HR process automation is one of the best ways to increase productivity in HR. In fact, one could argue that it’s essential to staying competitive in today’s digital-first era.
HR, after all, is having an increasing impact on an organization’s performance. The HR department is being required to hire more workers, more quickly, while ensuring they have access to the best talent – and that those new hires have a great employee experience.
In this post, we’ll look at the benefits of HR process automation, how it works, and how to get started.
What Is HR Process Automation?
HR process automation is the use of digital tools, such as digital adoption platforms, to perform tasks normally done by humans.
A single automation tool can perform any number of tasks that it would normally take humans minutes, hours, or longer to complete.
Automation can be applied to HR processes such as:
Automation, it should be noted, will not replace HR staff. They can, however, take care of many of the most tedious and mundane tasks. This offers several benefits to HR as we will see in the next section.
Reasons to Use HR Process Automation Tools
Here are a few of the top reasons to consider using HR automation platforms:
- Increased efficiency and decreased costs. Automation tools operate more quickly than people do, at less cost.
- A better HR experience. When machines performed the most tedious tasks, HR personnel can focus on more value added and interesting work.
- Better financials. One of the biggest benefits to using automation software is profit. By increasing HR’s performance, automation tools improve the organization’s financials.
- A better employee experience. Since today’s employee experience is digital, automation tools can deliver a highly optimized experience without need for human intervention.
In short, the effective use of HR automation tools can positively affect the entire organization, from the workforce to the company’s bottom line.
The effective use of HR tools does require a bit of planning and ongoing optimization, however. In the next section we will look at this in more detail.
How to Adopt and Use HR Automation Tools Effectively
To make the most of HR automation tools, it’s necessary to take a structured approach to their use.
- Understanding the value that automation tools bring to the workplace. It’s necessary to actually understand what automation tools do in order to extract value from them. For example, robotic automation process tools automate manual workflows. Cognitive automation tools can help automate decision making. An artificial intelligence tool, for instance, can be used to assess candidates’ fit with an organization.
- Setting specific goals. Every business initiative must have specific goals. In the case of HR automation, those goals should focus on the primary benefits one hopes to achieve. These can include metrics such as shortening recruitment timelines, decreasing employee training costs, reducing HR overhead, and so forth.
- Defining a strategy to achieve those goals. The strategy should cover several dimensions. First, it is important to actually deploy this offer properly. A digital adoption strategy can ensure that employees are trained properly in the use of these automation tools.
- Creating metrics, benchmarks, and KPIs. You cannot track performance if you don’t measure it. Likewise, you won’t be able to measure the ROI of your software investment if you don’t measure it. For this reason, it is important to tie metrics to the goals and strategy you set above. Then when implementing the automation platform, continually collected and analyze performance.
- Partnering with other business units, such as IT, in order to successfully deploy new software. Due to the complex nature of automation tools, it is necessary to have support from IT. HR should therefore form a partnership with IT. Also, it will be necessary to gain cooperation from other departments, since certain workflows will be applied across departments.
- Working closely with change managers to successfully implement automation tools. Change management is tasked with overseeing organizational change projects. These can include software implementation projects. Having the right change management strategy can directly impact the outcomes of a change project, so it is important to take a structured approach to change.
- Defining a strategy to overcome challenges. A number of obstacles, such as resistance to change, can interfere with the successful adoption of automation platforms. Proactively addressing these can minimize their impact on your project. During the planning stage, therefore, potential challenges should be listed, planned for, and proactively addressed.
- Choosing the right tools for your needs. Finally, it is important to choose the right automation schools for your own needs. Different automation tools focus on different areas of the business. For HR, some may focus more on employee training, some may focus more on recruitment, and some may focus more on everyday workflow automation.
The bottom line is that automation tools can generate significant benefits for an organization and the HR department. However, maximizing those benefits requires careful planning, execution, and optimization.
Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.