Today, companies tend to stay off manual operations, which allows them to reduce costs, minimize risks associated with the human factor, and reallocate resources to higher-level tasks.
Employee Self Service solutions are becoming increasingly popular, they minimize the amount of paperwork, decrease internal service burden, simplify access to information, and accelerate information processing. Such solutions include HR bots, portals, and so on. Told by Zulfiya Yupashevskaya, Deputy Director of HR Department, BDO Unicon Outsourcing.
According to a study by the international recruiting company Hays, most organizations are busy automating various HR processes, and only 1% of respondents do not consider it necessary. The main areas for it were HR administration (mentioned by 72% of respondents), time tracking (66%) and HR analytics (61%).
The market offers such solutions as various modules and chatbots that simplify user communication with production departments within the company or external support teams, as well as release specialists from the tasks that cause quick professional burnout.
WHAT CAN CHATBOTS DO?
A chatbot is a program that allows you to simplify routine tasks by means of automatic operations in response to a user command or according to a setup schedule. They are easily integrated into various accounting systems, which makes it possible to automate the function of transferring information between user device and database: telephony, the organization’s main accounting program, CRM systems.
The idea of creating a tool facilitating quick access to information at any time without sending a personal request to colleagues appeared in our company back in 2018. To solve this problem, we developed an HR bot, which initially was Telegram based, but later we launched a chatbot for users of the second popular messenger in Russia - Viber.
We developed our solution for internal use, and with the help of the bot, we achieved pretty good results: for example, the number of requests for the rest of vacation days or requests to re-send a paysheet password decreased by 6 times, which freed up several hours for HR staff and accountants. The tool turned out to be convenient, safe and inexpensive as it did not demand to buy additional licenses.
The tool allows to complete the following tasks:
1. SEND INSTANT MESSAGES
Chatbots can successfully replace traditional channels for notifying employees, e-mails or SMS. User receives a message instantly, can quickly view it from their mobile device, and the cost of setting up and maintaining the function is relatively low.
For example, our HR bot notifies about the availability of a new employee's paysheet in the database, or sends personal congratulations.
2. DECREASE INTERNAL SERVICE BURDEN
Labour efforts of HR specialists and accountants are reduced by automating popular requests from employees, which allows the company to save hundreds of thousands of roubles a year.
For example, in our company, accountants used to e-mail paysheet, and in order to ensure the security of confidential data, access to these documents was protected by an individually generated password. At the same time, employees recurrently lost them or deleted documents from their mailboxes, and accountants had to send information again, which took a lot of time both from those who requested this information and those who provided it.
To solve these problems, we implemented an HR bot, with the help of which an employee receives monthly notifications on the availability of new paysheets in the database, and can access all the documents for the entire period of their employment. This tool turned out to be convenient and safe, since the data is transmitted to the program only at the moment of the request, and is not stored in it: at user’s demand, the bot connects to the 1C system, finds the required information, and transfers it to the employee.
Likewise, an employee can track the planned vacation schedule, monitor the remaining unused days, or calculate vacation pay. Thus, HR specialists have more time to solve more important tasks, and the company can avoid lump-sum payments for unused vacation days when employees are laid off.
3. SIMPLIFY APPLICATION FILING
While the number of remote employees grows, the burden on IT specialists increases, with coworkers calling them in case of problems with office equipment, lack of access to the necessary documents and programs. At the same time, an employee may not remember or be unable to see the contact information for IT support. In this case, using a chatbot, you can simplify requesting process: an employee only needs to describe their problem in free format, and the bot will automatically send information to the specialists.
Also, using this tool, you can submit various types of applications for HR specialists. For example, using a chatbot, we simplified filing for a 2-NDFL certificate: an employee only needs to enter data from their smartphone, and the HR Department will take the request to fulfil it.
4. GIVE QUICK INFORMATION SUPPORT
A chatbot makes it easy for users to access workflow information that employees may need. For example, at all times, an employee can view occupational calendar for the current year, specify the current week, they no longer need to browse a workbook or corporate mail to find somebody’s extension phone, email or working hours.
If a company has remote or part-time employees, the chatbot can show them information about the number of a private terminal server or check a desk booked for them for the nearest future, if work processes require their presence in the office.
5. SOLVE INFORMATION SECURITY ISSUES
What are the odds that an employee responsible for access to confidential information will make a mistake and send a paysheet password to the wrong addressee? Automation completely eliminates human error. For example, before connecting to our HR bot in one of the popular messengers (Viber or Telegram), an employee must independently register their number in the organization's accounting system. Chatbot identifies an employee according to the match with a number from the database, which excludes situations of unauthorized access.
We are constantly expanding chatbot functionality to make it an even more useful and effective tool.
Possible areas of automation include HR administration and workflow analytics, for example, the market offers suggestions to optimize the following operations:
Over the last couple of years, the popularity of various HR bots has been increasing, they undertake routine functions of HR specialists and allow them to focus on strategic objectives. One of their spheres of application is finding and hiring new employees. Chatbots save companies from the need to spend time and energy of their specialists on studying CVs, updating contact database, they can even eliminate risks of human factor in evaluating a job candidate.
Modern chatbots help collect personal data of an applicant, automatically generate responses with short questionnaires, and redirect the generated document to the organization's server. The tools also know how to filter candidates according to specified requirements, facilitate interaction with the candidate pool, provide high accuracy of information processing, and their ability to self-learn allows neural networks to give personalized answers to questions in compliance with the company’ corporate culture.
The first working months and good communication are essential for building long-term partnerships. In the era of hybrid or distant working, this is not easy to achieve due to the lack of personal contact, while new employees still need support and answers to inevitable questions. Chatbots can help an employee during the onboarding period. The tools will help you get answers to common questions, remind of schedule and timetable, and share valuable tips.
ANALYSE WORK PROCESSES
Some companies use chatbots not only to find new employees, but also to retain talent, reduce staff turnover, and increase engagement.
For example, some of the tools on the market allow to analyse workplace behaviour: involvement, costs, productivity in percent, the time it takes an employee to complete a task. Considering these indicators, a manager can assess workload, predict resignation, or identify processes to be automated in order to increase data accuracy and execution speed.
INCREASING PERSONNEL INVOLVEMENT
A chatbot can be a convenient platform for enhancing employee engagement and learning. For example, it can provide training on information security, various tests, quickly train staff by offering mini cases, form useful skills and implant corporate values through games, reminders and internal challenges - gamification has become a full-fledged business trend, and over 20% companies have already implemented game elements into their work.
A bot will help to conduct a survey after an event or based on the work for the company in order to monitor efficiency, assess the degree of employee satisfaction and their involvement in work processes.
ACCELERATING APPROVAL PROCESSES
Some processes that do not involve signing with an enhanced qualified digital signature can be accelerated by means of chatbots. So, for example, you can set up integration of a tool with a CRM system, and the employee will be able to close deals or view information about them from any Internet access point. Similarly, it can simplify internal budgetary procedures or approval of employees’ vacation requests.