How Voice Assistants Bring New Benefits to HR Departments
Answering questions and organizing schedules are some of the most basic tasks people ask voice assistants to do for them at home. At the office, the traditionally slow and clunky human resources systems can feel downright medieval in comparison. That’s starting to change however, thanks to a mix of better technology, and more ways for companies to apply the solutions.
High Tech HR
Continuously updating and checking even a personal schedule spreadsheet can be laborious, let alone a large company department. Voice technology replaces all of the manual labor with simply asking a device to tell you about your upcoming work schedule. With the advances in artificial intelligence and Natural Language Processing, it’s no longer a major risk to rely on the programs to understand and translate requests from a wide array of voices and styles of speech. For enterprise purposes, there would also need to be adjustments to customize the digital HR for the specific workplace. adapting the software to the specific work vocabulary.
Building on Giants
Consumer-grade virtual assistants have advanced by leaps and bounds as Amazon, Apple, Google, and some of their rivals have poured resources into their respective projects. The large and growing Alexa and Google Assistant developer communities, have spawned tens of thousands of voice apps. Though there are relatively few that could improve HR at a company, the number is growing.
Reward Gateway jumped into the HR space early on, launching an Alexa skill for its employee engagement platform two years ago. The skill allows HR professionals to access employee information, the performance of their employee engagement program, trending company news and how popular different benefits are with employees, all by voice.
The skills created by the tech giants for their own platforms can also be useful for HR departments, even if they don’t incorporate more sensitive employee information. Google announced it would integrate its entire G Suite into Google Assistant back in April, including the much-requested calendar app. There are plenty of companies out there who use Google’s G Suite to manage their employees and their schedules. Being able to handle that by voice could also benefit busy HR departments.
Taking an Independent Approach
Companies don’t need to rely on Amazon or Google to apply the advantages of voice technology to their offices. Ceridian, a developer of human capital management technology, launched Dayforce Assistant this year as a scheduling voice control system. The new feature is part of Dayforce, the company’s central HR software platform.
Employees of companies using Ceridian software can ask Dayforce Assistant for help finding and adjusting their shift schedules as easily as they would ask Alexa or Siri to make a calendar event for them. The assistant can also be adjusted to follow the regulations laid out by the company so that, for example, employees don’t accidentally get approved for more time off than they are allowed.
Voice assistants for any purpose are still very new. Though fairly ubiquitous in mobile phones, their feature sets are limited when it comes to business processes. There is little risk that voice assistants will replace HR managers anytime soon, let alone schedule sheets and time cards. But, as people grow more used to voice assistants, and devices like smart speakers become more commonplace, it may only be a matter of time before employees rarely need to rely on other humans to handle their interactions with an employer.