Business and technology insights

HRM Redefined with Conversational Interface

 
February 24, 2020

“I want to order a pizza”

“Which one?”

“Margherita”

“Would you like something else?”

“No, thanks”

“Okay, your order is processing”

There was no need to navigate around the screens or call customer support to order pizza. Everything was done through a more interactive and accessible conversational interface, either using text or voice command.

This interface, when augmented with artificial intelligence (AI), deep learning and NL abilities (natural language processing (NLP) & natural language understanding (NLU)), understands the natural language of human users and works as a virtual agent of a human or system.

It can, not only improve B2C businesses but also transform key business practices and systems by providing relevant information in a cost-effective manner.

Conversational interface in current HR practices

Human Resource Management is a complex process, involves many responsibilities that directly influence the organization, but are not visible firsthand. HR professionals are generally involved in various manual and menial activities, which are repetitive. They have to manage a large employee base with small team size, which generally involves one-way communication.

The conversational interface or chatbots in HR have the potential to offload the work of HR professionals and establish a two-way communication with employees as a human end. Employees can also interact with it at their own convenience from anytime anywhere. Let’s see how different HR practices get impacted by the conversational interface.

  • Recruitment

The conversational interface can make the overall recruitment process quick and efficient and enhance the candidate experience during the hiring process. It can help HR professionals to source requirements from various departments and publish them. A potential candidate can have personalized interaction, understand the requirement and provide key details by answering a series of questions, without browsing multiple screens in the job portal. The conversational interface  can schedule interviews, do the cognitive assessment of the candidates by understanding the sentiment, satire and voice modulation and recommend potential match. It can keep the candidate updated with the hiring progress through notifications.

  • Employee Onboarding

The conversational interface can reduce the paperwork and make onboarding a self-serve process. It can free up a significant amount of time of HR professionals and reduce the cognitive load of new hires in completing the pre-joining formalities. Each time a new employee joins, the HR professional doesn’t need to explain the same set of instructions. Instead, a conversational bot for HR can educate new hires about the organization, its policies, roles & responsibilities, and team details, and help them in submitting all necessary information/documents. It can make the employees comfortable in the new working environment faster.

  • Employee Engagement

Whenever an employee has queries regarding HR policies, he/she doesn’t need to open a ticket, drop a mail or personally meet an HR professional. The AI-powered chabots in HR can resolve thousands of queries of employees 24*7 (at the same time) even with employees not being present at their workplaces. It can help employees to participate in surveys and provide anonymous feedback. If there is an important announcement or notification to be shared, it can ensure that it reaches everyone.

  • Time Management

The conversational interface can give leave and attendance management an interactive and human touch. An employee can check leave balance, attendance status, holiday calendar and submit leave or attendance regularization request either through voice or text command. It can reduce the wait time in the leave approval process by understanding the urgency through sentimental analysis.

How conversational interface can redefine the UI of complex HRMS

A conversational interface can transform transactional UI to a platform-agnostic unified interface and ensure that functionalities are not hidden under menus. A single unified interface can reduce the underlying friction of conventional GUI and save employees from following a fixed set of instructions. It can allow employees to have a two-way interactive communication in their own language and receive real-time personalized and customized responses. Once conversational UI rides on the social media bandwagon, it can be accessed from your favorite chat platform such as Facebook messenger and made available through other personal digital assistants i.e. Amazon Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant or Microsoft Cortana.

A conversational interface can not only improve HR professionals’ productivity by automating the mundane and repeatable tasks but also keep employees satisfied with smart work-like assistants who enhance their day-to-day experience at work. It provides an opportunity of brand endorsement among young talents who are constantly looking for a more open and collaborative work environment to innovate. The need of the hour is to build it with personalized user experience at the center so that it can develop a relationship between the employees and the organization.

Nilesh Jaiswal is a Mobile Application Developer in Innovation and Product Engineering group in the Platform Solutions unit at TCS. He has more than 5 years of experience in native mobile application development using Swift, Objective C, Java with expertise in AI/ML and IOT. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering  from SIMS Indore, India.

Rajeev Sharma heads mobile and API framework development in Innovation and Product Engineering group in Platform Solutions unit at TCS. He is having 16 years of experience, and his area of expertise includes solution design, architecture, consulting and product development across verticals. He has delivered multiple complex business solutions and demonstrated deep technical and domain expertise in multiple areas. He holds a Master of Computer Applications from Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak.