HRTech Interview with Shawn Herring, CMO at airSlate

“Using automation as a tool to optimize processes and simplify the employee experience reaps major rewards.”

How are priorities changing for HR Teams when it comes to choosing and adopting an HR automation platform for their organization?

First and foremost, we are seeing automation tools becoming much more vital to the processes of an HR organization. There is a lot of paperwork that flows in and out of an HR department – between recruiting and bringing on new talent, conducting performance reviews, communicating about benefits, rolling out promotions and raises, and so on – and that often translates into plenty of tedious, manual work.

We are seeing a huge uptick in HR teams adopting automation specifically to address those manual, repetitive tasks and allow HR professionals to refocus their attention on strategies that will have a positive impact across the entire organization.

Earlier this year, we released a report based on a survey of HR professionals and we found that 75% of HR teams were planning to increase their investment in workflow automation technologies by up to 30% this year alone. Now is the time for HR leaders to do their research and make a plan for getting automation into their departments.

HR pros specifically want automation tools that are low-code or no-code, have ready-to-use templates, feature robotic process automation (RPA), integrate with third-party applications, and have high security and compliance standards.

Our suite of products meets all these needs.

What impact does HR automation have on overall organizational development and employee experience management?

HR plays a significant role in overall organizational development and an employee’s experience.

Most often, an employee’s first interaction with a company is via that company’s HR department. The way a new hire is taken through the recruitment and onboarding process really sets the tone for how that employee will perceive the company and can even influence how long they’ll stay with the company, how satisfied they will be with their job, and how productive they will be.

Day-to-day experiences with HR at any point during an employee’s tenure can also affect retention, productivity, and morale.

Furthermore, how successful (or not) an HR department is can trickle down into other departments and can have an impact on a company’s bottom line.

How well HR is sourcing and retaining talent, how quickly they are communicating with employees and finding solutions to issues, how effectively they are capturing employee feedback – all of this plays a role in how successful an organization can be.

Using automation as a tool to optimize processes and simplify the employee experience reaps major rewards.

In fact, more than 90% of HR professionals in our report are seeking workflow automation tools that streamline outdated processes, provide an improved employee experience, and enable cross-functional collaboration. An improvement in all of these areas bodes well for the overall success of an organization.

What are your recommendations to HR leaders on integrating HR automation with the overall enterprise technology stacks?

What IT challenges could HR teams face while working with HR automation platforms?

When it comes to implementing automation, there are a few important considerations to make:

How will the adoption of automation be governed?

HR leaders, IT leaders, and executives should work together to have a plan in place to govern how tools will be selected, implemented, and used. Without a clear understanding of what this process will look like, organizations run the risk of shadow IT projects, which is when resources are introduced that are not authorized.

Shadow IT can lead to data breaches and non-compliance, significant financial burdens (shadow IT apps can cost organizations six figures), and destabilization of organization infrastructure.

How will automation tools integrate with our existing tech stack?

One of the most critical considerations to make in choosing the right automation tool is to ensure that it can integrate seamlessly with tools already being used by an organization. For example, you may want to choose a tool that integrates with Salesforce, HubSpot, or Google Drive.

People are sometimes apprehensive about introducing new technology to their stack because they want to avoid any disruptions in workflow, which is a valid concern to have. Disruptions can be avoided when you opt for tools that have solid third-party integrations with your most used systems.

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Ease of use and implementation should be weighed heavily when choosing an automation solution.

How can employees get involved in the process?

The introduction of new technologies presents the opportunity for leaders to help their talent gain the professional skills and autonomy they often desire. In 2020, the shift to remote work and the need for business continuity led to the emergence of a new type of workforce – a digital-ready workforce known as citizen developers.

Citizen developers are employees who reside outside of IT departments and can build applications and/or automate workflows using sanctioned low-code/no-code tools.

Our report revealed that 97.5% of HR pros believe their employees have the skill sets to successfully implement and leverage automation workflow solutions, meaning you likely already have citizen developers in your org.

Investing in low-code/no-code tools gives them the chance to further develop their digital-ready skills while also feeling like they have an influence on how the company advances technologically.

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I’d advise HR leaders to take a close look at our suite of products. We have a collection of low-code/no-code tools designed to make working with documents easier – from eSignature, to editing PDFs, to automating workflows using conditional formatting, we are well-equipped to meet the needs of any business.

Plus, our tools are integration-rich, have the highest security and compliance standards, and most importantly, are cost-effective.

Thank you, Shawn! That was fun and hope to see you back on HRTech Series soon.

Shawn leads the global marketing team at airSlate, driving the strategy for demand generation, product marketing, branding, communications, and sales development for the organization.

Over the course of his 20+ years of experience in marketing, Shawn believes an integrated approach to marketing plays a critical role within the revenue team. With experience in leading Marketing teams from startup (<$10M) to scale up ($10M – $500M), Shawn appreciates a learning curve and respects the process of testing methods and strategies without fear of being wrong.

Prior to joining airSlate, he led global marketing teams at PandaDoc, Braze, ExactTarget, and Salesforce. Shawn received a BS in Biology, BA Psychology, and BS Sociology from Indiana University as well as an MBA from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.


airSlate is a global SaaS technology company that serves over a hundred million users worldwide with its document workflow and automation solutions.

The company’s PDF editing, eSignature workflow, and business process automation solutions empower users to digitally transform their businesses to run faster and easier. airSlate, pdfFiller, signNow, USLegal, and DocHub make up the company’s portfolio of award-winning products. airSlate is backed by leading venture capitalists and corporate investors including General Catalyst, Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital, HighSage Ventures, UiPath Ventures and GSquared.