Your human resources team is responsible for a wide range of time-consuming manual tasks, as well as interpersonal tasks that keep your organization running smoothly. HR automation makes it possible for your HR team to spend less time on the former and more on the latter, streamlining workflows and improving employee engagement.
Knowing how to automate HR tasks in a way that complements — but doesn’t replace — your HR professionals is key to a successful digital transformation.
Let’s take a look at how HR automation works, and how you can automate HR tasks without having to write any code or overhaul your entire workflow.
What Is HR Automation?
HR automation involves using cloud-based software or computer programs to perform tasks that don’t require significant human input or decision-making. If you’ve ever used scheduling software to coordinate a job interview or employee onboarding software to welcome new hires to your company, chances are you’ve used HR automation.
Automating HR tasks doesn’t mean removing humans from the equation completely, but it can allow you to streamline manual processes and reduce human error.
HR automation is especially useful for recurring or repetitive tasks, tasks requiring approval from multiple people, or tasks that need to happen in a specific order. Each step in the workflow triggers the next task automatically without the need for human intervention, saving time and eliminating busywork.
What Is a Human Resources Information System (HRIS)?
A human resources information system, or HRIS, is a piece of software used to store employee data and perform tasks related to HR management.
An HRIS can consist of some or all of the following modules:
- Applicant tracking system (ATS): An ATS streamlines the recruiting and hiring process. From storing resumes to matching jobs with suitable candidates, it can help an organization sift through an applicant pool more efficiently.
- Employee benefits administration: Expectations around employee benefits are changing. Some organizations offer personalized benefits or allow employees to choose their own benefits. A self-service portal can give employees more insight into their benefits package and allow them to select or make use of individual perks.
- Learning management system (LMS): An LMS can be used for onboarding or for ongoing employee training. Employees can view tutorials, take assessments, and receive certifications for each new skill they learn.
- Absence management: An attendance or absence management module offers more insight than a basic time-tracking system. View absenteeism data across your organization, or identify issues with individual employees.
From onboarding to offboarding, automating HR systems can take the hassle out of key business processes and increase employee retention.
Should You Automate HR Processes?
Sometimes, HR teams are hesitant to change because they already have a system that does the job or don’t want to learn a new procedure. Or employees may worry that HR automation will make it harder to contact the HR department.
But, when implemented properly, automating HR processes can improve the employee experience and make life easier for your HR team.
Here are three key benefits of HR automation.
Make Fewer Mistakes
Tracking leave requests in a spreadsheet or calculating timesheets by hand is a recipe for human error. It’s not that these methods don’t work, but there’s a greater chance of running into payroll issues or scheduling conflicts.
When you automate HR tasks like payroll or data entry, you reduce the risk of sending a paycheck to the wrong account or miscalculating an employee’s leave balance.
Once you’ve automated frequent HR functions, your team members will spend less time waiting around for the information they need. HR staff members can get a notification that a leave request is ready to be approved or a document is ready to sign.
This is especially true if HR automation is part of a larger digital transformation of your business, in which pen-and-paper systems are converted into digital alternatives.
HR workflows are some of the most complex processes in any business. For example, approving a leave of absence request may require a mix of time tracking, scheduling, and medical documentation to comply with state and federal regulations.
With HR automation software, you can create a rules engine that automatically checks each leave request against employment law or your organization’s leave policies and keeps a digital paper trail to ensure compliance.
How to Automate HR Operations
To begin the HR automation process, look for repetitive tasks that take up a lot of time but don’t actually require much human decision-making. Then, choose HR automation tools that allow you to eliminate steps or reduce the time it takes to complete them.
Here are three common HR automation examples:
1. The Hiring Process
According to Computerworld, “[Thirty-five percent] to 45% of companies are expected to use AI-based talent acquisition software” for tasks like “skills inference and candidate-job matching.” Of course, artificial intelligence is just one approach to HR process automation, and there are reasons to be cautious about relying too much on AI in hiring.
Still, there are plenty of repetitive tasks in the recruitment process, from posting job ads to scheduling interviews. An applicant tracking system can keep things moving along, while chatbots can deliver skills assessments and field candidate questions.
HR automation can also streamline employee training, enrollment, and onboarding processes so new employees are added to your team as quickly as possible.
2. Performance Management
Employee evaluations are most effective when employees have opportunities to receive both positive feedback and constructive criticism over time. But with the rise of remote work and the backlash against productivity scores, managers may have fewer opportunities to track employee performance and sit down with their team members in real time.
Automating the performance management process is one way to breathe new life into performance reviews while inviting additional stakeholders to participate through peer reviews and 360-degree appraisal templates.
Using an automated system for performance management ensures that all employees are assessed on the same criteria at regular intervals.
3. Leave Management
Leave management is one of the most critical HR systems to automate because it plays a role in nearly every aspect of human resources management. Leave requests need to be fielded as quickly as possible so that employees can access their family or medical leave entitlements and managers are informed about upcoming absences.
Automated leave management systems empower employees to initiate their own leave requests and submit the required paperwork using a self-service system.
Plus, by incorporating payroll and calendar integrations, you can ensure that everyone who needs to know about the leave request is part of the conversation.
Automate HR Processes and Improve the Employee Experience
Today’s employees expect a stress-free onboarding process and more control over their workplace experience. By using an automated HR management system and providing a self-service portal for employees, you can empower them to level up their skills, submit their own leave of absence requests, and even customize their benefits package.
Pulpstream makes it easy to automate HR processes with our cloud-based workflow automation platform. Our no-code interface allows your HR team to design their own workflows so you can improve your existing systems with HR automation tools.
Plus, our app integrations and custom dashboards help you see how it all fits together, ensuring consistency and regulatory compliance across your organization.
Request a demo today to see Pulpstream in action.