An Interview with Sopra HR: Véronique Montamat Talks to Us about HR Chatbots

With more than 40 years of experience working with HR Departments, Sopra HR is integrating innovative practices into their solutions. As Director of Marketing and Communications, Véronique Montamat participated in creating the chatbot options offered by her company. She has graciously agreed to answer our questions.

Hello, Véronique. Could you explain to us why Sopra HR includes chatbot technology in their solutions?

Chatbots respond perfectly to certain human resource missions on two levels.

1. First, in terms of efficiency

Innovative technologies enable them to handle a certain number of HR tasks, especially with regard to employee support. With the aid of chatbot technology, HR services become stronger and more effective. Along the same lines as the concept of augmented reality, we can now speak of augmented HR.


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2. Second, in terms of the employee experience

The use of a bot helps optimize the quality of the services the HR Department provides for the company’s personnel, regardless of the medium used, whether a computer, a tablet or a smartphone.

Could you introduce us to the chatbots used at Sopra HR?

Of course! We have three chatbots, each identified by its first name.
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  • „Cecile“ helps the HR experts with everything related to legal, corporate, administrative and regulatory matters, as well as HR procedure. These areas require full knowledge of an immense quantity of rules and regulations.
  • „Lucie“ helps support our managers. She can function equally well as a coach or an assistant, sending reminders of actions that need to be taken or managerial tasks that need to be performed, providing guidance in HR scheduling, etc. Lucie presents numerous advantages: she’s available 24/7 and knows current HR procedures inside and out. She keeps an eye on the schedule and sends reminders, for example, when it’s time to conduct an annual interview, confirm vacation dates or present a training plan. She’s like a look-out post for our managers!
  • „Alex“ plays the role of employee support. He provides first-level internal support, responding to questions regarding HR regulations (time off, mobility and training procedures, etc.).

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What benefits do chatbots provide?

The benefits are numerous. With the help of chatbots, HR services are more available to personnel, offering assistance more hours of the day and more days of the week than those traditionally covered by HR managers. A virtual assistant can respond 24/7 and can be accessed just as easily from a smartphone or from a computer.
But this isn’t to say that HR services have become dehumanized. Chatbots don’t create distance between HR and the employees. On the contrary! Chatbots’ ability to handle the most common inquiries enables the HR staff to focus on more exacting matters that require their expertise. They have more time to devote to specific, individual situations. They’re available to respond to inquiries that are more unusual or complex, requiring greater involvement.

How do users perceive the bots?

Most of all, they’re impressed by the rapidity and quality of the responses to their inquiries. With a chatbot, they can ask a question wherever they are – at the office, on the subway, sitting on the sofa – and get an immediate response. For this to happen, the chatbot has to be perfectly educated in the area of HR regulations. As a consequence, from the users’ perspective, the necessary quality and efficiency are there, so it doesn’t matter to them that they’re speaking to a virtual assistant.
On the other hand, if the inquiry is more precise, for example, a question regarding a need for mobility or redeployment, the chatbot redirects the employee to an HR expert for a more in-depth response and more personalized treatment. As soon as you start responsively and relevantly managing the two levels of service the HR Department needs to provide to the employees, the employees will be ready to embrace these new uses of digital technology.


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How did you train your chatbots?

We called on Sopra HR’s User Documentation personnel. These specialists, who have full knowledge of HR regulations and who also know how to express themselves in such a way as to be clearly understood by users, are today in charge of instilling both of these types of knowledge in our chatbots!

What led you to entrust Living Actor with the creation of your chatbots?

We were already familiar with Living Actor technology, which was being used by the Sopra Steria Group for support and in their call center. We quickly noticed that this technology responded perfectly to the needs of HR.
Our collaboration is based on a spirit of partnership. Living Actor is a software publisher, like we are. We share certain processes. So it’s a perfect arrangement, especially since their R&D Department is so responsive, capable of developing and improving their solutions based on our needs.
Another advantage is that Living Actor technology is highly customizable. This enables us to offer our clients chatbots that are perfectly aligned with their image and their needs. This is essential if you want users to embrace your chatbot!
Living Actor technology has been perfectly integrated into the solutions Sopra HR offers their clients. Chatbots provide them with true value added, while enhancing HR services.
Many thanks to Véronique Montamat for her time!

 

Source image: Pixabay / Free-Photos