7 HR chatbots that can improve employee engagement and productivity

3 HR chatbots that can improve the employee experience

As more and more employees work remotely, they’re undoubtedly experiencing a number of challenges. 

New hires may have trouble getting up to speed; team members may experience difficulty building rapport; and employees may generally feel uncomfortable asking their colleagues questions. 

To help address these challenges, and many others, you can turn to human resources (HR) chatbots.

We’ll review 7 HR chatbots that can help, but before we do, let’s take a step back and align on what they are and how using one can up-level employee engagement.

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What is an HR chatbot?

It’s a type of chatbot that can be used as part of an HR-related workflow automation. More specifically, it allows employees to access information and actions from their applications through a conversational interface in your business communications platform (e.g. Slack).

Related: What is an IT chatbot?

How an HR chatbot can improve employee engagement

This type of chatbot generally offers 3 benefits for your employees:

3 ways that an HR chatbot benefits employees
  • It centralizes your tools. Your employees don’t have to login to individual apps to do their work. They can simply use the messaging platform they’re already on—like Slack, Teams, or Workplace—to access and use any app.  
  • It helps colleagues meet one another. This not only applies to new employees who are looking to get acquainted with those in and outside of their team, but also longer-tenured employees who may be looking to connect with others.
  • It puts the employee experience first. By allowing employees to avoid app-hopping, giving them convenient access to information, and enabling them to celebrate and connect with one another, chatbots can help your organization provide a first-rate employee experience.

Related: 3 chatbots that can improve your team’s work routine

With this context in mind, let’s walk through a few specific HR chatbots that can help your HR team provide a best-in-class employee experience.

1. Help employees find info independently with Knowledge Bot

Your colleagues likely share a variety of straightforward questions that need to get addressed quickly. These questions fall under topics like:

3 topics that tend to elicit a lot of questions from employees

Instead of forcing certain employees to answer the same questions time and time again, or having employees comb through the knowledge base every time they need help, you can use Knowledge Bot.

Here’s how Knowledge Bot works:

1. When an employee has an issue or question, they can visit Knowledge Bot in their organization’s messaging platform. 

2. The employee then has the option of inputting the category issue (e.g. Information Technology) and adding anything related to their issue or question under Search Term.

An example of how you can use Knowledge Bot in Slack

3. Once the employee hits Apply Filters, Knowledge Bot searches through all of the content across your organization’s knowledge bases in real time, whether it’s Guru, Confluence, Zendesk, etc., and it surfaces a few relevant articles for the employee.

4. The employee can then click on one of the article links to visit its page.

Related: How service desk chatbots can benefit your employees

2. Onboard new hires more easily with Welcome Bot

When a new hire comes onboard, they’ll likely need help with identifying the channels they should join within your organization’s messaging platform. This is all the more true if they’re working remotely, as the messaging platform can serve as their all-in-one place for uncovering valuable job-specific information and interacting with colleagues.  

Welcome Bot can help take the load off of your HR department and hiring managers by sending a message to the new hire on their first day that:

  • Asks them to introduce themselves to the wider team in a specific channel
  • Shares channels that are specific to their area of interest
  • Presents additional channels that can help the new hire stay up-to-date on all kinds of company information
  • Offers channels that are filled with fun and casual conversations
A Slack message from Welcome Bot that's sent on an employee's first day

On the second day, Welcome Bot can help onboard the new hire even further by sharing a message that:

  • Reminds the new hire to introduce themself to the company
  • Tells the new hire about key contacts at the organization
  • Presents specific resources that the new hire should know about
A Slack message from Welcome Bot that's sent on an employee's second day

 Related: Examples of using HR automation to improve recruiting and employee engagement

3. Wish colleagues a happy birthday in a way that’s thoughtful with Birthday Bot

When employees work remotely, your options for celebrating their birthdays are inherently limited. That being said, you can still recognize their big day and make it better with Birthday Bot.

Using the HR chatbot, you’ll learn when a birthday from one of your team members is approaching, and you’ll get an opportunity to craft a message for them well in advance. 

Once the team member’s birthday arrives, Birthday Bot takes all of the messages from the team and shares it directly with the employee.

A Slack message from Birthday Bot that's asking an employee to submit a birthday wish for a colleague

Related: How helpdesk automation can help you deliver better employee experiences

4. Empower employees to submit referrals with RecruiterBot

Allowing employees to refer former colleagues and friends doesn’t just benefit them: Research proves that referred employees are more likely to stay at a company for longer and perform better.

To encourage employees to submit referrals, you can enlist the help of RecruiterBot. The HR chatbot allows employees to submit referrals by providing a modal in your business communications platform that includes all of the required referral fields from your ATS; once filled out and submitted, the bot adds the candidate to your ATS.

A screenshot of the RecruiterBot UI

The team over at Slack uses RecruiterBot and shared the significant results it’s delivered in their recruitment efforts.

“Since (RecruiterBot was) launched last year, we’ve seen 100% of referrals flow through Recruiter Bot. We’ve also seen our average referral time decrease by 50%.”
Vasu Jain Senior Software Engineer at Slack

Related: 5 internal chatbots worth implementing

5. Connect with team members and understand what they’re working on with Standup Bot  

Given that many of your team members likely work remotely, it’s easy to feel disconnected from them and their work.

You can mitigate this feeling and bring your teams closer together by using Standup Bot. 

Here’s how it can work: The bot asks each member of your team a specific set of questions every morning, such as “How are you feeling this morning?” and “What are your 3 most important tasks for today?” and “Any roadblocks or questions?” 

A screenshot of how Workato uses Standup Bot. 
A screenshot of how Workato uses Standup Bot. 

Once you’ve submitted your answers, Standup Bot posts them in your team’s channel within your business communications platform, allowing everyone on your team to see how you’re doing and what you’re working on—and they can respond accordingly.

6. Fast-track vacation requests and approvals with HR Bot

It’s thoroughly proven that vacations benefit both employees and your organization.  

You can help employees (and your organization) reap these benefits by making the process of requesting time off easy through HR Bot.

Using the bot, employees can request paid time off through a simple command (e.g. “request time off”). HR Bot then prompts them to provide the specific days they’d like to take off and the reason they’d like to take that time off; once submitted, HR Bot quickly confirms that the requested days off don’t exceed the employee’s time off balance according to your HRIS. Assuming it doesn’t, the bot goes on to share the request with the requestor’s manager. The manager can reject or approve the request with the click of a button in your business communications platform, and whatever they decide, HR bot goes on to notify the requestor in real-time (this decision also gets reflected in your HRIS). 

Related: How “Osiris Bot” streamlined Persefoni’s job requisition workflow

7. Enable employees to submit expenses with ease by using Benefits Bot

Your organization likely has allotted budgets for various types of benefits, whether it’s related to your employees’ home office, wellness, or education.

You can help employees submit expenses for any one of these benefits, track their status of any claim, and see how much they’ve expensed (as well as their remaining balance) for a given type of benefit with Benefits Bot. 

On the bot’s homepage, the employee can view the variety of benefits available to them. They can then go on to submit a claim with the simple click of a button (e.g. “Put in a new claim”). 

A screenshot of how Workato uses Benefits Bot. 
A screenshot of how Workato uses Benefits Bot. 

This prompts the bot to ask the employee for all the information that’s required, such as a description of the item that was purchased, the amount to claim, and a screenshot of the receipt. Once submitted, the bot posts the claim to the appropriate channel in your business communications platform, where the designated approvers can review and accept (or reject) it. Lastly, the requestor gets notified of the final decision and the bot goes on to process the claim—if approved—in the appropriate system.

Related: How we use “Standup Bot” to build rapport and collaborate effectively

Use Workbot to fulfill all of your internal chatbot needs

Workbot, our enterprise platform bot, can be customized to work as any of the chatbots outlined in this page—and many more. Plus, you can use Workbot on a variety of popular messaging platforms, including Slack, Teams, and Workplace, which all but ensures that you can use it at your organization.

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About the author
Jon Gitlin Content Strategist @ Workato
Jon Gitlin is the Managing Editor of The Connector, where you can get the latest news on Workato and uncover tips and frameworks for implementing powerful integrations and automations. In his free time, he loves to run outside, watch soccer (er...football) matches, and explore local restaurants.