During this time of the year, many organizations increase their workforce during the summer to take into account the demands on their business. In fact, the top four industries that hire more people in readiness for the seasonal period are retail, hospitality, tourism and media.
However, volume recruitment and seasonal hiring create many challenges to the recruitment process that many organizations experience time and time again. Fortunately, organizations have a new tool at their disposal helping them to achieve customer success – artificial intelligence.
Here’s how the innovative new tool is helping to aid in the recruitment process and solve hiring challenges.
Challenge #1: Managing a large number of applications.
According to Career Arc, 65% of candidates never, or rarely, hear back from a company after an application. Conversely, those same candidates are 3.5 times less likely to re-apply to that same company and 72% will also share that negative experience online or with somebody directly. Over time, this will erode and weaken your employer brand. If prospective employees hear from their friends and colleagues that your hiring process is generally unresponsive, some of the best candidates may simply not apply.
In the world of recruitment, it is a challenge for employers to communicate well with all their candidates. Especially for high volume recruiting, where this would require communicating with thousands of candidates, in addition to a recruiter’s normal screening functions and other duties.
Using artificial intelligence, like chatbots for example, can take away the strain of managing and communicating with a large number of applicants. Each and every applicant will have an immediate engagement with your organization. In real time, a chatbot can:
- collect information from candidates such as their contact information
- ask screening questions about candidates’ salary expectations, availability, location and skills/experience
What’s more is that this can be done with thousands of candidates all at the same time. Instantly taking the heavy lifting out of the top funnel of volume recruitment and improving the candidate’s experience with your brand.
Challenge #2: Managing a talent pool of previous temporary workers.
Do you have the same temporary staff that work for you every festive season? How about the same students that work for you every summer when home from university?
Being able to activate and mobilize a large number of candidates from your database takes time and moves recruiters away from their other activities. Artificial intelligence can instantly connect with thousands of candidates within your talent pool or database to advertise that the recruitment process has begun and ask if they are available to work. It can also have the capability to update any profile information to ensure you have the most update to date details within your database.
Better yet, artificial intelligence allows you to engage and capture candidates throughout the year in anticipation of the holiday season and maximize referrals from your current talent pool. All without a recruiter having to lift a finger.
What if you could come to work every morning and receive a list of candidates who were screened the evening prior and are available and ready to be placed into an open role? That is the reality of what can happen when using artificial intelligence in your recruitment process.
Challenge #3: Communicating with your candidates at a time and place that works for them.
Nine out of ten candidates expect to be able to communicate with you via messaging and social platforms. That is the way of the world. Yet less than half of organizations are equipped to handle this type of communication. Your talent pool lives on their mobile devices. When the time comes to recruit for the holidays, you’ll need to be where your candidates are already spending all of their time – on their phones.
Sophisticated artificial intelligence tools, such as chatbots, make mobile engagement with candidates a possibility. Whether this is via a messaging platform, such as Skype, or a social network like Facebook, chatbots that are omnichannel will create the best opportunities for seamless communication.
The best recruiters work as many hours as needed to get the job done, but there is still a start and end time to the working day. The best recruiters also know that a large majority of candidates are not available to talk during the working day, preferring evenings and (sometimes) weekends. A chatbot is available 24/7, so a candidate can engage with you and your recruitment process at a time of their choosing.
Randstad found that 82% of job seekers believe the ideal recruiter interaction is a mix of innovative technology and personal, human interaction. The majority of candidates are receptive to interacting with a chatbot.
Allowing candidates to do so and a time and on a channel of their choice increases the chances of them experiencing a positive recruitment process and, therefore, increasing your brand’s reputation.
Challenge #4: High turnover of seasonal temporary staff.
Due to the fleeting nature of seasonal positions and the fact that those same industries tend to have higher-than-average turnover, it can be difficult to retain temporary staff when you need them the most. The major factors that contribute to seasonal turnover are a lack of goal-setting, lack of recognition and plain old boredom.
While artificial intelligence is especially useful during the initial stages of the recruitment process, tools such as chatbots can also be used to increase staff engagement while they are carrying out work for your organization.
Imagine being able to brief your temporary staff across your organization, all at the same time, to update them on important issues or to set some goals. Why not have a chatbot-based conversation with them to find out how they are getting on and garner some feedback about their time with your organization?
High turnover doesn’t have to ruin the holiday season for your organization. People buy from people, and what better person to buy off of than one that is happy and treated well, even if only in their position for a short amount of time.
If you’re sensitive to the temporary nature of seasonal positions and make a genuine effort to dispel preconceptions while giving seasonal workers tangible goals and plenty of opportunity for engagement, you’re going to find higher retention follow suit.
Chris Collins is a serial entrepreneur who has founded several technology start-ups in the HR tech and gaming spaces. Currently, he’s the CEO at RoboRecruiter, one of the largest Chatbot platforms with proven conversational technologies across hundreds built for people who hire professionally – by a team of staffing professionals who have achieved recruitment success.