How to Train Your Chatbot to Be a Recruiting Machine

eWEEK DATA POINTS RESOURCE PAGE: Chatbots powered by AI can automate key recruiting tasks, including sourcing, screening, and answering candidate FAQs. But training is still a major factor in how well it will work.


Recruiters have started embracing chatbots with full force, and they’re already seeing the results: Organizations that have implemented a chatbot powered by artificial intelligence reported 40% of job seekers who interact with it become leads.

However, most recruiters assume that once you add a chatbot to your career site, it’s smart enough to work independently with little or no input from humans. 

While a recruiting chatbot can do a lot once launched, you have to train it if you want it to appropriately interact with candidates and deliver even greater results.

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Chatbots that are powered by AI learn over time and require two types of human interaction: 1) conversations with candidates on a regular basis; and 2) recruiters who continually take the time to teach it what to say. 

Before a chatbot is ready to engage with a candidate on a company’s career site, deliver personalized job recommendations and answer questions, recruiters have to provide it with information. A basic set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) from candidates such as “What does your company do?” and “What benefits are provided to employees?” and corresponding answers gives the chatbot the content it needs to communicate with job seekers—but it’s impossible to anticipate what all these questions will be at first. 

Although you will try to account for as many questions as possible upon launch, it will need to interact with users to really begin learning and providing relevant information to job seekers.

In this eWEEK Data Points article, using industry information from Ed Newman of Phenom People, we offer three ways to train your chatbot to recruit best-fit candidates. 

Data Point No. 1: Identify Your Candidates’ Most Common Questions

The most effective chatbots provide the ability to view engagement and candidate interactions, which is where recruiters will want to really dig in. Review the most commonly asked questions to shed light on the type of content job seekers are looking for when visiting your site or pursuing opportunities at your company.

Not only will this inform content for your career site, but it will also indicate specific areas you might want to expand upon. For example, if you find a significant number of candidates are asking about benefits and company culture, consider diving deeper into the information your chatbot can share about it. Include additional relevant questions to the chatbot’s repository, as well as helpful resources such as links to videos and blogs that tell your brand story.

Data Point No. 2: Monitor Chatbot Interactions to Discover New FAQs to Add

As job seekers communicate with the chatbot, there will undoubtedly be questions for which it will not have an answer. On the back end, it’s up to the recruiter to review those questions, pick out the common ones and provide answers to them. By creating new FAQs, you’re able to help build the chatbot’s knowledge base and “train” it to better communicate with candidates. After all, job seekers want more communication from recruiters—and your chatbot can now make that happen as an extension of your team. 

Since your chatbot could potentially have hundreds or even thousands of questions to review, consider prioritizing the workload. Avoid wasting time creating custom responses to inquiries that have only been asked by one or two people. Instead, sort by how frequently they’re asked to identify the ones most important to your talent base.

Data Point No. 3: Review Chatbot Interactions and Update Content on a Regular Basis

Since a chatbot never stops learning, regularly review its interactions with candidates and make updates as needed. By keeping your content fresh and hyper-relevant, the chatbot will be able to provide job seekers with even better experiences over time.

To ensure that your chatbot maintenance doesn’t fall to the wayside, designate one or two individuals on your team to own the task. The volume of candidate interactions with your chatbot should determine how frequently you review and update content. If hundreds of visitors land on your career site every day, it’s best to monitor engagement on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to avoid combing through a massive backlog. If the bot’s interactions are less frequent, check in at least once a month. 

As your company changes and grows, be sure to update your FAQ and screening question knowledge base to ensure candidates have access to the most accurate information. 

As you continue resolving unanswered questions over time, the chatbot will continue to learn what content to best to deliver at the right time. A smarter chatbot boosts recruiter productivity and improves the candidate experience, ensuring that your company will always be an attractive employer in a competitive job market.

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Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...