Conversational AI and Its Impact on Recruitment and Onboarding

The future of work and how we view the business and employee relationship have been hot button topics in recent years, but the din has only grown louder as workers today are now demanding much more flexibility than ever before. And when it comes to hiring, companies worldwide are continuing to grapple with the shifting dynamics around attracting and retaining talent in this current environment, and many are increasingly looking for new ways of integrating technologies that can improve recruiting and onboarding.

Even pre-pandemic, hiring was a fairly complex process for many businesses, especially those with large numbers of employees. Subtle nuances in individual employee onboarding versus group onboarding can leave HR staff feeling overwhelmed and hard pressed to pay individual attention to new team members. In order to drive efficiencies in recruiting as well as creating amazing experiences for both new employees and staff, businesses should look to new HR tech and AI-powered solutions to help organize and automate processes.

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New HR Technologies on the Horizon

In the past, there have been a handful of innovative companies looking to disrupt HR, a space that has often been overlooked by venture capitalists. But investor interest is starting to heat up, as many are realizing the immense potential of transformative AI-driven technologies that can automate and simplify tasks for HR teams. According to recent data, the industry has seen new investments of nearly $17 billion. While HR has historically lagged in the adoption of emerging technologies, the influx of capital is fueling innovation that can meet the rising challenges of the post-pandemic era.

As the workforce continues to adjust and reinvent, industry experts believe that HR companies will experience disruption. Many allude to the industry branching into Web3 and the Metaverse where important employee data will be easily accessible and verifiable by current and future employers. For now, HR technologies like Conversational AI are increasingly being adopted by companies ranging from SMBs to larger enterprises looking to optimize experiences while automating cumbersome and time-consuming tasks.

Hiring more efficiently with Conversational AI 

Utilizing conversational AI tools during onboarding, companies are streamlining the training and acculturation processes and elevating worker productivity. By automating a significant chunk of routine tasks, organizations can focus on improving the employee experience at scale.

Automated onboarding methodologies eliminate firefighting and simplify procedures by taking care of delivering the employee handbook, hardware, and policy-related documentation in a single instance. Employees can engage contextually with AI-powered chatbots that help them find the right answers for queries about wi-fi passwords, payslip details, PTO, benefits, and much more. This not only increases the efficiency of HR teams, but also delivers other benefits such as employee retention and cost savings.

During the “Great Resignation” followed by the “Great Reshuffle,” organizations globally were tasked with deboarding and onboarding employees at the same time. HR teams, which were generally understaffed, leveraged AI and virtual assistants to do more with less. AI-powered virtual assistants helped make the onboarding process more efficient, user-friendly and engaging, offering better benefits for both new hires and current employees.

HR professionals can also use AI before the employee is actually hired. AI enhances the interview process by consolidating information to ensure every session is uniform and consistent. This ensures that all candidates receive the same information, ultimately leading to an objective experience.

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Customizing AI to Fit Your Company’s Needs

The unique thing about conversational AI is that companies can customize it to fit their business needs.

No-code/low-code solutions are easy to navigate, and give employers the ability to train the software to understand and adapt to the organization’s business ecosystem and processes. Advancements in personalized virtual assistants can help HR staff in routine follow-ups with new employees for their training and complete certain formalities and mundane tasks.

Conversational AI uses natural language processing (NLP), machine learning (ML), speech recognition, and other language technologies to process, contextualize, and determine the best way to respond to user input. It can mimic and, at times, be indistinguishable from human conversations which makes it a useful tool in a process where human feedback is valued.

For example, new hires may not be comfortable asking questions or seeking clarification from a virtual assistant when they feel they’ll receive a preset response. Once they realize conversational AI is capable of processing inquiries and providing an individualized answer, it will seem more natural and even akin to in-person training.

Just like with having a more senior team member in a buddy system, employees can ask virtual assistants any FAQs that the company has identified and get contextualized answers.

What’s Next in HR Tech with Conversational AI

According to a study by the Society for Human Resource Management, approximately 25% of organizations use AI to help with HR-related activities. This number will grow as companies continue to adopt emerging technologies and the HR industry receives increased backing to develop more innovative solutions.

Businesses will use conversational AI to improve the hiring process along with the employee experience overall. The technology will be foundational for organizations, serving as a critical part of operations.