Chatbots in Retail Recruitment – How They Improve Candidate Experience?

Author: TASC Outsourcing
Mar 13, 2024

The retail market in the UAE was valued at USD 56.6 billion in 2021. Industry experts anticipate that the CAGR will be around 4.5% from 2022 to 2027.

Dubai has played a crucial role in driving the retail industry’s expansion in the UAE, particularly in recent years. Through well-thought-out strategies and strong governmental backing, Dubai has become a critical force behind the overall growth of the national retail sector.

One major factor contributing to Dubai's success in retail is the UAE government's forward-thinking economic stimulus package.

At the same time, the government's efforts to simplify visa regulations have attracted a steady stream of tourists and expatriates, further boosting the demand for retail goods and services.

Despite facing challenges in the broader economy and a global economic slowdown, the retail sector in the GCC has defied expectations, experiencing a remarkable 22% growth.

Projections suggest that by 2023, this sector will reach an impressive value of USD 308 billion. Both Saudi Arabia and the UAE are expected to lead sales in the next five years, showcasing the resilience and potential of the region's retail industry.

The Retail Landscape – A Playground of Opportunities

The retail industry is buzzing with potential, opening avenues for businesses to thrive. Simultaneously, the job market is brimming with opportunities, offering a wide array of roles for individuals at different stages of their careers.

From dynamic sales associates to seasoned retail managers, the spectrum of the retail job market is becoming more diverse every day.  

However, retail businesses must streamline their hiring procedures to harness the wealth of talent within this diverse pool effectively. One effective way of achieving that is by delivering an exceptional candidate experience.

But how can it be accomplished?

Embracing technological advancements, particularly AI-driven Chatbot technologies, is a key solution.

Chatbots have come a long way, thanks to the improvements in natural language processing. Because of this evolution, the Chatbot technology has become way more advanced, having the ability to carry on more natural and responsive interactions with candidates.

The talent landscape is fiercely competitive, making it crucial for companies to offer a pleasant candidate experience to attract and engage top talent.

These days, candidates expect a consumer-like application and hiring experience, similar to their online and smartphone interactions.

This is where Chatbots thrive – addressing challenges by interacting with candidates on demand and providing support through the application process, catering to their preferred channels and availability.

Chatbots serve as practical tools for candidate engagement, continually evolving to simplify the application process. Additionally, they can handle specific tasks in the application process, typically managed by recruiters through phone calls or emails.

How Do Chatbots Enhance Candidate Experience?

According to a HR Chatbot Survey by Capterra, a whopping 94% of HR and hiring managers rated the overall performance of Chatbots as either “good” or “excellent” when integrated into the initial phases of recruitment.

This overwhelmingly positive feedback highlights the promising advantages that these technologies bring to the table.

However, let’s try to break it down for you.

#1 – Chatbots Can Capture More Talent

Did you know that when Chatbots are integrated into career sites, they can show a significant boost in results - 95% more job seekers transition into leads, 40% more complete job applications, and 13% more click the "apply" button on job requisitions.

AI Chatbots have the power to interact with 100 percent of applicants, offering contextual answers to queries about open roles, eligibility, company culture, benefits, and more.

What's remarkable is that they do this in a conversational, human-like tone, creating an experience that makes candidates feel like they're interacting with a real recruiter.

It not only significantly reduces the time it takes to apply but also captures more talent compared to the typical traffic that companies attract from their career sites.

#2 – Chatbots Simplify Application Submissions

In today’s market, candidates are encountering more job opportunities than they're following through with applications.

Therefore, it has become the need of the hour for companies to streamline the application process in order to onboard top-tier talent. And Chatbots can make that possible.

From seamlessly browsing through suitable job openings directly within the chatbot to applying right after answering a few straightforward questions, the application process can be made simple and easy.

Not only does it enhance the application experience, but it also encourages more candidates to complete the process.

#3 – Chatbots Enable Two-Way Interview Scheduling

Qualified candidates can now self-schedule interviews by accessing the recruiter's calendar through the chatbot. It offers a seamless experience to everyone involved in two key ways –

  • It eradicates the back-and-forth hassle between the candidate and recruiter in finding a suitable time.
  • It minimizes no-shows by sending timely reminders and simplifying the rescheduling process, ensuring a smoother and more efficient interview experience for all parties.

#4 – Chatbots Are 24/7 Available for Candidate Engagement

Like consumers, candidates crave swift and efficient information throughout the hiring process.

Surprisingly, 75% of applicants never receive a response after applying for a job.

When you have a Chatbot integrated into your system, it’s possible to swiftly answer questions about job descriptions, salaries, or the overall hiring process. It not only reduces candidate drop-off rates but also sends a clear message that your organization values their time and experience.

#5 – Chatbots Reconnect with Runner-Ups to Recommend Fitting Roles

Not all candidates will make it through the interview process. Typically, you might respond with a standard "Sorry, you don't meet our job requirements! Please check our career site for other opportunities."  

However, a Chatbot allows you to take a more engaging approach. You can re-engage the same candidates by asking additional qualifying questions and automatically proposing other suitable jobs within the same chat.

It not only reactivates talent in your database but also provides an opportunity to redeploy candidates close to completing their assignments. It's a win-win scenario for both candidates and companies.

Implementing Chatbots in Retail Recruitment – Closing Thoughts

Integrating Chatbots into your recruitment strategy is undoubtedly a step toward the future. However, it’s essential to maintain a healthy balance between automated communication and personal interaction for an optimized candidate experience.

Chatbots are most effective for repetitive, automatable tasks, freeing time for recruiters to engage with the best candidates more meaningfully. In most cases, candidates prefer an experience that combines technology with human engagement, finding value in both aspects.

That being said, it’s critical to note that launching a chatbot is not a guaranteed recipe for success. Organizations must consistently refine and enhance their chatbots to ensure responsiveness and effectiveness in driving successful engagements. It would involve a significant investment of time and resources to grasp the intricacies of AI-enabled chatbot technology.

Not all chatbot technologies are created equal.

Subpar technology may struggle to answer common questions or respond appropriately, potentially damaging the employer brand more than relying on slower, traditional communication methods.

Therefore, ideally, you should seek a chatbot integrated into a comprehensive technology solution that spans the entire application process to ensure effective communication.