The HR department is mostly document-driven. Most of the processes are done with tons of documents such as employment contracts that employees must read and that the HR team must prepare accurately. This consumes hours of valuable time – time which could be used for a more benefitting activity such as training an employee. This also poses an added cost as some companies hire additional manpower to do menial, repetitive tasks.
Every company needs to have an efficient and effective human resource management. This helps the company manage its employees from hiring, training, and keeping with labour laws. In general, most HR departments are highly manual. HR managers and associates are used to rolling up their sleeves and get their jobs done. However, this will soon change as automation enters the HR landscape.
What is HR Automation?
HR Automation is a method of improving the efficiency of the human resource department by removing tiring manual tasks and letting them focus on complex activities such as strategising and decision making. With the use of strategic automation, HR teams can shift their focus on more important roles such as talent forecasting and pipeline succession.
Benefits of HR Automation
HR automation helps organisations adopt a streamlined process by integrating repetitive tasks and deploying only the necessary people when needed. Once in place, HR automation can provide indispensable benefits for companies. This includes:
- Improving productivity through rapid processing and data sharing.
- Heightened employee engagement resulting in reduced employee turnover.
- Reduction in cost for storage and printing.
- Absence of policy violations and compliance risks.
- An efficient hiring process that enhances organisational growth at an optimal operational cost.
- Reduction of data entry mistakes and lost paperwork.
- Creation of insightful reports allowing for intelligent business decisions.
- Ease of collaboration with stakeholders in hiring, training, and retaining skilled employees.
When to Use HR Automation
Using HR automation becomes a necessity when your company starts to lose valuable time and talent in manual and repetitive tasks. The best time to use HR automation is now when automation is slowly invading the workspace. In a survey conducted by Willis Towers Watson, Asian employers believe that about 17% of work will become automated come 2020, a 5% increase from 2014. The use of automation in HR will increasingly affect workforce strategy by expanding HR analytics.
A report by KPMG claims that partial or full automation is possible for almost all HR functions, with only five out of 21 responsibilities less susceptible to automation. A CareerBuilder research also found that about 13% of HR managers see evidence of automation or artificial intelligence in HR and about 55% claim that it will be part of regular HR in the next five years.
It is time to automate your HR when:
- You have below-average recruitment and onboarding processes. When your recruitment and onboarding processes lack transparency and fail to engage new hires adequately, it is high time to consider automation.
- You have a low budget for HR staffing. Budget cuts often lead to inefficiency in record keeping, inadequacy in compliance management, and issues in payroll processing.
- Your have an outdated performance appraisal process. Old-fashioned performance management methods are often inflexible and are not in tune with the needs of the current workforce.
- Your employee leave processing takes weeks. When employees cannot fully maximise their leaves, they are less motivated to work. Traditional leave processing takes weeks since it has to be calculated and approved and sometimes get lost in tons of emails and paper.
- Your timesheet is a mess. Collection of timesheets, even when electronic, can be cumbersome and chaotic. This affects the payroll process as a whole.
What HR Functions Can Be Automated?
- Benefits – the system can automatically track when employees become eligible to receive benefits.
- Exit Interview – Whilst exit interviews are significant in improving employee engagement but this can be an ineffective method when done on paper as it is tedious and time-consuming.
- Health and Safety – floor monitors can receive updates when employees move to a new floor to leave the organisation.
- Leave Requests – an automated HR will make calculation and approval of leaves easier. HR staff does not need to manually compute for leave credits, seek manager approval, and record leave for payroll.
- Recruitment – the system can store applications through online forms and assign them to a recruiter for an interview.
- Onboarding – employee onboarding is one of the most manual of all HR processes. It involves collections of documents for verification, provision of access tools to new hires, and raising a request for devices among others. Through an employee onboarding app, new hires can receive confidentiality agreements and waiver forms. When completed,the files will go to a repository folder.
- Performance Management – automated HR systems can also be used to track, measure, and analyse an employees performance in accordance with business goals. In addition, it keeps information free from bias and mistakes.
- Records Management – store employee records in accordance with government regulations in a repository folder.
- Tax Forms – the system will facilitate the distribution of tax forms.
- Timesheets – manual tracking of timesheets is inefficient as it is prone to errors and tampering. With the use of an automated timesheet, employee timesheets processed faster with high accuracy.
Key Features an HR Automation Must Have
- Actionable Insights. This will help speed up the decision-making process with reports and easy to navigate dashboard.
- Automated Alerts. For tracking and task completion, automate alerts is necessary.
- Dynamic Workflow. The HR automation system in place must be congruent with the company processes.
- Omni-Channel Access. This offers convenience by allowing access to any HR-related information anywhere, any time, using any type of device.
- Quick Integration. An HR automation must allow HR teams to consolidate data by synchronization using API integrations.
- Risk Mitigation. This feature will make all HR processes safe from tampering through the use of audit trails.
When you have decided to use HR automation tools, it is important to look for key features to maximise its efficiency. Choose the one that has features in tune with your HR processes.