It can seem like automation is coming to every industry. From AI to robotics, there are more tools than ever that can perform or assist with time-consuming manual tasks. But is there a role for automation in the HR department? How can HR automation software help with complex processes like performance reviews and employee training?

Here’s what you need to know about HR process automation, and how you can use automation to streamline even the most complex HR tasks.

What Is HR Process Automation?

Business process automation refers to a wide range of practices in which companies use software to automate recurring or repetitive tasks. This can include robotic process automation, in which an automated system performs routine tasks, as well as intelligent process automation, which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to assist with advanced problem-solving and decision-making.

HR process automation refers to the application of process automation to the human resources department. At one end of the spectrum, it covers simple manual processes like data entry and time tracking, but it can also be used for more complex workflows, such as onboarding new hires and streamlining the recruitment process.

HR process automation doesn’t just allow HR professionals to get more done in less time — it can revolutionize your operations as part of a digital transformation strategy. The more you digitize and automate HR functions, the more time your HR team can spend on other parts of your business, such as employee engagement.

Benefits of HR Process Automation

The benefits of HR automation go beyond saving time and money — although that’s a big part of it. Here are three other ways HR process automation can help.

Streamline Processes

HR automation tools can help you streamline HR workflows by simplifying tasks and eliminating unnecessary steps. For example, instead of waiting for paperwork to be delivered from one team member to another, any relevant stakeholders can get an automatic email notification in real-time whenever they need to take action.

Even if you don’t have a human resources information system (HRIS), you can use integrations to link multiple pieces of software together, eliminating data silos and cutting down on manual data entry and redundant datasets.

Improve Accuracy

Automating HR processes can cut down on mistakes by ensuring that every step in a process has been completed and that the data it contains is timely and accurate.

Instead of using ad-hoc forms and spreadsheets, digitize paperwork and standardize templates so there’s less opportunity for human error. Provide digital forms that are pre-filled with employee data so all they have to do is review it and sign it digitally.

Empower Team Members

HR process automation isn’t intended to replace your HR staff. In fact, HR software can free them up from performing tedious tasks so they can focus on HR processes that are more aligned with their skill sets, such as strategic initiatives, talent management, and fostering a positive employee experience for new hires.

You can also empower employees by providing them with a self-service HR portal for leave of absence requests and employee benefits enrollment. Over time, the ease of engaging with your HR systems will reduce stress and improve employee retention.

HR Automation Examples You Can Use

HR process automation: entrepreneurs talking to each other

Knowing where to get started with HR process automation can be a daunting task. But you don’t have to overhaul your entire HR management system at once. Even making minor changes to your workflow can have a big impact on operations. Here are three HR automation examples to help you get started.

Employee Onboarding

The employee onboarding process is your chance to welcome new employees to your organization and help them get up to speed. HR automation can take hours off of the onboarding process and get new hires set up in their roles faster.

You can deliver training models virtually with built-in assessments, and generate new user accounts without having to assign usernames and passwords manually.

Of course, you don’t have to stop at the onboarding process. You can continue to use HR process automation throughout the employee lifecycle, including for performance reviews and for exit interviews during the offboarding process.

Time Tracking

Time tracking is another great use case for HR process automation. From cloud-based timesheets that update automatically no matter where an employee logs in to work, to absence management software that can track an employee’s FMLA leave balance, there are dozens of ways to streamline time tracking with automation.

Plus, when you use a time tracking app or HR management software, you can integrate your timesheets with your accounting software for easy payroll and invoicing. Or, use it to generate attendance reports so you can better anticipate staffing needs.

Employee Support

Employees don’t want to have to contact your HR team every time they have an issue, any more than they want to contact their internet provider or utility company. In many cases, a self-service portal or knowledge base will do the trick.

For more complex cases, HR automation can help. You can use AI-powered chatbots to guide employees through new workflows or common troubleshooting issues, and set up a ticketing system to prioritize the most urgent requests.

These tools will ensure that employees get the answers they need in a timely manner, or get routed to a team member or department that can help.

Automate HR Workflows With Pulpstream

When it comes to HR automation, you can either piece together all of the components yourself — or you can use an all-in-one solution like Pulpstream. With its cloud-based software and no-code interface, you can automate HR processes without having to switch between multiple software tools or learn how to code.

Here are three areas of HR automation where Pulpstream stands out.

Leave of Absence Management

Tracking employee attendance isn’t as simple as making notes on a shared calendar. These days, you may need to account for overtime, paid sick leave, or an extended leave of absence under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

As more states implement paid time off and parental leave policies, you’ll need a robust system for managing attendance and tracking leave balances. Pulpstream takes care of the hard work for you, with a customizable rules engine to assess leave eligibility and a self-service portal where employees can upload supporting documents.

Claims and Incident Management

From short-term disability claims to incident reporting and management, Pulpstream makes it easy to foster workplace safety and properly keep track of incidents.

Our software can handle claims documentation, generate OSHA reports, and facilitate the return-to-work and ADA interactive process. Plus, you can streamline audits and inspections to identify safety lapses before they become an issue.

Performance Management

Finally, automate key parts of the performance management process to ensure that all of your employees are at the top of their game — and that you’re treating them fairly.

When you use Pulpstream to develop a standardized performance improvement plan, you’ll reduce the risk of bias or favoritism, and give employees more opportunities to expand their skill sets and pursue professional development.

You can also use process automation for more serious cases that call for an incident investigation, disciplinary action, or a corrective action plan.

Begin Your Digital Transformation Today

Employees looking at a computer

HR process automation is a type of business process automation that can be used to streamline workflows, improve accuracy, and free up team members to take on other tasks. It can be used for employee onboarding, time tracking, absence management, and more — or as part of a complete digital transformation of your business.

Pulpstream makes it easy to fully automate HR processes with our cloud-based human resource management system. It integrates with other apps and tools without requiring any code, helping you eliminate data silos and optimize your workflows.

See Pulpstream in action with a free 30-minute demo!