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(3 min read)
Chatbots are a powerful tool often seen in online customer service applications. But they can serve a useful function in human resources, too. NTT DATA Business Solutions’ success at a recent SAP SuccessFactors hackathon demonstrated the power of HR chatbots.
Office workers are often faced with small tasks that can cumulatively take up a lot of time. In HR, for example, such a task might have to do with onboarding.
Imagine a scenario in which a number of new employees are just starting work, and they’re still awaiting information on company policies. An HR associate tasked with getting those new employees the information they need might need to first pull up the appropriate list of employee names from a company database. Then, they need to gather the appropriate onboarding documentation. Next, they have to email it out. And finally, they have to go back to a database and make it clear that the employees in question have received the documentation they need.
None of the tasks in the above scenario are particularly difficult. Individually, they might not take up a great deal of time. But when an HR associate must do such a thing regularly, the cumulative time needed can quickly go from minutes to hours, or even, by year’s end, days.
If only such repetitive, low-value tasks could be automated, right? HR associates would be freed up to accomplish duties that demand more of their attention and skill.
At a recent SAP Hackathon, NTT DATA Business Solutions and other competing organizations were charged with using tools including chatbots to create new use cases in SAP SuccessFactors. What the NTT DATA Business Solutions came up with was a tool that incorporated chatbots with other technology, enabling them to accomplish the same tasks laid out in the scenario above: combing employee rosters, gathering onboarding materials, and sending them out via email.
Not only was the NTT DATA Business Solutions team successful, but SAP SuccessFactors chatbot was easy to use. From a single chat window, an HR associate could set the automated system in motion without any special coding language.
The employee asks the chatbot to show a list of candidates for the onboarding process (click to see more details)
The bot pulls a list in SAP SuccessFactors (click to see more details)
Of course, this is only one example. The possibilities for such technology go beyond SAP SuccessFactors. The technology – chatbots and RPA bots – can be applied to almost anything. Wherever there are repetitive, rule-based tasks, those tasks can be automated.
NTT DATA Business Solutions’ chatbot onboarding solution showed what an impact automation can have in an HR setting. Time savings is the most obvious. But automation can bring other important benefits, too.
An automated task is one that is less error prone, for example. Automation can all but guarantee that something like a misspelled email address is avoided. Automated functions can have compliance inbuilt, so there is reduced risk of legal or ethical errors. When combined with cloud services, they can be triggered from anywhere. And chatbots don’t take holiday or sick leave, so the services are available around the clock.
All the advantages that HR chatbots bring add up to is a better employee experience. That’s true of both the onboarding candidates in our above example as well as the HR associate.
The onboarding candidates are more likely to get the materials they need when they need them, thanks to an automated process. The HR associate, meanwhile, will have more time to work on more fulfilling, more valuable tasks. When employees feel valued, they do better work and live lower stress work lives.
Find out more about how NTT DATA Business Solutions can help you streamline your HR processes, and improve your employee experience: