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Virtual adaptation assistant for WERTEKS
We created a virtual assistant Verta and implemented it as the main WERTEKS HR service agent
WERTEKS is the biggest Russian pharmaceutical company based in St. Petersburg
years of history
medicine and dietary supplement items
representative offices across Russia
How it started

Every year WERTEKS hires about 350 new workers. It implies a large amount of communication among recruiters, managers and mentors. Therefore, WERKES is interested in the fastest and most efficient possible adaptation process, as well as in reducing employee turnover in the first few months following recruitment. To achieve these objectives, it was decided to improve the company's employee onboarding process and automate it.

Pharmaceutical production requires highly qualified specialists whose adaptation is a time-consuming process for both HR-department and management.

There used to be three onboarding scenarios for different job positions in WERTEKS. New staff members would go through ten-step adaptation process under the supervision of recruiters, managers and mentors. However, even under such a professional approach, hiring process still posed difficulties to the company.

Surveys have shown that almost half of new employees lacked a single source of information about the company and its adaptation activities, which increased turnover among workers on probation and extended the adaptation period.
all participants are available for communication at the same time
clear description of all the procedures and activities
information about the company — from the global mission to the canteen opening hours
solving corporate issues online
the ability to get feedback from employees
What was expected from such a decision?
event notifications and calendar alerts
Informational space available 24/7
reducing turnover among new employees
increasing the engagement of new employees, their managers and the HR staff in the adaptation process
adaptation process optimization
A unified information space accessible 24/7 could help the company to ease its onboarding process
Our solution

Finding a digital solution was difficult: up to 50% of the company's staff members work at factories and do not have access to computers. Therefore, existing options such as a corporate portal wouldn't fit.
An intelligent chatbot able to communicate with employees via messengers on any smartphone solved the problem. This is how Verta, a virtual assistant for WERTEKS new employees, was created.

Verta started functioning three months after the launch of the project. At the first stage the chatbot was implemented on Viber, and very soon it will become available on Telegram.
Verta's features

Once a new worker receives an offer, they can contact Verta on a messenger. At the moment, Verta is evolving in three areas.
Adaptation assistance

The project's primary goal is to increase the efficiency of the onboarding process. Verta took over settling organizational matters and freed the company members from routine. Currently every WERTEKS mentor, manager and recruiter has a taskbar where they can find all the necessary information about the workflow and upcoming events. Verta helps newcomers to go through their adaptation process and collects feedback.
Providing information

At the second step of the project, we created a knowledge base to teach Verta how to talk about the company and answer any questions users can ask. Now Verta is able to provide the information about the company's departments, products and much more. Moreover, with her help the employees can get information on services provided by the company and send messages to the HR department.
Internal communications

The company has started sending corporate news and other important information to those employees who activated the chatbot. The innovation contributed a lot to the improvement of WERTEKS internal communications.

Verta during the COVID-19 pandemic

During the pandemic office workers had to switch to the remote format, while production workers continued working at the industrial site. At the same time, the main office was still to coordinate the production process.

Verta made it possible to change the communication process as painlessly as possible: for example, the employees could learn from her about existing quarantine restrictions.
Verta's performance
After Verta had taken over some administrative tasks on herself, recruiters, managers and mentors started saving about 23 working hours per newcomer during the adaptation process;
New employees now become fully productive about 17 hours (2 working days)
faster than previously;
Due to the simple and accessible virtual assistant, the employee's turnover rate during the probation period has decreased by 2,48 percentage points.
Employee surveys have shown that implementing an intelligent assistant was a good decision.

≈ 90% of new employees have noted the comprehensiveness of information provided by Verta, the clarity and transparency of the adaptation process, the usability of the tool;
≈ 80% of managers have pointed out the mentors' increased engagement in the adaptation process;
≈ 90% of mentors have confirmed that Verta helps them in the new employee onboarding.
Development prospects

At the moment, Verta is learning to provide IT-support of different complexity levels and deliver standardized documents upon requests — for example, pay slips as well as the information on the vacation period or health insurance. The company’s plans include developing Verta further and making it a full-fledged communication channel for all its employees, interns and retired staff members.
Thus, the chatbot, that was originally conceived as an adaptation assistant, gained great popularity and started developing in various directions. WERTEKS is now actively integrating Verta into its corporate culture — for example, she has recently starred in a documentary about the company's factories.

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