Danone: How we implemented a phone bot to collect feedback from candidates
Mar 29, 2019

The process of recruiting is quite multi-staged and at every stage it is important that we correctly evaluate the information. Today we will discuss the last stage that many recruiters tend to overlook, but for Danone it is one of the key indicators of efficiency.

We want the candidate to be satisfied with the interaction with Danone. We need to know how comfortable and interesting it was for the jobseeker to interact with the recruiter, and whether or not they would recommend Danone as an employer to their friends and acquaintances.

For this reason, Danone surveys not only those candidates who have accepted a position, but also those who did not receive a job offer. This way, the company receives a more objective evaluation.

Calling and asking candidates to provide their feedback "by hand" requires a lot of time and resources. It was obvious that a new solution was needed which led us to use VCV's phone bot to collect feedback. The bot - a smart guy - independently calls and sends text messages to candidates, analyzes the responses and saves them in the system.

BOTanism in reality

For the bot to begin its work, Danone's recruiters upload the data of candidates that have already participated in a face-to-face interview. It is enough to simply add an Excel table with all the candidate's information. Next comes the individualized settings: the recruiter sets the time period for the bot to make the calls, and number of additional calls in case the candidate does not answer. In order to receive as many responses as possible, there are multiple combinations of settings that aid recruiters in finding the optimal time for communication with respondents. After this, the bot joins in on the work.

In the first iteration of the bot, it could only call people, but not all respondents were willing to or able to complete the survey over the phone. As a result, we adapted the original solution and created a few more versions in an effort to encourage the candidate to interact with the bot. Now, if a candidate is unable to respond at that time, the smart bot can send a text message with a link to the survey.

Don't worry, I'm a bot!

The response rates are partly dependent on the voice of the bot: it must be pleasant and... alive! Yes, yes, it seems strange, but no one wants to converse with a soulless machine. How many times have you hung up in frustration as soon as you hear a bot on the other end of the line? Well, VCV has a solution for this too - you can upload any audio file or use a pre-recorded voice from the voice database. The system is quite sensitive; practically all VCV settings can be adapted to the company's objectives, which is exactly what we did with Danone.

What did we accomplish?

The current response rate for Danone is 25%. People are still wary of autobots and at an average response rate of 15-20%, we are very pleased with the results. The bot-aided survey was completed not only by professionals but also by interns who are more open to new technologies. Their participation gave plenty of useful insight.

The phone bot helped us to grow the amount of respondents, and, in turn, receive more feedback. The results of the surveys showed that the level of candidates satisfaction is around 80%.

Future perspectives

At Danone we also use VCV's videobot to select interns. Candidates from different cities record video interviews daily with the help of VCV. The video interview significantly reduces the recruiter's time and resources spent on choosing candidates. Yet, the company went further and chose to automate even more of the process.

Currently, the team at Danone in collaboration with VCV is developing a technology to automate preliminary steps of the selection process. This will occur before the video interview is recorded. The idea is that the candidates will be pre-selected by the system to complete the video interview. This update will help recruiters to spend even less of their time and resources on filtering candidates and will be able to immediately concentrate their attention on the most promising candidates.

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