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BW Businessworld

Chat Bots Are The New HR Managers

HR is expected to have a finger on the pulse of a huge employee base while operating with a very small team

Photo Credit : Shutterstock


HR teams have an extremely challenging job with seemingly conflicting objectives: keeping employees focused and working hard while also keeping them happy and satisfied. HR teams are often held accountable for employee retention and churn without the ability to manage them directly. HR is expected to have a finger on the pulse of a huge employee base while operating with a very small team. 

HR teams find that their responsibilities are vast and the goals are high – there’s rarely enough time or resources to do justice to it all. A lot of their time is invested in managing routine processes, which impacts the focus on higher priority activities. Teams have limited time left over to offer employees the individual attention they need when handling sensitive personal issues. Even more reduced is the ability to proactively engage with employees, to guide and mentor them through their career paths. 

The role of an HR involves diverse set of activities ranging from recruitment, payroll to administration. Some of these activities are routine and can be automated to improve efficiency and reduce complexity. Bots in this case are working as catalysts, and lending a helping hand to the HR's by easing out several processessuch as screening candidates, scheduling interviews and managing the recruiting life cycle for candidates and hiring managers.

In fact, a startup called RoboRecruiter has developed a chat bot for automating the end-to-end recruitment process, with amazing results and improvements in productivity. Employee onboarding and orientation is another area that's ripe for automation. New employees account for a high number of HR queries that can be easily automated. Even regular processes such as attendance tracking, goal tracking, performance review, employee surveys, leave balances can be substantially automated. 

A company called QuickWork has built chat bots that are automating HR and related business processes for many enterprises. To be clear, even though most companies use an HR system to automate many tasks, chat bots make existing systems much more user-friendly than before, dramatically increasing the usage and compliance.

Chat bots can provide instant, accurate responses to common queries. The more complex queries can be automatically escalated for human review and response. Automating the frequently asked queries frees up HR teams to personally handle the more complex queries. This enables them to respond and intervene quickly in sensitive situations. This is especially useful during phases of change-management when businesses roll out major changes in organization or strategy. These changes lead to a large number of employee queries in a very short time that have to be addressed very quickly to prevent issues from festering. The increased accessibility is particularly valuable to employees in remote locations, away from headquarters, that are deprived of the ability to have corridor conversations with HR teams.

Role of anHR requires engagement with each employee on an individual, one-on-one basis, which becomes a challenge in large organizations. In such cases deploying a chat bot can extend a helping hand to the HR

This also helps maintain regular, proactive contact with each employee throughout the year to detect any issues that need to be escalated for human engagement. Tools such as natural language processing and sentiment mining can help chat bot detect anger, frustration, de-motivation, exhaustion and related issues. Based on these observations, chat bots may pull in an HR professional for human engagement. Chat bots may also proactively recommend vacation time, clubs and activities, or other resources available within or outside the organization. They can alsohelp employees be physically active and healthy by recommending and tracking their daily exercise routines. 

Chat bots can provide professional guidance and mentorship to each employee. Investing in the career growth of each employee is perhaps the highest ROI effort for HR teams and business organizations. 

Of course, there are important issues around privacy and confidentiality that must be addressed. However, HR conversations, by their very nature, tend to involve sensitive and personal information. These issues can be suitably addressed by providing users and organizations adequate control over their data.

Essentially, the chat bot can be an always-on, highly engaged, extremely personalized companion - the perfect HR Manager. HR teams that adopt chat bots will find themselves getting closer to successfully accomplishing the many impossible tasks and conflicting goals that their organizations place on them. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Tags assigned to this article:
HR Industry Chatbots employees

Beerud Sheth..

The author is CEO and Co-founder of Gupshup, a leading global bot and messaging platform.

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