What is an HR chatbot: 4 tips to use HR chatbots for employees

In a world where digital communication has become more common than face-to-face interactions, employers started using Conversational AI and HR chatbots to communicate in a timely manner with their workforce, and make employee experience seamless.

HR on fire: the changes after the pandemic

This last year and a half has completely reshaped the concept of HR, from the employer to the employee. Offices are not anymore what we used to imagine, as we started seeing our own house space as a place of work, and most certainly will not look the same in the future as more policies and national restrictions are constantly coming to life. Meetings can now take place at the Bahamas, under the Golden Gate Bridge or even on the top of Mount Everest, all with the comfort of an office chair and only needing a computer. Tradition was thrown out of the window and technology didn’t stumble to replace it. Indeed, it is only thanks to the latter that the world was able to move on and keep up with what is now the “new normal”, in and out of the workplace.

Parallelly, companies understood that without great employee engagement their productivity levels would peak down at an unprecedented rate and, for this reason, they focused on the creation of a customer-like employee experience. 

A great testimony of this came from Trine Puge, Senior Sales Manager at Oracle who shared her experience on HR Trends as a guest in our CEO’s podcast HR/HQ and revealed that the best way to enhance employee experience is by using digital tools such as HR Chatbots!

What is an HR Chatbot?

Chatbots are great examples of Conversational AI, a tool that if well implemented and designed leads to human-like, frictionless communication on message applications, websites, via phones, digital assistants and many more. 

Usually, when people think about chatbots they say “Oh, those chats that always answer one thing for another” or “that are never able to answer my questions”, but the thing is, as a mixture of NLP( Natural Language Processing) and ML (Machine Learning), this instruments are truly able to mimic and understand human conversations by keeping up with their learnings. The more data is fed into them, the better their performance will become and this is why the HR Leaders must understand how much power is held by data.

So why should HR chatbots be implemented for employee experience? Well, the benefits are many: 

  • More time to invest in your people: By spending less time taking on repetitive tasks, the HR department will be able to take care of more duties in less hours, therefore meaning that your company will be more efficient in a smaller amount of time.
  • 24/7 around the World: Thanks to HR chatbots employees will be reachable at any time of the day no matter where they are located and vice versa.
  • Human-like communication: As mentioned, great Conversational AI allows for human-like communication tailored to the employee him/herself. Certainly, the more personalized the interaction between the HR chatbot and your employees is, the higher the chance that the latter feel personally taken care of and supported to perform better. Lauren Smith, VP at Gartner, indeed believes that personalized HR chatbots are a great way to make what now are less than 30% of employees think that HR actively helps them out with their duties.
  • Timely feedback: Yet again, to provide a consumer-like experience to your employees there’s the need to answer in a matter of seconds their FAQs, especially in these truly volatile and uncertain times.
  • Privacy-proof: In HR, the main issue people have when it comes to sharing their feedback or asking questions is fear of being judged by managers. With an HR Chatbot employees are able to safeguard their personal information and issues and provide anonymous feedback to the HR Leaders.
  • Platform agnostic: Don’t worry about having to start all over again with your already existing HR processes, HR Chatbots can be integrated with the software or platform you are currently using: for example, here is how you can simply integrate it with Oracle HCM.

4 tips to start with your HR chatbot

1. Step-by-Step Process

Any great chatbot has worked a lot on its knowledge, just like any human being, so it only makes sense to start small and improve with time. At BotSupply we suggest our customers to firstly implement into their workspace their HR Chatbots with 5 or 6 use cases maximum: this is because understanding how employees react to the introduction of a new tool to them is the key to developing the perfect HR Chatbot for employees.

2. Involve Employees and Get them Acquainted

The HR Chatbot will work best if your employees will know how to use it and won’t take it as an instrument that is going to replace them, as many people wrongly think of AI. Here is why you should involve your employees in the design process of the bot, getting their feedback and better comprehending what is most valuable and important to them. Moreover, organizing workshops and meetings to make sure they understand how the chatbot works and its best uses is decisive to have a smooth deployment.

3. Train to succeed

Training is the way to go when talking about chatbots and Conversational AI in general, and when starting from an out-of-the-box template is easy and manageable in just a matter of clicks (learn more about that here). Once you choose which use cases to focus on with your HR Chatbot, you’ll need to first deploy it as a “test drive” for a small number of employees in order to gather their feedback and make sure to tweak and change the bot based on that. It is crucial not to skip this step because gaining a different perspective on how the bot can be improved or implemented is what allows an HR Chatbot to be helpful for employees in the first place. 

4. Safety and Privacy first

As soon as your employee opens the HR Chatbot, this will recognize her/him and therefore hold her/his relevant and personal information. Confidentiality is in fact a must for the bot and you must make sure that it is upheld by operating the bot on highly protected cloud-based servers, implementing APIs, security, and data governance. In such a way your employees will feel safe to use it and get friendly with it. And hey, don’t worry, it’s easier done than said!

You should now be all set to maximize your ROI in a few weeks and make employees’ experience the best they ever witnessed.

Conclusion: HR chatbots and the future of work

Going back to what we said in the beginning, the pandemic truly changed HR from its core and now that we are slowly trying to go back to what we described as the “new normal”, it is more important than ever that HR is ready to support its employees and lead the company to its rebirth. 

The office won’t be a full-time experience as previous to Covid-19, as 9.7 employees out 10 hope (Forbes, 2021). The future of work instead looks ahead at achieving all its goals by implementing a hybrid work model, where employees will balance their time in a newly furnished and redecorated office and their homes. And who will always be there to support them and help them out? Well, of course, HR Chatbots!


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