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News | Caroline Kalu | 11 April 2023

Working with robots to improve the customer experience

Recruitment service development manager Sylwia Misko explains how NLPSS is using an award-winning robotic process automation solution to enable its staff to provide a more efficient corporate service.

What is robotic process automation (RPA)?
RPA uses software programmed to carry out basic and repetitive digital tasks across multiple applications and systems. We fondly refer to our robot as STU, which stands for ‘speed things up’, but it’s actually a number of robots (bots) within the computer that are working on several processes that we have automated.

These processes are high volume tasks with a low complexity, such as data entry, downloading and uploading documents, sending conditional offer letters to candidates, chasing virtual ID/right to work checks and inputting new starter information into the Electronic Staff Record.

How does it work?
When we are automating processes, we go through a development phase where we map out the process. We then demonstrate the process to the automation team and pass on detailed instructions so that they can code the bots to replicate a human carrying out this task on a computer. We then test it, and once we’re happy with the performance, we set a regular schedule and after that, with regular system maintenance and updates, it runs by itself.

What are the benefits of RPA?
RPA works 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. There’s no downtime needed, which means that it can complete repetitive tasks a third faster than a human can. This then frees up staff to be able to take on more meaningful work, such as providing a personalised service for customers. It also improves data quality, analytics and reduces duplication.

How many trusts within the partnership now use RPA?
We currently use RPA for 21 recruitment processes of which the majority are used by all eight trusts who we deliver recruitment services on behalf of. It is also used for a handful of processes within our occupational health and payroll services.

RPA works best at scale, and for NLPSS it means that smaller organisations within the partnership get to benefit from this type of innovation that would be otherwise be too costly for them to implement on their own.

What future plans do you have for RPA at NLPSS?
We are always looking for ways in which we can expand how we use RPA for the benefit of our staff and those who use our services. To find out more about how we use RPA, contact us here.

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