HR Bots Get Power-Packed With the New Working Models
Bots have transformed all major industries and business functions, and human resource management (HRM) is no exception. A bot is a software automation tool that performs multiple tasks automatically as programmed, simulating/imitating humans. Bots can manage voluminous work in much less time, saving human resources, time, and money for businesses. Companies that use HR bots-powered applicant tracking software and HR software witness streamlined HR processes, quality hires, enhanced operational efficiency, cost reduction, increased return on investment (ROI), and many more benefits.
What Are HR Bots?
Human resource (HR) bots are designed to automate routine HR tasks and support employees, acting as virtual HR assistants. These perform repetitive activities like voluminous messaging, sending alerts, and communicating with employees. The bots in HR interact with the employees, allow appropriate resolution of their issues, and guide them for self-service to solve their problems and reduce the work of the HR department.
Why Is There a Need to Adopt HR Bots?
Today, HR bots are revolutionizing human resource management and assisting HR professionals in comprehensive HR tasks, empowering HR personnel and enabling them to utilize their time on other complex tasks. In 2027, the worldwide chatbot market alone is expected to reach USD 454.8 million in revenue.
Work models have recently undergone dramatic changes worldwide as a permanent impact of the Covid outbreak. Businesses are rapidly adopting digital transformation, including bots-enabled HR software, to balance the effects of the pandemic on their routine operations. Studies predict that the global HR software market size will exceed USD 10 billion by 2022.
Popular Work Models
To understand why implementing bots is essential for HR departments, we need to know the present scenario of different work models. So, here are the most popular work models that companies use.
Work From Office
The conventional work model that has existed and dominated worldwide for decades involves working from a specific work environment, i.e., the office premises. In this model, all employees gather at a common location, the office, and fulfill all their duties from the office premises within their stipulated working hours.
Companies typically need to invest a lot in office premises infrastructure. This fact, coupled with talent availability and many other issues, gave rise to a fully remote working model. Here the workforce is encouraged to work remotely, from home or any location, at their convenience. The company does not need to spend on costly office infrastructure. The workers typically work from home and can visit the office on occasions like for meetings, social gatherings, or when they face some temporary issues at home like desktop or internet problems.
The Covid outbreak has promoted a new working model, the hybrid model, which combines or blends office-based and remote working for the betterment of employees and the company. This model is being globally adopted and embraced as companies have now realized that it is flexible enough to accommodate pandemic situations, weather issues, personal issues of employees, and many more challenges that typically hinder smooth business operations. It thus allows seamless continuity in business. Studies indicate that 74% of U.S. companies are using or planning to implement a permanent hybrid work model.
The hybrid model has multiple subtypes as described in the infographic below.
Challenges That HR Departments Face With the New Hybrid Work Models
With hybrid working, some part of the workforce is working from home and some from the office. Companies thus need to adopt ways to eliminate location and collaboration constraints. Digital transformation, using technology and software, plays a crucial role in making the new working model convenient and successful. The hybrid model is more performance-centric and result-oriented than the conventional way, where the in-person presence of employees was the biggest priority for companies and the only way to measure employees’ dedication towards work.
While the new working models have numerous perks, this vast transformation to hybrid working has made the HR functions more challenging. HR personnel now have to deal with employees working from multiple locations. They need to ensure that employees have all the necessary tools for smooth working and interaction with other team members, including communication and collaboration tools.
Another valuable trait of hybrid working is flexible work hours, where employees can choose to work during their most productive hours of the day. Here, employees choose their login, logout, and break schedules, provided they complete their work hours and remain available for virtual group meetings as per the defined schedule. While this model has proved to be effective and fruitful for both the employees and the employers, it necessitates the HR staff to be available for the employees 24*7, which is practically impossible. Moreover, HR personnel must ensure leaving no deficiencies in their work performance, employee engagement, and employee satisfaction despite location and time constraints.
On the other hand, with the new working models, employees also need to manage numerous things on their own, including tracking their work hours, attendance, leaves, salary/other payouts, and more. So, having an automated self-service system available 24*7 can be more helpful to the employees than conventional HR assistants who are available only during fixed hours in the office to cater to their queries. Such automated processes can also save significant time for both the employees and the HR department.
Apart from the above, here are other common challenges that HR departments face with the hybrid shift.
- Recruitment challenges, including scheduling interviews with interviewers working from multiple locations and in different time slots.
- Getting acquainted with the remote employees and routinely connecting with them.
- Communicating changes in policies and procedures to the employees regularly and ensuring their implementation.
- Transparency towards remote employees.
- Creating hybrid-friendly policies.
- Solving collaboration, communication, and knowledge sharing issues.
- Ensuring employee engagement and motivation.
- Managing the availability of HR personnel 24*7 to support employees working in different locations, shifts, and varied working hours.
- Maintaining the right, professional work culture.
- Preventing presence bias; not favoring in-person workers or employees working from the office.
- Preventing attrition resulting from not being able to adapt to the new working models.
- Monitoring employee performance gets more complex in the hybrid model as employees work from different locations, so creating a flawless performance management system to monitor employee performance and ensuring equal treatment to in-house and remote employees is another critical challenge.
What Can HR Bots Do for HRs?
HR bots can help reduce or eliminate the numerous HRM challenges discussed above. The bots can contribute to all crucial HR functions. The prominent roles of HR bots use cases in various HRM functions are:
Recruitment Process Management
Recruitment is a complex and never-ending HR function for medium to large organizations due to continuous growth and employee attrition. Companies require numerous HR professionals exclusively for recruitment process management to ensure quick and quality hiring. Thus, companies typically need to spend excessive time and money on talent acquisition. Moreover, recruitment needs keep changing, so the talent management personnel are sometimes overburdened, impacting their performance, and are underutilized at other times, adding unnecessary costs on the company. Besides, not all HR personnel are proficient enough in selecting the right candidates.
Human resources bots can play a crucial role in the entire recruitment or talent acquisition lifecycle, reducing the work of HR departments. These can act as comprehensive applicant tracking systems that enable candidate screening, sorting, and shortlisting. Artificial intelligence (AI) powered HR bots can thus reduce voluminous human efforts by picking out the best candidates with the relevant skill set from a vast pool of resumes. The bot also assists in various stages of the interview process, communicates with the candidates, conducts virtual interviews, and informs them about the application and interview status.
HR bots thus reduce the burden on the recruitment team and ensure quality recruitment. Here is how HR-bot-powered applicant tracking systems help enhance recruitment.
- Enable quick, real-time access and updates on all information in the applicant tracking system.
- Solve applicant queries, ensuring a better applicant experience.
- Reduce time-to-hire due to automation of processes throughout the recruitment lifecycle.
- Make the processes less human resource intensive.
- Conservation of time and other resources.
- Enhanced hiring process efficiency and team productivity.
- Quality hiring as talent acquisition personnel can save their time from mundane tasks and utilize it for hunting better candidates.
- Enhanced applicant conversion rate due to better applicant communication and data management.
- Overall reduction in hiring costs for the company through conservation of time and resources.
Automation of HR Operations
The HR department is involved in all operational processes as they are the bridge between employees, management, and various departments. HR staff performs extensive activities to streamline business processes and in workforce management. Any deficiencies in the HR department’s performance can thus impact the entire organization.
Routine HR activities and manual processes can be easily automated using simple HR software tools. However, people find it challenging to deal with software and technology and prefer in-person, one-to-one interaction with the HR personnel. Bots-powered HR software helps the HR department automate the HRM operations and eliminate employees’ apprehensions by enabling employee interaction that can appear as real as communicating with humans (HR staff). Automating such routine tasks through HR bots saves time, costs, and human resources. It thus proves profitable to the company in the long run.
Employee Support and Engagement
HR department routinely faces numerous employee queries and help requests related to leaves, attendance, understanding policies, payroll issues, etc. Most of the queries are repetitive and can be solved with standard replies and procedures. If not resolved on time, these can lead to employee frustration and attrition. Apart from support queries, the HR department must ensure regular employee engagement activities to keep the employees satisfied and happy. Such employee queries and engagement activities consume significant time for the HR department.
HR bots act as virtual HR assistants in managing such repetitive employee queries and issues. These bots or HR chatbots also interact with the employees just like humans, keep them informed, and provide relevant answers to solve their issues. The bots also guide employees for self-help, informing and directing them through processes to follow and solve their problems themselves. Conversational AI-powered HR bots can perform employee engagement activities and help enhance employee experience, satisfaction, motivation, and performance, significantly reducing attrition.
Performance management is another significant HR function. The HR department needs to monitor employee performance routinely through predefined policies and procedures that involve a lot of time and effort. Besides, performance management is cumbersome and sensitive. When manually done, it is thus prone to human errors and personal bias, significantly impacting the results; this can be frustrating for employees and proves costly for the company.
HR bots support the HR department during various stages of performance management, including collecting and analyzing data, reviewing, and rewarding. The simpler tasks can be controlled by HR bots so that the HR personnel can focus on other complex tasks. Moreover, using an HR bot in performance management also ensures increased confidentiality, accuracy, and reliability due to the elimination of human error and bias.
Training and Learning Management
Training and development are necessary for the healthy growth of a company and its employees. Companies need to dedicate a significant part of the HR workforce to conduct and coordinate learning and development activities. They need to deal with employees, understand their training needs, provide them with the necessary material, and assess the efficacy/results of the learning management activities.
HR bots can streamline and control learning and development for companies with ease. The bots guide employees on the available material and its necessity based on their profiles, enroll them in the right program, administer assessments/tests, and more. The bots also interact with the employees, monitor the results of training programs, and perform in-depth analysis for the same.
Bot-Powered Human Resource Management Revolutionizes Businesses
With so much to offer for all HR functions, human resources management bots have substantially changed how HR departments work. So, here are the top benefits of bot-enabled HRM for companies adopting the new working models.
As virtual HR assistants, though bots mimic humans, HR bots do not suffer from personal biases and are designed to follow an employee-centric, people-first approach. These help solve employee issues in the best possible way without human intervention.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
Bots are robotic process automation software that can be trained to perform tasks the way humans do. HR Bots use machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) to learn, imitate, and execute rule-based processes, thus achieving reliable automation of repetitive tasks for the HR departments, ensuring 24*7 operational continuity.
Unlike conventional software, the bots are designed to imitate humans and provide a human-like, realistic experience. Thus, when used for HR functions, bots make employees feel as comfortable as in-person interaction with HR personnel.
Accuracy is an essential requirement for HR functions for businesses as errors can cause huge losses for the company. HR bots provide increased accuracy in HR tasks by eliminating manual errors and human bias.
HR bots help HR departments remarkably conserve resources, both man and material. These perform most routine, repetitive tasks with ease, saving human resources, time, and money.
Increased Productivity and Performance
HR bots help HR departments enhance efficiency, productivity, and overall performance. Better HR performance ensures better workplace culture for the company.
Enhanced Employee Experience
As discussed, HR bots help employees by answering their queries, guiding them for self-service on various HR functions, and routinely interact with them to engage and motivate them. Bots thus enhance employee experience and satisfaction, reducing attrition.
Boost in Business Profits
HR management bots ensure a quicker and better ROI by reducing the average time to hire, eliminating wastage of resources on manual processes, and shrinking attrition. Thus, implementing HR bots enables a significant boost in business profits in the longer run.
Bots are the future of work for all industries and businesses. Today, bots have a significant utility in human resource management operations too, to eliminate the numerous challenges brought in by the global adoption of new working models.
The blog highlights how businesses can leverage HR bots to streamline, control, and enhance human resource functions and employee satisfaction. Choose the right HR bot-powered software to ensure a smooth transition to the new working models, streamline business operations, reduce costs, boost profits, and gain a competitive advantage over your competitors.
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