“When companies compete for talented employees, the details often decide between success or failure,” explains Prabhu Nutakki, innovation architect at SAP.
“If too much time passes between a successful interview and the receipt of an employment offer letter, the potential employee may be tempted to accept another offer.”
In addressing this, Nutakki and his team quickly identified a limiting factor in this process: Colleagues in Human Resources (HR) had to create letters of employment manually. During periods of particularly high recruitment, this step became a bottleneck. It was also a perfect use case for robotic process automation (RPA).
The Hasso Plattner Founders’ Award is the highest employee
recognition at SAP, awarded annually by the co-CEOs to an
individual or a team.
In-House Cutting-Edge Technology in Co-Innovation
RPA involves a software robot learning how to enter data in graphical user interfaces like a human, which makes it possible to automate a wide variety of repetitive tasks. Facilitated by the acquisition of Contextor at the end of last year, SAP has had an RPA solution in its portfolio since April: SAP Intelligent RPA.
With this in mind, Nutakki and colleagues from across SAP business units — Technology & Innovation, Human Resources, SAP Digital Business Services, and the Intelligent Enterprise Group — met in March to explore how to use the new SAP solution to create a software robot for employment offers.
“Such a bot has to take into account many contingencies,” says Vojtech Svagr, project team member and innovation and new technologies scout at SAP. “In addition to the different languages and company codes, employment offer letters must also comply fully with local legislation.”
Some of these challenges required the development of new functions in SAP Intelligent RPA. Thanks to the efforts of the project team, that are now also available as integrated functionality for customers.
Go-Live in Record Time
In spite of these challenges, and though RPA was a new topic for many project members, the initiative reached its goal quickly. After only 12 weeks, the bot called Lucy had completed testing and was already in use, making it the first SAP Intelligent RPA solution ever.
Lucy generates an employment offer letter 15 times faster than a manually created one. At the same time, the bot is available 24/7 and is already generating up to 50 percent of the offer letters sent to candidates. With around 60 colleagues in 21 countries supporting Lucy, SAP is its own reference customer.
Potential employees benefit from Lucy because of shorter waiting times while colleagues in the HR department are given more freedom to focus on higher-level tasks and managers in the hiring process can concentrate fully on negotiating with candidates.
Finalist Fast Facts
- Submission Title: Lucy – First Productive Intelligent RPA Bot Live at SAP
- Team: Prabhu Nutakki, Vojtech Svagr, Georg Arnold, Jarmila Fecsu, Ilya Vasilenka, Uli Joos , Olga Cherepanova, Radouan Bnouhoud Meijie He, Doris Xu
- Board areas: Human Resources, Technology & Innovation, SAP Digital Business Services, Intelligent Enterprise Group
- Achievement: An HR bot that speeds up the creation of employment offer letters by means of robotic process automation
- Impact: Potential employees get their employment offer letters faster, HR colleagues are freed up to deal with higher-level tasks, and managers get to focus on negotiation with the candidates.