HR Chatbot

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HR Chatbot to Improve Your Employee Self-Service Experience

HR chatbots have become a key tool for employees to be independent in simple workforce management tasks as B2C and B2B industries move toward environments that are increasingly automated. In fact, almost three-quarters of US employees expect their employers to provide them with at least some degree of HR self-service functionality. [1]

  • HR Chatbot allows a unified process for performance management activities on employee self-service portals

  • Chatbot for HR collects quantifiable data to ensure objective elements within the process

  • HR Chatbots are designed to guide workforce through people operations for a seamless experience

Employee self-service portals allow team members to complete a variety of basic tasks, from personal data updates to time tracking and time off requests, without involving HR personnel. They can also empower employees to complete training and continuing education requirements online, minimizing the time that these projects take away from each employee’s task list. [2]

To be effective, however, an employee self-service portal needs to be user-friendly. That’s where the HR chatbot comes in.

Introducing the HR Chatbot

One of the primary functions of an HR department is to serve the human needs of its team members. When we talk about human resources transformation, we must be careful not to over-automate and make our employees feel like numbers, not people.

An HR chatbot can help us bridge that gap. It allows an employee to talk to the bot like he or she would talk to a human HR rep. IT data analysis expert Angelica Yin even believes that chatbots can serve as a kind of anonymous messenger between HR and employees, collecting feedback and fielding questions that an employee would be reluctant to share in person. [3]

How Does a Chatbot for HR Work?

Chatbot technology can be simple or complex, either conducting basic searches for commonly asked questions or performing complex activities, like generating a repair ticket. The HR chatbot tends toward the more intricate end of the scale, performing like a virtual assistant.

Using advanced machine learning and language processing programs, an HR chatbot becomes “trained” in an organization’s unique processes and methods. The bot can then guide human users through those same processes or perform certain tasks automatically.[4]

Companies who use chatbots have found that the technology can reduce the amount of time that HR staffers spend on basic tasks and answering straightforward questions, such as “How do I increase my 401(k) contribution” or “What required pieces of training do I have to complete this year?”

Maximizing the HR Chatbot’s Potential

Of course, the best HR chatbots can do much more than tell employees how many sick days they have left. By integrating it into a human resources transformation, department leaders can use it to reinforce a unified company culture and more effectively measure employee engagement.

Onboarding for new and seasonal employees

No matter how stable an organization’s staffing tends to be, the need will occasionally exist to bring a new person on board. The HR chatbot can make this process more seamless than ever before by automating such tasks as:

  • basic resume screening and background checks
  • scheduling phone interviews
  • integrating new hire information with workforce management software
  • participatory training.

The HR chatbot can also provide essential FAQ functionality for recent hires. Every company has its own HR procedures and cultural norms that a new team member needs to learn when they join the team, and those processes aren’t always easy to research.

With a chatbot for HR, new hires can spend less time scouring employee manuals and making phone calls to payroll or benefits managers. Instead, they use the employee self-service portal to get answers to their specific questions, often without leaving their work stations. They stay productive and feel more comfortable as part of their new teams.

More effective performance reviews

The employee assessment process is challenging and often frustrating for all parties involved. In fact, 58 percent of HR managers are ineffective and 51 percent of employees believe them to be inaccurate. Managers even name annual performance reviews as their second most disliked task, just under terminating an employee. [5]

Chatbots can alleviate the pain, transform the review process, and bring performance assessment into real time.

Pearson’s law and the HR chatbot

The technology involved may be new, but the concept certainly isn’t. It’s known as Pearson’s law, but the quote usually cited actually comes from author and religious leader Thomas Monson:

“When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported back, the rate of improvement accelerates.” [6]

It stands to reason that the more consistently a company is able to report on its team members’ productivity and effectiveness, the more both metrics will improve. The best HR chatbots integrate these functions so that employees know exactly how they’re doing.

No more recency effect

One of the biggest problems with the annual performance review is that managers often use recent events as examples of what has happened throughout the year. This can skew the actual results, whereas regular information-sharing through an HR chatbot gives both employees and managers a better view of a person’s day-to-day performance. [5]

Relevance and actionability

As it stands, 30 percent of performance reviews actually end up decreasing performance and reducing engagement. [6] For 71 percent of employees, immediate feedback is significantly more effective, whether it’s negative or positive. This kind of feedback is directly tied to a particular experience, rather than the employee’s value as a whole, and is more likely to be perceived by the employee as a professional development tool.

Reducing bias

Research suggests that 62 percent of an evaluator’s feedback actually reflects the evaluator and not the recipient. Because it is nearly impossible to separate the evaluator’s subjective perception from the reporting process, the traditional review from a single manager will always be biased at least to some degree. [7]

Some employers are starting to lessen the bias inherent in performance reviews by soliciting feedback from others who work with the reviewed individual. The best HR chatbots do one better by collecting quantifiable data, such as the number of sales made or the number of complaints resolved, and thus ensure an objective element within the review process.

More accurate employee feedback

Companies grow most effectively when team members at all levels are able to learn from their mistakes and build on their strengths. Receiving accurate feedback from employees is a critical part of this process, but many employees are reticent about sharing their honest thoughts with their superiors. Employers can counteract this by encouraging a culture of transparency, but human self-protective instincts are still present. [8]

Anonymous feedback can go a long way toward getting that crucial honesty. The best HR chatbots make it easy for employees to send messages to the appropriate people and without identifying information, keeping communication clear without making anyone feel that their job could be in peril.

The Bottom Line on HR Chatbots

Both directly and indirectly, the functionality of the HR chatbot improves a company’s bottom line. It can:

  • reduce the cost of recruiting by automating early-stage resume review and phone interview scheduling
  • provide Q&A services to candidates, minimizing the time spent interviewing poor fits
  • improve workplace satisfaction in employees who are accustomed to automation and connectivity, thus reducing turnover
  • decrease the number of automation tools that a company uses, saving on both the cost of those tools and the learning time involved in their integration
  • answer employee questions in half the time, increasing productivity and improving the accuracy of performance [4]
  • attract and retain top talent by improving employee services.

The ultimate takeaway is this: If you can obtain an HR chatbot for your employee self-service portal, you will help your team to be more productive and reduce the load on your HR department, empowering them to make the most of your human capital.










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