Increasingly, HR automation is becoming a standard practice across a broad range of industries. In large and small companies alike, more and more HR departments are leveraging digital tools, systems, and platforms to more efficiently manage routine administrative tasks and free up valuable time. As a result, HR professionals are better able to focus on broader strategic goals and business objectives and direct their energy toward critical decision-making functions, rather than being bogged down by the mundane but essential tasks associated with people management.
If you’ve been thinking about automating some critical HR functions at your organization but haven’t been sure where to start, check out the following round-up of seven HR processes that are prime targets for automation.
If your organization is still processing timesheets manually, you could be losing countless hours of HR personnel time every month. Automating timesheet tracking is not only one of the simplest ways for HR departments to embrace automation, but it also yields results almost immediately. Automation enhances efficiency, reduces the risk of mistakes and miscalculated hours (which, in turn, means better compliance and decreased risk of employment law violations), and ensures the immediate and automatic update of employee records in the system. Automated timesheet tracking is advantageous for employees as well, as this system allows them to track and log their time from any location on any device.
Basic recruitment tasks can eat up days of valuable HR staff time that is better spent elsewhere. Better to delegate these functions to an applicant tracking system (ATS), a data-driven platform that stores information on potential recruits and allows all relevant parties to access up-to-the-minute details about each candidate. The pre-screening tools offered in a standard ATS, like the ability to search candidates’ resumes for keywords, help make the initial selection of applicants to interview a snap, while functions like video interviews help your HR department widen the net and connect with the best available talent, no matter where they may be.
Not only is automating the administrative aspects of onboarding a new hire a better and more efficient use of everyone’s time, but it also gives the new employee a streamlined introduction to the company and sets the tone for the level of digital integration they can expect in the workplace. An automated onboarding process can also help a new hire feel more empowered and in control. For example, using a tool like a personal dashboard—where new employees can input all their current information and details, access training and orientation videos, and view onboarding checklists—can help new hires absorb important onboarding information at their own pace so that they’re ready to hit the ground running.
With the advent of HR metrics, performance appraisals have shifted from being subjective, often personality-based reviews to data-driven assessments that leverage KPIs to clearly indicate areas of excellence and areas where improvements are needed. Automating the performance appraisal process, therefore, means that management has access to constantly updated, real-time information on an employee’s performance, helping to make the evaluation process more accurate and fair. In addition, many companies report that using this type of metric-driven review system, which clearly lays out targets and expectations, has had the effect of significantly increasing employee engagement and, consequently, performance.
Tracking benefits is one of the most complex HR processes there is, so why not simplify it by using an automated process that leverages real-time analytics? This way, employers and employees alike can easily track progress toward performance rewards and can see at a glance what has yet to be achieved. Implementing a self-service function into this process can also be a useful way of helping to keep employees in control of their own personal details and remuneration information.
Between sourcing information from many different legacy systems and managing compliance obligations, payroll can be a logistical mess for HR personnel. An easy and simple solution is to have a single, integrated HR and payroll system, which cuts down drastically on the number of admin hours it takes for payroll to be processed while also enhancing accuracy. It can be a big money-saver as well. According to the American Payroll Association, an estimated 8 percent of total payroll expenses are lost to errors that arise from manual processing.
In today’s workplace, no HR professional should have to sort through saved e-mails in search of an employee’s request for time off or search last year’s calendar to find out how many vacation days an employee is still owed. An automated workflow process to handle holiday requests can turn this ordeal into a seamless process, saving everyone a great deal of time and hassle. Using a centralized platform, approval for time off can be sought and given immediately, and holiday allowances can be smoothly and automatically updated to reflect an employee’s real-time holiday status.