Chatbots are finding use in more and more parts of the enterprise. Talla Inc., a startup backed by Avalon Ventures and Pillar, wants to add human relations departments to the list with a new personnel management agent that it’s rolling out today.
The bot is the first component of what the firm hopes will eventually become a general-purpose “ChatOps platform” for automating business operations. On launch, Talla can handle three types of activities that have traditionally been a major time sink for hiring professionals.
The first is distributing meeting announcements, schedule changes and other important updates across the HR department. While chat services such as Slack already lend themselves well to broadcasting such information, Talla takes it a step further by providing the ability to schedule messages based on specific conditions. A manager, for instance, could use the bot to automatically share relevant action items with colleagues after they leave a conference call. And it’s also possible to trigger notifications based on specific user actions.
The latter feature underpins the second workflow that Talla supports on launch: onboarding and training. The chatbot can be used to provide custom guidance for employees after they receive a new work computer, log into a new automation tool adopted by their team or perform some other task that they may struggle to complete on their own.
Finally, Talla makes it possible to quickly create chat surveys about topics that require the input of the entire HR department. It can handle most of everything from a simple straw vote about the team’s lunch preferences to multi-question surveys about important business subjects.
Additionally, Talla’s ability to accept feedback can be coupled with its message distribution feature to create more advanced workflows. One potential use for the chatbot is automating approval chains that require moving documents back and forth between team members.
Talla plans to broaden the appeal of its service even further over time by adding third party integrations that will let users pull data from popular HR applications. The more department-specific features it adds, the better the startup will be able to compete with the numerous general-purpose workflow automation bots out there. One of the top contenders is GrooveHQ Inc.’s Howdy, which can broadcast team messages and run questionnaires in Slack.
Talla is available immediately under a free plan with support for up to 50 users and several paid subscriptions that start at $899 per month.