Onboarding Your First Digital (As In Nonhuman) Employee

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By now, you are well-acquainted with the four main processes that come with having employees in your company. Depending on the size of your company, the processes of hiring, training, compensating and firing can range from fairly simple to highly complex. But those processes can be simplified.

Thanks to Natural Language Processing (NLP), the future is here. Will your next employee come in a box? Today, we are going to talk about these four processes in relation to your next employee, the digital employee.

Related: This Is How to Get Started With AI When the Only Thing You Know Is the Acronym

Digital vs. human.

Your human employees are great. They work hard, and they are dedicated to optimum performance every day. But they have their limits. Human employees require rest, so they generally only work 40 hours per week. If you expect more, be prepared to pay a salary or overtime.

Human employees also require stimulation. They become bored when dealing with monotonous tasks, and boredom slows productivity. To relieve the monotony for your human employees, hire a digital employee powered by cognitive automation. With a digital employee, the four main employment processes will be a bit different. Let’s explore each one.

1. Hiring.

When you are ready to hire a new human employee, you must advertise your open position and wait for the candidates to submit their applications. After you have a number of applicants, you begin scheduling interviews. These interviews may take several days to conduct, and you need time to determine which candidate is the best fit for your company. By the time you choose the right candidate, you have invested a lot of time and energy in the hiring process.

Now you are thinking about hiring your first digital employee. How is the hiring process different?

Much like you do for the purchase of any new computer program, you research the available AI programs to determine your company’s needs and how the programs will meet those needs. Will your digital employee handle document processing? Do you have unstructured data to sort? Your digital employee performs these duties using Natural Language Processing (NLP).

After you have hired (ordered) your employee-in-a-box, the next process is training.

Related: 4 Essential Business Relationships That Artificial Intelligence Is Better at Than You Are

2. Training.

Wait. This is a digital employee, a software program. Why are we even talking about training?

Your human employees must be trained to do their jobs according to the policies and procedures of your company. Each employee is assigned duties and taught by a trainer. The employee learns a little more each day until he or she can handle the work on their own.

Your trainer can also train your new digital employee. Through machine learning, your digital employee will “learn” its job. Like a human, the AI program learns from its work experience, becoming more efficient over time.

3. Compensating.

Now, stay with me for a moment. Your digital employee does not require the same kind of compensation that your human employee does.

You compensate your human employees either through commissions for work performed or through salaries or hourly wages. Let’s not even talk about employment taxes. You might also offer stock options, cover health insurance premiums or give quarterly bonuses.

None of these is necessary for your digital employee. The AI program that you choose will require an upfront investment and a maintenance subscription, but that’s about it. Your digital employee requires neither rest nor overtime pay, which can save you a ton in the long run.

But what if you are unsatisfied with your employee’s work? Well, human or digital, that brings us to the last of the four processes.

4. Firing.

When the time comes to let your human employee go, a whole new set of problems arises. If the employee was not meeting your needs, you will need to start the hiring process again to find a replacement. If your company is eliminating the employee’s position, you might need to provide a severance package.

However, if you need to fire your digital employee, you simply cancel your subscription and look for a suitable replacement. The change can even be made simultaneously to avoid a lag in company productivity.

Related: 3 Ways Intelligent Automation Can Help Grow Your Business


Please reassure your human employees right now — especially the one who’s reading over your shoulder — that they are still needed and will also benefit from the presence of a digital employee in your company.

The boring, monotonous, tedious tasks that can be assigned to your digital employee will no longer need to be done by your human employees. Thus, they will be freed up for the more complex aspects of their jobs. They will be able to get more of the meaty work done while leaving the grunt work to AI.

You have now reviewed the four employee processes and how they relate to the digital employee. The question is, are you ready to integrate intelligent automation in your company?


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