Chatbots in HR: Improving the Employee Experience

chatbotsinhr

After months of trial and error in building my chatbot prototypes, I finally finished my thesis for my master’s in Digital Management from Hyper Island, titled “Chatbots in HR: Improving the Employee Experience.”

What have I found?

  1. There is currently a lot of excitement and hype around chatbots that outstrips what chatbots can actually do right now
  2. Nevertheless, due to this recent surge of interest in chatbots, the developments in the industry are moving at a extremely rapid pace, with different chatbot products being built every day, in different industry sectors. Features and functions are being added and improved on at lightning pace
  3. Based on the testing of the chatbot prototype that I built for this thesis, there is a lot of potential in using chatbots in HR to improve the employee experience.
  4. Chatbots can free up time from the HR team, and in the long run, even help the HR function to move up the value chain
  5. If designed well, HR chatbots can create significant cost savings due to time saved in completing HR tasks (by employees) and answering queries (by HR team)
  6. In addition to providing friendly, instant information for employees, other areas of value-add for chatbots in improving the employee experience could lie in:
    • Helping employees to avoid embarrassment, or maintain their personal reputation, when they need to ask certain types of questions
    • Providing anonymity when employees want to read up on sensitive employee/company policies
  7. The most important issues that need to be resolved to make a customised chatbot for employees is the back-end integration with HR enterprise software as well as clear parameters over employee privacy and data collection. Some enterprise software vendors have partnered chatbot developers to create solutions for their software
  8. However, even without customisation, chatbots can still provide significant value in generic information services
  9. As use of technology increases in HR, HR leaders need to review the skillsets required in their HR team to enable the function to thrive in a new digital age

Read the full thesis here: Chatbots in HR: Improving the Employee Experience

 

Jumping in feet first into bots

Coding

This blog was created as a requirement for my part time masters course in digital media management at Hyper Island Singapore .

Now that I’m embarking on my final project, I’m re-purposing this blog to document my learnings and observations on my project, which revolves around the research question “How might I better understand, and test, the potential of chatbots and its application in the HR function?”

Why chatbots? Well, why not?

Initially I had a lot of hesitation on embarking on this (I still do), because I have no technical knowledge, but I’m fortunate to have friends who do have that background, and have pointed to resources and toolkits that will help me build a prototype, should I need to.

In the working world, where it may sometimes be difficult to launch projects that you are uncertain about, this is the best platform to try something new and unknown. After all, it affects only me, if I fail. And even if I fail, what is the worst that can happen? A delayed project submission? Not getting my masters? (although I’m going to try my best to not let that happen).

The experience I gain would be far more valuable than a piece of paper. So, wish me luck and success on this journey.