Candidate Experience Matters — How Can Chatbots Help?

Tim Bremer April 24, 2019

jobpal's CEO and Co-Founder Luc Dudler gave a presentation at Talent Tech Rising last year on why candidate experience matters and how chatbots can help in the process. Candidate Experience is such a buzzword nowadays, but it's not enough to only talk about it. Companies have to make an effort to match their candidate experience to the employer brand — otherwise the negative effects could actually hurt the business.
Watch the recording here or read a full transcript below (modified for readability):

Hello everybody, thanks for having us! I was thinking yesterday what I could be speaking about. So first I was thinking I would talk to you about why top employer brands focus on candidate experience to win top talent. And then I was thinking that this is maybe not strong enough of a message. So I was thinking about talking more about why a bad candidate experience would hurt actually a business. Way too many people already spoke about candidate experience or why you should fix it and about consumerization and everything – why don't people just do something to fix their candidate experience? Because we all know people want to hear back. People don't want to see their application end up in the black hole. People want to get information outside of business hours, especially younger audiences don't want to log in into yet another system to just find out something about a job that's already in the description. But then again, it seems to be really hard right and we all know why this is. You have different target candidate groups that you're focusing on. You need to define your main employer brand and many things around why candidate experience is actually hard and challenging.

People don't want to see their application end up in the black hole.

So I still want to talk about it, but I also want to talk to you about a couple of examples of how our clients are using chatbots to address certain parts of their candidate experience and how it is helping them. 

So Hung, thanks for the introduction. I'm Luc, one of the three co-founders from jobpal. We build recruiting chatbots since 2016 – and we only built recruiting chatbots, nothing else. Our recruiting chatbots live on career pages, they live on job boards, they live on Facebook Messenger, they live on WhatsApp, WeChat in China now. So we're platform agnostic. We build use cases, or our product offers everything from early engagement all the way on to pre-boarding and on-boarding and everything in between. We also connect our technology to the ATS or HCM solution that you're using. Thinking of SAP Success Factors, Taleo, Workday, SmartRecruiters. This kind of backbone technology. So what's our approach and how do we improve the candidate experience? First of all, we always try to simplify the process. With every client, we sit down and think about what does the candidate journey look like so far and how could a chatbot with different touchpoints and automation and natural language improve that. And only in the second step we think about automation. Automation is great, everybody is thinking about: If we could automate all of our interview scheduling globally, that will be huge cost saving. Yes of course. But you know, the candidate experience needs to come first because we need to win the trust of the jobseeker in the first place really. So I brought three examples with me today. One is from Airbus and another one is from STRV and another one is from KellyOCG. So you have a good mix of huge global enterprise clients you know recruiting companies and a I think 300 people strong IT and web development agency. So let's just have a look at STRV's recruiting chatbot, which I really like. So that is integrated actually in many places but also as a Facebook plug-in on their career page. The really cool thing is that anything that's happening there in the Facebook plug-in on their career page in real time is also happening in the Facebook Messenger app of the jobseeker or the candidates. So from that moment on, when the person had a question on the career page or is checking something out like doing a job discovery via the chat widget, you really have that connection to the person.

So here the chatbot is introducing itself. People can ask questions about the company itself, about the employer brand but also about specific jobs and offices. The chatbot will answer. We help clients to train their chatbot for their specific target audience, because naturally McKinsey gets other questions than Burger King or than British Telecom. So we customize the core technology for the target audience.

Then people can check out jobs – we always connect with a real time job feed. So for corporates that's most of the times the job feed we get from your ATS or HCM solution. This way, the chatbot knows all of the jobs that are currently available. Then the person can go through screening questions. Obviously the client decides what screening questions we ask. Is it just you know "Can you walk 10 kilometers a day and lift 10 kilograms a day?" Or is it more than that. And we go through the screening and then people can also attach their CV to it and then they can send it off. I can also check it before sending it off.

Watching the time, I'm just going to move on to the next screen just to give you the other example. So this is an example from Airbus which went live recently with us or we with them. The focus at the moment is a FAQ chatbot on their career page. So with our technology, we can connect the same chatbot and training set to WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and the career page at the same time. So it sits there you can also try it out later on or now at And it's pretty good and also pretty awesome because they get three questions per minute 24/7 because it's implemented on their global careers page and the chatbot at any time of the day can answer these questions.

Automation is great, but the candidate experience needs to come first because we need to win the trust of the jobseeker in the first place.

And then KellyOCG. Tim from Kelly is here today as well in the front row. So if you have any questions, I'm sure he can answer or is willing to answer them. Just a couple of more points on how they are using it. Because with Kelly we're really thinking a lot about the touchpoints. The technology needs to be there, yes. The natural language processing needs to be there and the integration with your HCM solution, yes. But real thought through really good thought through touchpoints is what make chatbots special. So everything around engagement, talent communities – how do you handle the silver medallist, like the second candidate, right? It can be a really good candidate – how does the chatbot stay in touch with them? How do you prepare people before the interview and remind them? And also, then you know how to stay in touch with this vast amount of people who had questions but haven't applied yet. So key advantages apart from the use cases that we do is you improve your candidate experience, you automate of course repetitive tasks, but I think what's most interesting is actually: You speed up the process. Many people speak about automation and forget to talk about how you speed up the process. It's crucial. And then as I said before you own more of your talent network. Thank you!

Other blog posts