The Benefits of a Digital Chat Environment

By: Wade & Wendy Team

Sep 04, 2019

Some people have a knee-jerk resistance to the idea of a digital chat environment. They think that, compared to an in-person interaction, there’s something artificial or inhuman about the back and forth of a typed chat. They think that really effective conversation can only take place in the context of a physical conservation, and believe that in a digital exchange, something will always get lost.

However, when it comes to recruiting, the opposite is the case.

A key phase of the recruiting process is screening: the repetitive, time-consuming process by which recruiters chat to a range of potential candidates to assess their suitability for a given role. Historically, these are human interactions. But in reality, they are often unsatisfactory for both sides. The recruiter is against the clock, and has to move through a large amount of conversations, fast. The candidate is under pressure to answer questions as best they can in a limited amount of time. Both parties have to go through the rigamarole of meeting in the same room before the conversation can even occur.

Digital chat is a medium that removes many of the pressures and deficiencies of these in-person recruiting conversations.

For one, an online chat setting is free of all the scheduling headaches that can blight recruiting. The recruiter and candidate no longer have to play phone or email tag in order to set up a meeting. Candidates can do everything on their own time and their own schedule; recruiters win back hundreds of hours.

Once the back-and-forth begins, candidates are freed from the pressure of having to deliver real-time, immediate responses. They can take their time over questions, switch from hot to cold cognition, and give better, deeper answers. They are able to answer in a more comprehensive and eloquent way, giving hiring managers much more useful information to work from down the line.

Not only can candidates be more patient; they can actually be more honest. Candidates frequently report to us that one of the reasons they love chatting with Wendy is that they don’t feel judged in any way. It might feel embarrassing to explain to another person why you’ve been out of work, or what you feel your areas of personal improvement might be. But it isn’t embarrassing to tell these things to an AI. It doesn’t feel potentially rude to tell her you’re not interested in the job!

The reality of recruiting conversations is that they are frequently rushed, shallow and demanding on both sides. This is the beauty of a digital chat environment: It lets people take their time and give better, more honest answers. Which makes the entire recruitment funnel richer, realer and more productive for everyone.