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The Difference Between Conversational AI & the Best Recruiting Chatbots

Kristin Hunter
| Kristin Hunter
Artificial Intelligence
the difference between conversational AI and the best recruiting chatbots

Conversational AI recruitment chatbots and traditional recruiting chatbots are terms that are often used interchangeably. But, in short, Conversational AI is a set of technologies that enables computers to simulate real human-like conversations. Recruiting chatbots are unable to simulate human conversations and create an experience that’s closer to filling out a form over a text message.

Candidate Engagement Matters

Candidate engagement creates emotions in your candidates. The more human your automation is the more it creates strong positive emotions and feelings of trust in your candidates. More human forms of automation are also more engaging!

Which means you lose fewer qualified candidates in your hiring process. The human engagement CAI provides makes your pipeline more engaging which makes it more efficient.

Conversational AI serves a deeper purpose than simply collecting information and answering FAQs. It assists in building strong relationships with candidates.

With a combination of artificial intelligence and natural language processing, your candidates are engaged in a way that wasn’t previously possible with existing recruiting chatbots. Rather than a simple input and output, initial candidate conversations can be complex.

A CAI learns the nuances of our language and takes into consideration how we say something rather than just what we say. This way, the candidate experience begins with a dialogue that feels more human and less robotic.

Before CAI, the only 2 options for conversational automation were basic recruiting chatbots or enhanced recruiting chatbots.

Basic Recruiting Chatbots

You may see recruiting chatbots referred to as “AI-powered chatbots” but this can be misleading. Most recruiting chatbots are “ai-powered” only in the sense that some have a limited natural language processing ability.

Within the category of recruiting chatbots, there are 2 kinds available today – basic chatbots and enhanced chatbots.

A basic recruiting chatbot offers only multiple-choice questions to candidates. Using a basic chatbot means you’re just delivering your forms over a text message. It’s not an engaging experience.

basic recruiting chatbot

Enhanced Recruiting Chatbots

An enhanced recruiting chatbot is a software program that automates conversations with humans to answer their questions. But they only accept a few varieties of predefined answers in binary (Y/N) or multiple-choice formats.

These enhanced recruiting chatbots are designed to be transactional in nature or assist in accomplishing very specific tasks—and are unable to deviate from their programmed responses and linear workflow. They’re unable to understand the context in a conversation or intent.

Their limited ability to ask anything but multiple-choice and yes/no questions can often cause frustration with end-users causing them to disengage or drop-off from the conversation.

Conversational AI for Recruiting 

Conversational AI for recruiting uses advances in natural language processing, allowing computers to understand human language as it is spoken, to fill the gaps and go beyond the limitations of the conventional chatbot products.

These advances in technology allow conversations to be more natural, more robust, and more aware of the end-user.

CAI has superior natural language understanding and can recognize nuances in conversations, such as tone and emotion, and the context and intent of what a user is saying, allowing candidates to communicate more naturally in free form responses, jump between topic areas or change answers if needed.

CAI also uses machine learning to enable it to learn from experience—with every conversation informing the next one. As CAI collects more data, it gets smarter. For example, if a candidate provides a new skill that is not recognized in a company’s database, CAI will flag it, input it into the database, and recognize it the next time another candidate mentions it.

conversational AI for recruiting better than the best recruiting chatbots

How is Conversational AI different from recruiting chatbots? 

In this section, I’ll compare and contrast conversational AI for recruiting with recruiting chatbots on engagement, context, tone, and memory.

Conversational AI is more engaging than a recruiting chatbot

Instant engagement to boost candidate experience is good, but a human dialogue is better. A dialogue requires two parties to understand what the other is saying, respond to it, and remember what was said. Otherwise, the conversation becomes robotic and one-sided.

Recruiting chatbots provide instant engagement as well, but that engagement is robotic and shows a lack of understanding and empathy for the candidate. This results in a one-sided conversation that can be frustrating to your candidates. More importantly, it causes your candidates to drop off before finishing conversations.

Conversational AI gathers information faster than recruiting chatbots 

A CAI takes into consideration what a candidate says, regardless of how they present the information. If information was given at an early stage in the conversation, a CAI can recall that information when it is relevant.

Let’s say a CAI asks a candidate, “how many years of work experience do you have?” and the candidate responds, “I have 8 years of work experience at Clark County Hospital where I worked as a Nurse in the ICU.” A conversational AI would notice that work experience, current employer, job title, and skills had all been shared. It wouldn’t need to ask additional questions.

This results in a shorter conversation that makes candidates more likely to complete screening.  This also results in a more human feeling conversation. A human feeling conversation makes candidates more likely to complete a screening conversation. It’s one of the reasons Mya has a 93% screening completion rate.

Recruiting chatbots use a Y/N or multiple-choice method to answer queries, which removes any context. They do not recall information previously given by the candidate or organization. Interacting with a recruiting chatbot feels like filling out a form over a text message.

If a candidate replied to a work experience question in the same way to a recruiting chatbot the chatbot would still have to ask the candidate the next 4 questions even though the candidate had already provided the information!

Recruiting chatbots create long frustrating conversations for candidates. They’re just not as efficient or effective as conversational AI.

Conversational AI create positive emotions with feedback

Human conversations are not just a back and forth sharing of information. Even professional conversations are full of personality, emotion, and a surprise here and there.

A CAI like Mya acts as a brand ambassador for your company and builds positive emotions in your candidates. One way CAI does this is by encouraging candidates and providing positive feedback.

For example, when a candidate shares that they have 8 years of experience and the minimum for the position is 4, a CAI will respond with “Wow! You have a lot of experience. You’re a great fit for this role :)”

A CAI starts the process of nurturing connections with your candidates ahead of time. This builds momentum for your recruiters and makes the CAI seem like an integrated part of your recruiting team to your candidates.

Recruiting chatbots are generally toneless and emotionless. Recruiting chatbots will seem separate from your organization. The tone is programmed within the bot and does not change as the tone or context the candidate is using changes.

For example, a recruiting chatbot programmed to be excited might still use an excited tone if a candidate shares a negative piece of information. This can create a puzzling experience for candidates.

Conversational AI learns over time 

With CAI, statements in conversations aren’t isolated. It remembers complex, multi-part statements, changed answers, or interjections and can shift the direction of a conversation toward the intended goal.

Machine learning algorithms learn continuously from millions of interactions, to continually improve the accuracy of responses and expand the breadth of knowledge of the CAI. So the more a CAI has conversations in specific areas of recruiting like healthcare or warehouse positions, the better it gets at having them.

Recruiting chatbots provide isolated back-and-forth conversations without the context of what was previously said. This can result in wasted time for your candidates which could result in subpar, frustrating candidate experience.

This can make candidates wonder if your chatbot understands them at all and start to doubt whether it is collecting their information accurately.

Recruiting chatbots also don’t use machine learning to develop competency over time. A recruiting chatbot doesn’t get more effective over time through machine learning.

Conversational AI is better than the best recruiting chatbots

When you choose a recruiting automation solution to handle early-stage conversations with candidates doesn’t it make more sense to choose conversational AI? After all, because CAI is more engaging and human it creates more efficiency than a recruiting chatbot can.

Also, wouldn’t you want a solution that creates positive emotions in candidates and builds trust early in your recruiting process? When it comes time to select from the options available to you for AI in recruiting, go with a conversational AI.

If you’re a staffing leader, follow this link for more information on conversational AI for staffing agencies.

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