So, summer is almost here, and with it, the desire to eat lots of ice cream. Have you ever ordered a multi-layer one? All those various tastes really contribute to an amazing experience. Well, the same can be said for most companies when you think about it. That breakdown into different departments really makes the company work interesting and manageable. Not only that, but all those people with unique skills and mindsets further add to that feeling of a whole new world. You probably get that feeling even when starting a new job. Well, one department is solely responsible for the diversity you’re experiencing in a company, and that’s Human Resources.
An Ordinary HR Process …
Not long ago, we were assigned a project to automate some of the processes of our client’s HR team. One would presume that, since their responsibilities are more focused on communication and employee wellbeing, they won’t have much to automate. And yet, that couldn’t be further from the truth. In this modern age we’re living in, there are plenty of tools and platforms that are designed to help optimize the recruitment and onboarding tasks.
In this case, our client’s HR team was using JIRA to record and process all applicants. They had set up calls that would trigger every time someone applied for a position through their website. Those triggers would then chain and create a ticket in JIRA with the collected and compacted information provided in one big text field. This meant that when the HR team initially got to the ticket, they had to distribute the info from that description box to all the appropriate fields to start processing the job application. Overall, it was a time-consuming task that could be automated with a little ingenuity … and an RPA bot.
… But With a Little Automation Added In …
Considering the repeatable nature of the procedure, we thought the best thing would be to utilize robotic process automation (RPA) technologies. Luckily, we had experience with a tool that specialized in this – UiPath. Going through the HR team’s workflow, we managed to create a bot that would extract the information from the description field of the ticket, then go through that data and sanitize it if necessary, and finally, fill it in the appropriate fields back in the JIRA ticket. Of course, the whole thing is more complex than that, so we prepared an infographic for the curious ones among our readers.
So how did this affect the workflow in the end, you might ask.
Well, on average, 10-15 tickets entered their JIRA instance daily. While typically, the HR team processed a ticket in around 5-10 minutes since some of the info was transferred differently. For example, when candidates applied, they filled in the gross salary, while in the JIRA ticket, the field had to be filled in with the net pay. So, all of this resulted in 1.5-2 hours spent on processing tickets daily. With the help of the UiPath bot, however, the results produced showed quite an improvement as it managed to process a ticket in around 1-2 minutes. At the end of the day, it managed to save time and flawlessly provide fully populated tickets. Finally, since the bot ran on a time-based schedule, no one needed to babysit it and make sure it started processing tickets, which meant the HR team could focus entirely on the candidates’ applications.
… The Future is Looking Bright
Well, the project itself may have ended there, but we thought we’d be remised if we didn’t cover some potential improvements here. An obvious one would be to extend the automation to perform even more pattern-like tasks. For example, sending emails with various tests and exercises during the interview process could be something the bot can handle. Another area of improvement could be centered around the JIRA tickets since that platform has some limitations, like showing up to 1000 tickets during a filtered search. Adjusting the filters used or the extraction of information could get around this issue and provide the user with better duplicate ticket detection. In any case, just remember that anything could be improved upon with a little ingenuity.
This leads us to the end of our story. As you can see, absolutely any department in a company can benefit from a little automation. The perks it provides, especially in the long-term, really shouldn’t be underestimated. Of course, as always, we remain available to help any company enjoy the contributions of bots, so if this story inspired you to make a change feel free to contact us. In the meantime, we’ll be enjoying our ice cream in the sun. You really ought to try that multi-layered treat, though.