Table of Contents
- 4 Faces of HR Virtual Assistants
- Implementation Challenges
- How to Deal with Limitations?
Implementing robotic process automation, or RPA, is a quite long-lasting trend. 70% of companies in the world have joined this trend in 2020, according to the study. Have you ever answered robocalls or dealt with support chatbots? If yes, you might understand how widespread robotic assistants are.
One of the main reasons for utilizing RPA is its cost-efficiency. That’s why the RPA trend covers multiple domains, and the HR sector is not an exception. Human resources virtual assistants can help businesses make informed hiring decisions and provide a smooth employee experience, which is valuable for IT companies, as retention in tech becomes more and more complicated.
Sounds promising, but… In 53% of cases, companies get less than 10% savings from RPA implementation due to the report. So, how to learn if a virtual HR assistant will be a win-win solution for your business story? We’ve prepared a guide so that you can delegate the appropriate functions to your bots.
4 Faces of HR Virtual Assistants
Typically, a virtual HR assistant is an NLP-based chatbot which responds to human queries.
HR chatbots have gained immense popularity for:
Their ability to automate repetitive tasks, providing timely support when you need to scale teams and enhance HR operations;
Incorporated AI algorithms;
Suitability for teams of all sizes;
Compatibility with any domain through customization.
These tools come in handy at all the hiring stages.
#1. Virtual Assistant for Recruitment
Such an HR virtual assistant helps tech teams recruit software developers by screening resumes, conducting preliminary interviews, and managing communication with candidates. This solution not only saves time but also ensures that the selected candidates align with the company's values and requirements. These assistants can reach out to potential candidates, schedule interviews, and gather necessary information, allowing HR professionals to focus on higher-level tasks.
#2. Onboarding Virtual Assistant
Top HR experts are constantly improving their onboarding services, as they know that onboarding sets the tone for a specialist's journey within a company. Virtual HR assistants for onboarding can guide newcomers through the orientation process, providing documents for signing, forms with personal info to fill in, company policies, benefits, and surveys to check if the new hires understand those policies and benefits.
These virtual assistants may incorporate AR and VR to provide immersive onboarding experiences, training modules, and even virtual workplace tours. Utilizing AR and VR technologies especially caters to those companies who hire representatives of Gen Z.
#3. Digital HR Companion
HR chatbots can act as digital companions that provide immediate assistance to team members and HR professionals.
They can cover HR and administrative tasks like:
Checking compliance with labor laws and regulations and preparing compliance reports and audits, making the compliance process less error-prone.
Tracking and updating policies in real time.
Assisting with payrolls.
With virtual assistant and human resources automated platform, team members can get immediate answers to their HR-related queries. Whether it's a question about benefits, leave policies, or company policies, virtual assistants can provide quick and accurate responses.
Virtual companions may track specialists’ career aspirations and performance and set development paths by recommending matching training programs and learning resources. This personalization ensures that team members acquire the skills necessary to excel in their roles.
Moreover, virtual assistants are available 24/7 and can be trained to provide multilingual and multicultural support. This is a dream tool for global teams with members in different time zones.
#4. Virtual Assistant for HR Analytics
A human resources virtual assistant equipped with HR analytics capabilities can compile and analyze data from various sources, like employee experience platforms (or HRIS) to messengers. This data provides insights into the team’s performance, engagement, and retention. Such helpers can monitor the sentiment of team members, create reports, predict trends and the needs of hires and candidates. When HR specialists see potential areas of concern, such as turnover risks or burnout, and get recommendations for proactive interventions, their decisions are fact-based, and they can “remove” bottlenecks before they become visible to others.
While HR virtual assistants offer numerous advantages, it’s crucial to understand the possible roadblocks to their successful launch within a company.
Integration of a Human Resources Virtual Assistant with an Existing System
Companies which practice in-house recruitment already have established HR management systems and databases. Sometimes, it’s tricky to seamlessly connect a virtual assistant for HR functions with those systems. Compatibility issues, data transfer, and security concerns need to be addressed. In such a case, you need a well-thought-out integration plan. A smooth integration process is crucial to ensure that chatbots and virtual “specialists” enhance existing operations of the HR department rather than disrupt them.
Data Security and Privacy
HR operations deal with sensitive information, including personal details about candidates and hires, performance reviews, and financial data. It is essential for any company to program their HR virtual assistant to protect confidential information and adhere to privacy regulations like GDPR or HIPAA, depending on the region and industry.
Employee Resistance and Trust
Facing virtual assistants, team members may complain on a loss of human touch. To address these concerns, you can emphasize that virtual assistants are designed to enhance, not replace, humans.
Initial Investment and Training
An HR virtual assistant automation often requires an initial financial investment and time for training HR professionals to work alongside these digital tools effectively. Companies need to allocate resources for the development, customization, and ongoing maintenance of these virtual assistants.
Development from Scratch Vs. Pre-built Solution
Thinking that a pre-built chatbot development platform is a democratic solution? You’re right, as it’s easier to launch such a platform than to initiate large-scale development. Nevertheless, some pluses can turn into concerns.
✅ Many chatbot development platforms don't require extensive programming knowledge, making them accessible to a broader range of specialists.
❌ If you have highly specific requirements, you might find you lack features available within these platforms.
✅ At the first stages of development, using a platform can be cost-effective compared to building a chatbot from scratch.
❌ Some platforms charge monthly fees or fees per interaction, which can add up over time.
✅ Relying on a third-party platform, you don’t need to develop your own infrastructure and tech support.
❌ You are dependent on your SaaS provider. Your chatbot operations may freeze because of the platform’s downtime or discontinuation.
How to Deal with Limitations?
Want to keep on technologies and mitigate risks? Then, consider a combo — a virtual assistant and human resources specialists. While digital solutions, in various forms, have become integral to modern HR, human expertise is still needed to organize their work and leverage the results of this work.
HR chatbots and voice assistants are valuable tools for automating routine and repetitive tasks, providing information, and facilitating certain interactions, but even the most advanced chatbots have limitations. Here are some tasks that are difficult for a virtual assistant to handle.
❌ Complex Creative Tasks. Robotic minds struggle with tasks that require high levels of creativity. For instance, you can delegate them creating a newsletter to star candidates, but it, most likely, will be dry.
❌ Empathy and Emotional Support. While digital companions can provide basic emotional support and empathy through pre-programmed responses, they cannot truly understand or empathize with human emotions and experiences.
❌ Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving. Machines lack the ability to think critically, adapt to novel situations, and solve complex problems. They rely on pre-programmed rules and data and are not capable of independent reasoning.
❌ Ethical and Moral Decision-Making. Virtual assistants do not possess a moral compass and cannot make ethical or moral decisions. They cannot weigh the consequences of actions in the same way humans can.
❌ High-Stakes Decision-Making. HR bots may provide advice on whom to send the offer to or some legal advice. They can prepare financial planning for you, but you should take such things only as an option, not a ready-made decision.
❌ Cultural and Social Context Understanding. AI may struggle to understand cultural nuances, sarcasm, humor, and social context, which are essential for effective communication in many situations.
❌ Contextual Understanding and Memory. While chatbots and voice assistants can maintain context within a single conversation, they often lack the ability to retain long-term memory and understand complex contextual information over time.
❌ Judgment and Intuition. Virtual vis-à-vis do not possess human-like judgment or intuition, which are typically based on experience and a deep understanding of the world.
The development of AI and chatbot technology is ongoing, and its capabilities will improve in the future, taking into account rapidly developing Emotion AI. Yet, these limitations will likely persist to some extent. We cannot assume how long it will take to create digital helpers able to work without human help. At the same time, we can guarantee that by choosing Outstaff Your Team as your People partner, you will get full-cycle and state-of-the-art HR accompaniment.
What does an HR virtual assistant do?
A virtual HR assistant, in the form of a chatbot or voice assistant, can help HR professionals handle hiring, onboarding, payroll, and scheduling meetings. Such bots also can prepare HR analytics, update company policies, and answer HR-related FAQs of team members.
Why is virtual HR important?
Virtual HR tools are associated with cost savings that come with outsourcing HR tasks which could be done without human touch. There is enough time for strategical tasks when the routine is automated and HR experts (or even other managers if a company has no HR department) get quality data for decision-making. HR virtual assistants also help companies retain talent, as they provide candidates and existing team members with urgent, round-clock, well-structured and personalized support.
What is Virtual HR experience?
It is previous work experience or upskilling courses related to implementing and/or utilizing Virtual HR assistants for meeting various business needs like scanning more CVs within the same time frame to shorten the time to hire. If the role suggests working with digital helpers, it still means that the specialist should have mastered Human Resource Management or Industrial and Organizational Psychology, and be familiar with HRIS functionality.