Manually processing payroll, sifting through tons of paperwork and relying on outdated internal communication methods takes valuable time away from Human Resource Managers. Digitalising these processes will not only improve efficiency, security, and accuracy within your HR operation but will also free up your HR professionals to focus on more strategic and impactful HR initiatives.
Nearly 60% of workers estimate they could save six or more hours a week if repetitive aspects of their job were automated. Yet only 37% of HR job functions are commonly automated.
Using HR automation software saves you time and allows you to do your job better. Let’s explore the ways HR automation can benefit your HR operations and the benefits that come with having powerful, integrated software to automate repetitive and tedious tasks.
What is Human Resources automation?
Human resources automation (HR automation) is the process of using software to automate and streamline common HR tasks including employee onboarding and offboarding, training and development, payroll and timekeeping, automatic leave management, reward & recognition as well as general employee wellbeing checks including happiness surveys and feedback forms. This frees HR managers to focus on more strategic tasks that add value to the company while improving efficiency and reducing the potential for human error.
HR automation replaces the old manual approach to HR, where managers would have to spend countless hours in admin following a neverending paperwork trail instead of utilising their valuable skills in other areas of their business.
Although the idea of automating HR processes may seem daunting, rest assured that robots aren’t going to take over your job! Chances are that you are already using HR automation in one way or another. If you are using an online platform to post your job ads or processing and calculating your payroll with the help of a payroll software system, you are already using HR Automation within your organisation. Think of HR automation as a personal assistant. It can share the workload and allow you to get through time-consuming tasks far more quickly without compromising on quality or standards. The key to a successful HR automation strategy is to find the right balance between technology and human interaction.
The benefits of HR automation
Since HR sits at the centre of your organisation, adopting HR automation can positively impact all areas of your business operations as well as your employees, leaders, business partners and customers. Here are the top benefits of HR automation software and why all businesses should consider automation:
- Improved workplace efficiency
HR largely depends on document-driven processes. When done manually, this can prove time-consuming, and repetitive and open up the potential for human error. It’s common for paperwork to get stuck in a queue or for documents to be faxed and returned prior to processing information. This is highly inefficient and redundant.
HR automation digitises all these tasks eliminating the need for paper forms. Instead, employees, new hires and stakeholders can access and sign all important documents online in real-time, making the process faster.
- Reduced human error
Manually completing HR tasks such as payroll and checking leave requests open up the risk of human error which can cost your company both financially and legally. A study from Aberdeen Research found that up to 15 percent of invoices from benefits carriers contain serious errors. HR automation can increase consistency and minimise such mistakes.
- Consistent experience across the whole business
With HR automation software, all employees will have access to the HR platform allowing those from all departments access to the same, relevant information – ensuring consistency across the board.
- A centralised place for employee data
With a HR automation platform, you will have access to all important employee data including details, payroll history, leave requests and certifications in one spot. Moreover, employees benefit from the self-service feature built into the HR software. It’s here that they can update their details, manage leave requests and keep track of their benefits, improving their overall experience.
- Positive experience for employees and new hires
When HR managers are sinking in paperwork, they don’t have enough time to check in with new hires or respond to employee requests. This can create a poor work culture and can be detrimental to the onboarding process as new hires are left with a negative impression of their new workplace.
- Improved communication and collaboration
HR automation provides a bird’s eye view of all the processes and stages involved in the HR process. This allows everyone to understand their own and others’ responsibilities, improving communication and teamwork.
- Actionable insights
HR automation software enables managers to track, collect and analyse all types of data. You can then use these insights to improve internal processes and correct any failures within your organisation.
- Waste reduction
These days, companies must meet sustainability targets. HR automation helps organisations to do this since all documents are digitised, eliminating the need for paper from your daily tasks.
Managing costs are important for businesses of any size, whether you’re a startup or a global enterprise. You may not realise it, but manually processing tasks such as payroll can be creating unnecessary expenses; namely the cost of making an error. The American Payroll Association estimates automation cuts payroll processing costs by 80%. HR automation also sends automatic notifications to ensure you’re paying your taxes on time and are up-to-date with compliance changes.
- Cloud-based HR Solution
The best HR automation software is cloud-based, offering better and faster software that is easily integrated to your existing infrastructure. Cloud-based HR software allows you to store data on remote servers instead of on your in-house computers. This means your employees can access the system 24/7 from anywhere.
What processes of HR can be automated?
Almost all HR processes can be automated with HR software. One important aspect to remember is that all HR processes are not created equal and what you choose to automate will depend on the size of your business.
If you’re new to HR automation, you’re not obliged to automate every single aspect of your HR processes. Instead, you may want to experiment with automating one or two areas of your company first. For example, if you find that your current bottleneck is in the payroll process and are encountering continuous problems such as late invoices or errors, you may want to begin there.
According to McKinsey Research, 50% of HR work can be automated in today’s age. Here are some of the most common HR processes that can be automated using HR software:
Recruitment of new employees
With global job vacancies at a record high in 2023, it’s a competitive candidate market. This is why the recruitment stage in the HR process is so important. With plenty of choices, candidates will likely drop out of the hiring process if it is too clunky and time-consuming. With HR software, you can automate the talent acquisition process helping you to find the right candidates. Crucially, can also reduce human bias to improve inclusivity in the hiring process. These tools can also make the recruiting process easier for candidates to navigate, from sending out interview reminders to updating candidates on their process.
Employee onboarding and offboarding require stacks of documents related to verifying information, collating important employee details and signing confidential forms. HR automation software can provide an easy-to-follow checklist to use during both the onboarding and offboarding process to ensure you don’t miss any crucial steps. From digital contracts to creating automatic notification and approval workflows, HR software can help protect your company and create a positive impression on new hires and former employees.
Payroll management software
Manually processing payroll including timesheets, sick leaves or vacation days and taxes can leave much room for error. HR automation can simplify the process by tracking and calculating everything automatically, making it easier for HR to meet compliance and simplify the payment process.
Timesheets and roster management software
Roster management is notoriously an extremely manual and time-consuming process. With HR automation, rosters can be created within minutes and sent to employees instantly. Many systems will allow employees to accept, reject or swap their assigned shifts with others and automatically send reminders and notifications about upcoming shifts. HR automation also allows for digital timesheets to be created, submitted, and approved online, completely removing the need for manual admin and day-to-day HR interference.
Employee Reward and Recognition
Creating an online outlet for public recognition will drive a workplace culture that fosters appreciation and achievement and increases employee engagement. Automation within the reward and recognition space will allow you to schedule employee milestones such as birthdays, work anniversaries and any other announcements and reward employees instantly both monetarily and via shout outs and peer to peer recognition channels.
Certification and Qualification compliance
With the ever-changing compliance laws around qualifications in certain industries, it is essential for organisations to be on top of their employees’ statuses on licences, certificates, qualifications, and other essential documentation. HR automation software can store documents as well as track and notify you of expiry dates and report on outstanding credentials – which is crucial in keeping a compliant and safe workplace.
Workplace learning and development
Online L&D platforms empower employees to take ownership of their own learning and complete assigned training courses at their own pace. With this automation, organisations can easily allocate courses to employees and have full access to how they are tracking. Utilising an eLearning platform allows for learning courses to be made up of a variety of mediums such as videos and interactive quizzes.
Rewards & recognition
If you’re looking for new ways to reward and recognise your employees, HR automation can help. Automated HR software’s scheduling capabilities allow you to plan important announcements and events such as birthdays which can keep your team motivated and encourage peer-to-peer and public recognition. HR software also provides tools to track employee performance and reward outstanding employees with digital awards such as online discounts.
Your employees and team are your greatest asset. It’s important to continually collect their feedback on how they’re feeling at work and where you can make changes to improve employee happiness. With HR software, you can send anonymous employee feedback forms and surveys to gain real and honest insights into how your employees feel at work.
HR automation of the future
Aspects of HR that are transactional in nature are ideal candidates for automation. If concerns arise about the potential of HR automation completely disrupting the workforce as we know it, it is important to remember that computers and technology cannot replace the human element of HR. As HR continues to evolve, automation is central to the evolution. Remember, HR automation is a means to an end. As soon as you identify opportunities for automation in your current processes, you can leverage HR automation software to help to serve you. HR automation minimises time spent on HR administration to allow for the strengthening of the human element of HR. HR practices that involve critical thinking, emotional engagement, innovation and creativity cannot be replaced by software, computers or robots.
Automation is the future for Human Resource Management and it’s here now
Effectively implementing HR automation software will reduce the need for your HR team to complete mundane, robotic and time-consuming tasks. This, in turn, paves the way for greater productivity and efficiency and the opportunity for HR leaders to have more time for high-value work. With the use of strategic automation, HR teams can use the insights provided to be proactive in their HR strategy, identify business processes that aren’t working as intended and improve existing procedures.
Save time today and partner with an outsourced HR Partner service that can save you time & money
If you want to future-proof your HR strategy and reduce any bottlenecks in your current process, get in touch with our team today. We can help you to implement the right HR automation software to suit your unique HR needs.
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Employment Innovations is one of Australia’s leading providers of employment services designed to increase productivity and ensure compliance. Its services and solutions include all the tools that every Australian small to medium sized employer needs – including workplace advice, legal services, payroll solutions, migration, human resource management and HR software.
The information provided in these blog articles is general in nature and is not intended to substitute for professional advice. If you are unsure about how this information applies to your specific situation we recommend you contact Employment Innovations for advice.