The idea behind automation is to streamline workflows and free up the workforce for more valuable tasks. As seen in the past, technological advancement tends to destroy jobs, but it also creates more jobs. Automation is creeping into almost all fields making the workforce worried that their jobs might become obsolete one day.
Any task that can be automated has not been spared, even human resources, a document-driven field. In the typical office, the HR department prepares employment contracts, hands them to the employee who reads the contract, signs it, and hands it back to the HR, who then fills the contract. While most of these processes can be automated, not every function of HR needs to be automated.
Continue reading to understand what HR automation means to your profession.
What Is HR Automation?
Human resources automation seeks to digitize and automate tedious, time-consuming functions such as filing paperwork. This reduces cycle time, human error improves efficiency, and frees up HR personnel for more strategic activities. HR automation can handle administrative tasks that, if done manually, would take hours in minutes.
HR Functions Susceptible To Automation
As mentioned earlier, automation will perform the mundane, repetitive tasks, thus eliminating the need for HR generalists. Some of the functions that will be automated include:
- Workforce planning
One of the most tedious HR functions is hiring; the HR personnel has to sift through tons of applications to find the select few. Organizations tend to outsource recruitment to HR consultants as they bring a fresh perspective to the process, among other benefits. Automation can help reduce the workload by sifting through the applications using indicators such as keywords to identify individuals that fit the criteria. This will ensure that HR hires individuals without any personal bias regarding gender, age, university attended, etc.
HR automation will also streamline employee onboarding, especially with new hires. HR personnel are often required to enlighten new hires on issues such as company policies, benefits, and any other possible questions. An AI chatbot can handle this part of the recruitment, leave office tours, and train the HR personnel.
In addition to streamlining the recruitment process, HR automation will improve the workplace by enabling better interaction between employees and employers. For example, employees are often afraid to speak up as they fear they might lose their jobs. However, by embracing technology, employees can submit feedback and raise issues that are affecting their performance and efficiency.
It’s not uncommon to find that most HR departments are highly compartmentalized, such that each person performs different duties. For instance, one employee deals with payroll, another with recruiting, and another with performance. These are tasks that an online HR resource can handle, thus freeing up your HR personnel for specialized functions.
- Regulatory Compliance
HR plays a key role in an organization’s compliance structure, especially in areas regarding employment relationships. There are tons of laws that govern the employment relationship, and the HR department is required to understand these laws and regulations.
Executing and maintaining HR compliance can be elusive, which is why organizations are automating the compliance workflow. Compliance continues to become complex every year, largely due to the frequency of regulatory change combined with new legislation. Typically, businesses have to wait for quarterly, biannual, or annual updates, which exposes the business to non-compliance risk. However, these businesses can automate the compliance process making it easier to organize, manage, track, and update all your compliance requirements.
- Leave Request
Leave requests sound easy, but they’re quite complex as the HR personnel has to keep tabs on email threads, employee timesheets, leave application forms, and half-day requests. If the process is manual, the HR personnel has to sift through emails, calendars, receipts, and previous applications. All this to ensure you don’t get more leave days than stipulated, which is time-consuming and often erroneous.
However, the organization can automate the leave management process, thus making it easier to track, audit the applications. This translates to better recordkeeping, fewer errors, less confusion, more accurate leave requests.
- Performance Management
During a performance review, some employees are often given a pass due to age, gender, race, etc. This is because the process is overseen by the HR department, whose personnel can exhibit bias. The process can be streamlined by using performance management software, which analyzes data using set parameters.
Combining HR And HR Automation
HR automation will play an important role, but it doesn’t negate the need for human resources. AI is a tool that’s data-oriented, but HR personnel brings the human aspect of HR, which is vital in understanding the work environment. This means that human resources are unlikely to experience full automation due to the necessity of human interaction in HR.
The employees are the heart of the organization, and while some might be adamant about embracing automation, HR will help ease the transition and improve productivity. Therefore, organizations need to figure out how to combine HR and HR automation for better productivity.