How HR Bots are Changing the Human Resources Industry

The age of the machines is here. But it’s not like what you’ve imagined. No, they’re not here to take over our world. They’re here to help us achieve new heights.

Despite fears that machines will take over the world and kick us out, Artificial Intelligence is here to stay. Chatbots and AI are becoming household names as its technology improves. And big and small enterprises are now taking notice. In fact, in five years’ time, CEOs are looking at chatbots to do 85% of customer interactions according to this survey by Forrester.

What’s not to love with AI? From a company standpoint, chatbots are more efficient, cheaper, and quicker than humans. Throw in the ability to understand natural language and machine learning and your customers will not even know that they are talking to a software that speaks code and bines at its core.

The HR needs to step up

Of all industries currently adopting chatbots and Artificial Intelligence in their work processes, the HR appears to be the straggler. A study by Deloitte reveals that 22% of high-performing HR organizations are implementing Robotic Processes Automation (RPA) in their businesses. Only a meagre 6% of the lowest-performing organizations are doing the same. There is a big gap. The Human Resources need to step up. For starters, there are a lot of HR bots for Slack that the HR can use to enhance their workflow.

HR bots are not just a necessity, they’re an evolution.

Since the Industrial Revolution, companies have the urge to produce more with less. The same is true today. However, it’s no longer because of necessity but of evolution.

Due to an increasingly distributed workforce, widespread adoption of mobile technologies and a changing employee demographics, which includes millennial workers, corporate training is getting reshaped and is becoming more data and Artificial Intelligence driven.” — George Elfond, CEO, Rallyware

We are at the dawn of a new age where data is everything.

How HR bots are changing the Human Resources industry

Robotic technologies and chatbots automate manual, repetitive, and rule-based tasks. They’re also easy to deploy. With Artificial Intelligence and machine learning, HR chatbots can gather, analyze, and record information while interacting with users just as humans would in the real world.

Below are some ways how these chatbots are changing the way HR works:

1. HR bots for recruiting

For startups, hiring can be done by just a one-person team. However, as the company grows, bringing in hundreds of employees can be daunting. Scaling is a huge problem for the HR. Chatbots can simplify this process by getting information from applicants, giving them instructions, and doing background checks.

2. HR bots for employee onboarding

After new employees are hired, they undergo an onboarding process to bring them up to speed right away. This is easy to do with only a couple of new hires. But for bigger companies, HR chatbots make onboarding easier by talking to employees and even interacting with popular employee management software.

3. HR bots for employee training

Who wants to sit and watch standard training videos and boring PowerPoint presentations the entire day? I bet even the person giving the training is not loving it either. Using chatbots for training is very effective because they are more interactive and encourages participation by everyone inside the room.

4. HR bots for benefits enrollment

Do you know that in benefits enrollment alone, employees are already spending hours completing the required information and trying to understand the process? Benefits enrollment is confusing and could lead to lost hours in productivity. Not to mention it’s prone to errors too. HR bots are less likely to make mistakes, don’t get confused, and can guide employees in enrolling their benefits quickly.

5. HR bots for company FAQs

How many times have you answered the same question? Creating a dedicated support centre for answering FAQs on company policies is old school — — and expensive. By using chatbots coupled with machine learning and the ability to understand natural language, your company can have a mobile HR assistant that answers questions fast!

Some common employee questions that HR bots can answer include health benefits, vacation days, payroll inquiries, absences, etc.

6. HR bots for annual reviews

Do you still use a pen and a set of questionnaires for assessing your employees? If so, then you’re not one of the more than 58% of HR managers who say that the traditional review process is a thing of the past — — slow, ineffective, and outdated.

In business, there’s this so-called Pearson’s Law which states:

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

That’s the very essence of performance reviews. And by using HR chatbots, your employees can receive instant feedback about their performance allowing them to get better — — fast!

7. HR bots for leave requests

Processing leave requests through spreadsheets for hundreds of employees is a gargantuan task. By using HR bot, employees can create leave requests right away even while on the road. HR managers can benefit from real-time updates — — knowing who is out of the office before it even opens — — and powerful reporting tools.

HR bots are the future of the Human Resources Industry

The HR has a lot of responsibilities — — recruiting, employee onboarding, payroll, and training — — to name a few. Most of these tasks are repetitive in nature and requires massive amounts of hours and manual labour. By using Artificial Intelligence and chatbots to automate these processes, companies can save up to 20 percent!

Below are some of the reasons why HR bots are the future:

1. Quality of service

Humans are prone to errors. And some can be quite costly. Using HR bots lower the risks for errors thus improving the overall quality of the service.

2. Quick and efficient

How fast can you answer an urgent request? With HR bots, urgent requests are handled in just a matter of seconds. No human can beat that.

3. Non-stop operations

Unlike your HR staff, HR bots don’t need time offs, vacations, and even “weee” time. They are serving your business non-stop while churning out the same quality service every time.

4. Easy to scale

With traditional processes, scaling up can mean hiring more employees and opening new floors — — both costly and time-consuming. With HR bots, scaling up is done with a few clicks!

5. Effective use of human capital

Using top talents to handle routine tasks is a waste of valuable manpower. By letting bots take care of the routine stuff, your HR can focus on more important matters like developing an employee engagement strategy.

6. Quick ROI

Investing in human capital and equipping them with the right tools are expensive. Hence, a longer ROI. With bots like CakeHR’s Slack Bot, an ROI can be achieved in just a matter of months.

7. Internal control

Performing compliance checks and operational audits can be done internally.

8. Relatively cheap

HR bots are scalable and cheap. Thanks to reduced overhead costs and the need to NOT hire additional employees to manage your growing workforce.

The Challenges of Using HR Bots

There’s always another side of the coin. Using chatbots for HR has its own challenges as well. Here are some:

1. Data privacy

Not just on HR bots. Data privacy has been an issue since the internet was born. And several countries are implementing stricter measures to protect personal data. When choosing an HR bot, make sure that the data is fully encrypted and secure. On-premise and cloud-based HR chatbots are two of your best options.

2. Ethical and legal issues

For example, an employee asks:

“I have a heart condition. What’s the best health plan for me?”

You don’t want your bot playing Dr Who and recommending specific health plans on a case to case basis. Instead, it should lead the employee to generic guides on how to choose health plans. Relying on AI to fully automate such requests may have some legal and ethical repercussions.

3. Auditing

An ideal HR bot should have the ability to store all employee interaction for future use. This way if audit day comes, the bot will have every information required.

Will HR bots replace humans completely?

The answer is NO. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are powerful technologies designed to help humans become more productive. Their purpose is to lift the burden of routine processes from the HR so you can use them on strategic tasks.

Think of HR bots as a powerful enabler. It’s not hard to imagine AI taking care of leave requests, benefits enrollment, and onboarding. Of course, HR chatbots will have their own limitations. They can’t touch tasks that require human intervention. Working together, HR bots and your HR team can revolutionize your business, lessen bureaucracy, and grant your employees greater independence.


Written By

Norberts Erts

HR Degen and Product Marketing Manager at Sage. Former Co-founder of HR software company CakeHR (acquired by The Sage Group plc in 2019). Keep a sharp eye on HR, marketing, business, finance, science, technology, and the connections between them.