Human Resources is one of the core units of an organization. This department takes care of numerous responsibilities such as candidate screening, onboarding, and other activities in an employee’s workplace lifecycle up to exit. It’s humanly impossible to keep a track of every employee’s tenure in the company, especially if it’s located at multiple global locations. That’s where automation helps. Automation powered by AI and Machine Learning provides numerous benefits to HR Tech customers.
Here’s why you should read this primer on ‘Automation’ in HR technology.
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).
Why Invest in HR Automation?
- Lessening of printing and storage costs related to paper-based processing. Easy access to online documents anytime, anywhere!
- Efficient screening, hiring, and training of staff. Employee information is available at one central location. Employee engagement rate can be enhanced while providing the newly-joined staff with a smooth onboarding
- Reduced data entry errors owing to less involvement of humans in the process. Saves time and efforts, making it easier for HR professionals to focus more on rather productive tasks. The overall reduction in costs.
- Prevent unnecessary costs and legal troubles arising because of instances of fires, thefts, manual errors, compliance errors, or equipment failures. Data can be backed up at regular intervals manually or automatically, and if any mishaps occur, data can be restored from the cloud.
- Predictive analytics to gather insightful data which helps make intelligent business decisions. Craft tailor-made learning and development modules with the help of virtual reality; identify and work on areas to improve. Companies employing AI in their training endeavors have witnessed a 32% increase in employee productivity and a 43% increase in employee retention.
- Deloitte found out through a survey that technical skills, complex problem-solving skills, and cognitive abilities are some of the top skills that managers expect to be improved with the introduction of AI/robotics in their enterprises.
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 workplace is not an easy task for the 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.
BambooHR, Zoho, KissFlow, CakeHR, ICIMS, 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, Paradox announced the integration of its AI assistant, Olivia, with SAP SuccessFactors for better communication with candidates.
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.
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.
Read More: HR Tech Primer: What is HR Technology?