HR Bots: The future of Workforce Management is here!
Author : Godwin Pinto
Date : Wednesday 20 SEP 2017
Source : People Matters
Historically, because HCM Systems were designed by engineers, they have stressed more on the ‘System’ component than the ‘Human’ component; the actual user who is going to be affected by it. This has led to excellent ‘Systems’ which although extremely functional, limit them to manage and transact with Human Capital rather than Engaging with it.
Since User Interfaces (UI) and User Experience (UX) have undergone a sea-change in the last 5 years, especially after Social Networks have put the spotlight firmly on engaging with the ‘Human’ component, it is expected that HCM should not be far behind. And indeed, the new lines of HCM products / versions on the horizon are more engaging than transactional in nature. That said, many HR Departments are compelled to use their existing HCM for reasons of stability, feasibility and training or simply because too much effort has been invested in the existing HCM system.
Within the same corporation; one sees that while consumer-facing systems have interesting interfaces like bots and apps; employee facing systems like HCM, have to make do with Retro User Experience till such time as the whole HCM is upgraded to a newer version or flavor. This leads to a huge experience gap for employees, who on one hand have a highly engaging user experience as consumers; and on the other hand "transact", click by click, as employees. Fortunately, these gaps can be bridged by using bot and app plugins, which wrap around existing HCMs making them more friendly and engaging.
Earlier, when a leave or muster application was sent for approvals to manager, the average turn-around-time would be 24 to 48 hours. This was usually due to the fact that either managers did not have organization mail access to receive notifications or the approval HCM portal was not available on the internet.
As mentioned earlier, due to the focus on ‘systems’ already have the capability to expose their workflows, these workflows could be enabled through web services, SQL, etc. Thus, it becomes simplified to send or receive content and actions from these HCMs further to be consumed by bots or apps. With these new plugins available, popular HCMs can send a mobile notification about pending approvals and the managers can take appropriate action immediately even when out of office.
There are many such popular products in market that enable mobility to backend interfaces. These chatbots directly plug into existing HCM (PeopleSoft, SAP HCM etc.) helping large organizations for eg. banks to move beyond mere clicks to chat as interfaces for their HRMS. Reducing transaction time by as little as 30% and correspondingly increasing usage, the chatbot allows employees and managers to engage with their existing HCM on an intuitive level.
From induction to exit, HRbots helps perform HR related tasks like getting salary information, applying for benefits and leave, fill forms, take surveys and even collaborate with other employees - through a unified chat, speech and mobile interface. All while giving HR a whole new touch point for employee engagement - with a hint of personality and as natural as having a conversation.
Optimizing Helpdesk: Most queries that are raised to HR helpdesk are repetitive in nature. With the Capabilities of Artificial intelligence and machine learning, bots can now understand user’s intent and drive out responses based on the logged in employees profile. Thus, resolving a query without having to wait in queue. Not only will this an advantage on the employee end. Also, this will help Human resource team to spend their time in other employee engagement activities by handling such mundane tasks.
Content recognition from large documents: A lot of content exists in policy documents to cover various clauses. However, an employee wanting to know specific information can just ask that information and get responses based on the users' profile
Notify events and perform actions: Bot could notify users of events. As an example, Bot could push out messages during an emergency like floods, etc and seek acknowledge from users.
Suggestive Assistance: With data intelligence bots could assist decision makers by seeking relevant information from sources
Make transactions simple: “Mark me present”, “Apply for Sick leave tomorrow” just makes a transaction to HCM simple and 60% time reduction in comparison to performing the same activity over a form style request.