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Conversational AI & Chatbots in HR

By May 5, 2020 July 20th, 2020 No Comments
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Human resource management cannot limit itself to an administrative or transactional role of only hiring, firing, and payroll management. HR, today, is required to become a strategic business partner, brand builder, experience designer, communicator, catalyst in change management, etc. and take on a more transformational role. 

Challenges facing HR

HR professionals are involved in a lot of manual drudgery and repetitive tasks in recruitment, payroll management, employee engagement and so on. For instance, HR teams face large volumes of phone calls, emails, etc. for repetitive queries which employees prefer to ask directly rather than look-up by themselves. 

When HR professionals are bogged down with such low productivity and repetitive tasks that do not require their intelligence, expertise or creative thinking skills, they do not have the time or drive to focus on more critical tasks such as employee relations and employee experiences, candidate experiences, learning and development, talent management, employee retention, etc. The applications of AI in HR are enabling the function to immensely transform itself.

Applications of AI in HR: Uses and use cases

Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the form of conversational bots are revolutionizing the way HR processes and functions are imagined and carried out today. The AI-powered conversational bots such as the ones developed by SmartBots augmented with Machine Learning (ML), Natural Language Processing (NLP), automation capabilities, sentiment, and predictive analytics capabilities, context handlers, thinking engines, enables them to engage in human-like, meaningful, personalized, two-way conversations with several thousand employees. Let us look at the specific uses and use cases of HR Bots.

  1. Recruitment and Onboarding with elevated candidate experiences: HR bots can help HR professionals scouring through large volumes of applications speedily and efficiently to shortlist candidates based on predefined metrics. The pool of candidates whom the HR professionals need to engage with is drastically reduced and the biases in the process are removed. HR Bots also enable organizations to communicate with all applicants, irrespective of their selection status and thereby, improve the employer brand. HR Bots also make the onboarding process effective and streamlined by removing unnecessary steps and drudgery while also educating the new hires about the organization. 
  2. Conversational Agents: These intelligent HR bots can respond to queries/ questions instantaneously by understanding the context and pulling data from multiple backend sources and the consolidated knowledge base. So, employees can pull up any information they seek from the complicated enterprise systems seamlessly and can get their queries answered instantaneously. 
  3. Request management and transactional support: HR Bots enable employees to raise and easily track HR-relate requests (leave, shift timings, etc.) from anywhere and at any time in a frictionless manner, thereby, elevating their experience. From the HR end, these bots enable HR professionals to track and respond to employee requests in an efficient manner. They can also extend transactional support to HR professionals to easily manage payroll, absences, shift timings, etc. HR bots can effortlessly schedule, manage, update, and track employee calendars. 
  4. Learning and development: HR bots support customized and personalized learning and development. They can provide relevant study material, enroll employees in relevant training, provide learning suggestions, administer in-module tests/ quizzes, etc. to make learning effective and meaningful. 
  5. Fact-based Performance management: With HR bots, HR professionals and managers can simplify and improve the effectiveness of performance management. Managers and employees can effectively and instantly give and take feedback. Managers and HR professionals can collect, collate, and analyze the employee performance data to make the annual performance assessment fact-based, quick, and effective.
  6. Employee satisfaction and engagement: These Bots can ask questions to understand employee sentiments/ morale and pass on the insights to HR professionals. They can send personalized messages to employees on special occasions. HR Chatbots not only collect employee feedback effortlessly but also enable HR professionals to effectively derive actionable insights from the data that can be communicated to the top management for informed decision-making and remedial measures. The meaningless annual employee happiness/ satisfaction surveys can be done away with. 

Benefits of HR Bots

  • Frees HR professionals from the drudgery of repetitive tasks to focus more on transformational and productive activities that require their deep expertise and skills. 
  • Saves time, money and resources on drudge-intensive, low-productivity, administrative grunt work 
  • Breaks information silos and makes internal communication more effective and seamless. 
  • Helps craft seamless and personalized employee experiences by providing personalized assistance throughout the employee lifecycle.

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