According to recent data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Great Resignation continues with little sign of slowing. At 2.9% in February, the quit rate remains near all-time highs while the unemployment rate, at 3.6% in March, is at historic lows.

In many industries, hiring is incredibly challenging. In this environment, it is critical to engage candidates early and provide a streamlined application process. Recruitment chatbots are one tool capable of helping staffing firms achieve these goals and meaningfully enhance recruiter productivity.

Chatbots can accomplish many tasks, benefiting both staffing firms and talent. Chatbots can quickly engage candidates while streamlining their application process by automatically populating their profile from their conversation and pulling data from their résumé and sources such as social media profiles. By handling standardized processes, chatbots also free up staff time, enabling recruiters to focus on more valuable activities. As one attendee at SIA’s Executive Forum North America 2022 stated, if your processes can be expressed as simple if/then statements, you can use a chatbot to handle them. However, chatbots are not one-size-fits-all solutions and require careful implementation.

In the January Pulse Survey, we asked about investment in talent acquisition technology (see the March/April 2022 issue of Staffing Industry Review for a discussion of those findings). In the March Pulse Survey, we focused on one specific type of talent acquisition technology — recruitment chatbots. Specifically, we asked Pulse Survey participants whether their firm uses chatbots to engage candidates, and if so, what has their experience been?

Overall, 29% of respondents indicated that they currently use chatbots for candidate engagement. Larger firms were the most likely to report use of chatbots, and small firms the least.

Across industry and skill segments, staffing firms serving the healthcare industry reported the most extensive use of chatbots, with 47% of respondents in this space indicating that they use chatbots for candidate engagement. Use of chatbots is particularly strong by firms in the per diem nursing skill segment, with 58% reporting their use. The lowest usage rate was reported by firms operating in the office/clerical skill segment, at 11%.

Our second question followed a free response format. Twenty-six participants provided a response. The full text of these responses is available in the “US Staffing Industry Pulse Survey Report: March 2022 Special Edition Update.” Responses indicated that chatbots increased numbers of candidates, increased throughput and freed up recruiters’ time for other tasks. To summarize the responses:

  • 69% of respondents indicate a positive experience with chatbots
  • 19% stated it is too early into their use of chatbots to form a conclusion
  • 8% stated their use of chatbots is very limited
  • 4% stated no discernable impact from adoption of chatbots


Further information on chatbots and their use is available through multiple SIA reports. For the full details of the information summarized above, see the “March 2022 Pulse Survey Report.” For more information on chatbots and considerations for choosing a chatbot, see the “Introduction to Chatbots” report. Chatbots are not the only form of software automation; for discussion of similar technologies applied to direct work engagement, see the “Introduction to Robotic Process Automation” report.