AI and BOTs are here to ease the workload of humans and not to steal their jobs.
Artificial Intelligence, popularly known as AI, is also referred to as machine intelligence.
So, is it going to be humans versus machines now? No…
“It is all about the possibilities of increasing machine efficiency and reducing human efforts.”
AI is not a new concept. It was conceptualised somewhere around 1956 as an academic discipline. Since then, AI has evolved and is in the growth stage now. Some of the capabilities of AI, which we have all seen in our regular devices, such as the mobile, include understanding of human speech, competing at the highest level in strategic games, such as chess to autonomous cars and simulations. AI mostly revolves around algorithms, and with machine learning now, the algorithms are getting so much more complex that they are capable of learning from data. These algorithms / programmes have the ability to enhance themselves. In some programmes, they can write a few algorithms on their own to improve user experience for the next time. Artificial neural networks, natural language programing and BOTs all use AI.
Let us look at how BOTs make use of AI to deliver an enhanced employee experience. HR personnel are all gearing up towards being Digital HR to be able to deal with the digital workforce of today. A BOT can be your first digital HR tool, which will reduce your transaction effort and make your life simpler. Chatbots are popular these days as they play a major role in almost every industry. A chatbot is a computer programme or an AI which conducts a conversation via auditory or textual methods.
HR bots can resolve many issues and help us in the following areas –
1. FAQs on company policies and common issues
We spend a lot of time responding to some common policy/process-related questions on a daily basis. It’s very easy to create a BOT, which will be able to answer all FAQs on your behalf and also redirect them to you if it does not have the answers.
While you will actually experience a five-time reduction in your query time, users will get responses without delay.
Smart bots can not only answer your queries but can even perform certain actions on your behalf. For example, a smart bot will help you with the first level of screening of résumés or search for relevant profiles from Naukri. There are many recruitment startups that have actually implemented this and made the hiring process very simple.
3. On-boarding and benefits enrolment
This is the most confusing and tedious process for HR, as it takes a lot of time for employees to understand the benefits once they join the company. A BOT will help your employees know the benefits they are entitled to. For example, corporate tie-ups as a benefit is very commonly offered by most companies, and employees generally have a lot of queries regarding the same. When there are modifications, additions or deletions in the list, it becomes a rather time-consuming activity to update the employees about the change. A BOT can make this task easy and more efficient.
4. Annual Self-Assessment/Reviews
Appraisal time is when you get maximum queries from your employees. It is best to have a BOT built into your performance management system (PMS) to help your employees with any kind of query, when they are logged in. This will improve the overall compliance and timely closure of your reviews.
5. Buddy @ workplace
A central BOT can also be created to interact with all other BOTs and work as a virtual assistant for your employees. It will fetch more details from the HRIS systems based on the user access and will be able to allow users to contact the department / functional owners directly for any kind of help.
Clearly BOTs need to be understood and not feared. AI and BOTs are meant to ease our work and enhance our efficiency and not steal our jobs. It is up to us how we leverage technology. Digital HR should focus on improving the employee experience using the available technologies. It is time for HR to move from transactional activities to strategy interventions, to help grow the business.
If planned properly, an HR chatbot will help your organisation step into the magnificent world of AI and automation, and help the business grow in leaps and bounds by enjoying its benefits.
(The author is associate manager HR – Talent Management, GS Lab.)