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HRSeptember 16, 2019

Recruitment Chatbot Reduces Unqualified Job Applications by 73%

As ubisend's client base continues to grow so does our commitment to a variety of non-disclosure agreements. Though we cannot disclose our client's name, we hope this case study still inspires you.

Our client is a medium-size construction business based in the UK, with approximately 1,200 employees.

Like most construction businesses, while their employee turnover is high, attracting new candidates is not an issue -- quite the contrary. Indeed, the recruitment team's inbox is overwhelmed with CVs from external and internal sources.

Unfortunately, the majority of applications come from unqualified candidates. Filling up over 350 vacancies becomes increasingly laborious when most of the team's is spent manually sifting and disqualifying CVs.


The challenge of filtering unqualified job applicants

As a successful, recognisable brand in their industry, potential employees are chomping at the bit to apply. Employees, too, are eager to move up the ranks and apply internally.

With over 350 vacancies open at any one point, there are many opportunities to grab for both external and internal applicants.

Our client faced two common challenges.


The sheer volume of applicants

Within a 24 hours window, the recruitment team would receive anywhere between 200 and 350 CVs (including internal and external applicants).

The volume of applicants alone is too much for a team of four to handle. Despite trying various recruitment tools, sifting through hundreds of CVs a day has proven impossible, creating a backlog that never ceases to grow.

We advertise around 350 new positions per year. I can receive anywhere between 200-350 applicants in 24 hours for one position. We spend hours CV sifting!
- Head of recruitment

As CV reviews take weeks (or even months), applicants often end up disgruntled by the time they finally hear back. Sometimes worse, candidates picked to move to the next stages have, by then, already found another position.


The quality of applicants

The individuals applying for specific positions are not qualified properly.

On average, our client used to take applicants through 70% of the recruitment process to finally find out they lacked a key qualification.

These two challenges are a massive drain on the business and provide a poor experience for candidates. Our client pride themselves in providing fair, open job opportunities. These inefficiencies did not reflect their values.


Solution: qualifying candidates with a recruitment chatbot

To solve our client's challenges, we needed a recruitment chatbot that

  • qualifies candidates earlier on in their application journey,
  • prioritise the number of CVs that land on the team's desk, and,
  • provides an experience that reflects our client's values.


Qualifying candidates through a conversation

The recruitment process at a mid-size company with this many vacancies and this much applicant traffic is complex.

We encouraged our client to break down the solution and start small.

The first iteration of their recruitment chatbot would take each candidate through a conversation covering 10 to 15 topics. With each question, the chatbot gathers data on the candidates' skills, previous experience, and qualifications.

For each vacancy, our client is able to set a series of requirements such as driver's license or work-related certifications.

Throughout the conversation, the chatbot qualifies each candidates before they move on to the next phase. If they do move to the next phase, the profile handed over to the recruitment team is filled up with up-to-date, relevant, and accurate information.

This conversational approach to recruitment also allows our clients to extract the information they require from applicants. While applicants might skilfully skip over disclosing a lack of qualification in their CV or cover letter, the chatbot requires it to move forward. This alone prevents the recruitment process from clogging up with candidates unlikely to get through to the end – saving everyone involved a lot of time.


Solving the challenges internally

Our client, like many well-thought-out organisations, follows a promote from within policy. This presented as a fantastic opportunity to follow our preferred chatbot implementation path; starting with a proof of concept. With this approach, we got to target 30% of our client’s applicants.

To browse and apply to open positions, employees simply access their internal HR portal. Deploying the first phase of the solution internally allows us to test the technology and tweak its features, all the while reducing the risk associated with adopting a new technology.

Making sure their values and culture transpires within the chatbot was a priority for them, and testing internally proved to be the best route.


The results: prioritised and qualified candidates

As always, we started this project with a proof of concept. This particular one was two-fold.

First, the chatbot had just enough built-in features to be operative. It was important to put something together that works without spending five or six months in development.

Second, the chatbot was released to subset of the target market -- their own employees.

Our clients achieved a 73% reduction in unqualified applications. Even with the reduced audience, this translated in significant time saving within the recruitment team.

The recruitment team deemed the time they spent sifting through candidates pre-qualified by the chatbot as 'a lot more productive'.

Finally, we built a feedback feature into the chatbot, allowing each applicant to review their experience (whether their application was successful or not). 92% of applicants marked themselves as 'very satisfied' with this new process. We did not let the process define the experience, instead allowing the experience to define the process; and clearly this resonated with the applicants.

The results of this proof of concept exceeded expectations. Both the recruitment team and the candidates experienced a smoother, faster, more targeted process.

The success of this first iteration encouraged our clients to expand on the project, soon opening the job application experience to external applicants.

What could a recruitment chatbot do for your business? Talk to an expert.


SalesMarketingTechnology

Working with Google and Archant

In January 2017, Google partnered with Archant and ubisend to turn over 150 years of newspaper archives into a conversational chatbot.

Read more

"It's been great to work with ubisend, it is clear that they are a driven and determined team of professionals who provided us with the top quality solution we needed where initially the end product was far from clear."

Chris Amos, project manager at Archant Limited