Raise your hand if you’ve ever started filling out a job application online and stopped because, well, the whole process just sucked. Yeah, we hear you.
At our January Meetup, we talked to the 200 software developer attendees about just how terrible the job application experience can be. From 10-page forms that aren’t mobile friendly, to sites that require your life story before you can decide if you even want to apply, today’s online job application process leaves a lot to be desired. And, if you’re an employer, the last thing you want to do is turn off a candidate before they’ve applied.
That’s why we’ve been beta testing a new chatbot that replaces the awful candidate experience of old with an interactive, informative conversation. To begin with, we’ve honed in on talent acquisition among software developers so we can leverage the latest artificial intelligence capabilities and natural language processing to engage in deeper, more natural conversations. Over the course of our beta testing and through hundreds of conversations with candidates, our chatbot has become well-versed in topics that developers – and the companies that employ them – are interested in, skills like PHP, CSS, Node.js and Hadoop.
Rather than requiring candidates to complete a cumbersome web form to apply for a job, the chatbot engages in a dialogue that helps these candidates build Crowded profiles and get noticed by employers. By starting a conversation, the chatbot automatically completes a Crowded profile for the candidate in a very real and natural way. Candidates and hiring managers then carry on with connecting via text message, Facebook Messenger or email to determine next steps.
The results of our beta test have been extremely positive, with response rates averaging an astounding 88%. Compared to more traditional recruitment channels, like phone or LinkedIn InMail, the Crowded chatbot is seeing response rates that are six to eight times higher! In addition, the response times from candidates across both Facebook Messenger and SMS are extremely fast – less than one minute on average.
Lest you think that the introduction of our chatbot has led to a diminished focus on the human touch, however, we designed an “escape hatch” to prevent the experience from going south. It’s true that sometimes the bot can get stuck and isn’t able to answer a candidate’s question or perhaps a candidate is in need of help beyond the bot’s capabilities. In those cases, our sentiment analyses ensure that any aggravation or frustration points can be identified and the conversation can be escalated into our escape hatch. At that point, our very own human being, Ben Roth (jokingly referred to as “Benbot”), can step into the conversation and continue the interaction in real time. The result is a seamless dialogue that leads to an improved candidate experience and a happy job seeker.
Overall, the Crowded chatbot has been met with rave reviews. Here in our own offices, we’ve used the bot to hire four software developers and one salesperson for our growing team! As we continue the beta test, we will be analyzing the text and fluid quality of the conversations further so that we can improve on the chatbot’s ability to enhance the candidate experience as well as the recruitment process for employers.
And, if you haven’t experienced the chatbot yet, rest assured that we expect it to be available to all of our Crowded candidates and employers in the software development market in the coming weeks so stay tuned! In the meantime, be sure to create your Crowded profile and RSVP for our March 28 Meetup.