How Is This Not a Thing?

The future of HR is the bot. In fact, I’m not sure if it’s the future or we, as a profession, are just catastrophically behind in the way we leverage technology to further our tactical and strategic purposes. Yeah, pretty sure the latter is the culprit.

In basic terms a bot is a software application that can run tasks that are both simple and repetitive. Just like every other technology, bots have evolved. Add artificial intelligence to bots and you get virtual personal assistants, like Siri.

Next sprinkle in some emotional intelligence to that bot, and you have a new virtual HR Representative that can interact with human employees.

This new virtual HR bot, let’s call him Toby, will revolutionize HR.

Instead of staffing HR help desks and employing an army of employee relations representatives to answer the same mundane questions day-to-day, employees can instead access on-demand a bot from an internal portal or on their mobile device and ask questions that are most relevant to them at that moment. Routine questions that clog our HR inboxes and take up our precious time can be virtually eliminated. Toby can answer questions on where to access employee pay stubs, how much your individual deductible is, and when your self-evaluation is due.

Further, Toby can pinch hit as your on-demand Manager resource. When your managers have pressing questions and concerns such as initiating a status change, or an FLSA question, or a training need, he or she can simply access Toby for exactly the information they require at that moment rather than waiting on their HR Specialist to be available or wasting time sifting through training materials or public drives or FAQ’s to access the information.

Consider the possibilities of using bot technology, Toby in this instance, as your orientation and onboarding specialist. Toby is programmed to communicate with your new hire prior to their arrival, preparing he or she for their first day, assisting them with new hire paperwork and benefits enrollment and being a touch point in that first crucial 90-days of any new hire’s experience with the company.

Toby, our friendly bot, is also available at any time to take first reports of injury, employee suggestions and initial complaints. Toby can also conduct stay and exit interviews. Rather than waiting for a manager or an HR representative to be available, employees can access Toby 24/7 while the human HR team collects all of the data retained by Toby iand allows us to focus more on the overall alignment of HR with the business.

There are probably hundreds of more HR responsibilities that bots can take on to create a successful life cycle for the employee. This idea radically changes the playing field for the skills and competencies that are required of human resource professionals. I’m game, are you HR?

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