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7 Ways to Automate your HR activities & Save Time with HR Chatbots!

Engati Team
.
May 4
.
5-7 mins

Table of contents

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HR chatbot

The way we work, where we work, how we work, and who we work with have fundamentally shifted over the past few decades, especially with the pandemic. As virtual assistants, chatbots facilitate communication with employees through a variety of channels like WhatsApp, Slack, Microsoft Teams, etc. Employees can easily access HR and organizational information through HR chatbots, and this is brewing into more advancements in the near future.

We've all seen the emergence of chatbots on the customer-side of business, but now we're beginning to see conversational interfaces infiltrate internal departments as well. But first, what are HR chatbots?

What are HR Chatbots?

Chatbots are computer-programmed machines that use artificial intelligence to simulate a human conversation.

HR chatbots are bots that are specifically trained and designed to replicate the role of HR staff in the company. While employing them is easy, evaluating their value and role in the organization is rather hard to describe.

What is the ROI of HR chatbots?

HR Chatbots are changing the way HR operates. Modern-day HR teams have a quite a challenging job with seemingly conflicting objectives. Human resource management is not limited to the administrative and transactional roles of only hiring, firing, and payroll management. Today's HR teams are more than just that; they have transformed into becoming strategic business partners, employee experience designers, brand builders, communicators, and catalysts in change management, etc.

So, many teams turned to recruitment automation and AI tools to carry out people management seamlessly. HR chatbots promise a great ROI. They can automate repetitive tasks in seconds in comparison to an HR team that may take hours. They can also automate HR-employee interactions across various mediums. Imagine your employee needs help with the company policy or apply for leave; they can go directly to your HR chatbot, type in the request and get the work done in minutes without wasting their or your time. Though HR chatbots act as information providers, their functionalities are evolving onto complex tasks, such as filtering through recruitment applications to save time and boost productivity amongst HR teams.

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The usecases of HR Chatbots

HR teams have quite a challenging job. They’re literally the heart of the organization, keeping blood pumping and making sure that everything goes right. But most of their time gets spent in dealing routine, repetitive processes that a chatbot for HR services can carry out instead. 

If an HR AI chatbot dealt with these repetitive tasks, HR managers would have the freedom to use their time to keep employees focused and even tackle larger challenges like employee satisfaction and reducing employee churn. 

While the HR team deals with issues that actually demand their attention, the HR chatbot can facilitate communication within team members. If an employee files a request for a document, for example, an HR chatbot can provide it in seconds. A manager, on the other hand, would have to hunt for the document and might end up takinge several hours. The extra time spent in looking for that document may cause tension between the employee and the manager, and so the chatbot takes that weight from the manager’s shoulders and allows for proactive engagement.

We’re going to split the usecases for HR chatbots into three categories here:

  • Using HR chatbots for hiring activities.
  • Using HR chatbots to support existing employees
  • Using HR chatbots to automate other routine HR activities

1

HR chatbots for hiring activities

Onboarding and filtering

Hiring has always been a time-consuming job, but there has been a significant decline in the total time invested in this whole process. Recruiters are often overburdened with candidate applications. Filtering through candidates, sorting, and shortlisting can be a very time-consuming process. With this, they also have to make calls, send emails, and schedule interviews, leading to employee burnout. But what if there was a tool that easily automates these tasks? An Onboarding chatbots perform all these tasks, streamline hiring for recruiters and managers.

The average time to hire new employees has reduced
The average time to hire new employees has reduced

As the image suggests, the pace increased in 2016, coincidentally when chatbots began gaining popularity! HR Chatbots in hiring can filter candidates, qualify them, communicate with them for follow-ups, and even schedule interviews. This cuts down the time taken for HR representatives to select through a list of candidates and schedule interviews for them. An HR chatbot can do it within minutes and handle a large sum of candidate applicants simultaneously.

Handling incoming queries from candidates

Incoming candidates have the same couple of questions, and they all end up in the recruiters' mailbox, piling on. Hence, side-lining other responsibilities like finding ideal candidates. The benefit of chatbots in HR is that they can be used to screen candidates using a series of HR chatbot questions and saving their responses for HR executives to examine later, as well as providing a medium to ask questions they have. Another excellent example is in the recruitment field, where recruitment chatbots are used for a conversational coding test that screens tech candidates for on-the-job coding skills. The answers can help profile a candidate before an initial conversation. So, you call only the good candidates for the interview.

Turns employee on-boarding into less of a chore

Organizations that are rapidly scaling are desperate for a solution to training new hires. For example, We've scaled to over 300 employees within three years; that’s a lot of repetitive orientations and meetings which we can automate. While the advent of Learning Management Systems (LMSs) and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are helping alleviate this, they are expensive solutions that get pricier with each new individual. HR bots can help keep the on-boarding cost low and is an easily replicable onboarding process for multiple roles from software engineers to digital marketers.

Employee onboarding chatbot
Employee onboarding chatbot


Simplifies referral processes

HR Chatbots solutions have now started accepting referrals from your employees. It can also remind you of the existing roles which are vacant and push you to add a referral for that role. With developments in AI and machine learning the possibilities are limitless.  

There might come a day when HR chatbots could reach out to employees, asking them to introduce people from their network who are considered to be the right fit for a particular vacant role.

2

Supporting existing employees via HR Chatbots

Provide fast and customized employee support

Job applicants and employees both want answers very quickly. But it isn’t possible for HR to answer all the queries in a short span. We all have experienced sluggish HR responses, haven’t we? So that’s where HR chatbots come into the picture! A potential applicant needs instant answers to questions about the company and where they stand in the process, and HR chatbots can easily provide answers with the help of their Q&A feature. Thanks to the recent advancements in technology, chatbots can provide quick answers to all kinds of complex customer queries.

‍Upload FAQs to your HR chatbot once, and through a combination of machine learning and natural language processing (NLP), the chatbot can be trained to answer all questions 24/7 with no fatigue or wasted time.

Reporting issues around employee confidentiality

There definitely are necessary problems around privacy and confidentiality that a company should address. However, HR conversations, by their nature, tend to involve sensitive and private data. Companies will befittingly address these problems by providing users and organizations with adequate management over their information. Usually, the HR chatbot is always-on, extremely engaged, very customized — the good unit of Human Management. HR groups that adopt human resources chatbots can realize themselves obtaining nearer to success, accomplishing the various impossible tasks and conflicting goals that their organizations place on them.

Chatbots are set to enter our work lives in the form of HR chatbots or virtual assistants—an emerging technology that promises to provide a more personalized employee experience for workers while automating a lot of tedious administration for HR departments.
- Capterra blog on HR Chatbots that are disrupting employee experience.

Reinforcing organizational culture

Pushing employees to work to their maximum potential while ensuring they’re motivated and fulfilled is no easy task for an HR manager. While there have been many technological endeavors to create an uplifting employee culture, none have been as effective as a chatbot for human resources. 

An employee engagement bot can engage with employees more frequently and can personalize interactions at a large scale while being cost-effective. 

They can also be used to collect data on employee satisfaction. For example, they can reach out to employees and collect information on how they’re feeling using feedback nodes. When a manager sends out survey forms, it’s hard for an employee to be candid with what they’re feeling. However, the anonymity of the chatbot allows for open conversation and discussion. And if you notice a lower score amongst certain teams, you now have the time to address it and initiate efforts to improve these scores properly.

Tools such as Natural Language Processing (NLP) and sentiment mining can let certain levels of emotional intelligence be integrated with the chatbots. Smart chatbots these days can detect emotions like anger, frustration, exhaustion, de-motivation, sadness, etc. Based on these observations, chatbots may involve HR representatives for special care towards employee wellbeing.

HR bots will offer skilled steering and mentorship to every worker. Investment within the career growth of every worker is probably the best ROI effort for HR groups. Chatbots will develop tailored learning and development plans for every individual. This could embrace each soft and arduous skills that the organization needs for skilled success.

Chatbots can assess worker skills and suggest courses and modules that staff will take. They may also connect the staff/employees to mentors at intervals in the organization.

Check out this guide on workplace mentoring!

An answer to issues regarding employee confidentiality

Issues around confidentiality and privacy amongst organizations are inevitable, especially amongst HR circles. HR departments should strive to provide a safe space for their employees, but they have a long way to go. One way that organizations combat this issue is by allowing employees to have complete control over their data using an HR chatbot. Any data that is shared with the chatbot stays with the chatbot, meaning no other eyes have access to this sensitive data.

Easily accessible and available at all hours

HR bots help human resources become more accessible to employees. HR teams can now provide instant responses to common queries with almost no chance for errors. Employees can reach out to the chatbot directly for FAQs on common policies, paid leave balance, company insurance policy, etc. Complex queries can be taken care of by the human representatives, and chatbots can assign them to the employee automatically to take over the chat. Having access to the best HR chatbots can empower the HR teams, allowing them only to intervene and respond in sensitive conditions.

This is particularly helpful throughout phases of change management when businesses roll out major changes in the organization or strategy. These changes result in an outsized range of worker queries during a very short time that the HR has got to address quickly to stop problems from festering.

The magnified accessibility to HR is especially valuable to the staff in remote locations, far from headquarters, since they're bereft of the power to own passageway conversations with their HR groups.

‍Tracking leaves available

Employees can use the HR chatbot to track their attendance and check their paid leave balance. They can even apply for leave directly over the HR bot instead of having to open up the HR portal and apply for leave through it. It makes life simpler for the employees since they can apply for leave directly over apps like Slack, MS Teams, or WhatsApp, wherever the the HR chatbot is deployed.

HR chatbot for applying for leave

3

Automating other routine HR activities with HR chatbots

Reviewing annual performance

Annual performance review appears to be the most challenging task for HR. HR spends days and months conducting surveys, asking employees to fill the questionnaire, sending reminders, collaborating, consolidating, and analyzing the performance review! Not only is the data insufficient most of the time, but the productivity is also terrible as employees are occupied in filling out these surveys and forms! This is where HR chatbots can help! They can accumulate precise data from employees, which saves time and ultimately results in increased productivity of the employees and a happy HR team!

Here's a good article on how to improve the performance management process in your organization.

Creating more efficient processes with real-time analytics

An HR chatbot can be used for more than just answering employee questions. There is also the opportunity to use these bots to gather employee data to make informed decisions and create more efficient processes. For example, a chatbot can collect real-time analytics to see what kind of questions employees are frequently asking. With this information, HR can determine what’s going wrong and take the necessary steps to solve the problem!

Goal tracking

HR teams can use the chatbots to track goal completion for teams and individual employees. This can be particularly useful for performance appraisals.

Effectively engages all employees

Employee engagement is the main focus of most of the human resource representatives and teams today.

Employee Engagement is a strategic priority for HR
Employee engagement is a priority for HR representatives

Statistics show 88% of HR teams consider employee engagement a strategic priority for their organization. Employee engagement is a workplace method designed to improve an employee’s outlook on the company and invest emotional interest in the organizational goals. HR teams work hard to maintain a positive work environment to increase engagement and improve the employee experience.

If the right employee engagement methods are used like using an IT self service portal to let your employees help themselves, employees will be ready to push their limits and work towards the organizational goals, driven by a sense of personal interest in their work. Substantial improvements with the right Employee Engagement is shown in this statistic.

High employee engagement helps companies


Examples of HR Chatbots transforming the workplace

Here are the two best HR chatbot examples that you should definitely check out:

1

Phia

Phia is a marvel in HR conversational automation, and Employee Engagement. A chatbot by peopleHum, Phia makes employee engagement a breeze, simplifying surveying, task updation, leave application, FAQs and querying, and more. Built on the Engati platform, the intelligent assistant comes with its API integration module which makes it easy to hook into any back end HRMS or employee information system. It's available in multiple languages, helping businesses from around the world.

Phia HR chatbot
The Phia chatbot helps with employee engagement

But that's not the best part- With Phia, there's no need to create FAQs. All you have to do is load all your compliance, policies, and guidelines and other material onto Phia. Its self-learning engine creates the context and she is ready to answer any question that your employees have on any aspect covered in the document. It manages this feat through the use of our DocuSense technology.

2

Altisource - AskHR

Altisource Portfolio Solutions is an integrated service provider and marketplace for the real estate and mortgage industries. It focuses on helping servicers, originators, and investors minimize their costs and mitigate their risks while maximizing their results. It’s AskHR chatbot helps their employees across The United States, India, and Uruguay find answers to their HR-related questions and even access the forms and policies that they are looking for.


Are you ready to transform your human resource functions?

HR chatbots not only help in automating various routine processes but also enable seamless communication possible across many channels and under a huge range of circumstances. HR chatbots allow the HR teams to have a closer look at their employees and take necessary actions at the right time. Also with the introduction of WhatsApp Chatbot, it has contributed a lot towards employee engagement, internal communications, employee onboarding, talent management, and hiring. An HR chatbot does not just automate the Human Resource functions but also changes the way the human resource department operates, enhancing HR functions dynamically.

To build your HR chatbot, we’ve got the perfect chatbot template for you to integrate on your channel directly!

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FAQs

1

What is HR automation?

HR automation is all about using AI and automation tools to free your HR teams from routine, monotonous tasks and allowing them to focus on activities and issues that actually need their expertise. It can increase the HR department’s efficiency, and reduce the amount of time and money that the organization has to spend on manual HR planning and processing.

 

2

Do recruiters use bots?

Yes, recruiters widely use recruitment bots to screen candidates, interact with them, help them understand what would be expected of them if they get selected, and even to get insights into the behaviour of the candidates. It even helps save time and money for the company. These bots might be deployed on channels like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Twitter, Instagram, or even on the company’s website.

3

How are chatbots used in HR?

HR chatbots enable HR teams to engage with each employee individually. It can maintain regular contact proactively with each employee throughout the year and assist them in various aspects. They can also detect any issues that need escalation or human intervention. Chatbots are also used in HR for recruitment activities, and to help employees get access to policies, forms, and documents, as well as to help employees track their attendance and apply for leaves.

4

How can Chatbots improve employee experience?

Chatbots can improve the employee experience by answering their questions 24/7. These bots provide employees with answers to queries regarding employee benefits, scheduling, insurance, vacation and sick time. They even offer fast, personalized replies to their queries, thus creating highly positive, satisfying employee expereinces. The employees are not left waiting for replies to their queries, since they get instant answers to all their questions, they feel better about the company and believe that the company actually cares about them.

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At the forefront for digital customer experience, Engati helps you reimagine the customer journey through engagement-first solutions, spanning automation and live chat.

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