The Pros and Cons of Using HR Chatbots

When we talk about HR chatbots, we aren’t talking about anything new or groundbreaking. The chatbot technology was invented in the 60s but wasn’t primarily used as a universal language processing tool until the late-90s. Flash forward to 2018 and this technology is finally at a point where more and more companies are starting to implement it to a point where it can now be considered “emerging” technology. A recent Forrester survey  stated, “85% of customer interactions within an enterprise will be with software robots in five years’ time” and “87% of CEOs are looking to expand their AI workforce” using AI bots.” To help reduce costs, increase efficiency in processes and create a better customer/employee experience enterprise–organizations all over the world are looking into AI machine learning and natural language understanding programs.

HR automation tools such as chatbots can be powered to streamline and personalize the HR process across full-time, part-time, seasonal and temporary employees. Chatbots for human resources can be utilized to create efficiency and improve productivity through the following areas of typical HR touchpoints:

– Onboarding

– Recruitment

– Employee training

– Common questions asked

– Company policies/documentation/FAQs

– Benefits

– Surveys/reviews

– Workflows

 

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The pros and cons of using HR chatbots

HR Chatbot Pros

HR chatbots are becoming more popular today because they provide an easier and more intuitive approach to interacting with employees and customers alike. They can also be easily implemented within an organization, especially if they have an internal communication system already in place.

Chatbots can help lead the effort in data collection for the HR department. They can be used to help track every question asked by employees internally, in which management can use to create appropriate responses, communications, training programs, policies and more to avoid future problems that could have been avoided in the first place.

According to Chatbots Magazine, human resources can help streamline a better experience for admins and managers by helping in the following areas:

Recruitment

A chatbot can help in recruitment by automating required screening processes, organizing and compiling potential employee information, and performing background checks.

Onboarding

With a chatbot, an organization will be able to make sure any new hire, down to their exact department will have access to the most important information they will need to acclimate easier to their position within the company.

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FAQs/documentation/company policies

An Employee Portal is a great avenue for employees to access and look up important organizational documentation, policy updates and FAQs. A chatbot can help employees search for these items at a much quicker rate than sifting through files and files themselves or emailing HR and waiting for a response.

Employee training

Chatbots can be transformed into HR training bots to help teach new skills, update new policy changes and more. They can be more interactive than the typical training approach of watching a video or reviewing a PowerPoint presentation.

Common questions

An HR chatbot can help employees avoid many hours each month searching for basic-company related information. It will be able to understand any question asked by an employee and then send them in the right direction to obtain the answer they are seeking.

Benefits enrollment

A chatbot can help cut the confusion and other communication issues employees are facing today regarding benefits enrollment.

Self Assessment/reviews

Chatbots allow for the instant exchange of feedback and performance insights. This allows the employee and management better understand each other at a quicker rate so they can fix any issues that may be hurting productivity on both sides.

HR Chatbot Cons

Just like how everything has pros, they usually have a few cons as well. One issue with chatbots is they are not all created equal. Some may be buggier than others, and that’s a reality. For example, Microsoft’s “Tay” made a series of offensive remarks due to its learning processes of observing other Twitter users’ way of using the English language.  Some people took advantage of the AI by using language that typically offends most people. It was quickly taken down.

So, it’s important for organizations looking to add HR chatbot technology to do their due diligence before deciding on one.

Another issue with HR chatbots is that a lot of people think that they can be used to completely replace the HR department, which is absurd. These bots are an important element of streamlining work for HR professionals and to enhance the employment experience. They will not replace human involvement in this part of the organization.

Some other cons regarding HR chatbots include:

Information Security

This is on the organization themselves. If they are do not have a secure system in place, they are at risk of losing their vital information to hackers. To avoid security risks, HR professionals should look into an on-premise, hybrid, or cloud deployment for their HR chatbot software.

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Legalities

These chatbots should not be providing specific answers to questions that could make the company liable for issues that arise when bad information is given.

For example, an employee types into the chat box, “What is the best health plan for my family? My son has a health condition.”

In this situation, a chatbot should provide an employee with a generic link on how to choose plans. Not give them a specific answer to a question like that. An administrator can help create a way for the chatbot to lead the employee to them if they are looking for a more in-depth answer to a specific health-related question.

Auditing logbooks

Administrators need to make sure they know how to retrieve all the data obtained within the HR chatbot’s drive. They will save themselves a headache if an auditor ever comes knocking.

HR chatbots increase labor efficiency, reduce costs and improve the employee experience through automation. They help obtain and store important human resources data that can completely change how an organization operates.

“It’s clear that chatbots are the next generation of self-service for human resources technology,” says Jacob Coulter, VP Product & Delivery at InfinityHR. “Employees’ expectations to communicate to HR using the most efficient means possible will continue to increase, pushing the industry to innovate and adapt to meet market demands.”

InfinityHR is committed to product innovation and technology that helps you get back to the work that matters most. Look out for HR chatbot functionality to be added to the platform in the near future!

To keep up with emerging HR technology in the marketplace please read the InfinityHR Guide: Keeping Pace With the Latest Human Resources Tech Trends.

If you are broker looking to see how HR automated solutions can help you sell more benefit offerings to your clients, the check out The Brokers’ Guide to HR Automation Sales today!

The InfinityHR platform offers various solutions with the following modules—Applicant Tracking, Benefits Management, Employee Self-Service, Performance Management, Payroll, Reporting, Surveys, Time and Attendance, Time-Off Tracking, Workflow Management and EZSign (electronic signature)—schedule a demo today!