Just this very morning I was mulling over voice activation. I wanted to play a song for my husband but I'm shocking at remembering song names and what I really wanted to say was: "Alexa, go to Liz Lawrence's new album, look for the song with the title about 'friends' and play that with an announcement that I want my hubby to listen to it".   Pretty complex set of instructions eh!  Voice assistant technology cannot evolve fast enough for me.  *

Then, Low and behold the first email I open today contains this article with, and I'm sure you'll agree, an intriguing title (the one I've used for this piece and I'm assuming caught your attention). 

Stan Wasowicz has shared a collaborative piece of work asking:

What if you could create a dynamic careers website that, instead of forcing you to search and browse, would allow you to start a dialogue and tailor the content it displays automatically as the conversation unfolds?

Do read, it's well written and researched. In short though, here are the nuggets you'll need to talk about this confidently at the coffee machine: 

- All the tech we need to build a dynamic, conversation first careers website is there. 

- We know chatbots work and are rapidly making their mark on the recruitment scene. 

- Add in the idea of talking to the bots as we do with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri to boost speed, efficiency, and a step towards more 'natural' humanesque interaction. 

- Voice recognition goes one further - it tracks sentiment. Imagine being able to know how your candidate is feeling, what's important to them, via subliminal changes in their voice. I love this because it could really help disadvantaged young people. Drop me a line if you'd like me to explain how. 

- The next technical ingredient is Hirevue, to capture visual datapoints, and Crystal Knows to adjust tone based on the visitors personality. 

- Finally connect all of the above to your content management system(s), and – woohoo! (as Stan says) – "you’ve got yourself all the ingredients for a quasi-sentient, talking website that can automatically generate bespoke conversations and content tailored to each candidate’s objectives, personality and sentiment".

I believe as Stan and fellow recruitment dreamers Laura, Ariadne, Norbert, Akbar, Josh do that candidates will LOVE IT! Picture a year 13 gal, on her way home, googling apprenticeships, headphones in, on the bus, having a conversation with your site about which would suit her best, just as she would a friend or mum. 

Why on earth would we do this and how would it work? 

Good questions! 

1. It's natural to communicate with speech

2. It's easier - asking questions directly saves a tonne of time

3. It's tailored and personal as it adjusts to the candidate 

4. Candidate lands on the careers page, switches on their microphone and the assistant asks them an opening question. What follows is a natural conversation about their interests, answers to their queries, suggestions and support. How great would you feel if you had this when you were looking for a job!

Hesitations...

Looping back to my starting point - wanting to get Alexa to look up my song - shows how far away voice search is from being at the level needed for anything near reflective of 'normal' conversation or thinking patterns. 

Having built chat bots, we know how much input is required for relatively simple conversation trees. Potentially using these but through voice would undermine the benefit of using voice. 

Then consider language and accents. We've all seen the youtube funnies where she struggles to understand different accents. Launching this now would require sensitivity and preparation for this to avoid brand damage and insulting candidates.  

Yet I can see this happening. And not too far away either. Each of those hesitations can be overcome, with time and expertise. The tools are there. The costs shouldn't be exorbitant. If you want to be a first in this space, let me know, we have an award winning creative web development team up for a challenge and a chatbot ready to go - I'd love to make that happen with you. Call me - 07929519215!


* The song if you're curious is None Of My Friends. I'm always looking for new artists making a comment about life today for young people, or anyone in general. This is one - she writes about mental health issues and what it's like to be connected (or not) in this social media world.