Conversational Recruiting is a feedback-oriented approach for employers to learn more about their hiring prospects and create a more human-like hiring experience. But what is it and why does it work?
Messaging as the new norm
With the rise of the smartphone, more than 100 million people, quickly started using messaging as their main channel of communication. That number has now risen to more than 5 billion monthly active users, making messaging the # 1-way people want to communicate with other people; and now, shifting to the way people want to communicate with other businesses.
Some companies have completely stopped using email for internal communication (and are even banning them). They only want to use internal messaging apps, driven by this new trend, choosing apps such as Slack, Workplace or Microsoft Teams. As a result, many companies are looking for solutions that integrate with their internal messaging platforms. Example, whenever a new online order comes in through an online platform, a notification is sent to the orders channel. The same happens when new designs are created in Invision, a code is pushed through Github, or customers ask questions in your live-chat powered by Drift, Messenger or Intercom on a business website.
Most promising new businesses are starting to realize this need, and are thinking of ways how their products and services can work in the new era of messaging. People want real-time services for people on the other end, that works 24/7, using communication channels they are used to.
Because of this, a shift has started, where new software that is built with the intent of working with messaging, in thought out use-cases.
How companies hire people today
Think about how businesses hire people today. The majority builds a job post, reposts it to job-boards, uses some sort of applicant tracking software to decide who is the best fit, invites them to an interview and in the end, makes an offer to a candidate.
Different companies have different levels of sophistication. Some use multiple sets of systems to help with sourcing candidates, referrals, doing background checks, various types of validation and finally onboarding candidates as new recruits. Others put a poster outside in the window and hire walk-ins.
Whatever the method is, companies often lack the ability to build the process around the people they want to hire and what kind of candidate experience would get them excited about the opportunity.
Targeted, real-time messaging and chatbots are a key component of conversational recruiting where employers and prospects can have real-time status updates when convenient for them.
The key thing is to put the job prospects in the first place and design the entire hiring process with their needs in mind. At the same time, internal employees, recruiters, and hiring managers need to be up to speed with what is happening and make decisions fast.
Our approach to conversational recruiting
At 50skills, we are redesigning the hiring process around messaging. When job-postings are built, employees can automatically be notified and incentivized to find referral prospects through internal messaging apps. If applicants who apply are connected with existing employees on social media, employees can be nudged with messages from the 50skills bots and asked to share their thoughts.
Think of every functionality you feel a modern recruiting system should have, and then add the context of how you communicate that through messaging apps to the right people, via the right channels, or 1:1 messages at the right time.
How to get started with Conversational Recruiting?
A simple way to get started with Conversational Recruiting is by using your already existing Drift, Intercom or Facebook Messenger live-chat as a tool to navigate qualified prospects to the right audience within your organization. When conversations take place, the right people will be there to answer.
Soon after doing this, most organizations realize that this needs to be more structured, where candidates are asked a series of intelligent questions and qualified and routed to the right audience based on their replies. Thankfully a lot of this work can now be automated built-in tools such as the Drift Playbook builder and services like Mobile Monkey.
Configuring your chatbot and using lead-routing conversations is a good way to get started, but for companies who are receiving a lot of applications, this needs to be more structured. This is where 50skills comes in.
50skills is an all-in-one recruiting system built for conversational recruiting. It’s designed for messaging apps and helps you automate your hiring and onboarding process. It integrates with your front-facing messaging app and takes internal communications via Slack or Workplace by Facebook to a whole new level. Experts help you set up the right type of chatbot-flow and where, when and how it should trigger.
When job-prospects reach certain goals in dialogs with your front-facing chatbot, they can be routed to the right people, and if you choose, automatically book interviews when it suits them.
The way people get hired is changing
Young people don’t use email. They use messaging apps. And the number of users who are shifting towards more messaging, and less email is only increasing. The go-to-experience for them when they spend time online, are services and providers that provide a real-time experience when you want something. That means when buying things, communicating with friends, customer support or advancing career opportunities.
The way to solve this is by making experiences more personal and engaging. People shouldn’t have to wait for follow-ups, and through messaging apps, information can be collected over the course of the conversation, which is much less tedious than filling out a detailed form.
For sales and marketing, this has already led to exploding effects with hundreds of thousands of businesses flocking towards live-chat and chatbot solutions of all sorts to shorten their sales cycles, learn more about their customers, and create a more human buying experience.
The same transformation has now started in the hiring space. There are more than 5 billion active users on messaging apps, and the numbers are only growing. Companies that implement the conversational recruiting approach will not only win on experience but also in attracting the best people faster.
Author: Kristjan Kristjansson
The author, Kristjan Kristjansson, is an Icelandic entrepreneur. He is the Founder and CEO of 50skills — a Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Reykjavik, Iceland company which creates recruiting software built for messaging and automation of hires.