ChatOps may be the hottest trend in software DevOps, but your human resources department can leverage many of the core concepts of ChatOps to benefit your entire organization. As we've covered previously, ChatOps is more than just DevOps on Slack. ChatOps is a philosophy that uses the latest messaging platforms (like Slack, HipChat, and Flowdock) to ensure that specific processes are done more effectively and more efficiently.
As GetPutPost described it, "ChatOps encourages transparent collaboration and automates a lot of tedious repetition." The transparent collaboration aspect is obvious; that's why most organizations adopt chat platforms for any department, including HR. Automating tedious repetition is what converts a chat platform into a ChatOps solution. There are three basic steps to achieving this automation:
Connect apps to your chat platform to make chat a command line
Connecting core human resources apps to your chat platform allows you to perform basic HR tasks within chat, often by virtue of a simple slash command.
Get chatbots to do work for you while chatting
Chatbots can be programmed to recognize certain keywords within chat, and then to execute specific commands in response to those keywords—like displaying your company holiday schedule when someone posts phrases like "are we off on monday?"
Build chat-based workflows to maintain processes inside chat
Walking team members through specific processes—like employee training, or annual reviews—requires building workflows into chat to make sure no key steps are missed.
For step one, Slack has a number of Human Resources apps already integrated, including Zenefits, Bridge, and WebHR. By connecting your HR software to your chat platform, you can allow everyone in your organization to perform basic human resources tasks as part of their everyday communications. This saves time and ensures that HR requests are made via the appropriate software tools -- rather than coming to the HR department as an ad-hoc email that must then be converted into an application query.
For step two, most chat platforms come with their own built-in bot you can customize, and if the off-the-shelf bot isn't good enough, there are plenty of niche chatbots to choose from. Many human resources staff members spend a fair chunk of their day answering the same 10-20 questions over and over again. Chatbots can be deployed as interactive FAQs that answer the most common employee HR queries for you, so you need only worry about the unusual requests.
For step three, you'll need a chat workflow tool like Talla. When it comes time to hire a new staff member, train new employees, enroll in annual benefits, conduct quarterly employee reviews, measure employee satisfaction, administer a professional development course, or any regular HR task, simply pointing employees at the right software application or online form isn't enough. For complicated tasks, employees need to be walked through the process, complete with reminders and even branching logic.
Rather than coaching each member of your company through the process individually, Talla lets you build an employee-assisting workflow—complete with multiple-choice surveys, polls, and scheduled reminders—to ensure that no steps are skipped along the way.Adopting an online chat platform means that all your organization's employees can maintain an open, productive dialogue with every other staffer—and with their HR department. Using additional software tools to automate the tedious parts of employee-HR interactions is what turns HR chat into human resources ChatOps, and the latter is better for everyone involved.