4 Ways AI Is Solving Seasonal Hiring Challenges
During this time of the year, many organizations start to increase their workforce in preparation for 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 (AI). 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 percent of job 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 percent also will 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 simply may not apply.
In the world of recruitment, it is a challenge for employers to communicate well with all their candidates. This is especially true for high-volume recruiting, where it would require communicating with thousands of candidates, in addition to a recruiter’s normal screening functions and other duties.
Using artificial intelligence, such as chatbots, for example, can take away the strain of managing and communicating with a large number of applicants. Each 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, 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 who work for you every festive season? How about the same students who 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 also can update any profile information to ensure you have the most up-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 prior evening and are available and ready to be placed into an open role? That is the reality of what can happen when using AI in your recruitment process.
Challenge #3: Communicating with your candidates at a time and place that works for them
Nine out of 10 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 already are spending all of their time—on their phones.
Sophisticated AI 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 such as 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 workday, 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 his or her choosing.
Randstad found that 82 percent 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 at 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 also can 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 from than one who is happy and treated well, even if only in his or her 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 will find higher retention will 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. For more information about Collins, follow him on Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/collinschris.