Chatbots for Human Resource Management
Human Resource Management as an industry has evolved tremendously in the last years but there has been little or no innovation in Human Resource Management software. Terrible user interfaces and complex designs have plagued Human Resource Management tools for decades. These tools are not only boring and bulky, but most of them require hours of training and onboarding to actually start using them. On an average, a typical employee ends up spending 70–80% of their work time on outdated enterprise software. In this process, employees eventually lose crucial work time by just figuring out the basic workflows. If the hours spent on enterprise software could be brought down without hampering the workflow, then it could be a huge boost in employee efficiency.
Chatbots and artificial intelligence together represent a significant step in revolutionizing the way enterprise solutions are supposed to work, making them simple, intuitive, and engaging.
Chatbots have the ability to take away the challenges that come with accessing a new enterprise application by simplifying most of the use cases into user friendly interactions which are not only effective but also a lot more fun. For instance, managing expenses and payroll through a chatbot reduces” the hassle “of having to log into a legacy system and filling out forms for recording conveyance charges. Employees can just tell the chatbot and it will get their charges approved from Human Resource.
More than 80% of businesses use a communication platform on a daily basis such as Slack or Skype. One major advantage of chatbots is that they can easily be integrated into existing communication platforms that businesses already use, rather than forcing employees to adopt other tools.
Another major benefit of chatbots is their ability to automate “mundane” and repetitive tasks. Proactive Human Resource professionals usually have a long list of initiatives they would like to work on, but time and budgetary constraints force these projects down the list of priorities. Instead of focusing on workforce performance and improvement, Human Resource staff spend large chunks of their day answering common questions and dealing with common employee issues. Chatbots can eliminate much of this work by automating repetitive tasks that often dominate Human Resource ’s time, freeing Human Resource leaders to act more strategically.
Chatbots are poised to be the future of people management technology, whether for applying for a job, checking work schedules or looking up benefits. Let's take a look in more detail at how can chatbots transform Human Resource processes to make them more efficient and less costly.
Chatbots can act as virtual recruiters during the application process to improve the candidate experience. According to a survey, 58% of job seekers say they have a negative impression of a company if didn’t hear back from the company after submitting an application. Whereas 67% of job seekers have a positive impression of a company if they receive consistent updates throughout the application process. Recruiter chatbots can provide real-time interaction to candidates by asking questions based on the job requirements and providing feedback, updates, and next-step suggestions.
For Human Resource teams, chatbots can simplify the whole recruitment process. For instance, recruiters can just tell the bot about a position they want to hire and it will get them the right suggestion. Also, it can help them chat with the candidate and even interview the candidate right there and then.
Moreover, chatbots can help enterprises speed-up their recruiting process thus reducing the time-to-hire, which means they are less likely to lose the best talent to faster moving competitors
2. Onboarding process
The onboarding process can be complicated and time consuming, as new employees have to complete various forms while navigating through several interfaces to gather information around payroll, vacation and expenses.
Chatbots can automate certain parts of the onboarding process to ensure that all employees have a consistent educational experience. Chatbots can automatically deliver to new employees onboarding information and links to the required Human Resource forms in place a Human Resource professional. Even better, chatbots can collect required information and fill out the necessary onboarding forms to save time. Moreover, chatbots can act as a FAQ where the new hires can get answers to any possible question they might have. This helps news employees get up to speed and be more productive.
Employees’ inboxes are flooded with emails. Corporate announcements and alerts are left unread or automatically deleted by the employee. In an effort to reduce emails, many internal communication teams have evolved from email blasts to delivering news and communications via corporate intranet. However, most company intranet sites are not critical for an employee to complete their daily tasks and activities. Since it is not critical to their daily lives, many internal staff may go for long periods of time without visiting the intranet, thus missing announcements.
Chatbots can be used to deliver news in a way that is interactive, mobile and potentially even interesting using a chat messaging interface. They represent the next evolution from the current email and intranet announcement to the possibilities of social corporate news.
Chatbots can also help answer employees’ questions, gather information, and keep employees on task. Human Resource teams usually provide all required information to employees using many communication channels. However, employees typically forget answers to important questions or throw away documents that are needed in the future. For instance, the list of the company holidays that Human Resource publishes each year. Even though Human resource staff probably emailed it to everyone in the company at least once, people still frequently ask HR when the next holiday is or where they can find the holiday schedule. This is a perfect question for an intelligent assistant to watch for and answer without any human intervention. It saves time, effort, and sanity.
Chatbots become smarter over time by learning to answer questions that are frequently being asked by employees. The Human Resource team can train the chatbot to recognize common questions being asked, allowing Human Resource to respond to fewer questions over time. This frees up the Human Resource team to work on more strategic issues. As for the employees, they get real time answers to their questions which results in faster decision making thus an increase in productivity for the company.
4. Performance Management
The most difficult part of the performance management process is the annual performance review. Organizations end up spending weeks, or even months, conducting these reviews every year. Employees have to fill out long questionnaires, surveys, and verbose forms which results in wasted time and frustration. The data that is captured during this process is never real-time and in most cases ineffective. On an average, the productivity of an organization goes down by 40% during this period as the whole workforce is preoccupied in filling out forms instead of focusing on the tasks in hand. Human Resource staff and senior Managers get affected the most as they have to spend another 3-4 weeks going over the collected data and analyze it, resulting in massive loss of productivity.
There is a need for a simple, automated and artificial intelligence powered solution that can facilitate real-time feedback collection. That’s where chatbots can add tremendous value. The conversational interface design of the chatbot makes it a perfect solution to quickly collect feedback from employees in the most transparent way possible. Instead of forms, employees share their feedback through chat, which has proven to be a very effective way of ensuring maximum participation from the millennial generation. The artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities built into chatbots can help Human Resource get actionable insights into employee’s performance without spending weeks going over each and every feedback message that is collected. The advancement in natural language processing technology combined with sentiment analysis can help Human Resource detect easy-to-miss patterns hidden deep inside the data, which results in better workforce management.
5. Employee Engagement
Engaged employees work harder and stay longer. One of the ways to keep employees engaged is to make sure they feel that their voice is being heard. An AI service assistant can boost employee engagement by ensuring that no employee request is overlooked or ignored.
Human Resource professionals are encouraged to use data to guide employee-related decisions. Chatbots can improve the data gathering that powers those directives. Chatbots can poll employees on their self-reported level of engagement, their opinions about recent company announcements, and other general Human Resource questions. This data guides further engagement efforts, and identify employee issues before they lead to problems.
Human Resource as a strategic business partner
Thanks to chatbots and artificial intelligence, Human Resource Department becomes a crucial part of the strategic decision-making process of an organization.
Chatbots provide Human Resource Management with critical information about employees which give them the free time to analyze and act on this data to make strategic decisions. For instance, chatbots can provide accurate data on how long it takes to onboard and train new employees. They can tell which candidates moved on to become successful and unsuccessful employees based on their performance, tenure, and turnover rates. They can collect real-time analytics to see what kind of questions employees are frequently asking. They can provide employee satisfaction rates from collected data to improve employee engagement.
In the end, chatbots turn Human Resource Department into the information hub of an organization and a strategic asset that decision-makers can’t live without.
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Author : Youssef LAZRAK (Chatbot Development Consultant)