Speed ​​Up Routine HR Processes with RPA and BluePrism

There are many different processes in IT companies and banks. And while software development and design creation can still be successfully optimized using flexible methodologies (if they are correctly implemented and used), Agile cannot accelerate some things just as quickly. For example, HR processes. From the outside it seems that everything is simple, the guys from the personnel department have softinks for managing candidates and employees, and all that’s complicated here.

In fact, there are more than enough plugs and brakes in these processes. In this post we will tell how the implementation of HR-robots helps us in our work.

It is important to immediately indicate that we are not talking about any robotic assistants, not about a trained bot in the application chat, and not about a female dialer that offers vacancies or loans. We are talking about infobots that take on most of the routine of modern HR.

Representatives of Ernst & Young came to the Alpha Bank operblok and offered us a solution, the Blue Prism platform for creating robots, and we decided to give it a try. Then, during the pilot, we did the first three robots together with E&Y, and then we acquired a license and started making them ourselves. E&Y conducted basic training, and the fact is that to create such a robot you do not need any specific knowledge, it is enough to understand what a flowchart is and what sequence of actions you need to enter into it. In general, anyone who has worked with these flowcharts at computer science lessons, or played with a child in LEGO Mindstorm, is able to write a robot on this platform after a short briefing.

What such a robot does and what is useful

It is useful primarily for saving time of a living employee. You can immediately list a number of tasks that you can safely give to the robot.

Order passes. An employee needs to check the calendar, see when a meeting is scheduled with which candidate and where, order a pass to the desired sector of the building by filling out an appropriate application on the corporate portal. This is if completely on the fingers, because even in this process everything is enough, it is one of the longest in the job.

The robot, seeing the appointment on the calendar, quickly does everything himself.

Family Function. The internal attribute of the employee, which is necessary for us to form a staffing table for location of money. The scheme itself is also complicated and consisted of seven stages, in total it could take 8 hours, with a bypass of each of the systems. And you had to do it with pens about once a week. De facto, one working day a week was spent on it. The robot spends an hour and a half on the same process.

Robot Timer . Like many others, we work with a bunch of E-staff + SAP. The robot registers IDs for regular posts, personnel number of the employee and puts it all in e-staff and SAP. There is already little complexity, the problem is that it is a fairly uniform mechanical action and a chain of copy-paste. That is exactly what you can give to the robot.

And this despite the fact that the robot does not have holidays, weekends, migraines and hangovers.

In total, robots are now closing almost a dozen of these processes, where a person has to monotonously fill and retype something. More precisely, it came before. And if today for the most part the robot interacts with SAP and E-staff, then in the future we plan to move from tables to databases, where all the necessary information for the robot will be stored. For example, there is constantly updated information on HR BP, on some structural units. The structure is now continuing to change, and you can imagine what a lot of formalities it drags.


On the one hand, one of the most difficult stages in the process of introducing such robots was our own security guards. But we were able to explain everything to them. On the other hand, this robot is actually a kind of automatic employee registration. That is, this is not using the API for direct access to important data or something like that, no, it’s just an imitation of the actions of a living person who, under his account, can go into certain sections and perform certain actions.

It turns out that the risks here are the same as in the case of a real employee. And no more. The robot can check the requests that come to it at the input. For example, someone asked Ivanov to perform a certain action in the system, and the robot went and checked whether Ivanov had such authority at all, whether he could request this or not. If yes, then OK, it works. If not, then sends a beat to which of the higher-ranking employees should be contacted upon such a request.

But security guards are often quite conservative guys. And then they come and are told that now we will have such a new automatic entity that can send requests and order passes, and have certain access to financial data. Personal data, confidential information, and what if he begins to pour it all to the left.

A robot doing all this is a set of instructions. A manual is written by a person, a certain employee with a certain level of access.

But all the same, it would be easier for the security guards if we were doing everything the old fashioned way. Therefore, we first pilot such initiatives on a small scale, and then, when everyone checks everything and calms down, we roll out more actively.


Of course, to hang everything on the robot and go to read a book will not work (yet), there are a number of limitations. And most of them are limitations of the platform itself (Blue Prism) and the provisions of specific licenses for its use. For example, we cannot run more than one robot on one virtual machine, it is impossible. One robot - one car. One robot can only work on one process, on two or more in parallel it is also impossible. But you can set priorities and set a schedule for him when what needs to be done. This is also due to the fact that this is not some kind of software process that directly works in the system, but an imitation of the actions of a living employee with accounting.

For example, with the same pass. We have IBM Lotus Alpha, and for the robot ordering passes, there is a corresponding account with a name. As a freelance employee. For a while, we coordinated all this with the lotus players as well, and then separately agreed with the economic security officers so that they would not be shocked by applications for a pass from this account. And so for each robot - I analyzed the processes in work, identified those that can be given to the robot, agreed with everyone and wrote the robot.

By the way, while you write robots for processes, it helps to take a different look at the processes themselves. Find some extra steps, put something in one step instead of three, and so on. In HR, legacy is no less than in IT, and it can be much more bearded. We had it with Family Function - while they were writing instructions to the robot, we realized that it was time to seriously rewrite the process itself.

Writing a robot

Each user in the system has the Blue Prism admin panel, the robot creation interface is quite friendly (of course, they did it for HR), it looks like a constructor with a number of pre-filled forms. Well, and, as we wrote above, creating a robot = creating a flowchart of its actions. The robot can read text from fields in different forms, so you prescribe for it which system to go to, which fields to look at, which data to select from these fields, and so on. Well, the people who worked with Visio also quickly get involved in the process.

There are two main working entities in Blue Prism - processes and objects, entities responsible for data. The process is started by creating objects, performance information is recorded and stored in queues.

Objects are launched using the visual interface. In addition, objects can interpret the code C #, J #, VB. You can also insert into the javascript browser page. And for solving non-standard and resource-intensive tasks, we use self-written objects. We made it so that we have robots that are responsible for certain work and perform tasks sent to the robot by mail. One robot parses letters, fills the queue. The following robots begin to perform tasks according to data from these queues.

When errors occur, notifications are sent to the mail, queue elements are marked as erroneous. And all falls are reflected in monitoring.

Working window

An object

Executable code

We connect guys from IT already at the last stages, when the robot is already being launched into battle. Plus they monitor and test it. Because it happens that some kind of robot suddenly starts to carry out some process much longer than usual - you can go and see what happened and where the plug is. And monitoring allows you to track how many tasks and for how long the robot closes, then to present it in monetary terms.

Speaking of money, we saved thanks to robots about 2 million rubles a year. In fact, the figure is small, but this is because the processes in our HR are not so expensive. But when such robots are made for the operblok or Equation, where each process is significantly more expensive than ours, then the savings will be appropriate.

The most important thing, of course, is time. If earlier, at the request of a living person, about 6 minutes had to be spent about changing functional subordination, now the robot, receiving such a request, fits in a minute and a half. This is for one such request. And there are a lot of them. Making a package for the candidate took about 10 minutes, the robot does for 2. And so everywhere.

And this does not mean that everything, evil robots (and greedy flowcharts) rob people of their work, that massive reductions are coming, and so on, no. This means that an employee, instead of copy-paste data from one tablet to another, will do something much more useful, and certainly more interesting.

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/462977/

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