Automation has invaded the business parlance and has eased up business processes by automating them. The same has extended to the HR space. With automation, HR staff can move beyond repetitive tasks and can significantly improve the operational effectiveness of HR functions. It also frees up valuable time for the HR team from such repetitive tasks. As a result, they get to spend their valuable time focusing on more pressing matters that drive operational values. At the same time they are bestowed with demonstrable savings in terms of accuracy and consistency of data due to reduced human intervention and clearer, better defined, and more consistent workflows. Ultimately, these results have a dramatic impact in terms of cost savings, requiring fewer administrative man-hours to both input data and deal with corrections or issues.
What is HR Automation?
PC Magazine defines automation as replacing manual operations with electronics and computer-controlled devices. For example, ‘office automation’ replaced manual typewriters, filing cabinets, and paper appointment books with computer applications.
In the human resources realm, “HR automation is the process of enhancing the efficiency of the HR department by freeing employees from tedious manual tasks and allowing them to focus on complex tasks like decision making and strategizing. By automating standard and repetitive HR activities, organizations can reduce the cost and time they spend on manual HR planning and processing” – Kissflow.
HR automation helps companies enhance their efficiencies by reducing the time required to complete tasks, without hampering the quality of work. It handles many critical administrative tasks such as selecting profiles with certain skills, filing documents, feeding information, creating and sharing files, etc. These tasks may take hours if processed manually.
As per a KPMG survey, the top expected benefits from intelligent automation investments are improved performance – 56% while freeing resources or staff to perform more strategic work follows at 54%. This is the reason more and more companies are planning to invest in HR automation processes and AI over the next few years.
It has been found that well-run organizations with revenue of more than $1 billion are using automation to reduce HR staff. The study also revealed that the best-performing HR teams have 32% fewer staff. This is because they make use of automation in their processes. A small percentage – 12% of workers feel that AI and automation will negatively impact their jobs, but a much larger section is positive of the outcomes and so are the industry experts.
Automation drives advancement not by eliminating jobs but by eliminating particular job functions at which humans are inefficient, inconsistent or exposed to risk – RavinJesuthasan, MD – Willis Towers Watson, co-author of Reinventing Jobs: A Four-Step Approach for Applying Automation to Work (Harvard Business Review Press, 2017).
Current HR Activities that Leverage Automation
While there are quite a number of factors that precede AI and automation when it comes to the HR software preferences of modern-day recruiters / HR managers, only 9% of the respondents in a survey felt that automation wasn’t necessary. 45% wanted it to be an integral part of their HR systems, while 46% ticked it off as a nice to have feature.
Some of the popular HR processes that can be automated are:
- Employee onboarding: There are some tedious tasks that HR professionals perform on a regular basis. Selecting and collecting resumes and documents, giving tool access to new joiners, raising requests for devices and other assets, etc. can be done effortlessly in no time. Chatbots can be employed to answer simple queries. AI-powered hiring has been proven to accelerate the process by up to 33% while lowering costs by up to 50%!
- Performance Management: Tracking, analyzing, and measuring employee performance at the workplace is not an easy task for HR managers. Inefficiencies and biases manage to get in somehow. Introducing automation processes in the field of performance management helps them to track the important KPIs of the employees accurately and to check if their paths are aligned with the goals of the organization.
- Leave management: Without a proper leave management solution, the process is mostly manual. The records have to be kept separately for payroll Automation in the field allows companies to make use of an efficient leave management platform wherein a single dashboard allows for applying, approving, and checking of leaves with no hassle of recording anything elsewhere.
Workday, SAP SuccessFactors, Oracle PeopleSoft, ADP, BambooHR, Zenefits are top vendors in HR Automation. They provide HR automation tools to hire, manage, engage, and retain quality talent at workplaces. SAP SuccessFactors is a tool that automates all core human resource processes, including employee administration, payroll management, and legal reporting. Recently, UDig launched intelligent automation services that accelerate and transform business. The technology consulting company’s goal is to help organizations modernize how employees work while meeting rapidly changing demands.
While everything including talent acquisition, data management, payroll services, attendance management, learning and development, predictive modeling, etc. can be either partially or fully automated, there are five HR functions that are not yet (or, are the least) susceptible to automation, a KPMG International report suggests.
How to Include HR Automation in Working Pipeline?
Until automation is implemented, a robust analysis of current HR procedures is essential for the HR team. The mapping and recognition of current strengths, obstacles, and weak points are critical. The best automation out of the HR feature relies on well-defined workflows and on recurring and non-value-adding tasks being removed. It is also imperative that these activities be transparent from the beginning so that the company can accomplish the smart and automated processes that HR automation is well known for.
An HR function that completely takes advantage of automation should anticipate efficient, automated processes with few to no repetitive steps and redundant steps. An automated department would also have a considerably lower processing error rate and an HR team which will effectively promote organizational performance by value-added activities instead of data entry, control, and document generation.
If your company is only at the beginning of the HR automation route, it will be difficult to know where to start. Your first step should be to critically examine the fields in which you think automation will add value to your HR feature. The following move is a detailed analysis of the demand for HR software providers.
No matter how special your HR processes are, a solution can be found for your business. Take the opportunity to explore around, inquire for free demonstrations when appropriate and compare the various forms of applications for managing human resources and find the appropriate solution.
Automation in HR is not only a good-to-have feature but also an absolute necessity that has the potential to improve the productivity and bottom line of a company by saving hundreds of man-hours every year and minimizing human mistakes. It helps cultivate a productive and loyal workplace in the long run.