There is no escaping the fact that automation is, and will continue to be, a vital tool within the human resources (HR) function of the twenty-first century and beyond. Let’s further explore the impact this trend has had across the industry.
How to introduce HR automation with minimal fuss
Before getting started with automation, it is critical that your HR team carries out a robust review of existing HR processes. It is important to map them out clearly and identify current strengths, blockages, and weak spots.
Getting the best out of automation within the HR function depends on having clearly defined workflows and eliminating repetitive and non-value-adding tasks. Thus, it is imperative to clear out these tasks from the outset, giving your organization the best possible chance of achieving the smart and streamlined processes for which HR automation is famous.
What’s the operational impact of HR automation?
Automating the manual, labour-intensive parts of your HR processes can have a significant effect on the operational effectiveness of your HR function. One of the most noticeable benefits is freeing valuable time of the HR team from the administrative burden of such tasks.
This gives them more opportunities to focus on work that adds significant operational value to the business, such as coaching talented employees or delivering a targeted HR strategy.
Alongside time savings are demonstrable savings in terms of accuracy and consistency of data due to reduced human intervention and clearer, better defined, and more consistent workflows.
Both of these results can 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 are the barriers to adopting automated HR processes?
With so many tangible benefits, you may wonder why every organization, small or large, is not taking all of their HR processes down the automation route. But there are inevitably some barriers that are preventing these companies, particularly small businesses, from taking the plunge.
Common obstacles are lethargy and fear of change. Sometimes the prospect of ripping up your existing processes and starting from scratch with a brand new HR system can be daunting for a team that has established ways of working and roles that are dependent upon more manual procedures.
Key HR processes that you should have automated yesterday
Opportunities exist to improve productivity, efficiency, and quality through HR automation across virtually all parts of the HR function. Naturally, some areas are more straightforward to automate, with greater and more noticeable impact.
Recruitment and onboarding is a great example of an area of HR that has been transformed by automation, from the use of automatic skills matching, candidate screening using predefined keywords, and automated contract and offer letter generation.
When we started automating our HR processes at Kissflow, we had to face several roadblocks from disparate systems to broken processes. While it took us a considerable amount of time and effort to automate our HR processes end-to-end, the result was well worth it.
Earlier, it would take us two weeks to onboard an employee and provide them all the tools they would need to get their work done. With automation, once the employee’s information is entered into the system, it is pushed out to various stakeholders and it takes only a matter of hours to get onboarding tasks done and complete the onboarding process.
Equally, automation has revolutionized time and attendance processes. Many companies have moved from manual timesheets to digital ones that integrate inbuilt formulas to automatically calculate overtime payments, holiday entitlement, and hours accrual according to different rules.
What does the fully automated HR department look like?
An HR function that has fully embraced the benefits of automation can expect to have efficient, streamlined processes with little to no repetition or unnecessary steps. In addition, an automated department will have a significantly reduced processing error rate and an HR team that can actively support the operational success of the organization with value-adding activities, rather than inputting, checking, and generating data, forms, and documents.
What’s the best way to get started with HR automation?
It can be hard to know where to begin if your organization is just starting out upon the HR automation path. A thorough needs analysis of the areas that you believe automation has the potential to add value to your HR function should be your first step. The next step is an in-depth review of HR software providers on the market.
No matter how unique your HR processes are, there is a solution to suit your business. Take the time to shop around the market, ask for free demos when applicable, and put different types of human resource management software to the test to find the right solution for your needs.