Thoughts About Bots In Human Capital Management and Beyond!

In a recent research note we highlighted a key trend about Chief Human Resources Officers (CHROs) piloting and implementingWorkforce Empowerment Systems (WES) to win the war for talent. This trend was noted in our recent Greyhound Research study titled Emerging Markets CHRO Priorities 2016, where we spoke to 750+ CHROs from across the globe.

As part of the same study, we noted another interesting trend — 6% CHROs are considering possible application of bots in HR related functions. While this may be a small number today, at Greyhound Research, we believe this is an important trend which needs due attention. While much work has been done about using bots to improve customer engagement, the use case of bots to help improve workforce productivity remains largely an unexplored territory.

Before we talk more on this topic, it’s only fitting that we answer a very fundamental question — what is a bot?

At Greyhound Research, we define a bot as “a software-based agent capable of human-like interactions, designed to automate human tasks of a repetitive, scripted nature. Bots ideally exist as part of multi-agent architectures and operate on the principles of self and collective learning. Powered by artificial intelligence, machine learning, or other similar methodologies, bots are meant to handle complex tasks at extreme scales more efficiently and at cheaper costs compared to humans.”

At Greyhound Research, we believe the era of Knowledge Worker is over and the era of Connected Worker is here. The Connected Worker is not just about connected devices. Rather, the Connected Worker is about access to real-time information (as opposed to passive) to make faster, smarter decisions at work.

We at Greyhound Research believe that bots can help cater to needs of this growing breed of workers — their need to stay connected and have access to real-time information. Having said that, we believe that getting the connected workers to accept bots requires careful planning, native integration within existing technology environment and change management. For bots to be truly adopted by this workforce, organisations need to think beyond productivity and focus on workforce experience and empowerment throughout the employee lifecycle.

At Greyhound Research, we divide the employee lifecycle into 7 stages. While vertical specific use cases will differ, below are some of our thoughts about application of bots in each stage of the employee lifecycle:

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