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AI in HR

Buying an HR Chatbot? Here’s what to look for when choosing one

2020 brought in the pandemic and with it came the sudden need to invest in technology. Remote working caused a large scale communication and coordination gap that needed to be filled. And, this is exactly where conversational AI-based HR chatbots entered the scenario and saved the day.

In fact, as per Gartner predictions, by the year 2022 almost 70% of the white-collar employees would be interacting with conversational software and platforms.

While the need for conversational AI-run HR chatbots has been well established, buying and naming one has become no easier. In order to make the right choice, one needs to know exactly what features to look for, test it against organizational needs and assess whether it adds value or simply adds to expenses, and even evaluate whether the organization is ready to accept an HR chatbot. 

Sounds like a task, doesn’t it? Fret not. This blog is here to help you make the right choice and make you aware of what to look for when choosing an HR chatbot.

First things first: what is an HR chatbot?

what is an HR chatbot

An HR chatbot is a tool capable of having intelligent conversations with humans over a desktop, laptop, or a mobile device. Such chatbots provide relevant information and create a relationship with the user, and also ensure any grievances/issues are resolved quickly. The user of such software is typically someone from the HR department and/or the employee.

An HR chatbot will usually start by welcoming the user and making them feel comfortable. Once it gauges the user’s intent, the chatbot can continue the conversation on the basis of the data it has. The answers are conversational and consecutive, resolving user queries in a natural and humane manner, eventually winning their trust and ensuring they return to the tool in future.

An HR chatbot can either be textual or be equipped with the option for voice interaction. The overall objective is to enhance employee experience and at the same time make the HR department more efficient by reducing the number of repetitive tasks they need to focus on.

Why invest in an HR chatbot?

Benefits of buying an HR chatbot

The main purpose of having an HR chatbot is to automate repetitive HR processes to ensure a more uniform query resolution. In the long run, this also helps the employees feel much at ease while interacting with the organization. However, let’s take a deeper look into the benefits of buying an HR chatbot.

Round-the-clock availability

No human can be available 24*7, but AI-based software can be. Investing in an HR chatbot, eliminates the need to hire human personnel in different shifts at the same time ensuring all employees are heard.

An HR chatbot remains available all the time and is accessible from several different kinds of devices, be it to address the queries of the employees and give them resolutions, or automatically take care of certain tasks like leave approvals.

Automation of repeated queries

There are times when several employees have the same query, but each of them asks in a different manner. For the HR department, it can be harrowing to answer the same question over and over again, in turn leading to frustration and fatigue.

A good HR chatbot will be able to identify such queries and give out a uniform answer to each of them. If an employee wants to know details that the chatbot is not equipped to give out right away, it will also be able to redirect the employee to a knowledge database.

Increased HR productivity

HR chatbots take up a major chunk of day-to-day employee queries and provide resolutions for the same. This leaves the HR department with a little more time on their hands which they can dedicate to more pressing matters, thus increasing HR productivity and improving their performance.

Of course, this is with respect to generic queries. For more crucial concerns the employees may still need a one-on-one session with the HR, and that’s exactly why an HR chatbot might never be a replacement for your HR department. 

Reduced organizational expenses

HR chatbot is a one-time investment that helps an organization do away with the need to hire multiple people across shifts to address employee queries and grievances. This automatically translates to reduction in the recurring cost of hiring HR personnel.

HR chatbots tackle the right process points, thereby saving a lot of time and costs – both in terms of the resources required to handle or run the human resource department, and the time involved.

Enhanced employee experience

An efficient HR chatbot can be integrated across all channels such as Slack, Google Chats, Microsoft Meet.  Also, it is a bonus if your HR chatbot can converse in various languages, in turn ensuring every employee is at ease regardless of the linguistic background they come from.

The key to a good HR chatbot is not just communication, it is better communication that improves every day. It is via improved interaction that helps establish familiarity and convenience, that an HR chatbot is able to assist in enhancing employee experience.

Better interaction with candidates

An employee experience software that comes equipped with an HR chatbot can also be used to interact with candidates who can become potential employees. The key is to help them with queries regarding the job role, policies and other aspects of your business that may influence the candidate’s decision to join the organization.

The hiring process requires timely conversations, and answering every candidate manually can turn into a nightmare very soon. With an HR chatbot, you can address them at scale, at the same time leaving a good impression on the candidate!

Improved data collection

Addressing the needs of candidates and employees is the primary motive of an HR chatbot. However, when integrated with employee experience software, it can collect and analyze the relevant data and provide insights on the same.

Trends and statistics provided by an HR chatbot can help in better understanding of the situation and prevent disengagement and even attrition.

How to choose the right HR chatbot?

How to choose an HR chatbot

When an organization chooses to make an investment in any software, the generic goal is to maximize productivity and reduce costs. However, when buying an HR chatbot, here are certain specifics to look at.

Productivity

The HR chatbot should be in sync with the company’s aim to maximize productivity. Once the chatbot takes over the repetitive and mundane tasks, there should be a visible boost in performance, saving of time, and cutting of costs. When zeroing in on a tool, look for one that can achieve all of this.

Customization

Like every software or tech addition, the HR chatbot should also be such that it can be customized as per the company’s needs. It is a communication app and needs personalization and customization to establish that rapport with the employees. A monotonous and robotic chatbot is of no use.

The key is to collect relevant data and use it to better the processes and performance. This data comes from the employees and they will only share once they are comfortable with the chatbot. That comfort can only be achieved through an effortless conversation and the scope for ample customization and personalization can certainly help with this.

Employee experience

Any action on the part of the organization affects the employees and employing an HR chatbot is no exception. A good HR chatbot should specifically work towards enhancing employee experience, especially through timely resolutions and communication.

It should also use the data provided to improve existing and future systems. The experience should be enhanced not just for the existing employees but also for the candidates who apply for jobs, in turn improving a company’s reputation in the hiring market.

User-friendliness

The HR chatbot that you choose should be easy to navigate and use. The purpose of incorporating any automation or procedure is to ease certain processes, not to further complicate them. The tool should be user-friendly, able to identify and separate emotions to come up with sensible and humane responses, and make the employees feel at ease.

Pro tip: Look for an HR chatbot that offers documented onboarding or a team that will help you set it up.

Efficiency

The chosen HR chatbot should be able to adapt on the basis of its interactions and the data it receives. It should also be able to use the trends and analyze them in order to constantly improve and enhance employee experience.

A static chatbot that simply performs a few basic functions would be a short-term investment. When buying one, look for a tool with the capability to evolve and scale at the same rate as your organization.

Multilingual capabilities

A good HR chatbot should be able to dabble across languages. With the modern multigenerational and multicultural workforce, speaking to employees in a language they’re comfortable with is the quickest way to establish a rapport with them. It’s a good practice and also helps strike a chord with the employees on an emotional level, thus elevating their experience within the organization.

HR chatbot may not be a replacement for traditional HR, but it surely is an added advantage that is meant to enhance the employee experience and help the HR be more productive. Choosing one that speaks to employees in their language and helps them feel understood is, thus, a smart choice.

Which processes should an HR chatbot be able to help with?

HR Chatbot capabilities to look for

When choosing an HR chatbot, it is handy to know the processes wherein it can come handy. This ensures optimum utilization of the tool. Read on to know a few ways you can put an HR chatbot to work.

Recruitment

HR chatbots are a great way to solve the queries of candidates. From answering questions about the vacancy to resolving queries about interviews and the process afterwards, it can automate the entire recruitment process, in turn ensuring HR personnel can concentrate on the intricacies of hiring.

Employee onboarding

Having an HR chatbot is great when you are onboarding new employees. All their queries can be resolved easily and the chatbot becomes a much-needed digital guide who the new hire can always go to when feeling lost. HR chatbots also educate the new hires about the company culture and help create goals and set expectations, both short-term and long-term.

Employee training

With technology covering all the facets of employee experience, there’s no reason to leave out employee training. HR chatbots can be used to deliver training schedules and even sessions to employees. Since an HR chatbot is available 24x7x365, employees have the option to learn at their own pace and get their questions answered whenever the need arises.

Employee query handling

There are a lot of simple and repetitive queries that employees have about the organization. An HR chatbot can answer all such questions and also redirect employees to a knowledge bank, if and when needed. This automates the process and also relieves the HR of the mundane task of answering every query.

Managing meetings and appointments

Hunting for meeting rooms can often become a hassle. An HR chatbot is capable of looking through the list of empty meeting rooms, scanning all invitees’ calendars, scheduling the meeting at a time that suits everyone, and also booking a meeting room which is available. Such automation helps save employee time and avoid overlapping schedules and venues.

Internal communication

Last but not the least, HR chatbot is also instrumental in streamlining internal communication and getting rid of any gaps that exist. Through a fully equipped knowledge hub, an HR chatbot makes sure information and assistance is available to everyone at all times. The tool also continuously updates itself to ensure it’s not giving out obsolete knowledge.

Buying an HR chatbot is a major decision. It is wise to be aware of what you need and how you would use the tool. Also, make sure your HR department knows that they remain irreplaceable and that the tool only exists to help take the load off of them. If you’re sure about investing in such a tool but don’t know how to find one, get in touch with our experts and let them guide you around.

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