The way we work, work, work, and who we work with have fundamentally changed over the last few decades, especially with the pandemic. Employees can easily access HR and company information through HR chatbots, which will expand even further shortly. Like virtual assistants, chatbots facilitate communication with employees across various channels such as WhatsApp, Slack, Microsoft Teams, etc.
We have all seen the emergence of chatbots on the customer side of businesses, but now we’re starting to see conversational interfaces penetrate internal departments as well. But first, what are HR chatbots?
What are HR chatbots?
They are computer-programmed machines that use artificial intelligence to simulate a human conversation.
HR chatbots are specially trained and designed to mimic the role of HR employees in the company. While it’s easy to deploy them, assessing their value and role in the organization is rather challenging to describe.
Where can HR chatbots be deployed?
There are numerous instances where chatbots in HR improve the employee experience. They make the chief human resources officer (CHRO) job more straightforward. To clarify, HR chatbots help HR leaders and CHROs achieve all of their most important goals.
HR leaders’ key result areas typically include the following:
- Reducing recruiting costs and time to hire.
- Improving the onboarding experience
- Improving employee engagement
- Reducing employee turnover and churn
- Optimizing the learning and development process
HR chatbots help the CHRO achieve all of these goals. They improve services, increase productivity, and help you provide a personalized experience to potential and current employees. In addition, a chatbot can also be set up for payroll. It is also predicted that chatbots will dominate the future of HR.
HR chatbots: the technical stuff
The user interface of chatbots is called the chat interface. It facilitates the user to access, use and interact with them. This can be done through a web browser or apps like Slack, SM Teams, etc.
The AI engine understands user queries through Natural Language Understanding (NLU).
Behind the scenes is intent mapping, i.e., identifying the true intent of user actions.
Once the user’s intent is understood, a chatbot performs a step called slot filling. A chatbot prompts the user to provide it with the information required for the action.
What follows is a combination of artificial intelligence and machine learning tools. It helps the AI machine respond appropriately to the user’s request.
Most existing chatbots are usually static
They can only perform the intent mapping. The real test is that it can respond using natural language processing (NLP).
Most solutions that pass as chatbots hard-code the responses. They don’t care about the nuances and context of a user’s conversation, mood, and emotion.
How an HR chatbot can enhance employee engagement
An HR chatbot is a kind of chatbot that can help you automate your HR-related workflows. It allows employees to access information from their apps and systems within your company’s chat platform (e.g., Slack.
Slack ) and then address it in chat (e.g., approve/reject a PTO request).
This type of chatbot generally offers three benefits to your employees:
It centralizes your tools
Your employees don’t have to log into individual apps to get their work done. They can use the messaging platform they already use, like Slack Teams Workplace, to access and use each app.
It assists colleagues in getting to know each other
It is true not only for new hires who want to get acquainted with others inside and outside of their team but also for employees who have been around longer and want to interact with others.
The employee experience is paramount
By enabling employees to avoid app hopping, giving them convenient access to information, and allowing them to celebrate and connect, chatbots can help your company deliver a world-class employee experience.
What HR needs to know about chatbots
Most chatbots are artificial and NOT intelligent. True AI involves not only understanding user queries but also responding intelligently. We all know the feeling of a bot not understanding us. Well, that’s not unlike how I sometimes feel with my friends! It’s precisely how human interaction works.
For example, when we make a new acquaintance, it takes a while to get to know each other. Over many interactions, we begin to understand the other person’s personality traits. And maybe one day we will become friends. Then the feeling arises that we understand each other very well. Similar to the analogy above, a chatbot also takes time to learn. However, unlike human interactions, a chatbot learns exponentially faster than a human.
HR Chatbots Use Cases
Let’s say your company has 200 employees. Imagine how much documentation per person the HR department has to manage.
Let’s start with recruitment, one of the essential tasks of the HR department. Depending on how many interviews each company needs to conduct, this can be a lengthy process. If there are many applications for a single job, it can get complicated to manage them. A chatbot with artificial intelligence can make this selection easier by performing a kind of initial screening. It can help you find the ideal person for your desired requirements.
Additionally, tests can be integrated into chatbots to evaluate candidates.
Secondly, a chatbot can be very useful for centralizing information. As mentioned earlier, it can be a handbook that contains all of the company’s HR procedures.
If an employee has a question or doubt, the bot will answer it automatically.
Automation of processes
Imagine an employee turns to the bot and asks about the remaining vacation days. With some integrations and the user’s data, the chatbot will answer him automatically without human intervention. The same can happen with payroll and other matters, increasing the protection of confidential information.
The fourth application concerns the well-being of your employees. Through the chatbot, you can interact more with your employees. In medium and large companies, it is sometimes difficult to know the company’s environment. So, you can conduct surveys to learn how your employees are doing or even send invitations to social gatherings.
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