HR chatbots and the employee experience

Over the past year, we have a seen an increase in the use of chatbots for company support functions. Chatbots are especially implemented in HR for communication with employees. They can thus be a point of entry into a new generation of HR portals to provide first level assistance and instant responses to questions, with 24/7 availability.

Chatbots first appeared in the 2000s and were mainly designed to be used to guide and advise customers in addition to traditional communication channels. The technology has gradually matured and now features advanced natural language processing functions and increasingly complex scenarios. Since 2014, major projects have been initiated, offering high-performance service platforms to users. These projects involved creating a tree structure of dialog with various scenarios based on the user’s decisions.

Chatbots to enhance the employee experience

HR has begun to use chatbots and seen how they can take over certain time-consuming and mundane tasks. In addition to providing automated responses to employees, chatbots can also be used to manage time and attendance to help managers organize work by keeping them informed of their team’s schedules and availability. Chatbots can also act as guides to welcome new employees.

By offering cutting-edge technology to enhance the employee experience, the use of chatbots provides personalized and efficient assistance to employees who are increasingly connected, all the time, everywhere and on a wide variety of media. These digital natives, who are used to interfaces such as WhatsApp, are thus immediately very comfortable with using chatbots and older employees also find them easy to use due to the user-friendly interfaces offered.

One key to success: people and chatbots working together

Chatbots are thus not designed to replace people in HR departments, but are meant to assist and work closely together with them. If a user’s questions are too complicated or specific, the chatbot will admit that it cannot handle the request and suggest contact with a professional in the HR department either online, by telephone or face to face.

Chatbots base their knowledge on training from the HR teams, who create the knowledge bases and scenarios based on needs. The basics are shared from one company to another, with each tailoring them to meet the specific requirements of their company’s HR department. It is also essential that HR professionals analyze the dialog and add to the knowledge base on a regular basis. This is accomplished using a special console that generates reports and dashboards. These reports are used as reference to continuously add data to the knowledge base. This can be considered an Agile method, because it is based on users’ actual needs and their assessments.

The future thus looks good for HR chatbots and professionals working together. The success of chatbots’ use within the company depends on how well IT and HR departments, managers and publishers can work together across all domains to ensure the company’s digital transformation.

An example of how chatbots are used by Sopra HR 

Meet Cécile, Alex and Lucy, virtual HR assistants included in the Sopra HR 4YOU offering.

Sopra HR signed a partnership with Living Actor a year ago so that it could offer this new technology to its customers and enhance the employee experience of its new-generation solution, Sopra HR 4YOU.

The next generations of chatbots will feature voice activation for an even more personalized experience.