Ep 193: Using Chatbots in HR

On today’s podcast, I’d like to talk about using chatbots in HR to help streamline tasks and free up your team’s time to focus on high-touch projects. Chatbots, powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and armed with machine learning, can interact with humans and become increasingly agile with each interaction. If you’ve ever “talked” to Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri or Microsoft’s Cortana, you were interacting with a chatbot.

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Ep 193: Using Chatbots in HR with Beth White (@HRtalkbot)

Chatbots have been a hot topic in HR and that’s why I asked Beth White, Founder and Chief Bot at MeBeBot to join me on today’s podcast.

We might not even know it but most of us have interacted with a chat bot at some post generally as a consumer, but this technology is moving fast into the HR industry. Beth shares with us what chat bots are and how they can be used in the podcast. She says applications for chat bots in HR is really about putting a new communication mechanism in what we call the flow of work. She says that chat bots are fabulous different types of communication tools that work with different collaboration platforms like Slack and Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts. Employees are already using these tools to communicate to each other. Employees interact with a chat bot on these platforms and are able to ask a series of frequently asked questions or FAQ’s to the chat bot directly within the platform of their choosing.

Employees are able new way to interact in a new way quickly getting answers to common HR questions that tend to take up so much of our time as HR generalists. Beth says that the chat bot technology helps free up HR leaders automating some of the common questions. Responses are refined for the client and use natural language processing and artificial intelligence to provide better answers that suit the needs of the company and employees.

Understanding AI in HR and Common Terminology

One of my personal big pet peeves in our industry is the mis-use of technological terms as marking lingo designed to generate buzz. The use of technology terminology in our industry is a challenge and I think that all this technology hype generates confusion among so many in our industry. Beth is a former HR practitioner turned technologist who is creating technologies to truly help elevate the HR space. She understands both worlds which is why I asked her to share differences between this tech talk including: artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. While you should listen to the full podcast interview to get Beth’s insights, I will share that machine learning and natural language processing are types of AI. You can’t have machine learning without AI, and this is part of what I think is confusing for HR leaders who are just diving into understanding artificial intelligence as it applies in human resources. 

We, as consumers are used to having different types of mechanisms for contacting our cable or phone company, etc. They're leveraging technologies within their business. Why aren't we using that same inside our #HR business? - @hrtalkbot #ai #hrtech… Click To Tweet

Chat Bot Case Study for HR

Beth shares how her client, E2Open uses MeBeBot’s chat bot technology at their organization. EVA is a virtual assistant that the E2Open team sees as an extension of their team. The team even had a new employee announcement when EVA was launched with a new hire celebration and other company-wide communication. EVA is answering 250 employee questions each month saving the HR team 7+ hours during that same time. You can hear more about EVA by listening to the AIHR Webinar available on Workology’s LEARN platform for free. Links are below.

The future of chat bots for HR is unlimited and Beth sees bots going beyond commonly asked HR questions but also learning and development, streamlining employee appraisals, and the benefits enrollment process.

Conclusion

I could talk for hours about HR tech, especially about how companies can “future-proof” productivity with new tools and technology. This has been a fascinating discussion and I’m so pleased to have had the opportunity to learn from Beth and her extensive experience working with companies on AI technology in HR.

Connect with Beth White

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.

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