Article: Reimagining hiring with conversational AI

HR Technology

Reimagining hiring with conversational AI

How can conversational AI chatbots improve hiring results? An insightful discussion in Tech HR 2022 Singapore unpacks several advantages
Reimagining hiring with conversational AI

The pandemic accentuated the need for companies to hire the right people. Companies today face stiff talent competition and require the correct, job-ready candidates to walk through their doors. Identifying and hiring the right talent requires considerable time, money, and effort; aspects that companies can significantly cut down with the use of the right digital tools and technologies. 

Tech HR Singapore 2022 brought together a conversation between Zhenlin Ong, Client Success Director at Paradox and Jay Chan, Executive Director and Head of Talent Acquisition at UOB, on how conversational AI can help recruiters and talent heads restructure their hiring processes to make them more impactful while cutting down on time it takes to hire job-fit candidates and improving candidate experiences.

The renewed focus on having the right talent combined long, arduous process of screening huge piles of candidate applications led Jay Chan to begin his search for a powerful recruitment solution. A search that surreptitiously began in an earlier version of Tech HR Singapore, soon ended when UOB partnered with Paradox. The rapidly developing field of NLP and conversational AI  soon became the digital solution preferred by UOB to improve its recruitment results. 

Multifaceted benefits for UOB

Paradox's conversation AI recruitment solutions provided UOB with many benefits. Smart automation and intelligent conversations, helped the company sift through candidates faster and with better results. Zhenlin Ong, Client Success Director at Paradox, explained how with Paradox, "companies can make the entire recruitment process faster and more cost-effective. Aspects such as screening, scheduling, and sending out offers. They also play a major role in ensuring candidates are keen to join your company."

Jay explained that before the pandemic, the company would often be inundated with job applicants, and finding the right hire was a tedious and cumbersome process. "For one position, we had over 5000 applicants," recounts Jay, "after a long process we were able to bring the number down to 1000. After that, we realized over 4000 applications were either not relevant for the job portfolio or people just didn't possess the right skills." This time-consuming process for the company highlighted the need for better technology solutions to make recruitment more efficient. 

And so Jay and his team began looking for the right solution to ensure a screening and assessment process that finds a job fit for the candidate can be done more efficiently. "We were spending a lot of time conducting assessments and screening individuals," noted Jay. The company also was on the lookout for a hiring solution which would give a clear picture of the communication skills that the candidate possessed. 

"Our search ended with Paradox," added Jay. "With their AI-enabled hiring solution and a strong NLP trained chatbot engine we launched Jonus, our hiring chatbot which made recruitment simple, faster, and more efficient."

The business case of a conversational AI solution

While the problems that companies faced in the pre-covid era remain today, the future in the increasingly digital world of work has its own set of challenges. From shrinking talent pools to ensuring candidate experience is maintained when hiring is done entirely through digital tools, companies need tech solutions that can provide quick and efficient solutions while replicating the human touch in a digital world. For Jay, partnering with Paradox led to the creation of Jonus, the AI-enabled chatbot that helped the company revamp its hiring process and increase efficiency.

Jonus, the AI conversational bot created and customized for UOB, proved to be an essential game changer for UOB recruitment time fell, and the quality of hire rose. Additionally, UOB was also able to create a robust candidate experience. 

With Jonus and the capabilities of a robust AI-enabled chatbot, Jay was able to address many core hurdles to UOB's hiring process. Hurdles like:

  • The need to turn around a high volume of applications
  • Addressing the lack of speed and efficiency
  • Cutting down on repetitive and endless cycles of manual processes.
  • Address problems of high turnover and lack of candidates
  • Ensuring human touch and personalization are retained while removing friction in the hiring process. 

"Our journey into using chatbots began in the pre-covid era. To help us increase efficiency we wanted to bring in newer technologies and tools, we created Jonus. With a strong NLP engine and ability to integrate with our processes, the chatbot helped us reduce our time to hiring significantly," noted Jay Chan. "Our assessments were integrated with Jonus. After passing through our skills assessments, the candidate is directed back to Jonus where a short interview is conducted to assess communication skills. That helped us increase our efficiency and cut down other activities."

The convenience of an AI conversational bot was also meant for candidates who could apply using WhatsApp and have essential conversations with Jonus. Jay highlighted how the chatbot automatically screened candidates who met the minimum qualifications and helped companies create a robust candidate experience. For Jay, Jonus improved overall experience as both qualified and disqualified candidates experienced a high-touch, personal, conversational hiring process. Jonus also helped improve employee referrals making it a straightforward conversation. This helped UOB create engagement and improve candidate experience to attract and hire talent in the post- covid world. 

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Topics: HR Technology, Strategic HR, Recruitment, #TechHRSG

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