Credit: Chatbot Magazine
Human Resources (HR) is the most essential department of any organization. From hiring and firing to payroll and staff complaints, it’s truly where the magic happens. However, anyone actually working in HR knows that it’s also full of time-consuming and repetitive admin tasks.
You have to deal with the same old onboarding process, answer predictable trainee questions, and send endless back-and-forth emails to tell people no, they can’t take those days off. Same thing, different day.
Luckily, chatbots are great at relaying the same information over and over again. In fact, they’ll do it all day long and at any time of day. Even on weekends. This is why an increasing number of companies are adopting chatbots to streamline their HR processes. It’s also why 87% of CEOs plan on expanding their AI workforce, according to a Forrester survey. To make chatbots even more enticing, a study by Juniper Research predicts that these convenient conversationalists can potentially reduce business costs by more than $8 billion by 2022.
It seems that a department dedicated to managing humans will soon be run by bots, but before panicking over our jobs, let’s learn a bit more about what they can actually do for us.
Why should we use chatbots for HR?
Chatbots are practically in every business nowadays. You’ll find them on Facebook, on company websites, and especially on team communication apps like Slack. In every scenario, their goal is the same: help users find information quickly and easily.
At a large company, chatbots are the perfect replacement for the overwhelmed HR employee who doesn’t have time to be online all day answering basic questions about the company. A bot can be customized and placed on the company website or on its social media channels, where it’s available 24/7. When an applicant or employee types in a question, the chatbot pulls answers from a database of company information. This info is sourced from knowledge bases, onboarding and training materials, FAQs, and so on.
This new setup means the human employee can focus on more important tasks while everyone else can get an answer to their burning questions without waiting 3-5 business days.
How else do chatbots help streamline the HR process?
Siddharth Shekhawat, the CEO of performance management bot Engazify, nicely sums up the benefits of bots by saying,
“It’s less overhead for the HR and managers, more productivity for the organization, and more engagement for the employees. Bots and AI are making life simpler at workplace.”
To be more specific, here are a few ways chatbots are already helping HR departments run smoother.
Instead of mustering up the courage to email the head of recruiting, job hunters can pop over to the company website or Facebook page and ask their bot what job openings they have. If there’s something available, the bot can give them the 101 on what the job entails, throw some pre-screening questions at them, and schedule an interview with a human recruiter.
If there aren’t any job openings but the candidate is qualified, the bot can build a profile for them so when HR does need someone, they can simply ask the bot to show matching candidates. Now doesn’t that sound useful?
Bringing in a new employee is always the same headache. There are forms to fill out, questions to answer, and an endless supply of company documentation.
Chatbots can help lighten the load and support the onboarding process by quickly answering FAQs, walking them through company policies, and collecting employee information to fill in time-consuming paperwork.
Surveys and performance management
Employee retention is an important part of HR, and chatbots can help with that too. They can conduct surveys to gain instant feedback on company processes and performance insights. There are even bots specifically designed to build team culture and give positive reinforcement.
Scheduling time off and calling in sick
Employees no longer have to nervously wait on Janice from HR to confirm whether they can take time off or not. Now they can simply request the dates using a chatbot and get instant confirmation after it crosschecks with the company calendar.
Chatbots are also making it faster and easier to call in sick. At Overstock, employees can let Mila the HR chatbot know if they’re too ill to come to work. She’ll even respond, “I’m sorry to hear that.” Mila will then relay the message to the appropriate manager.
Chatbots still have much to learn about the world of HR, but they’re already making quite the splash in the way companies manage their employees. If you’re already blown away by the possibilities of these handy bots, then you’ll love what chatbots experts have to say about it at VOICE Summit. You can ask our “manual chatbot” about it. (a.k.a. An actual person managing our Twitter account.)