The human resources profession requires all hands to be on deck. From employee relations and concerns, to payroll, to benefits enrollment, the tasks that fall on a company’s HR department are crucial for general operations at an organization. Unless you have a large HR team, you will need help from HR systems and tools that provides HR automation for your business process management.
One of the best ways to ensure that your team has the bandwidth to handle human-focused problems is to automate systems when you can. When digitally transforming your organization for process automation, it is important to still provide your employee base with the real human support they need, while also being mindful of the workload of your human resources team.
Why Should I Automate My HR Processes?
Are you wondering why you should transform your HR department to automation? Don’t worry, in this article we cover everything you need to know about HR automation from beginning to end. Below, we explore some advantages and disadvantages of HR automation.
There are countless reasons why you should integrate HR technology to streamline your business processes. One of the main reasons is to lighten the load when it comes to manual work for your human resource management team. There are many repetitive, manual tasks that fall into the hands of human resource professionals that can become seamlessly automated business processes. For example, payroll management, onboarding, offboarding, and performance management, are all necessary tasks to help keep the business alive that can be automated processes with software solutions.
Many companies do not have large HR teams, which can lead to burnout within this department, especially for an HR manager. By automating processes, you will be able to help alleviate the manual work required of your current HR employees.
By implementing HR process automation, you will also reduce costs within your human resources department. Automation software is typically much less expensive than increasing your headcount and hiring extra hands for process management that can be automated. While a human hire will need a compensation plan, benefits, and employee support, robotic process automation will only require a fee. If you implement process automation within your organization, you can significantly decrease costs for your human resource department.
Perks of HR Automation Your Employees Will Enjoy
Robots and Artificial Intelligence
Your HR team will be extremely grateful for the opportunity of business process automation. There is a lot of manual work that goes into successfully running an HR team that can be handled by robots and artificial intelligence (AI) in automation solutions. With the use of AI automation, you can minimize errors in your processes as you remove the aspect of human errors such as accidentally pushing a button or adding an extra 0 in the spreadsheet. Other benefits of AI in business processes include getting rid of biases, no limitations to time and function, and no negative impact of external factors.
Focus on value-added tasks
With the implementation of automation technology, employees are likely to feel as if their human-centered skills are more valued since they can spend more time on tasks that bring value. The truth is, there are some tasks that simply cannot be replaced by computers. By making this known, you will empower your human resource professionals to utilize their skills in more value-adding work such as strategic HR, in order to benefit the organization.
With increased automation, your human resources team will have more time to focus on getting to know the individuals who work at the company. They will be able to focus on overall organizational structure, employee relations, and strategic planning, all things that cannot be replaced by an automation system.
The employees that are not on your human resources team will also enjoy HR process automation. By implementing new tools, you will give your employees more independence in the workplace. They will be able to take matters into their own hands, and not always have to rely on the human resources management team for support. For example, if you automate your HRIS system, your employees will have a centralized space to download their paystubs and taxes and request PTO without having to involve HR team members. This self-service process will allow them to speed up the timeline of getting personal documentation completed.
Disadvantages of HR Automation
Are there any disadvantages of HR automation? The answer is that it depends. Being modern can come with some challenges. Make sure that you are choosing the right software and technology for your business needs and operations. If your organization is not careful in the choice of system, you might end up with multiple systems with disparate data. The lack of communication between many systems can leave organizations with limited system capabilities, unnecessary features, and high costs.
Example of HR Automation Tools
HR chatbots are automation tools that serve as virtual assistants instead of human support services. HR chatbots use AI to create field questions and solutions through a messaging interface and oftentimes facilitate conversations. HR chatbots streamline common questions, provide technical IT support, provide faster service than a human support service could, and help employees to be more self-sufficient. HR chatbots can be used for multiple HR processes. For example, if employees have a question during their training, they can use the chatbot to quickly get answers related to the field of study or competency.
A digital assistant, sometimes referred to as an AI assistant or conversational AI, is an advanced computer program that provides human conversations with its users. Differing from chatbots, digital assistants follow you along the way and identify problems and provide solutions for each one of them, while providing a personalized and conversational experience. Benefits of a conversational AI include:
1. Economic benefits
2. Quick and efficient problem-solving
5. Human service with machine efficiency
Create Automatic Workflows
One of the first areas that you should focus on when trying to implement HR process automation, is workflow creation. If you are able to automate workflows on your HR team, you will remove the friction that currently exists in many of your processes.
For example, if your employees request PTO, you can create an automated workflow that will block off their calendars, so that no meetings are booked when they’re out of the office. You can also use workflow automation to alert managers of their employee’s work anniversaries, birthdays, and other important dates. These are all tasks that typically fall on the HR department to remember and communicate to their teams, but with HR workflow software, this burden can be taken off the HR department. If you want to take this automation software beyond your HR tasks, a business workflow can be integrated into any part of your organization’s business process.
By syncing the tools within your current tax dock, and integrating them into one dashboard, you will be able to create automatic workflows to simplify your day-to-day HR processes. As a result, your organization will become more efficient, reliable, and less susceptible to human error.
Once workflows are up and running, you are likely to improve your decision making, save time on processes, and reduce cost. However, workflow foundation involves several chronological tasks and decisions and designing for workflow efficiency is crucial. Make sure to follow these important steps for HR workflow optimization:
1. Collect information from SMEs
2. Identify responsibilities
3. Outline the workflow
4. Get approval
5. Finalize and implement workflows
Example of Workflows
Workflows can streamline many of your HR processes, including onboarding, offboarding, payroll, time and attendance, and more. Below, we present 2 examples of workflows that simply HR professionals work:
1. Software automatically generates the onboarding interview between the recruit and the HR department
2. Software automatically generates onboarding interview between the recruit and the manager
3. Software automatically notifies the HR professional, the manager, and the employee of the onboarding interview, including date, schedule, and more
4. Software automatically notifies the training module of the arrival of a recruit and assigns them to an e-learning training path
1. Employee submits leave request and chooses unpaid leave or paid leave
2. Software automatically transmitted the request to the manager
3. If the request is approved, the software automatically sends it to the HR department
4. If approved, the software automatically updates the planning module and the employee’s attendance schedule
5. If the leave is unpaid, the software automatically updates the payroll module
How to Implement HR Process Automation
Keep reading if you are hoping to implement HR process automation in your organization. Below, we will explore how to embrace business automation within your company, and which processes you should transition first.
Another common task that can be taken over by HR process automation, is payroll management. The payroll process cannot be interfered with, as it provides employees with security. They need to know that they will get paid on time. Payroll processing is known to be a lengthy process, that is highly susceptible to human error. It is not uncommon for organizations to make mistakes when conducting payroll manually. Oftentimes, when HR payroll is conducted manually, factors, such as bonuses, time off, and holidays, are often overlooked.
To ensure that your employees get paid on time, and the full amount they are owed, your organization should implement HR process automation to take over the payroll processing. HR process automation tools are programmed to take into account factors, such as PTO, holidays, and more, that may interfere with the time and amount of payment.
Some organizations have even been able to decrease their workforce by an entire headcount, all thanks to embracing HR processes and automation and allowing payroll software to take over their payroll systems.
Onboarding and Recruiting New Employees
Employee onboarding is another highly manual task that is often done by HR professionals. If you are still onboarding your employees manually, your process is most likely old-fashioned and outdated, lethargic, and chaotic. Onboarding automation uses technology to automate and streamline the onboarding process. With the help of this technology, you can expect to increase employee engagement and retention, improve the efficiency of the process, have a smaller margin of error, and reduce your onboarding costs. At the same time, you can stand a competitive edge as newcomers will not have to deal with tedious paperwork that weakens the employee experience.
When welcoming a new hire to the company, every organization has a different philosophy. However, there are some steps that remain the same no matter where you work. For example, when a new hire is made, there are certain documents that must be collected by the employer, in order to ensure that the candidate is hired legally.
Many of these rules play into the overall compliance of an organization. If a company is out of compliance, they risk fees and fines in the event that they are audited. Remember, companies can be audited at any time. So, it is important to always stay within compliance, so that your organization does not run the risk of doing business illegally, which can be easily done with the help of HR automation.
Besides compliance, there are other tasks that can be automated through HR software. For example, new hire onboarding meetings can be scheduled on the day stated in the candidate’s offer letter. A welcome message can also be sent out prior to the candidate’s start date.
On their first day, HR process automation can take over the burden of adding this new hire to all necessary systems for their role. Since there are so many tasks associated with employee onboarding, it is easy for HR management professionals to miss out on steps and make mistakes. You will guarantee all of your new hires have a streamlined onboarding experience with HR automation.
The recruitment process is another time-consuming process that HR personnel is responsible for. When it comes to reaching out to passive candidates, there are many HR solutions that can automate this outreach for you. You can also utilize HR services to help your talent acquisition team filter through applications within your ATS system. This way, your talent management team can spend more time interviewing potential candidates, and less time performing admin work. Interviewing is a skill that cannot be taken over by computers, so it is important to continue giving your talent management team the most time to focus on this craft.
Tax Documents and Compliance Forms
Many organizations employ multiple tax professionals in order to remain in compliance. However, these individuals typically require high salaries, as a result of many years of education and experience. By utilizing HR process automation, you can cut down on your accounting team headcount.
By investing in tax systems, you can have confidence that your organization is always in compliance. These systems are typically called PEOs, and take the responsibility of being liable for tax mistakes. The systems are extremely beneficial for smaller organizations that do not wish to be liable for some of these complex processes. As an added bonus, many of these systems also conduct payroll paperwork, too.
Performance evaluations are another heavily manual process often times taken on by the human resources team. While it is extremely important for your organization to offer managers and subordinates the opportunity to get employee feedback, the performance evaluation process can be very time-consuming. Instead of launching typical surveys as employee performance reviews to your workforce, embracing HR process automation can help with the collection and analysis of data.
Of course, peer evaluation will need to be completed by hand. However, the collection and analysis portion will become a completely automated process. This makes it easier for HR teams to jump into action and make changes within an organization based on this feedback.
Choosing the Right Software for HR Automation
If you are still confused about which process to automate, we got you covered in things you need to know before investing in HR automation. There are multiple HR automation systems offered on the market but the importance lays in finding a system that fits your organization. Consider investing in a customizable system that can integrate applications and customizations that will be a good fit for you. When trying to find a workflow management system that will optimize your processes, start by asking yourself these questions:
1. What are my business requirements for workflows?
2. What are my non-negotiable features for workflow management?
3. How many users will I have in the workflow?
4. How quickly do I plan to use the software?
5. How much assistance will I likely need?
If you are still not sure which HR system to pick, look for general features that all workflow management systems should have. That includes:
Integration with other cloud apps
Notification of where and when you need them
Digital transformation can be scary and hosing what HR management software to automate business processes can be complicated. Human resources management is composed of many functions and HR professionals carry out several support missions. For example, as a part of HR, human capital management (HCM) refers to HR functions related to workforce management, such as recruitment, skills, and succession. There is specific software, HCM software, that can be used for various employee information and activities across HR management, such as payroll, recruiting, employee training, time and attendance, and more.
PeopleSpheres offers cloud-based HCM software that we customize for you, based on your business needs. If you still want to learn more about HR and automation, be sure to check out the rest of our blog!