Keep Talking

Ben Brophy Chief Commercial Officer of Recii, discusses the Rise of the Voicebot and its impact on Recruitment

Voicebot technology, conversational AI, is emerging as a key technology to have an impact on how the recruitment industry attracts, engages, and enables more meaningful interactions with candidates.

Our fundamental view is that any technology that interacts with a candidate to hold a ‘conversation’ is based on its ability to listen. This requires two aspects to be discussed; firstly the medium – in this case, voice – and secondly the conversational capabilities being offered. Put simply, conversational AI can understand the intent of what is being said and take appropriate actions such as changing the direction of the conversation to ask more appropriate questions. Having a better understanding of this conversation, in turn, can result in more useful insight for a business into how to better engage with candidates and drive success. By understanding the intent of conversations before and asking the relevant questions, we can ensure our next engagement with each candidate – human to human – is more relevant, contextualised and, most importantly, best use of our most limited commodity – time.

But let’s pull this back and start at the beginning:

What is a Voicebot?

A Voicebot is part of a ‘conversational interface’, designed to simulate human conversation patterns so a user can access a service solely through speaking. These services mainly require Artificial Intelligence (AI) to enable an automated service to manage the diversity of response from a user, using an interactive voice response system (IVR), where the user can interact and speak to the bot. These systems utilise Natural Language Processing (NLP) – how the bot listens – to convert speech to text and identify key terms and statements that have been said. The most effective Voicebots are conversational AI where it can enable dynamic intent-based conversations that can adapt based on the user’s response.

Why are Voicebots needed?

We are continually seeking to develop technology that emulates human behaviour, often focusing on taking repetitive, time-consuming tasks and utilising technology to free up time within an organisation. For Recruiters, we see the potential in this technology to allow more time to be spent investing in the right candidate relationships, whereby we can automate current repetitive pre-qualification of candidates, scheduling interviews, and maintaining relationships with passive candidates.

Looking at the evolution of bots, viewed in the context of human communication, you could view typed conversation as an interruption in our behavioural norm and a need to revert back to the most human form of communication speaking and listening.

The stats speak for themselves – Candidate behaviour is changing, but the question needs to be asked as to whether the industry is adapted:

  • Adobe report published in 2019 – forty eight per cent of all internet users are using Voice search today
  • Google forecasts that twenty per cent of all Searches will be Voice-driven in 2020
  • By 2022, fifty per cent of all households are forecast to have a voice-enabled device
  • Commercial benefit – thirty per cent increase in user engagement and conversion through voice, when compared to web-chat

Across our Candidates, Clients, and internal Consultants there is an increasing awareness and utilisation of voice as part of our every-day lives, which leads us to consider – why do we not embrace this technology to enhance our business capabilities and experience we can offer candidates?


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