Alex and Amber are the names of the recruitment and engagement bots in place at AXA Affin General Insurance (GI). Chief People Officer, Syukri Sudari, an esteemed Accelerate HR conference speaker, brings out the role of the bots in blending with the human touch and elevating HR, in a conversation with Priya Veeriah.

Q Riding on the theme of the conference, if there is only thing you would like to accelerate in HR what would it be?

The one thing I would like to accelerate is mindset.

Having an accelerated mindset is important, where one will constantly seek for improvement in every aspect, including the eagerness in learning new things, exploring new ways of doing things, improvising existing processes and procedures.

All these are critical to HR practitioners to be strategically aligned with business directions that may change from time to time.

Q Please tell us more about your exciting bot success story! 

We are very proud to be the first in the industry to introduce ‘Alex’ ̶  a recruitment bot developed in house in 2017 through robotic process automation (RPA).

This important milestone marks the start of our RPA journey where we actively engage our people to work hand-in-hand with the virtual workforce to improve agility and efficiency at work.

As of 2019 (in just two years), we have developed 116 bots across different business functions in the company. Today, 70% of recruitment processes are taken up by Alex, with a drop of cost spent on recruitment agency as much as 34%.

This success story has received overwhelming responses and become a driving force for various departments in the organisation to leverage on bots in their scope of work.

Q What is the secret recipe behind Alex and Amber? 

The foundation lies in having an accelerated mindset that aligns with the core values of the company. It is important to have an end goal in mind and pick/build the right bot that meets your needs and expectations.

Alex is a bot developed in-house and tailored to meet our recruitment needs. We took charge and ensured that we got it right at the development stage, worked closely with the expert team to employ best practices, stayed detailed and specific while keeping our stakeholders engaged throughout the development of the bot.

While Amber is an engagement bot that is developed by a third party. The secret recipe of implementing it is having the courage of trying new things, applying the 80-20 rule, where 80% is good enough to take decisions and position Amber right upon implementation, and continuously build trust with your targeted audience via various action plans.

Q What do you aim to improve in your organisation with the two bots? 

Personally, bots’ existence is meant to bring positive impact to our people and their daily work. Bots can help to do basic engagement with target audiences/stakeholders, and our people can move away from repetitive routine work to focus more on value-added and meaningful tasks. This gives more job satisfaction to the team and at the same time enhances employee experience to a truly human experience.

Q Why should HR leaders attend the #AccelerateHR conference? 

Aside from using this platform to connect with HR professionals from different industries who are pursuing common goals, the conference will inspire you to accelerate to the next level through learning and sharing of best practices, hence contributing to better workplaces in Malaysia.

If you are on the lookout to elevate your organisational data strategy and relieve business pain points, don’t miss Syukri’s session on 8-9 April 2020 in Kuala Lumpur. Register today to enjoy 42% savings!