Enterprises are Embracing AI for Automating Human Resources
Chatbots and AI have become household names and enterprises are taking notice. According to a recent Forrester survey, roughly “85% of customer interactions within an enterprise will be with software robots in five years’ time” and “87% of CEOs are looking to expand their AI workforce” using AI bots.
In an effort to drive increased labor efficiencies, reduce costs, and deliver better customer/employee experiences enterprises are quickly introducing AI, machine learning, and natural language understanding as core elements of their digital transformation strategy in 2018.
Human resources (HR) is one area ripe for intelligent automation within an enterprise. AI-powered bots for HR are able to streamline and personalize the HR process across seasonal, temporary, part-time, and full-time employees.
HR bots are redefining the enterprise employee experience
According to George Elfond, CEO at Rallyware, "due to an increasingly distributed workforce, widespread adoption of mobile technologies and a changing employee demographic, which includes millennial workers, corporate training is getting reshaped and is becoming more data and artificial intelligence driven.”
This same phenomenon is taking place across each area of HR. Whether it’s enrolling in benefits, discussing vacation policies, or completing training, HR bots can assist employees every step of the way, on-demand. We’ve put together the following list of 7 ways in which chatbots and AI are disrupting HR:
HR Bots for Seasonal and Temp Employees
Seasonal and temporary/contract employees typically work 120 days a year or less for the employer.
For example, retailers hire extra workers for the holiday season, tax preparation firms hire employees for tax season, ski resorts hire workers during winter ski season, and amusement parks hire summer seasonal workers.
Usually seasonal employees are hired in volume due to seasonal customer demand spikes which causes a HR scale issue. HR bots can resolve this issue in the following ways:
Hiring in thousands brings scale issues for HR. A chatbot can help in the screening process by not only getting prospective employees information but also performing quick background checks.
2. On-boardingChatbots make on-boarding truly a self serve process as they have the ability to talk to employees onsite and interact with workforce management softwares like Peoplesoft, Kronos, and Workday.
3. FAQs on Company PoliciesHaving dedicated HR support centers to help seasonal employees access relevant HR information should be a thing of past. Chatbots can serve as a mobile HR assistant that helps employees get answers to FAQs.
HR Bots for Full and Part-Time Employees
For these employees, a breadth of HR functions can be automated using HR bots:
4. Employee Training
HR training using chatbots is very effective since it involves more interactive participation by employees rather than sitting through a standard training video or watching a powerpoint presentation.
5. Common Questions
Employees spend many hours each month searching for basic company-related information. HR bots would quickly get employees the answers they are looking for, making them more productive and ultimately more satisfied.
6. Benefits Enrollment
Benefits enrollment is one of the most confusing and frustrating pieces of the enterprise HR process. Employees spend a vast amount of time just trying to understand the process, let alone completing the required information.
7. Annual Self Assessment/Reviews
More than 58% of HR leaders say that the traditional review process is outdated and ineffective. Chatbots allow for the instant exchange of feedback and performance insights that allow employees to constantly be the best at what they do.
With so many uses cases and benefits why aren’t HR bots more ubiquitous within the enterprise? Well, in addition to these benefits there are 4 big challenges enterprises must face when developing and implementing a bot for HR.
Challenges of Using Chatbots for HR
Unlike with customer support or IT helpdesk, HR handles personal identification information (PII)/sensitive personal information(SPI) of an employee. Therefore, the following areas should be well-thought-out before fully embracing bots for HR:
Challenge #1: Information Security
Many enterprises using traditional on-premise HR management systems (i.e. Peoplesoft, Workday, SuccessFactors) must ensure their information does not to leave their corporate firewall. All HR data in flight and data at rest should be encrypted and fully secure. Depending on an enterprise's security requirements, HR professionals should look into an on-premise, hybrid, or cloud deployment models for HR chatbots.
Challenge #2: Legal Boundaries
HR chatbots should strictly operate within its permissible swim lanes.
Let's take an example of an employee question:
"What is the best health plan for my family?
My kid has a health condition."
A chatbot should not provide a specific answer to the above question. Rather, it should defer the employee to a generic link on how to choose plans. HR managers would lose sleep if the bot started recommending health plans on a case-by-case basis. There are various legal and ethical consequences that exist when relying on AI to fully automate such requests.
For this reason, it is imperative that HR bots are built with very strong enterprise NLU capabilities to deal with more complex employee requests.
Challenge #3: Bot Extensibility
As an enterprise evolves, the skills of HR bots must evolve with it. For this reason, it is important for HR departments to be able to easily extend the bot with more skills and capabilities.
This is only possible if the chatbot platform you select has visual tools to add new skills to a bot without any coding.
Challenge #4: Audit Logging
Every interaction a chatbot has with an employee should be vaulted by the bot for any future data-retrieval purposes. This way if an auditor ever comes knocking, the HR bot will be fully prepared with all the HR data you require.
As workforce demographics continue to get more distributed and accustomed to mobile communication, enterprises must embrace AI chatbots to streamline their HR processes.
There are 7 ways in which enterprises can use HR bots to drive increased labors efficiencies, reduced costs, and better employee experiences:
- Company Policy FAQs
- Employee Training
- Common Questions
- Benefits Enrollment
- Annual Self-Assessment/Reviews
AI-driven automation in each of these areas can streamline how enterprises train, manage, and work with seasonal, temporary, part-time, and full-time employees. However, it is important to consider the challenges surrounding information security, legal boundaries, extensibility, and audit logging when making the decision to get started using bots for HR.
It is clear that chatbots and AI will become an integral part of any enterprise digital transformation strategy. Let 2018 be the year when you use HR bots to revolutionize your enterprise HR experience.
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Parlo builds smarter bots for smarter enterprises. We build AI chatbots that employ cutting-edge machine learning to seamlessly integrate with your business. They’ll support your human workforce, delight your customers, and save you time and money.