s not enough to simply attract talented people to an organization; rather, it’s also important to keep them engaged all the way through the hiring process and place them in a position they’ll enjoy.
This includes providing a more satisfying experience for job seekers at every stage, from making themselves known to making a final choice. Since applicant interaction is so crucial, most recruiters wonder how to get started. Recruiting requires input from the company’s people, processes, and technology.
- People. The most evident of these three is “people,” which refers to a person already working within the company and already familiar with the applicant journey. This person has control of the interaction and is well-versed with the demographic’s goals, interests, and habits.
- Procedures. These are the planned means of attracting and retaining potential employees before they formally apply. Methods like texting, emailing, and face-to-face meetings are examples of direct communication, while methods such as an engaging website, video, or case studies are examples of indirect communication.
- Technology. This refers to the tools used for organizing and facilitating engagement strategies and for gauging their success. Without metrics, it’s impossible to tell when and why a strategy isn’t working.
In addition, technology allows your company to make more well-informed choices. Data can be compiled to show you where in the hiring process people are losing interest. In all likelihood, readjustment will be required.
What’s the importance?
“A good recruiting process focuses and aligns recruiters to deliver the best to the organization. Ultimately, recruiting really should be viewed as a business partner, someone who is critical to the success of the business.”
Mathew Caldwell, Head of Talent, Instacart
How to measure candidate engagement
It is essential to evaluate the return on investment (ROI) of any new venture, and AI-powered recruiting technology is no exception. By keeping an eye on these four indicators, you can see how well AI tools improve your recruitment methods.
- The time it takes to find and advance candidates through the various stages of the recruiting process (application, screening, selection, interview, etc.) is known as “time to source,” and it may be used to calculate the yield ratio at each stage of the process. This is where a candidate sourcing tool like Arya Quantum would benefit the recruiter in finding the right candidates and using AI to place smart job ads to attract candidates.
- Time to hire is the period of time from when a candidate is found to when an offer is accepted. It differs from time to fill, which measures how long it takes from when an opening is posted until an employee accepts a job offer.
- Although difficult to quantify, the quality of hire can be evaluated by a tool’s capacity to fulfill your talent acquisition requirements. Tracking things like employee reviews, promotions, and output might help.
- The percentage of new hires who remain with the company after the first year of employment is the retention rate you’re after. Low retention rates are usually an indicator of a flawed hiring strategy.
It’s common for hiring teams to be quite concerned about both speed (time to source/time to employ) and quality (quality of hire/retention rate). You can get additional information and make better conclusions by consulting with third-party suppliers for measurements and case studies concerning these qualifications.
Top 2 challenges of candidate sourcing
- Best-fit applicant scarcity. Unsuitable applications are a dime a dozen and waste time and money. Many ideal candidates utilize ways to find opportunities through various platforms. Often, these candidates may express interest in job opportunities in alternative ways. When sourcing candidates, make candidate discovery straightforward by broadening your platform and requirements. Consider ensuring you have a well-written job description to help applicants understand the position and process as well.
- Dropouts. Candidates may drop out of a lengthy or complicated application procedure. Candidates want short and efficient processes from employers. FAQs, how to videos and infographics can alleviate these challenges, during high drop-out times.
Essential do’s and don’ts
Talent acquisition teams can benefit greatly from improving candidate engagement strategies with the help of AI because it can increase the quality of candidates and increase their interest in the job. No amount of technology, however exciting, can keep candidates interested if the process of integration and deployment is botched.
That’s why it’s important to use AI recruiting technology with caution and strategy, just like you would with any other recruitment method.
- Do not keep potential hires waiting. Since the advent of the on-demand economy, consumers’ expectations for service in general have risen dramatically. All communications with the candidate during the selection process are included. Today’s job seekers are accustomed to receiving fast or near-instantaneous feedback from prospective employers. The chatbot has arrived. After a resume is submitted, an AI system may begin a dialogue with the applicant to answer their questions about the position, the next steps, and other basic information they need right away.
- Next, put some individual flair into your communications. Prospective employees don’t enjoy the idea of being treated like a number. This is the unfortunate result of relying solely on mass email blasts to disseminate job postings, update information, and other application materials. Personalize your approach by using a recruitment tool to coordinate your efforts. The use of AI in the recruitment process allows for the collection of data on potential candidates and the subsequent delivery of insights on the career paths of those people, who can be used to tailor subsequent engagement strategies.
- Consider the career path. Finding out if a candidate is a good fit for the organization, culture, and role isn’t the only benefit of doing research to determine the quality of hire. It can also help make sure the candidate’s career goals and the company’s mission are a good fit.
AI algorithms in your recruitment platform can help fill in the blanks and find convincing arguments for why a candidate might be a suitable fit for a position. If you do your recruitment and onboarding well, you won’t have to spend much time trying to convince your top candidates to join your team.
Consistency in the candidate journey
As much as approaches change, one thing remains the same: Consistency is the hallmark of a successful candidate experience.
By maintaining regular, one-on-one contact with potential applicants, you can keep your name in front of them and keep them thinking about you. That’s useful all by itself. Even though hiring times have increased by 15% since 2009, maintaining open lines of communication will reduce the likelihood that your ideal candidate will lose interest and go elsewhere if they don’t hear back from you within a week of an interview (40% of candidates drop out of consideration after that amount of time has passed).
Improving the applicant experience might also help you find more talented employees. Top candidates may lose interest in working for your company if they have an unpleasant experience during the hiring process.
More candidates are welcomed, and the diversity of talent develops organically, when the candidate experience is enhanced. However, this does not negate the impact that unconscious biases can have on the selection process. Still, AI has helped by eliminating preferential treatment of certain types of applicants over others.
What is traditional recruitment?
Successful recruitment does not require throwing out all of your tried-and-true methods of candidate engagement. Traditional approaches to hiring do have their benefits. 85% of recruiters rely on email as their major method of communicating with candidates and informing them of the next steps in the hiring process.
The effectiveness of your talent acquisition efforts will suffer if you rely solely on email to engage with potential candidates. Sometimes, the effect of a personalized message is diminished even further. A study conducted by Temple University indicated that 95% of customers have a negative reaction to email advertisements that address them by name.
Despite its seemingly casual nature, sending an update through text message may be both rapid and effective. A Forbes study found that members of Generation Y and Millennials are less likely to use the telephone than they are to use social media or instant messaging. By 2020, workers in these age groups are expected to make up more than half of the labor force, therefore incorporating technology into the candidate engagement process is crucial.
Using AI in recruitment
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a trendy term these days, so it’s easy to attach to if you utilize any kind of technology. Automation is a fantastic example, and many businesses do use automation of some kind to enhance the customer experience or the applicant selection process.
But that is not true AI.
Using AI for hiring usually includes amassing information from a wide variety of sources to form a picture of the perfect candidate. You can now confidently determine whether or not the candidate will fit in with your company’s culture and what drives them. Including the analysis of word choice and the tone of social media posts, AI gives you with all the data and analytics you need to narrow the talent pool.
Let’s say AI learns that a few applicants frequently use phrases like “please” and “thank you” online. These habits may indicate a sympathetic nature and a propensity for interacting successfully with clients. These candidates can be more confidently advanced to the interview stage for a customer service position.
“AI is not a Pandora’s box, it’s a sound business decision.” Adrianne Nelson, Senior Director, Staffing Industry Analyst
The use of AI in the recruitment process also enables you to make use of intricate algorithms to assert the type of language and material most likely to appeal to a specific demographic. This gives you something to chat about before you even meet someone, which is a huge advantage. Employers and recruiters can have better first interactions with candidates because of this.
How to use big data in recruiting
Staffing industry analysts assert big data and AI are key to recruiting success. Big data provides insights into human behavior, and AI facilitates employer-employee interactions.
An increased emphasis on gathering and evaluating candidate data should lead to more effective recruitment strategies, a streamlined hiring process, and higher-quality staff.
Understand your candidates and why they’re making job changes. People leave people, not companies. Make sure you’re giving them something they’re excited to come to.” ~Robin Mee, Founder and President, MeeDerby
The reasons to use big data in recruiting are too numerous to name. But as far as impacting engagement, they often revolve around three strategies: relevancy, personalization, and branding.
- Relevancy. Gathering and analyzing data points within the profiles of candidates who’ve accepted a particular role can provide insights into active and passive job seekers. These insights can help better tailor your messaging and target talent best suited for a role. You’re putting relevant job postings in front of the right people at the right time.
- Personalization. Painting a better portrait of your ideal candidate allows you to get to know job seekers better. You’re then able to determine your next move — and the move after that — to personalize the candidate experience, which can engage and/or reengage talent with potential job opportunities. Each touchpoint resonates deeper than before.
- Branding. Did you know 75% of job seekers consider the company brand before deciding to apply for a job? Data-driven market research allows you to create more targeted content while telling more compelling stories about your brand, improving the credibility of your organization, and improving customer and candidate engagement.
AI vs. Automation
The issue then arises, “Do I really need AI if we’re already using automation?”
Candidates’ engagement and experience benefit from automation, and AI can learn to improve both. When it comes to recruiting, AI remembers individual data elements like a candidate’s background, experience, and career trajectory over the course of the whole recruiting lifecycle.
The combination of these factors is likely what attracted the applicant to the job posting in the first place. When a similar position opens up in your company in the future, you can utilize this data to better target the next group of candidates and obtain better results from them.
However, there are other distinctions between AI and automated processes. Automation is impersonal; it exists to do mundane jobs so that human workers can focus on higher-priority initiatives.
In contrast, AI may be taught to function as a translator between human beings and data. Potential new hires can even be interviewed with it, depending on its features.
These are pre-programmed answers that the tool provides in response to specific user input. Nonetheless, it is still AI in that it can learn from past interactions and take appropriate action based on that knowledge.
Top three things to consider in AI tools
If we’re talking about making choices, there are still some more considerations to make before selecting an AI tool.
- Evaluate current and future company requirements. A.I. projects are rarely cookie-cutter in nature. Evaluate the HR department’s aims and determine whether there are any problems that need to be addressed. Are qualified people applying to your job postings? Can you accurately record information needed to calculate the price of a position? How effective is it when recruiters and potential employees talk? What resources and additional strategies are utilized in your recruiter engagement process?
- Do some comparison shopping. There’s no need for me to stress the significance of comparison shopping. Your chosen vendors should back up your recruitment methods while growing with your company and its changing workforce needs. Investigate the product’s inner workings to be sure you’re not buying an outdated model.
- Get support. As with any potentially controversial topic, talking to employees about using AI can be tricky. Concerns about one’s work stability or instability immediately spring to mind. The AI solution will make everyone’s work life easier and more productive if you take the time to spell it out. Clarify that you will continue to rely on the current personnel to bring the human element.
Now that you know how AI in recruiting and candidate sourcing tools can streamline the hiring process and enhance candidate engagement, consider exploring products and services with Arya.
- How do you follow up with a candidate after a job offer?
- How do you stop candidates from backing out?
- How do you grab candidates’ attention with your email?
- How do you message passive candidates?
- How do you email a potential candidate?
- What is an employee chatbot?
- How chatbots can improve customer experience?
- How do you engage candidates post offer?
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