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Is it time for your company to invest in a chatbot?

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According to a recently published survey, 87% of CEOs are seeking to expand their artificial intelligence (AI) workforce. And, increasingly, this means chatbots.

For those less tech-savvy among us, according to Wikipedia: “A chatbot is a computer programme or an AI which conducts a conversation via auditory or textual methods. Such programmes are often designed to convincingly simulate how a human would behave as a conversational partner, thereby passing the Turing test.”

Some of the advantages of chatbots include a reduction in costs, streamlining interactions, (arguably) improve the customer experience, and saving time on repetitive tasks – something that would undoubtedly be welcomed by HR.

But is a chatbot right for your organisation? Depending on the quality of the chatbot selected – and the technology is improving all the time – it could improve your customers’ experiences or leave them feeling very frustrated. We’ve all dealt with automated voice systems that are comically inadequate.

But in defence of the humble chatbot, here are a few of the pluses:

Chatbots provide a quick and accurate response

This benefit is particularly applicable to human resources. Improvements in natural language processing mean that chatbots are now able to communicate convincingly with people in human language, including both your customers and employees.

Previously, when faced with a question, employees had to send emails to their HR department and wait for a response. HR bots have access to centralised databases containing all the necessary information regarding company policies and can provide instant and relevant answers.

Chatbots take the stress out of recruitment

Hiring can be a stressful process for HR. In a time-strapped work environment, a significant recruitment drive can mean hundreds of CVs and LinkedIn profiles to sift through.

This could be especially handy for small and medium-sized businesses not wishing to invest in dedicated software. Chatbots can help streamline the screening process, perform basic background checks and potentially eliminate any unconscious bias related to gender, race or age – helping to whittle down a shortlist of candidates quickly and efficiently.

Chatbots can smooth the onboarding process

Especially when your organisation is rolling out new tools or workflows that require extensive employee training, onboarding can be time-consuming, expensive and repetitive. Involving not only a lot of paperwork and compliance, onboarding also forms a big part of a newly hired employee’s first impression of your organisation. Chatbots can help streamline the process.

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