Information from surveys, questionnaires and interviews can only be meaningful if collected and catalogued correctly, its analysis streamlined; and acted upon to resolve identified challenges, fast. Transactional activities, aka paperwork – are among the most procrastinated activities in any department, and your HR team is no different.
Does it drain you when you are preparing (and often amending) workplace policies, recruiting or processing new employees, handling benefit requirements, and other administrative functions? All HR leaders agree.
41% of your department's time is spent on “transactional activities,” whereas just 19% of the time is invested in “workplace and work.” The Human Resources department leads various activities, from enhancing the employee experience, driving strategic discussions, maintaining company image and improving employer branding. Data is abundant, and its quantity is only increasing. However, your department’s efficiency and effectiveness are directly proportional to the quality of insights, not the amount. How do you sieve what’s important and what’s not?
The deployment of chatbots has led to a sea change in how HR departments go about their business. They no longer focused primarily on administrative tasks and reacting to employee issues; they are now proactive partners in employee engagement, providing timely support and information on various topics. In this article, we’ll walk you through the following:
- What are HR chatbots?
- Why should you invest in HR chatbots and which ones?
- Checklist: What should you look for before investing in a chatbot?
What are HR chatbots?
An HR chatbot is a virtual assistant for employees and employers that can interact at any time and for almost anything. They mimic human resources functions in a business while automating HR tasks such as recruitment, onboarding, training, maintaining, and boosting employee engagement. By gathering real-time conversational data, an AI-powered HR chatbot can provide better and quicker responses to enhance employee experience.
Why should you consider investing in HR chatbots?
Chatbots are not human – that’s their most significant advantage. At a time of shortage in valuable resources, chatbots are a solution to minimize business costs effectively.
- Natural Language Processing abilities enable chatbots to offer multi-lingual and contextual support. There is lesser scope for opinion, judgment, or bias, ensuring an inclusive and diverse approach.
- Their AI technology can interview, survey, and analyze within seconds, leaving your crucial human resources to direct their energy to where it can create the greatest impact.
- It needs no off-time or vacation days. Therefore, it can support your organization’s needs 24x7x365.
In addition, deploying chatbots save millions – as per Juniper, HR and recruitment chatbots saved approximately $8 billion in 2022 for the retail, e-commerce, healthcare, and financial services sectors. That said, chatbots can never replace your HR managers or teams; they are an aid to empower better, data-driven, and efficient activities that matter.
How does a chatbot empower HR activities?
Today, chatbots are an ally across the lifecycle of an employee – from recruiting, onboarding, during their tenure to exiting the organization. Armed with real-time insights from across the organization, your Human Resources team can now choose to invest time in employees and people rather than data collection and mundane tasks.
As per Glassdoor statistics, each job opening attracts at least 250 resumes, and the total average time to fill a vacancy is 42 days. By automating the screening process, chatbots can quickly and efficiently sift through thousands of resumes, answer candidates' frequently asked questions, identify the best candidates for open positions, collect feedback on the hiring experience, and even prioritize prospects based on predefined parameters.
Another benefit is that candidates or employees usually cannot tell the difference between a human and chatbot interaction; for instance, 73% of candidates couldn’t tell they were interacting with a chatbot when they reached out to companies to ask basic questions about their applications. The result? You can automate initial interviews, answer candidate questions at scale, automate feedback collection and analysis to identify areas of improvement in the hiring process and gain more insights before meeting candidates.
Bots for Recruiting
- Amber by inFeedo can answer shortlisted candidates’ questions on autopilot without your HR team stepping in. Amber improves the overall hiring experience and collects every candidate’s feedback on your organization’s hiring process, enabling you to quickly identify areas of improvement in the hiring and interviewing process. What’s better is that Amber initiates automated surveys and pulse checks with employees from day zero of their onboarding within your organization – giving you a holistic view of an employee’s journey.
- Olivia is an open-source contextual chatbot built with an artificial neural network to help you recruit smartly. It can automate more than 90% of the end-to-end process for hiring managers allowing them to focus on the part of recruiting that needs human intervention. It handles scheduling, booking or re-booking appointments, reminders, and other mundane activities.
- Humanly is a recruiting & HR chat automation tool that helps reclaim time back at every stage. With this chatbot, you can begin to offload, automate, and optimize repetitive interactions inside the screening & scheduling, reference checking, onboarding, and off-boarding processes. It also records human voices from interviews, analyzes them, and converts data into action plans.
- Ideal’s recruitment chatbot boosts candidate engagement, removes unnecessary phone screens, and efficiently qualifies applicants. It can help streamline and prioritize candidate interviews by automating 70% of your top-of-funnel interactions. As with other AI chatbots, Ideal also suggests actionable insights to make your recruitment process more seamless
One of the most profound ways that chatbots have revolutionized HR is in the area of employee onboarding. Since the pandemic, the priorities of new joiners have drastically shifted, and it is important to track such requirements, in real-time. Infant attrition or employees leaving within 6 to 12 months of joining an organization is at an all-time high in 2022.
According to Work Institute’s 2020 Retention Report, around 40% of employees leave within their first year. Interestingly, 40% of new hires have experienced poor communication between accepting a job offer to their first day at work. New hires are often bombarded with a deluge of information and paperwork on their first day, which can be overwhelming, and even after joining, new joiners usually have a range of queries – from policy inquiries to guidelines, personal questions, and FAQs.
Chatbots can enable a smooth and seamless onboarding experience by providing them with the information they need when they need it.
Bots for Onboarding
- Mya uses artificial intelligence and natural language processing to ask questions, confirm qualifications, and even answer inquiries from applicants about things like company culture, policy, and benefits. It gives recruiters and hiring managers time to concentrate on interviews and closing offers.
- Eightfold provides a complete AI platform for managing talent. It specializes in helping global organizations to hire and retain a diverse workforce that spans employees, candidates, and contractors. It helps individuals understand their career potential, and therefore, provides enterprises with a deeper understanding of the potential of their workforce.
3. Employee engagement
A crucial deciding factor of your workforce’s sense of loyalty is their level of engagement with your company. Your HR team can leverage chatbots in multiple ways to enhance employee experience and boost engagement. For example, chatbots can be used to conduct surveys or polls, gather feedback on company culture or policies, or provide information about upcoming events or changes in the workplace.
Chatbots are available to support your employees regardless of time zones, or locations and employees are not afraid of talking to them. According to studies by Allegis, 66% of candidates are comfortable interacting with a chatbot for any support needed. Also, Amber by inFeedo users have seen response rates as high as 90%. A chatbot can elicit more honest responses by asking personalised questions based on key milestones in the employee’s lifecycle.
For example: a chatbot can ask an employee with 10 years of tenure questions what made them stay in the organisation all this time, and ask another new hire how their first 2 months in the organisation felt to surface meaningful insights from hire to retire. An additional benefit of leveraging chatbots is they are able to bridge the gap between your leadership and the workforce through features of anonymous chats or confidential forums.
Bots for Employee Engagement
- Amber by Infeedo.ai is a next-generation AI-powered humanoid bot. Backed by over six years of research, Amber can intelligently assess and study employee sentiment. With customizable survey questions personalised for employees at specific career milestones (0, 30, 60, 90 days at the organization, manager change, appraisal, exit), your organization can unlock the true sentiment of your people in real-time.
With Amber’s anonymous bat feature, employees can find a safe space to initiate conversations that may otherwise be difficult. Another significant benefit of deploying always-on technology such as Amber is that it can preempt employees who aren’t engaged and nudge the respective HRBP with actionable suggestions to retain top talent. The de-centralized dashboard with role-based views gives an enterprise-wide employee engagement pulse check to CXOs, managers, and HRBPs.
Zia by Zoho is an AI-powered assistant that helps people with daily HR needs such as attendance, clocking in or out for the day, scheduling leaves, and getting trustworthy answers to frequently asked HR questions.
Phia by Peoplehum is an intelligent HR assistant with the aim to automate the most mundane and routine tasks. By doing so, Phia empowers your people team to direct its energy to where they can create a more significant impact. Leveraging conversation aI technology, Phia can answer FAQs, and even be your employee’s confidant when needed.
Understandbetter.co enables your HR team to collect, manage & act on employee feedback directly from Slack or Microsoft Teams. It can provide timely appreciation to employees, export reports, generate individual suggestions and recommend corrective actions to proactively resolve issues
Amara.ai is a young company that has developed an AI-powered chatbot to help employees working in a hybrid environment.
HR chatbots can also be designed to automate offboarding procedures. They provide prompt support with unused leaves, taxes, and other queries. Via automated notifications, they can enable employees to transition out of the organization smoothly. How? By aiding the payment of outstanding invoices, returning company equipment, ID proofs, and even conducting preliminary exit interviews.
In other words, HR chatbots can save considerable time and money for an HRBP who would have otherwise completed each step individually and manually. These bots automate the exit process, compile feedback, and analyze other HR-related organizational difficulties.
5. Other HR activities
Chatbots can also be used for various other tasks, such as performance reviews, automating reminders, and training. Chatbots can collect and analyze data, which means you can use them to identify trends and critical issues. You can also use them to deliver targeted information and training to employees. Chatbots can also help employees with various tasks, such as scheduling meetings, booking travel, and expense reporting. The goal is to make it easier for employees to get the information and support they need to focus on their work.
Bots for routine HR tasks
- Engazify Employee recognition toolkits are another hot topic in the HR world because the efficacy of positive employee recognition and its impact on employee engagement is well noted. Engazify is an excellent employee recognition HR bot. It works through Slack messenger, making it a simple addition for any firm already using slack, and tracks all conversations that occur on Slack.
JLT HR Chatbot has integrations with popular messenger apps like Slack, Microsoft Teams, Skype and Messenger. It takes care of time off, pay, expenses, and more, through these messenger interfaces.
- Dino chatbot is a unique bot designed for Slack messenger. It starts conversations with the team members by asking questions about organizational health, culture, workplace conditions, happiness on the job and more. Based on these prescient questions, Dino generates insights and assists leadership in making informed decisions. In a time of uncertainty, ensuring employees feel their voices are heard and respected by leadership is a great way to boost your net promoter score.
- Jinie HR Solutions company PeopleStrong built Jinie for their Alt messenger which acts as a 24x7 personal work-life assistant for all employees. Jinie takes care of all the queries and provides instant access to data and transactions an employee needs in their day-to-day.
Why is it important to centralize data through one easy-to-use hr chatbot?
Simple – it saves a massive amount of bandwidth for your HR Business Partners. Rather than constantly being bombarded and bogged down with ad-hoc vacation requests, calendar updates, and the ever time consuming reach out process HR teams can instead focus on targeting key business levers to help keep HR a central function in a time of crisis. Allowing HR to be a strategic partner in organizational goals increases efficacy, and gives them a sense of agency that encourages them to perform to the best of their abilities.
The deployment of chatbots is leading to a fundamental shift in how HR departments operate. By automating routine tasks and providing employees with access to timely information and support, chatbots free up HR professionals to focus on more strategic initiatives. This results in a more efficient and effective HR function that can better support the needs of the business. But how can you narrow your search from hundreds of possible chatbots to the one that suits your requirements? We’ve created a checklist to enable an informed decision.
The Ultimate Checklist Checklist to Find the Best Chatbot for Your Team
Based on the benefits mentioned above, your requirements could be limited to a single chatbot or multiple overlay solutions. Let’s look at a few must-have criteria for any chatbot.
For your Senior Management (CXOs)
- High return on investment year-over-year
- Cloud-based and scalable, without a significant increase in investment
- Ease of deployment and maintenance
- Single-screen view of hiring, employee engagement, and other significant metrics
- Minimizes human intervention
For your HR requirements
- Leverages artificial intelligence and machine-learning capabilities
- Possesses advanced analytics and real-time reporting features
- Comprises a library of templates and stock questions curated by subject matter experts
- Human-like conversational AI features available
- Able to perform sentiment analysis
- Provides critical features you require, such as anonymous chats, confidentiality
- Possesses multi-lingual features
- Nudges HR members to close feedback and action loops
- Simple and easy user interface and dashboard
- Allows customization
- Integrates with on-ground SaaS applications such as Slack, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams
- Most importantly, addresses your primary requirements
- Employee engagement
- Case Management and Document Management
- Automates FAQs
- GDPR compliant / Complaint with regulatory requirements based on your geography and industry
- Provides high data security features
HR chatbots that get you a bang for your buck, without the hassle
The future is AI-driven and led by technology that enables teams to exceed their potential. Leveraging such technology is key to successful HR functioning – empower your team to move away from banal activities which do not require their attention, time, or effort. Instead, let your team focus on taking definitive action on real-time feedback and insights that are gathered and analyzed error-free. In addition, your entire organization can benefit from advanced machine-learning powered chatbots – enhance their experience by removing guesswork and cutting the jargon. The time for revolutionizing your HR team is now.