Case Study: Chatbot (Mia)

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Chatting up Potential Hires (With a Bot) Is a Big Win

The Challenge

Houston Methodist is nationally recognized for excellence in nursing, so recruiting quality nursing talent is a continuous and costly effort. 

 

Dedicating resources to matching the right candidate to the right position can be difficult, especially when searches may include highly specialized positions and a national candidate pool. Additionally, many of the traditional methods of recruiting, such as radio advertising or job fairs, are difficult to track and measure success. Houston Methodist Center for Innovation saw an opportunity to use technology to bring efficiency and attribution to the recruiting process through automation and artificial intelligence. 

The Solution

Houston Methodist’s Human Resources (HR) and Center for Innovation teams partnered with Paradox, an “assistive intelligence” company specializing in recruiting technology. Paradox’s technology was in use in several other industries, but Houston Methodist was an early health care adopter — one of only five health systems using the software. 

 

Building on the Paradox platform, the teams programmed Mia, (an acronym for Methodist Interactive Assistant, but pronounced like the woman’s name). Mia is an intelligent chatbot that interfaces with candidates early in the recruitment process to vet for appropriate interest and experience. 

 

Through open-ended, dynamic conversations and sophisticated natural language processing, Mia is able to build trust and confidence with potential candidates, while gathering insights to pass along to human recruiters. Mia invites prequalified applicants to meet with a recruiter and adds additional efficiency around scheduling, arranging a time to meet by the end of the chat.

The Pilot

Houston Methodist launched a pilot in January 2019 to assist in hiring for RN2 positions. 

The Results

Typically, hiring an employee takes 60 days; for registered nurses (RN), the average is 80 days. 

 

By comparison, using Mia, Houston Methodist was able to secure two accepted job offers in the first 21 days, and 50 hires as of May 2019. The average number of days from chat to offer accept for registered nurses is 27.9 days, and 9.5 days for medical assistants.

Unexpected Benefits 

Night shift positions are traditionally difficult to fill, but Mia’s 24/7 availability means she is up and ready to talk whenever the candidate is online, whether that’s during a lunch break at 3 a.m. or Saturday night at 8 p.m. Result shave shown that 52% of candidates are chatting with Mia outside of normal business hours. Additionally, several experienced RNs have been hired after making contact with Mia.

 

Another ancillary benefit is positive brand perception. By accelerating and streamlining the hiring process with technology, Houston Methodist demonstrates its best qualities. A positive first impression is highly valuable in its own right. Moreover, automated scheduling is also a time-saver for our sourcing and recruiting teams, who can spend more time with candidates rather than scheduling initial interviews.

What’s Next? 

The Center for Innovation and HR teams are invigorated by Mia’s success, and are looking for other opportunities to replace mundane tasks with automation, so that the HR team can focus on further innovation. One area we are exploring is training Mia to supply frequently asked benefit information to Houston Methodist employees. 

 

 

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