November 4, 2022

6 ways to use chatbots as part of your HR automation strategy

Conversational AI is one of the best solutions for HR automation. Chatbots allow teams to scale conversations while keeping things personal.

Human resources (HR) is a department that relies entirely on communication and conversation. So it makes sense that conversational AI is one of the best solutions when looking into automation options for the HR team. Chatbots allow HR teams to scale their conversations while keeping things personal.

Here are some ways you can use a chatbot to support your HR department.

Answering employee questions​

Employees have questions; it’s normal. And depending on the size of the company, the volume of questions can be pretty high. The nice thing about a question for the HR team is that if one employee has it, there’s a high chance others will have the same question. This means that many of the questions are repetitive– which is one of the key characteristics of automation.

By automating basic questions like, How do I ask for time off? or How do I get a replacement badge?, your HR Managers have more time to follow up on more complex cases. Plus, a bot’s available 24/7, so employees can get a response immediately, instead of waiting for an HR Manager to wade through their overflowing inbox to respond.

One of our all-time favorite HR chatbots is Proximus’s YODA, who helps answer +6,600 questions per month.

Proximus's chatbot, Yoda, chats with employees and answers all their HR questions

Automating employee onboarding​

A chatbot is a perfect onboarding assistant because it can help HR teams automate frequently overlooked processes that are time-consuming and repetitive.

According to research by the Brandon Hall Group, strong employee onboarding can increase new hire retention by 82%. However, Sapling estimates that the average onboarding process includes 54 different activities. Of these activities, a majority of them are administrative and include questions such as What keyboard format do you want?, Who’s your emergency contact?, Do you need a standing desk?, etc. These are all questions that a chatbot can easily automate. Plus, it’s always nicer to answer these questions from the comfort of your desk, instead of sitting in a meeting room while the HR Manager awkwardly watches you complete all the forms.

Another reason an onboarding chatbot is so helpful is that it’s basically your new employee’s single point of contact and is always accessible. When starting a new job, it’s normal to have questions, but in many cases, you don’t know who to ask and don’t want to bother someone who’s busy with a silly question. Integrating an employee onboarding flow within a company FAQ chatbot gives your new hires instant support whenever they need it.

Marshall Mallow, Campfire AI's onboarding chatbot, chats with an employee on Slack the night before his first day

Simplifying recruitment​

Recruiting is expensive and time-consuming. SHRM estimates in its 2022 benchmarking reports that the average cost per hire is $4,700. SHRM also calculates that it takes ~33 days to fill a position. And the even crazier part?! You can use a chatbot to automate most of the tasks in the recruitment funnel.

A recruitment chatbot can support a variety of repetitive recruiting tasks, such as answering questions about the company, submitting applications, pre-screening, scheduling interviews, confirming next steps, sending offers, etc.

We’re still looking for a recruitment bot to fall in love with. So if you have some great examples, feel free to share them with us via WhatsApp. Or even better, if you’re looking to build a recruitment bot, get in touch with Alexis so that we can build one everyone loves together!

Improving employee engagement​

Chatbots are a great way to stimulate employee engagement. They don’t judge, they’re always available and you only have to talk to them when you’re in the mood.

When it comes to employee engagement, bots are a great way to regularly collect authentic employee feedback. They’re more personal, casual and relevant than an annual survey sent by mail every March. Why? Because it’s easier to respond to how you’re feeling about a company initiative when it happens, rather than trying to remember what the initiative was 4 months later when the annual survey pops up in your inbox. It’s also more natural to respond in a conversational format, and using emojis can help express emotions. Plus a bot can ask follow-up questions or use buttons to keep the conversation moving forward.

Standardizing performance management​

Similar to employee engagement, performance management isn’t something that you should leave for one moment of the year. Growth happens throughout the year and for an employee to successfully improve and learn, there should be regular evaluations and check-ins.

This usually panics managers because if you manage a multi-person team, then you’ll probably end up spending more time reviewing your team’s performance than working with them, right? Wrong. Let a chatbot automate performance management for you. By implementing short, regular feedback moments throughout the year that the bot manages, you’ll increase transparency and automate the reminders, input collection and follow-up.

Campfire AI's chatbot automates monthly performance review check-ins

Executing employee transactions​

Similar to conversational banking, HR bots can help automate conversational transactions, such as viewing recent payslips, calculating an employee’s remaining holidays, submitting expenses, etc. Instead of housing this information on different platforms with different logins, make it as easy to access as having a conversation with a friend. Trust us, your employees will thank you for this major upgrade in user experience.

Use an HR bot to execute conversational transactions such as providing a copy of an employee's payslip via WhatsApp

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