Impact of Robotics in delivering HR Services

by Brucelin 

1.What is your take about robotics automation in the HR industry?

In any industry, repeated and manual tasks are good candidates for automation with bots. HR industry is no different and it has a huge potential for robotic automation.

The HR spectrum ranges from pre-on boarding to post–exit operations and currently there are several mundane and redundant tasks which are done manually. The key here is to pick out those activities that are time-consuming at a mass level and try to replace them with software programs called “Bots”

Tasks, like verifying the on boarding checklist, sending out emails, validating payroll inputs and outputs etc, are good candidates for automation.

Automation also improves precision and quality of these activities apart from saving time and effort.

2.Can you name some of the common HR processes where bots intervene to enhance the quality of work delivered? Has this drastically reduced manual intervention?

Sub-processes in on-boarding, recruiting and payroll processing are some HR processes where bots are found to be commonly deployed. Let us take the case of On-boarding/exit; the following tasks can easily be automated using this evolving technology

  • Assess, prepare and create new joiner data
  • Streamline information across disparate corporate systems for preparation on Day 1
  • Consolidate leave input from business areas and feed to downstream systems

In the case of recruitment, there are several areas where automation can be applied. Take, for example, the following scenarios

  • Processing candidate notifications for interviews, rejection and feedback
  • Candidate reviews – screening of CV’s and online application forms

The entire sequence of events from sourcing resumes by referring to a Job Description to scheduling interviews and rolling out offers can be automated through proper strategizing and planning.

However, these are just the tip of the iceberg; there are several other innovative aspects to this, if rightly explored, could result in strengthening the HR processing landscape

3.List some of the key advantages of using robotics in HR processes?

Some of the key benefits of using robotics in HR include

  • Time and cost savings
  • Increased accuracy and efficiency
  • Increased consistency of processing
  • Improved productivity and throughput

4.What, in your point of view are the key trends to watch out in the field of robotics in the next 5 years? What would be the biggest technology trends to look forward to in 2017?

I think robotics is going to be a huge game changer across all the industries. The wave has already started everywhere and Robotics along with Artificial Intelligence, Block chain and IOT are going to create a huge disruption in the way in which businesses are going to operate in the future

In the next 5 years, tools like Blue Prism, UI Path and Automation Anywhere are going to be used exhaustively to automate manual processes across all the industries. In areas where strategy and decision making are required, AI and Robotics will collaborate.

The Key trends to watch out for in 2017 include Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Block chain and IOT

5.Do you think any particular industry is adopting robotics fast these days? As an authority in the field, could you point out the early adopters of RPA in the industry?

Retail and health care are two important industries that are adopting robotics at a rapid pace. Take the case of Amazon, they already have drones manning their warehouses and they also plan to do door delivery of goods using drones in the future.

Robots are also deployed in production and assembly lines in major factories to reduce dependency on Human Resources.

In the case of healthcare, robot-assisted surgeries are highly common these days, we also have robots taking the role of general physicians by imbibing all the knowledge that are essential to analyse patient cases and take necessary actions. Artificially intelligent healthcare chat-bots could evolve to treat many common ailments.

6.In closing, can you share few key learning’s that you’ve had over the course of your professional exposure and experience in dealing with the robotics and automation?

The most important thing to understand is that automation is not really a new term – The era of automation started with the advent of computers and later the internet where various tools were devised to solve business. From mainframes to the client servers to cloud computing, automation has evolved in different phases encompassing different areas.

Robotics and AI have existed for a while now and the thrust to use them has increased in the past couple of years due to the enormous growth in business processes due to the scarcity of manpower as well as the ever-increasing cost of skilled and unskilled labour.

My final take is that unlike earlier occasions, robotics is going to make a huge dent in the way business is being carried out now and unless business owners realise this and make the right moves, they might find themselves questioning their survival amidst competitors who might have travelled far ahead of the curve.


Increasing user adoption with the “whats in it for me” rule

By Bharathi Ramamurthy, 01 Sep,2016

Technology has transformed the way we do business today and HR is no exception. But, time and again, in spite of implementing the best HRIS platforms, organizations grumble about the lower percent of user adoption and struggle to instigate effective users’ adoption.

Although we are in world where there are five generations of workforce, The “millennials” form more than half of the workforce.  These young workers are more exposed to latest gadgets, social networking, and in most cases tend to live their life in the virtual world. Now the big question! Then why do we seem to meet issues around HRIS adoption? (Fun Fact: Not even 5% of employee population use the HRIS to its full capacity). The reasons could be plenty, but to name a few – Continue Reading


Deep Dive on SuccessFactors Employee Central Service Center

By Srilatha Thota & Sarayu Raghavan, August 11, 2016

Businesses work hard to create a WOW customer experience — going out of the way to solve business problems at every step of the journey. Why should the employee experience be any different when it comes to their HR issues?

Employees frequently turn to HR practitioners to get their queries or issues resolved (queries regarding payslips/performance reviews/employee-relations or so on).  The traditional way of solving these queries was using sources ranging from papers to emails to information sessions – which weren’t giving the employee any joy.

The HR’s contribution to competitive advantage has yielded various innovative methods to service the employees better like the “Human Resources Helpdesk Services”. However, most HR helpdesk systems which exist are primarily ticketing systems. Their solutions may not be specifically designed to solve the unique needs of an HR practitioner and the employee experience is nothing to write home about.  Also integration of these ticketing tools to the HCM Systems remains a huge challenge.

Eliminating all these concerns and putting the employee experience in the forefront – SAP SuccessFactors provides a synergetic support solution – Employee Central Service Center. A solution that is smart, unique, relevant, timely and effective! Service Center system is integrated seamlessly to the Employee Central module of SAP SuccessFactors suite and has separate views for the employee and the agent.

During the course of this blog, we would walk you through the different features available for the employees and the Agents (HR practitioners) and also how these features contribute to running an effective HR shared services.

Fig 1: Difference between traditional systems and Service Center

Fig 1: Difference between traditional systems and Service Center

Let’s take a quick look into what SuccessFactors’ Service Center offers to an Employee and an Agent

Intuitive Service Ticketing Solution across Channels

Employee Central Service Center provides a wide variety of channels like email, phone, chat, and web.  This makes it simple and convenient for employees to find the information they are looking for, through a consistent employee service experience.

The Email response management captures complete conversation history at a single place and maximizes agent efficiency. The Routing and escalation rules ensure that the case is handled by the right agent

1. The Employee’s View (ASK HR) –

ASK HR is the launching point for your employees to create requests, set priority to service tickets and start interaction with agents. Employees can view history of all prior requests to save time and minimize duplicate requests. The Ask HR link is available on all SuccessFactors HCM Suite pages. They can also have real time conversation with agents.

The Service Center home page has the following main widgets –

  • Open Tickets – These are the tickets (issues) raised by employees which are not yet solved.
  • Need Confirmation – Once the agent solves a ticket, it goes to the employee for a confirmation to close the ticket. The employee confirms closure only if he/she is satisfied with the solution.
  • Create New Ticket – The employee can create a ticket (log an issue) using this widget.
  • Got a question for HR? Search HR resources – There are a set of inbuilt solutions for various processes which provide knowledge to employees on standardized process and policies for self-resolution.
  • Contact details – The employees also have contact details/mailing address to contact in case of an emergency.

    Fig 2: Ask HR home page

    Fig 2: Ask HR home page

Seamless Knowledge Base Integration

The knowledge base content can either be created by your HR practitioners with relevant links to HR self-service pages or existing content such as posted company policies and procedures. Knowledge base content can be categorized and secured based on criteria. HR resources are also defined in the Knowledge base. You can leverage this platform to respond intelligently in real time on a consistent basis. Employees can search for a solution relevant to their queries.

Fig 3: Integrated knowledge base

Fig 3: Integrated knowledge base

2. Agent HR View

Agents can process tickets in the Agents view- On opening a ticket, agent can access the tools required to solve employee queries. Agent also has access to the knowledge base which helps close tickets. They can change the status or priority of a ticket.

How does a ticket get assigned to an agent?

Based on ticket parameters like service category, priority, etc, an admin can set rules so that the right ticket is assigned to the right person or the team. The tickets are assigned to the different cadres of people from the service organization based on the priority set and the category. This is defined as routing rules.

When a ticket is overdue or crosses milestones set for a particular ticket (SLAs), it would be escalated. This ensures that the employee receives efficient HR support.

The widgets for an agent are –

  • Solution Finder – There are a set of inbuilt solutions for various processes which provide knowledge to employees on standardized process and policies for self-resolution. The agent can use this to resolve tickets.
  • Checklists – It is a set of predefined questions relevant to a set of queries for the agents. For e.g. when a visa is initiated for an employee, the agent can send a checklist to the employee which the employee answers and sends back. This allows the agent to identify what degree of support needs to be provided to the employee.
  • Templates – Predefined email responses can be configured for various issues. This saves time for the agent.
  • Similar Tickets – These are previous resolutions provided for a similar problem. The agent can refer to these tickets to solve the employee query.  Also these help in standardizing the responses.

    Fig 4: Agent View homepage

    Fig 4: Agent View homepage

Integration to EC through Mashup

C4C mashup- Real time and contextual integration of Employee Central and helpdesk data saves a lot of time and improves service. The agent can access the employee data securely without the need for a secondary login.

Fig 5: Service Center mashup screen

Fig 5: Service Center mashup screen

Insightful Analytics for the Shared Service Center Manager

  • Track real-time service delivery performance with pre-built dashboards
  • Readily use embedded reports to track response time, handle time, priority and escalation trends
  • Dig deeper into data using Microsoft Excel add-in
  • Gain greater insight through integrated access to analyses done with SAP Business Warehouse

SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Service Center acts as a centralized point of service through which an employee and an HR communicate in a seamless channel. Service Center enables your HR organization to securely track and handle the most sensitive issues while protecting the privacy of employee information and ensuring compliance.

Service Center allows your Contact Center to be smarter using fewer resources to deliver the same or even superior levels of service. If you are a SuccessFactors Employee Central customer and are evaluating HR Helpdesk, kindly reach us at irene.jones@neeyamo.com.