Article: Why human HR should not fear AI-powered bots

#Building HR Capability

Why human HR should not fear AI-powered bots

Here's a look at how HR professionals can tap into the potential of AI and ML in order to make better people decisions.
Why human HR should not fear AI-powered bots

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) have made their way into our lives. These promising technologies claim to revolutionize various sectors. When it comes to enhancing the office and workplace environment, we have already begun to make huge progress in terms of productivity and efficiency.

A PwC research contextualizes the concept by revealing that almost 63 percent of the companies are pondering upon the implications of the amalgamation of AI with HR. It is pretty clear that the majority of organizations are prepared for the new revolutions that AI is going to bring and how it is going to impact the day-to-day responsibilities of the HR sector.

Despite the advancement of machine learning technologies, it is yet not possible for chatbots to rise to a level that can provide judgment-based opinions. Wen it comes to advanced communication, leadership, collaboration or experience-based decisions, human intervention is a must. Handling ambiguity and efficient business deals are some factors that require human skills which chatbots cannot accomplish alone.

AI is not here to replace HR professionals 

With the rise of AI, the occurrence of scary headlines such as AI making people lose their jobs have also faced an increment. One thing to steer clear of is the apprehension regarding AI and its potential. It should be noted that AI is not here to steal jobs from those handling the HR department.

The development of AI has an aim to extend the existing capabilities of human beings and get the best out of them. Let us take a look at how AI can save a lot of precious time of workers in a company. In big organizations where there is a lot of paperwork to be taken care of, AI can help ease out mundane tasks thus saving on time.

Doesn't it seem like an easier option to leave these tasks into the automated hands of a computer? There are some business operations which are plain tedious. The main reason why most HRs are looking for AI to streamline the workforce and increase the overall efficiency is that AI bots can help reduce the load and enable them to focus on more important tasks. For instance, a survey conducted on IBM reveals that approximately 46% of the employees believe that AI can help bring out the best of their talent. 

Deploying HR bots in organizations

ELIZA was the earliest and one of the most well-known bots that had the power to simulate real human conversations. There are many fields nowadays in which chatbots help improve the lifestyle of the common masses. From food delivery, health advice, hotel concierge, etc. the service options are endless. In the HR world, these bots can be used for clarifying queries, addressing requests and answering the questions of the employees. 

Talla is a startup based in Boston that has been planning to use chatbots for more complex procedures such as handling taxes and providing employee feedback. According to the MIT research, they are planning to deploy bots for enhancing their workplace interactions. There are some interfaces designed to enable people to look for a wide array of career opportunities and work directly with the recruiters. California's Loka has launched a chatbot named Jane that is able to carry out real-time interaction with the employees. It also offers different perspectives on HR related questions such as finances, health benefits for employees, etc. The need for integrating chatbots in HR is the next step toward revolutionizing the automation in different sectors.

Lack of proper HR solutions

ERP, HCM, and CRM are some of the systems for keeping records that were designed to be fully functional, but not completely seamless. The same goes for conventional HR processes. They are amazing for those platforms operating at the backend. But as far as employees receiving timely information is concerned, the process is not as accurate and precise as it should be.

Research by Leena AI shows that a majority of the employees are unable to gain access to relevant information on time just because they don't know where to seek the information they require. The process of retrieving policy information isn't exactly hassle-free. Moreover, the turnaround time is not quick and can range from one to three days. In multiple cases, the biggest challenge faced by the members of the HR department is resolving queries that have simple and straightforward answers.

The employees of most companies are reluctant to use these services due to a displeasing experience and a restrictive functionality. 

Chatbots are speculated to increase ROI

By 2022, it is estimated that AI chatbots are going to result in cutting business costs to about $8 billion. The key metrics that are essential for an HR manager are directly impacted by a chatbot. A Boston Consulting Group (BCG) study explains the relationship between the satisfaction of an employee with the ROI of an organization. Employee satisfaction can increase the ROI to about 1.8 to 3.5 times.

Chatbots have the power to influence the physical workspace, technology, and culture of the place which are also important factors in determining employee satisfaction.

Chatbots reducing the Cost per Contact

By using chatbots, the total cost of employee calls can be greatly reduced. Regardless of the efficiency of the call manager, the pressure of performance and time is inevitable. This can lead to counter-productive outcomes and make the improvement of cost per contact difficult. 

Some of the main CPC reduction measures laid out by conventional specialists include interactive voice response, utilizing skill-based routing, and call back feature of IVR. If a chatbot is properly programmed, it can easily perform an effective implementation of skill-based routing without any human intervention necessary. Skill tags are hierarchies are necessary to implement this method. Instead of callbacks, chatbots can send out updates and notifications on the associates' behalf.

When chats replace calls, cost-cutting solutions implement automatically. Chatbots can answer a majority of questions and help employees save time to do something more productive that requires human skills. They can speed up the response time and help businesses speed up costs. Moreover, in the past few years, we have witnessed a rise in the popularity of texting over calling.

The reduction of CPS also largely depends on Average abandon time (ABT). This factor is determined by the employee skill at an individual level and the combined skill set. However, with chatbots, this issue is unlikely to prevail. Human errors are inevitable by nature no matter how skilled and careful an employee is. It is not the case with chatbots.

Bots to simplify HR processes 

HR chatbots can provide an interface that can prove to be engaging for users. The employee won't have to take reference from other sources as all the answers will be right in front.

Any queries about the leave policy, benefits, company policy, rewards, etc. can be resolved via chat. Since they are already used to using instant messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, etc. the requirement of learning anything new is automatically eliminated.

HR Bots in onboarding

From application to job openings to initiating interactions with new employees, chatbots can do an excellent job. This ensures that the organization provides an amazing first impression and make the work environment a cheerful place to work in. This helps in enhancing the experience of employees.

HR Bots in employee engagement

Employee engagement and employee analysis at an individual and group level can easily be accomplished by HR chatbots. Two-way communication is the basic concept on which the efficiency of chatbots in AI rests. Fulfilling expectations and checking the progress of employees are some other functions AI chatbots can easily carry out.

HR Bots in Learning & Development

Learning Management Systems are those assets on which many organizations allocate massive budgets to. But the main issue that lies here is whether the employees actually end up using those systems. Usually, conventional learning sources are in the form of massive data chunks. Chatbots can provide a fun-filled learning experience and break down the monotonous references into small tutorial videos that are easy to comprehend.

HR Bots in performance management

The parameters for performance management are quantifiable and preset. By integrating performance management to dole out recognition and rewards, AI chatbots can automate the evaluation of performance.

The functionalities of chatbots are already in existence. All companies need to do is integrate AI with their already existing procedures for employees to boost performance in various fields. IT, finance, administration, and shared services are some factors they can greatly enhance.

HR and Bots to complement each other

The popularity of AI and chatbots is rising with each passing day. More and more organizations are taking note of this. According to an estimate, 85% customer interaction will be with a chatbot in the upcoming 5 years. 87% of companies are planning to expand their artificial intelligence workforce.

To provide increased efficiency, better customer services, and cost-effective methods of delivering the best, enterprises are including AI in their work process. AI in HR is expected to provide a personalized experience to the employees, clients, and stakeholders. Owing to the intelligent automation, many in-work processes are supposed to be streamlined.

The final verdict is that HR professionals don't need to feel threatened by chatbots. Instead of treating them as potential enemies, befriending them is a wise move. If they can employ bots to take over mediocre and mundane chores, they can handle the strategic and value-added tasks more efficiently.

Topics: Building HR Capability, GuestArticle, HR Technology

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