Could Chatbots Replace HR?

inhuman resources

Human Resources. They must uphold company policy to create a pleasant and productive work environment. Frequently, especially in big corporations, HR has its hands full. But what if there was a chatbot to lend a helping hand? But NOT with hiring people. We all saw how that went, and suffice it to say, YIKES! With technology advancing at the current rate, we see complex applications for artificial intelligence, including HR chatbots for inhuman resources.

Presenting Inhuman Resources

Human resources handle hundreds of requests from different departments on a good day. It could get overwhelming. And in this day and age, we have the tool to lighten the burden where we can, and it would be a shame not to use it. An HR chatbot could take over various tasks, such as simple queries that have an answer in the database (including the company policy handbook). Picture a software similar to Microsoft’s Office Assistant Clippit (remember the paperclip? I miss that guy) that runs while your desktop is unlocked, giving you a direct, automated, but effective line to HR. Inhuman Resources!

Employee Queries

Let’s say you would like to ask your coworker on a date but are still determining if the company allows fraternization. A simple question along the lines of “is fraternization allowed in the company?” could get you straightforward answers such as:

  • Yes.
  • Yes, but it is not encouraged.
  • No.

Employee Complaints

Now let’s say a colleague has been making work life unnecessarily difficult through means that violate the company’s code of conduct. You could ask the HR chatbot to file an anonymous complaint against that person. Of course, with such a system, employers trust their employees not to abuse the system. You would also create the paper trail HR would need later in case the behavior escalates.

Employee Requests

let’s say you have worked religiously throughout the year and decided to vacation. Still, you need clarification about the number of vacation days you have left and how to file the request appropriately. All you’d need is to open the chat and have a conversation with the AI to determine the logistics of the time off.

Bonus: The AI could remember every interaction it has ever made with you, thus tailoring the conversation to fit.

Best Part

Human resources are human beings. It’s in the name. So, unfortunately, sometimes things slip through the cracks—for example, an unethical line manager or a micromanaging head of a department. The HR chatbot would pile the complaints filed against the individual and alert the HR personnel so they can take appropriate measures to find a solution. When not swamped with “mundane” requests, the HR department can efficiently do its job, including hiring qualified talent for the available positions.

Final Thoughts

While the human resources departments tend to have a bad reputation, the truth is they are just trying to give the employees what they need without causing a legal backlash to the company. But if HR wants to continue to be human-led, it has to offer more than just be an instrument of the company. It must protect those who are vulnerable to a sometimes-inhuman system.

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