At the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, job portals saw unusually high activity after midnight. Travel nurses and healthcare workers were logging in after long, grueling shifts to look for their next assignment.
They were open for work, even actively looking, but simply did not have time during the day to pick up calls from recruiters.
A number of companies have made the smart move to deploy AI assistants to engage such candidates. These can engage candidates at their preferred times and on their preferred channels: live chat, email or texting. AI assistants can also extract timely insights, deliver a meaningfully better candidate experience and maximize your talent pipeline.
Does this mean AI can replace recruiters?
We’d say emphatically that our AI cannot replace recruiters. Because that is not what we designed it for.
Far from taking away jobs, AI and automation actually make recruiters’ work easier, more efficient and fulfilling. By doing what humans cannot (or rather, should not), automation helps fix the leaks that happen at every stage of the staffing ops funnel.
Here are six practical examples from the transformation stories shared by our clients and partners.
1. AI can turbocharge your talent database
Did you know that 50% of new candidates sourced from job boards are already in your ATS? Yet, companies spend billions every year on job boards.
The problem with job boards are plenty: candidate records are outdated, intake depends on manual keyword and Boolean searches, and recruiters waste precious hours reaching out and doing basic sanity checks.
“Source from your own database first,” says Pankaj Jindal, Sense Co-Founder and a staffing industry executive for over 15 years, “before turning to job boards.”
By deploying automation solutions, you can quickly organize your database into talent pools based on competencies, job roles, locations, etc. AI chatbots can run automatic outreach campaigns to candidates and update their records with availability, expected compensation, and more.
Imagine the beauty and simplicity of running these overnight and delivering ready-to-use shortlists of candidates for your recruiters to contact in the morning!
2. AI eliminates grunt work and makes screening faster & better
In the best of times, recruiters spend up to 20 minutes per candidate, asking the same basic questions and filtering out unqualified candidates. Multiply this by 20 and you can imagine what their day looks like! During the pandemic, their workload has increased because the active talent pool ballooned 3-4x, thanks to mass relocations and job losses.
AI can close this gap by automating up to 90% of the application and screening process. With a digital recruiter, candidate screening and outreach can happen round the clock. All you need to do is build workflows that collect candidate information, pre-screen, and update your ATS fields with zero human intervention.
“Using AI chatbots for screening has increased fill rates at all our clients and allows recruiters to focus on high value tasks like candidate relations. Recruiters and candidates consistently rate chatbot interactions as good or excellent.” Lauren Griffin, Senior Vice President, Volt Workforce Solutions
3. AI streamlines scheduling and ensures that your recruiters spend time on human-centered activities
Recruiters spend 15% of their time on scheduling, an activity that can be easily automated. AI also makes scheduling more candidate-friendly by offering self-serve options.
“There is a visible increase in the number of active talent logging onto job portals over the weekends, particularly Sundays. With automation, we are able to adjust to their preferred timings very easily. Candidates who engage with a bot schedule within 28 minutes,” says Emily Giltner, Senior Vice President at Staffmark Group.
This leaves recruiters’ calendars free to engage in meaningful conversations with candidates.
4. AI can transform your talent experience from good to great
What happens if a recruiter speaks to an excellent candidate who is not the right fit for a particular role? They go into a different list to be manually managed later.
With AI, you can engage this candidate at once by automatically collating and sending them a list of other relevant jobs. This will not only delight the candidate but also improve your fill rates across the board.
Consider another example: there are thousands of passive candidates currently in your database. It is humanly impossible to reactivate them manually but AI chatbots can do this for you. Through automated periodic outreach, they check in on the candidates, ask questions (that you get to design) and update their information in your ATS. The candidates feel taken care of and your recruiters’ lives get simpler.
AI-powered talent engagement works beautifully during onboarding too. You can send reminders and job-related information to your placed candidates, wish them good luck, check in during their first day, seek employer reviews and more with chatbots.
5. AI can help you partner better with your clients with smarter analytics and sentiment insights
With automation powering your database and chatbots engaging your candidates, you get a goldmine of information about every step of the journey. For example, if a candidate does a no-show on Day 1, you can discover that in time through your first-day workflow. Your recruiter can immediately access a list of potential replacements and send that to the client. In our experience, this is the stage at which your clients are open to hiring silver medallists. Thus, you support your client and avoid a revenue loss for your business.
Another great way to leverage analytics is through sentiment analysis. Suppose turnover is high for a particular client. You know it and so do they. With AI, you can also tell them why. By chatting with your talent at crucial moments during their stint, you get actual feedback on the employer and environment. This data will help you co-create solutions with your client: “Yes, turnover is high, but that is because of a recent change to the shift timings. What do we change in the recruiting process to make up for this?” The conversation now shifts from problem to solutions.
6. AI can make your referral program far more effective
“Referral candidates are 40% more likely to take up jobs than totally new candidates.” Emily Giltner, Senior Vice President, Staffmark Group.
Happy employees are happy to refer others and a robust referral program can bring down your hiring costs, speed up the hiring process and find you talented people who are a great fit for your company. With AI, running referral request campaigns becomes absolutely seamless.
An engagement platform like Sense can not just automate your referral processes but also trigger referral requests at strategic points. For example, an employee who has just given a high NPS rating is more likely to refer a friend. The key is to make sure your referral request reaches them at the crucial moment. Thus, AI can help transform employee approval into affirmative action that reduces your hiring time.
At Sense, we have a whole suite of offerings to recruit, retain and redeploy top talent. We’ve been doing this for the top staffing companies in the world. Would you like a tour? Schedule a demo to find out how we can help your business.