Could your next HR rep be a robot?
The Bechtel company is turning heads with its cutting-edge technologies in enterprise computing that “apply automation to rule-based administrative processes” in areas such as human resources and finance.
The process is called “robotic process automation” or RPA, and it's only part of what Bechtel is doing in the business world. Now, the company is also rolling out other types of automation in engineering, procurement and construction fields.
In human resources, this advance promises to help decrease the burden of HR tasks at every stage of dealing with employee issues, from onboarding to retirement.
“Within the human resources field, RPA is being used to enhance the employee experience without increasing labor costs,” Thomas Novosad, manager of Business Services at Bechtel, told HR Daily Wire recently.
What might this look like in an average HR department?
“When an employee is hired or terminated, his/her information needs to be updated in several systems,” Novosad said. “This is traditionally a time-consuming, manual process. A robot can now be used to update these systems automatically.”
Novosad said RPA robots can also be used to deal with tricky privacy and security regulations.
“One use case we are currently developing is a solution to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that takes effect later this month,” Novosad said, referring to a new European data protection rule that's having a massive impact on companies all over the world. “This regulation allows employees to have access to all personal information on company file. When a request from an employee is received, a robot can consolidate all relevant information from multiple systems quickly and accurately.”
You can imagine these automated processes replacing labor-intensive human tasks – instead of a secretary rifling through files to try to pull information together, it's all done over an automated digital platform.
“Bechtel is using RPA within the human resources function to reduce overhead cost, enhance employee experience, and improve compliance with corporate and statutory regulations,” Novosad added. “We believe that, by leaving routine and transactional activities to our “virtual workforce,” we are allowing our colleagues to entirely focus on more complex, judgment-based, and value-added processes for their customers.”
Novosad said the company plans to keep expanding the use of these automation processes according to client needs.
“We will continue to expand the use of RPA within the core functions of the company,” he said. “Additionally, we will continue to explore opportunities to integrate RPA with emerging technologies, such as facial recognition, Big Data, and natural language processing, to further improve execution of construction projects and enhance employee satisfaction.”