by Laura Belyea, COO at Talivest
Have you heard of HR chatbots? Maybe you are not 100% sure what they are, how they work and why they are important?
Let’s break it down. Below are my 5 W’s on HR chatbots.
What? Chatbots or chat robots, are computer programs designed to stimulate human conversations, or chats, through the use of critical intelligence. Chatbots are transforming the way internet users interact by using a series of self-initiated tasks to start a quasi-conversation. chatbots are already being used in customer experience and support roles. In the HR world, chatbots are being used more than ever to streamline HR processes. According to Juniper research, HR and other recruiting chatbots have the potential to reduce business costs by more than $8 billion by 2022.
Who? Chatbots are limited to conversations regarding a very specific range of knowledge. Typically, a chatbot will communicate with a real person, and the aim of the conversation is usually to help them find the right resources, whether that’s a form, a person or a meeting time.
Where? Chatbots that use artificial intelligence provide services via the internet or an internal intranet. They provide an environment that can be described as a judgment-free zone, vital when used in a workplace violence or harassment investigation for example.
At times like these, when individuals are trying to investigate and to properly identify the root causes and important facts, a chatbot can be used to offer unbiased, non-judgemental, scripted questions. Then, the responses can be collated to create a detailed report of the incident. If someone reported an incident in the traditional manner, a manager might not probe for specifics about the month, week or day the incident happened if the employee reporting it was overcome with emotion and visibly upset in the moment. This alternate capability allows the user to take their time and not rush through the process. It also potentially enables more victims to come forward if they did not feel comfortable reporting an incident to their manager – especially if the manager was the one who behaved inappropriately.
When? In real time! One of the largest benefits of using a HR chatbot is saving time. At overstock.com for example, employees can use a HR chatbot to enter sick days. The HR chatbot then relays the information to the manager. Employees can also use the information to perform additional HR administrative tasks such as entering vacation days. Instead of logging into HRIS software, or multiple back and forth emails between manager and/or the payroll department, employees can record it using a chatbot.
Why? 2019 is shaping up to be the year of the HR chatbots. Human Resources departments traditionally have roots in administration and personnel staffing. Today, the HR function has evolved dramatically and is a key strategic partner to the organisation. However, employees will still require assistance with unusual questions or circumstances and they’ll be able to direct those questions to the Human Resources Department directly. Chatbots have the ability to manage administration in a balanced way and thus act as an incredibly useful tool for the Human Resources Function.
About the author
Laura’s role is to successfully support the growth and strategy for Talivest, as well as provide product support with her expertise within the HR industry. Previously posts were director of HR & operations in Telefonica, Elizabeth Arden and ICON