I know you feel a little awkward to follow up each time with the hiring manager regarding the updates about your application. But if you can talk to a software just as you would speak to the HR department and get the relevant updates from it without feeling uncomfortable – Well, all you would say is WOW!
Chatbots or Bots as they are being referred to as are interactive software programs which are embedded into messaging apps and facilitate conversation. The specialty is that the conversation with the software program is nothing less than the conversation with a human being. As of now these conversations are click and swipe kind, but soon voice enabled conversation will be in place and help the users literally talk to the bots and get access to the relevant information.
Chatbots adopt Artificial Intelligence technologies and Machine Learning to make the conversation more relevant and natural. You might think bots are just another genre of apps, but I would say they are much more innovative. With the advancement in the field of Artificial Intelligence and the growth of messaging apps, chatbots are becoming smarter and smoother. It is considered that messaging is the most popular mode of communication these days (more than even social media). Since people are already using messaging apps and are acquainted with such apps, Bots are implemented on messaging apps, which makes them quicker, cheaper and easier to implement. Additionally, Bots consume lesser memory space on the smart devices, which makes them attractive. So instead of developing another app for Bots, you can just use the messaging apps to implement the services.
A useful tool for HR
But how is the HR department going to benefit from this new smart tool? It is found that the HR department spends a lot of time answering the employee’s (and candidate’s) queries on a day-today basis. With Bots in place, employees can put forth their question through their messaging apps and the Bots will reply to the queries instantly. So the employees (and candidates) have a single chat window to get relevant information. Though the chatbots might not be gaudy and stylish, they surely will answer your queries instantly with a few clicks.
So the next time you are recruited, you might no longer need a handbook to know the list of holidays, payroll information and policy details. All you will need to do it type in your query to the HR chatbot and get it answered. If you feel sick tomorrow morning, there is no need to call up the HR/Manager to inform about your absence. Just send a message through your app and the chatbots will ask you a couple of questions more before it intimates the manager/HR about your absence. This also helps you eliminate the wait time for the availability of the concerned HR personnel. On the other hand, HR department can avoid repeated queries regarding common topics; thus they get more time for other constructive tasks.
Automating recruitment process
A smart bot which implements Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing techniques may help the HR in the recruitment process as well. The bots can interact with the prospective candidates and start evaluating the resumes. Bots can answer the applicant questions related to company policies, benefits, culture, etc. The applicants can update themselves about the recruitment process with the queries to the Bots. This gives a lot of breathing space to the HR, and they no longer have to maintain the relationship with the candidate throughout the recruitment process, as the job is delegated to the Bots. The chat bots can even rank the applicants based on their qualification, extra-curricular activities, etc. and help the hiring manager to zero in on the right candidate. Chat bots thus help in streamlining and automating the recruitment process to a large extent.
The days are not far when chatbots will even deal with the employee appraisal and feedback. This would make the whole appraisal process much more transparent and efficient, thus eliminating the need for human intervention and wastage of manly hours for such procedures.
Presence of security issues
Just like any other technology, the chatbots also have security concerns. Since you are using chatbots to augment the HR functions, there is a need to transmit sensitive information related to employees (such as compensation data) to the chatbots. But if you choose not to pass such confidential information, which would mean the chatbot is not the one-stop solution for all your HR queries. This would mean the employees will still have to depend on the HR personnel for some of their needs as chatbots are not yet fully efficient.
At the end of this discussion all I can say is chatbots are here to stay. How they progress and how they augment HR processes- let’s wait and watch!