I based Pand.ai in 2016 to construct synthetic intelligence (AI) chatbots that help companies enhance operational effectivity and advertising effectiveness. We have 16 full-time staff throughout Singapore and Malaysia.
As a startup, we struggled with manpower points from day one. Initially, our largest drawback was to persuade expertise to not solely be part of an unknown startup, however to additionally settle for a decrease wage than the large multinationals.
The pandemic exacerbated this drawback as demand for native tech expertise shot up.
This was particularly difficult from mid-2021 till March 2022.
With inadequate manpower, we had been usually compelled to show away enterprise alternatives, particularly these overseas.
Many of our staff had been additionally requested to put on a number of hats.
To our shock, our younger staff welcomed this as they get to embark on an accelerated profession path, uncovered to extra “higher-level issues” than they might in any other case expertise in comparable positions at different corporations.
In phrases of processes, we additionally got here up with “AI worker” chatbots to enhance our productiveness.
We already had the technical know-how to construct subtle AI instruments, so it didn’t take lengthy for our engineers to create an AI chatbot that solved one in every of our personal issues: Handling myriad human resource-related issues.
This chatbot permits all staff to use for depart and submit claims from both their Slack or WhatsApp app at any time.
It checks for the validity of every submission (comparable to making certain an worker has ample depart), sends it to the applicable supervisor for approval, and at the finish of the month, sends a self-generated analytics report back to administration for evaluate.
We later created extra “AI staff” chatbots to help the staff, from challenge administration and bug monitoring to report era and staff’ compliance coaching.
These chatbots reduce the workload for our staff, thus permitting them to deal with increased worth actions.
Today, we’re now not dealing with a labour crunch in our core enterprise. Our “AI staff” chatbots really make us extra enticing to potential staff.
Candidates instructed us throughout interviews that they had been to work with us as a result of they discovered us to be “cool” due to the “AI worker” chatbots we built.
We had been capable of rent 5 extra staff, together with three software program engineers, in the final six months alone.
Our manpower shortfall now comes solely from our new business-to-consumer unit providing an insurance coverage dealer chatbot service to help customers discover insurance coverage merchandise.
We arrange the unit lower than 4 months in the past and are wanting for two software program builders and one enterprise chief.
We need to rent these with prior insurance-tech expertise, and this expertise pool is considerably smaller, which is why we’re nonetheless dealing with a scarcity on this unit.
Other than “AI staff” chatbots, one other one in every of our “secret weapons” to plugging the manpower hole is interns.
Gen Z interns are sometimes extremely expert, so we deal with them as equal staff members and give them actual work. Several of our full-time staff (together with a staff lead) began with us as interns.
ABOUT THE WRITER:
Chuang Shin Wee, 44, is the founder and chief government officer of home-grown startup Pand.ai, which builds synthetic intelligence chatbots for companies working throughout Southeast Asia.
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