Many organizations increase their workforce during the summer to meet increased demands on their business. The top four industries that hire people for summer seasonal work are retail, hospitality, tourism and media.

However, volume recruitment and seasonal hiring create many challenges to the recruitment process that many organizations experience time and time again. Fortunately, employers have a new tool at their disposal helping them to achieve customer success: artificial intelligence. Here’s how the innovative tool is helping to aid in the recruitment process and solve hiring challenges.
Challenge No. 1: Managing a large number of applications

According to CareerArc, 65% of candidates never, or rarely, hear back from a company after an application. Conversely, those same candidates are 3.5 times less likely to reapply to that same company, and 72% will also share that negative experience online or with somebody directly. Over time, this will erode and weaken your employer brand. If prospective employees hear from their friends and colleagues that your hiring process is generally unresponsive, some of the best candidates may simply not apply.

An attendee photographs an autonomous parcel delivery robot, developed by Starship Technologies Ltd. at the AI Congress in London, U.K.
An attendee photographs an autonomous parcel delivery robot, developed by Starship Technologies Ltd. at the AI Congress in London, U.K. Bloomberg

In the world of recruitment, it’s a challenge for employers to communicate well with all their candidates. Especially for high volume recruiting, where this would require communicating with thousands of candidates, in addition to a recruiter’s normal screening functions and other duties.

Using artificial intelligence, like chatbots for example, can take away the strain of managing and communicating with a large number of applicants. Each and every applicant will have an immediate engagement with your organization. In real time, a chatbot can:

  • Collect information from candidates such as their contact information
  • Ask screening questions about candidates’ salary expectations, availability, location and skills/experience
    See also: Chatbots: The new, hot recruitment tool

What’s more is that this can be done with thousands of candidates all at the same time. This can instantly take the heavy lifting out of the top funnel of volume recruitment and improve the candidate’s experience with your brand.

Challenge No. 2: Managing a talent pool of previous temporary workers

Do you have the same temporary staff that works for you every holiday season? How about the same students that work for you every summer when they are home from college?

Being able to activate and mobilize a large number of candidates from your database takes time and moves recruiters away from their other activities. Artificial intelligence can instantly connect with thousands of candidates within your talent pool or database to advertise that the recruitment process has begun and ask if they are available to work. It also can have the capability to update any profile information to ensure you have the most up-to-date details within your database.

Better yet, artificial intelligence allows HR managers to engage and capture candidates throughout the year in anticipation of the holiday season and maximize referrals from your current talent pool — all without a recruiter having to lift a finger.

What if you could come to work every morning and receive a list of candidates who were screened the evening prior and are available and ready to be placed into an open role? That is the reality of what can happen when using artificial intelligence in your recruitment process.

Challenge No. 3: Communicating with your candidates at a time and place that works for them

Nine out of 10 candidates expect to be able to communicate with you via messaging and social platforms. That is the way of the world. Yet less than half of organizations are equipped to handle this type of communication. Your talent pool lives on their mobile devices. When the time comes to recruit for the holidays, you’ll need to be where your candidates are already spending all of their time – on their phones.

Sophisticated artificial intelligence tools, such as chatbots, make mobile engagement with candidates a possibility. Whether this is via a messaging platform, such as Skype, or a social network like Facebook, chatbots that are omnichannel will create the best opportunities for seamless communication.

The best recruiters work as many hours as needed to get the job done, but there is still a start and end time to the working day. The best recruiters also know that a large majority of candidates are not available to talk during the working day, preferring evenings and (sometimes) weekends. A chatbot is available 24/7, so a candidate can engage with you and your recruitment process at a time of their choosing.

According to Randstad, 82% of jobseekers believe the ideal recruiter interaction is a mix of innovative technology and personal, human interaction. The majority of candidates are receptive to interacting with a chatbot.

Allowing candidates to do so and a time and on a channel of their choice increases the chances of them experiencing a positive recruitment process and, therefore, increasing your brand’s reputation.

Challenge No. 4: High turnover of seasonal temporary staff

Due to the fleeting nature of seasonal positions and the fact that those same industries tend to have higher-than-average turnover, it can be difficult to retain temporary staff when you need them the most. The major factors that contribute to seasonal turnover are a lack of goal-setting, lack of recognition and plain old boredom.

While artificial intelligence is especially useful during the initial stages of the recruitment process, tools such as chatbots can also be used to increase staff engagement while they are carrying out work for your organization.

Imagine being able to brief your temporary staff across your organization, all at the same time, to update them on important issues or to set some goals. Why not have a chatbot-based conversation with them to find out how they are getting on and garner some feedback about their time with your organization?

High turnover doesn’t have to ruin the summer season for your organization. People buy from people, and what better person to buy off of than one that is happy and treated well, even if only in their position for a short amount of time.

If you’re sensitive to the temporary nature of seasonal positions and make a genuine effort to dispel preconceptions while giving seasonal workers tangible goals and plenty of opportunity for engagement, you’re going to find higher retention follow suit.

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