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Commencement season is in full bloom. And as graduates ramp up their job-seeking activities, employers are looking for new ways to stay relevant and attract top talent. In today’s digital landscape, it can be difficult for companies to break through the noise and capture the attention of potential candidates while standing out from the competition.

Enter chatbots. Chatbots offer an alternative way for potential candidates to engage with organizations on their own terms, through forums such as social media. According to a new survey by LivePerson, chatbots are gaining popularity globally; 38 percent of 5,000 people surveyed from six countries had a positive perception of the technology. Yet many companies still aren’t effectively leveraging this option, likely because they don’t know the best approach — or even where to start.

Here are some tips on how organizations can use a recruitment chatbot effectively this summer and beyond:

  • Make the conversation about more than just the basics. People want to be engaged.
  • Make the interaction memorable and entertaining. Millennials especially expect clever engagements.
  • Make it a useful and beneficial experience for both sides. Set up the bot to capture information that can actually inform your organization about the applicant’s personality, allowing you to genuinely get to know them.
  • Avoid engaging on too many different subjects. Narrowing the conversation to one topic will allow for better flow.
  • Give the potential candidate a taste of the organization’s culture. Showcase and communicate less tangible corporate elements through the chatbot experience.

Back in September, VentureBeat guest author Alex Campbell Vibes wrote about a new report from BI Intelligence that found millennials spend more time messaging via apps than communicating through any other form. In fact, messaging apps as well as apps like Snapchat are now seeing more usage among millennials than traditional social networks like Twitter.

To that end, let’s look a little closer at how to actually implement this advice.

Be useful

When developing a chatbot, it is important the experience is just as beneficial to the user as it is to the organization implementing it. Companies need to use chatbots to engage and entertain so they can serve a much wider purpose, such as collecting valuable data from a brand or organization’s target audience.

For examples beyond the recruitment arena, the Estée Lauder Messenger chatbot that matches customers’ skin tones with foundation shades, Dior’s Dior Insider chatbot that answers product questions on Messenger, and Sephora’s Kik chatbot that aims to educate are all examples of brands cleverly engaging with their customer bases while also learning more about them through the data they provide along the way.

Be engaging

Most junior talent is part of the so-called social media generation, and one of the best ways to attract them is reaching out through the platforms they interact with every day. This provides a brand or organization with the right forum in which to create a personalized experience by talking to its candidates in a language they understand and about topics they relate to — such as questions about Snapchat filters.

With this in mind, chatbots have come to the forefront, including Billi, the chatbot we designed to engage with potential junior candidates through a personality-type quiz focused on Snapchat use. The interview occurs when the candidate says “hi” via our Facebook Messenger page. After the candidates respond to various questions about their Snapchat filter preference, Billi the chatbot can then determine the best fit and role for the potential candidate within the company — a working example of a strategy many companies looking to hire the top talent of this latest generation of candidates can consider using.

Companies looking to reach the junior talent they need this summer should focus on leveraging the tools of today’s digital landscape, such as chatbot technology, in order to transform the sometimes mundane process of hiring a candidate. Without this approach, an organization is likely to struggle with standing out from the crowd when it comes to recruiting the right talent.

Kristina Shedd is the vice president of North America hiring lead for SapientRazorfish,a digital transformation company.

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