By Erin Leventhal
In today’s uncertain economy, companies are looking for ways to streamline business processes to save time, increase efficiency, and reduce costs. One way they can do this is by using intelligent automation bots, also called digital workers, to perform mundane, repetitive tasks that have traditionally been performed by employees—effectively freeing up human capital to work on activities that add more value. By looking at automation capabilities as an extension of the team, companies can utilize automation platforms as an internal talent augmentation strategy. This article will explore the concept of using automation software as a way to increase the productivity and satisfaction of human staff.
What is a Digital Worker?
A digital worker is a virtual agent designed to automate routine and repetitive tasks performed by humans. They can be configured and trained to perform a variety of tasks, including data entry, transaction processing, customer service inquiries and much more. Using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), they can work around the clock and be easily scaled to meet the needs of any business.
Digital workers can be classified into two main categories: rule-based bots and AI-powered bots. Rule-based bots are programmed to follow specific rules and guidelines. For instance, they can respond to specific keywords or phrases in customer inquiries. AI-powered bots, on the other hand, are designed to use ML algorithms to learn from data and improve their performance over time. They can be trained to recognize patterns in data and make predictions based on that information.
The Power of Digital Workers
There are many business benefits to using digital workers. One of the primary advantages is that they can automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks, freeing up employees to focus on higher-level tasks. For instance, a digital worker can be utilized to handle customer inquiries, freeing up customer service representatives to manage escalated or more complex issues.
Digital workers also enable organizations to provide their customers with round-the-clock service—even outside of normal business hours when it can be challenging to find employees to work night or weekend shifts.
A critical benefit of digital workers is that they can provide businesses with valuable insights into customer behavior. By analyzing customer interactions with bots, businesses can gain insights into customer preferences and behavior, which can be used to improve products and services.
Leveraging Automation as Talent Augmentation
Incorporating intelligent automation throughout an organization is often part of a digital transformation initiative. To truly transform a business, its leaders need to learn how to use technology in new and unique ways—ultimately, leveraging automation to the benefit of the business overall.
When looking at current and future staffing needs, organizations often take an antiquated view of looking at position-based jobs and determining whether the position is filled and meeting the department’s needs, can be absorbed by another position, or eliminated entirely. However, intelligent automation enables businesses to look at function-based jobs and decide whether the job function can be fulfilled via automation. By changing the perspective on staffing needs from job positions to job functions, corporations can now utilize an intelligent automation platform as a talent agency with endless talent available at their disposal.
Example #1: Hiring Process
Let’s take the hiring process itself, for example. An internal recruiter or talent acquisition specialist performs a variety of functions within their job. By examining these functions, an organization can determine which functions can be successfully executed by a digital worker—and which require the emotional intelligence and decision-making that only humans can provide.
A digital worker could be leveraged to collect, scan and analyze resumes, as well as identify the most suitable candidates for a particular role. The bot can quickly filter out unqualified candidates and flag those who meet the necessary criteria for further review. It can even automatically notify those who will not move forward in the hiring cycle.
Digital workers can be used for candidate sourcing, searching for candidates on social media platforms such as LinkedIn and online job boards. They can also be used to automatically send recruitment messages to potential candidates.
They can be used to schedule interviews with candidates, eliminating the need for recruiters to manually schedule interview appointments.
Digital workers can even be used for candidate engagement, such as interacting with candidates to answer questions about the company, position and hiring process. In addition, they can provide updates on the status of their application.
While human recruiters and hiring managers are a critical part of the interview and overall hiring process, digital workers can be used to conduct initial electronic screening, written or technical interviews.
During the onboarding process, bots can be used to guide new hires through the onboarding process, answer questions and provide information about company policies, procedures and benefits.
Example #2: Human Resources
Stepping outside the hiring process specifically, digital workers can also be used to enhance the overall human resources organization. They can be incorporated into:
Performance Management – Bots can be used to monitor employee performance and provide feedback. In addition, they can identify areas where employees may need additional training or support.
Employee Engagement – Digital workers can engage with employees to provide information about company events, training opportunities and other important updates.
Time and Attendance Management – Digital workers can be used to track employee time and attendance, eliminating the need for manual timekeeping.
HR Compliance – Bots can help ensure compliance with HR policies and regulations, such as monitoring employee records, and flag any discrepancies or issues.
Succession Planning – Digital workers can be used to identify potential candidates for leadership roles and create succession plans. In addition, they can help identify skill gaps that need to be addressed to prepare employees for future roles.
While we’ve explored in detail how digital workers can be leveraged as additional talent to support many job functions within a human resources department, below are additional ideas for how companies can use bots as they think through their talent planning and acquisition needs:
Customer Service – Digital workers can be used to provide 24×7 customer support, answering frequently asked questions and resolving common issues. They can also escalate complex issues to human representatives when necessary.
Sales Support – Bots can be used to assist sales teams by identifying and qualifying leads, scheduling meetings and providing product information.
Marketing Automation – Digital workers can automate marketing tasks such as social media posting, email campaigns and lead scoring.
Inventory Management – Digital workers can monitor inventory levels and automatically place orders when stock levels reach a certain threshold.
Data Entry/Analysis – Bots can automate data entry tasks and analyze data sets to identify trends and patterns. Bots can be leveraged in this way across a broad range of teams and departments—effectively, any function that uses and analyzes data.
Finance and Accounting – Digital workers can perform tasks such as invoice processing, payment processing and financial analysis.
IT Support – Digital workers can provide IT support by answering technical questions, resetting passwords and diagnosing issues.
Project Management – Bots can help track project timelines, provide status updates and automate repetitive tasks.
Translation – Digital workers can translate documents and other communications into different languages, making it easier for companies to operate in global markets.
Legal Research – Digital workers can assist legal teams by conducting legal research and identifying relevant case law and regulation.
True digital transformation requires companies to re-examine their existing business practices and think differently about how technology can improve their operations. By exploring talent acquisition through the lens of intelligent automation, organizations can begin to improve and transform their talent acquisition practices—and ultimately, boost productivity for a more streamlined and profitable business.
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About HuLoop Automation
Based in the Sacramento, California area, HuLoop Automation serves enterprises who are digitally transforming their businesses to maximize human productivity and improve customer experience, all while leveraging existing technology investments. HuLoop has built a unified automation platform to help enterprises automate manual, mundane tasks, so their human talent is able to spend time on higher value work. Our AI-based, codeless, Human-in-the-Loop software eliminates mind-numbing work, saving our clients money and improving employee satisfaction. You can learn more at www.huloop.ai and follow HuLoop on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.