Artificial intelligence in the form of conversational agents, augmented by machine learning and natural language processing, is revolutionizing HR processes and functions. In times of crisis, these agents have proven their usefulness for a majority of users.
From the old staff service of grandpa to modern human resources management, the HR profession is no longer limited to an administrative or transactional role consisting only in hiring, firing and managing employees. Today, the HR function is a strategic business partner, an essential element of the corporate brand image, an experience creator, support in change management and an internal communicator. From the arrival and departure, grievances and unhappiness registration office, the HR function now plays a leading role in employee engagement, their development in the company and their skills.
Above all, just like marketing and sales, HR must take on a transformational role, managing its own transformation driven by new AI-based technologies. This is especially true in the area of conversational agents. In the second edition of its Observatory of Chatbots, the company Dydu, the publisher of applications for the creation and administration of conversational agents, notes a clear adoption of this technology compared to its previous survey conducted in 2018: 52% of respondents have already set up a chatbot or plan to do so. However, actual deployments remain low, with 25% of respondents who have already implemented it, compared to only 6% in 2018. The survey was conducted in full containment, during the month of April, and the results are compared to the previous study conducted in 2018.
Chatbots on the front line facing teleworkers
In addition to their adoption, awareness of conversational agents is increasing, as 60% of HR professionals now know what a chatbot is, compared to 22% in 2018. At the other end of the spectrum, a white area of knowledge persists with 16% of respondents who have no idea what a chatbot is, compared to 43%.
The investigation having been carried out during confinement, at the time when the employees were isolated at home, it is particularly interesting to assess the appreciation of the use of these intelligent agents during a serious crisis. In the end, they are almost unanimous among those who deployed them: 70% of HR professionals believe that they are more useful in times of crisis, 83% among HR decision-makers. Only 27% find them of no use and 3% find them less useful than usual. More generally, time savings (48%) and simplicity (27%) are the main qualities attributed to these digital aids. The average score assigned to them is 7.5 / 10.
Human resources professionals are involved in many manual chores and repetitive tasks. The arrival of conversational agents allows them to focus on value-added tasks rather than spending their time answering recurring questions. Their 24/7 availability and the possibility of access to certain HR functions facilitate the daily lives of employees. According to the results of the survey, for 3 out of 4 respondents, chatbots participate in enhancing the image of the company and the employer brand.
They believe that they will have an impact on HR professions in the future, and their expectations evolve and focus more on technical and security aspects.