Zenefits made a slate of announcements today, including the launch of its Z2 app marketplace, its native payroll service, benefits selector and enrollment tool, and more. But while it’s building out its ecosystem, the all-in-one HR software provider isn’t limiting itself to its domain — it’s extending its reach into other places where workers spend their time, starting with Slack.

Zenefits is introducing the Zenefits bot: a program that employees can access within Slack to manage such things as time off requests or finding out how much vacation they have left.

“When employees are in the office, they’re spending time in business apps,” said Zenefits vice president of product Arisa Amano. “Instead of bringing them outside of their business app, we want to bring Zenefits to them.”

Employees can send a chat to the Zenefits bot, like they would to a human, saying things like “I need to take some time off.” The bot will then respond with relevant questions — such as what type of time away they need and how long they want to take —  so it can process the request within Zenefits. That’s it, nothing more. While this may not seem like a big deal, it’s as Amano said: Zenefits doesn’t want to tear people away from their work or interfere with their productivity.

Zenefits isn’t the first Slack bot in the HR space — there are a few — but it is one of the more noteworthy, as it actually does workforce management services like dealing with paid time off. And the Zenefits bot is only one feature to come out of the companies’ relationship, as Slack is one of the launch partners for Zenefits’ new app marketplace.

Amano revealed that more functionality will be added to the company’s bot in the future.


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