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3 ways to humanize your recruiting chatbot

August 3, 2021
iCIMS Staff
5 min read

Recruiting and HR teams are facing new challenges as the hiring landscape evolves around us. Remote and hybrid working models have fueled increased global competition as barriers to enter new talent pools have decreased drastically. Job openings are at a record high, and we continue to see candidate and employee expectations for employers rise.  

These new dynamics have created more pressure for HR and TA teams to meet increased demands, while 34% of HR leaders decreased budgets and staffing in 2021. Many teams are turning towards AI and automation to help alleviate this strain on the department while still effectively engaging talent at the top of the funnel in meaningful and scalable ways.  

HR and TA leaders have given a warm welcome to AI recruiting software over the years. Still, as pandemic-related restrictions ease and these new challenges become more pressing, we can expect adoption to continue to rise. A recent study from Sage predicted that adoption of automation/AI technology in recruiting and talent acquisition would reach 56% by 2021 – more than doubling its adoption rate in 2020.   

One of the most widely accepted and effective ways to leverage AI within talent acquisition is through digital assistant and recruiting chatbot technology. These solutions offer a wide range of benefits, including the potential to dramatically improve your candidate experience and increase conversion rates. Some companies like Domino’s largest franchisee, RPM Pizza, were able to decrease strategic KPIs like time to fill by 80% 

There are a variety of ways you can use recruiting chatbots to align to your team’s objectives, including driving applicants to jobs, prescreening candidates, driving candidates to talent pipelines, or simply assisting visitors in learning more about your organization and what makes you unique. 

There is a lot to like about adopting recruitment chat technology. But as candidates seek more authentic ways to engage with prospective employers, these solutions need to do more for you than drive efficiency. Candidates, like consumers, want a human touch, and customizing your recruiting chatbot can enable you to create meaningful candidate experiences.  

Humanizing an AI-led experience might seem challenging, but we’ve identified three simple, yet impactful ways to help you get started. 

1. Give your chatbot a name and a personality 

Creating a character with a name and personality that aligns with your unique brand identity and voice helps create a sense of connection with prospective candidates hitting your career site or engaging with you through text campaigns.  

A branded digital assistant or chatbot experience can eliminate potential cold, impersonal AI-led interactions we’ve all experienced at one time or another. A positive first impression with a conversational AI chatbot can encourage prospective candidates to continue to learn about your organization and help move them through the process.    

RPM Pizza’s chatbot Dottie, named after the Domino’s dot, is so engaging that new hires are known to ask for her on their first day on the job. 

You can read more here in the definitive guide to creating a chatbot candidates and recruiters will love. 

2. Make it talk like an actual human 

When scripting out your chatbot’s responses to candidate’s questions, language and tone can play a crucial part in creating a natural conversation flow that helps you achieve your team’s desired outcome.   

Too formal or more matter-of-fact responses can come off as transactional, impersonal and can even elicit a negative sentiment from candidates (and probably you, too). If you’re going to give your bot a name and a personality, the way it speaks should reinforce that personality and reflect your brand voice. 

As an extension of your employer brand, your bot should relate to candidates and create a comfortable, frictionless experience to get them to convert. Consider having your digital assistant address candidates by their name, offer casual greetings, use filler words, emojis, or different punctuation where appropriate to make them feel like they’re talking to an actual human. 

On our registration page for INSPIRE, iCIMS’ virtual conference, our chatbot Ike is a friendly bird who likes to crack jokes about being a robot. His tone is fun because the event is fun.

3.  Infuse employee-generated video into your responses 

Another great way to humanize your chatbot is by bringing actual human responses into your dialogue with candidates. But today’s candidates don’t want to hear from recruiters or the Comms team. A study from LinkedIn shows that candidates trust an organization’s employees 3x more than the employer itself.  

Our most recent release announced that your always-on digital assistant can now respond with employee-generated video content from your iCIMS Video Studio content library for a more authentic career site experience. So when a candidate is on your career site and asks the digital assistant, “What is your company culture like?” or “What’s it like to be an engineer in the London office?”, your chatbot can now respond with an employee video testimonial. This contextualized video content comes directly from the voices and faces that matter the most to candidates – your people. These types of personalized, human responses can make all the difference in a tight talent market.  


To learn about more innovative ways to better engage with today’s talent, check out the  iCIMS 2021 Summer Release highlights video.  

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