As its workforce gets younger, EY tries AI to enhance employee experience

Digital native millennials represent a growing slice of the 261,000 employees who power professional services firm EY.

To respond to a connected workforce that seeks a better experience in the workplace, the London-based company turned to SAP’s technology to leverage artificial intelligence and mobile applications.

EY started a journey with SAP, which it views as a partner, to improve employees’ experience, according to Matthias Loh, principal at EY, speaking at a panel during SAP’s Analyst Base Camp event on Monday.

One of the first use cases was the implementation of AI to sift through the skill set found among its global workers, matching that expertise to requirements from clients in ongoing projects.

SuccessFactors, a human resource management system that’s part of the SAP ecosystem, let EY roll out increased feedback from employers, a strategy HR managers say helps engagement with Millennial and Gen Z workers.

“We went from one or two touchpoints a year to dozens of them,” Loh said, speaking at SAP’s Newtown Square, Pa. headquarters.

The platform — acquired by SAP in 2012, now operating as a standalone company —  also helped EY speed up onboarding for the increasingly mobile workforce.

“Paperless” paperwork wizards, short term goals and mentor-employee matching are possible through the software, which can also help with core HR duties like payroll and time management, as well as recruiting workforce development. 

Robotic process automation (RPA) also found its way into the process at EY. It’s part of a larger trend that has seen half of enterprises experiment with the technology in some capacity, lured by its promise of efficiency. Deloitte projects near-universal RPA adoption of the technology by 2023.

One stat shows the scope of RPA at the firm: EY deployed a chatbot that answers frequently asked questions about the first few weeks on the job. In the first year, the bot took care of 2.2 million inquiries for employees.

“Our clients are looking for insight,” said Loh. “Where the intelligent enterprise comes together is in the ability to give insight end-to-end with the purview we have.”