Workforce Planning

How to Use Automation in HR

September 20, 2023
7-minute read

The job of a human resources professional is not static — it’s an ever-evolving, challenging quest to acquire the best and brightest talent in order to drive an organization forward. In this increasingly digital landscape, automation has become a transformative force, streamlining processes, increasing efficiency and enabling HR professionals to focus on strategic initiatives that drive organizational success.   As technology continues to advance, the role of automation in human resources management will be vital to an organization’s success.

That’s why we want to address four key questions that will give your organization a better understanding of the pros and cons of automation in human resources management and if it can truly tackle the challenges of HR, from employee onboarding all the way through to exit interviews.

What Can We Automate in HR?

The potential for automation in HR is vast, ranging from repetitive administrative tasks to complex decision-making processes. Automation refers to the use of electric or mechanized processes to perform work without—or with reduced—intervention by humans. While human-centric tasks, such as exit interviews and strategic HR planning, will always need to be human-led, there are some surprising features that automation can help HR teams streamline. The path to automation is strategic and a well developed workforce plan around current internal skills, skill adjacencies that can be “built” and those skills that will need to be “bought” are imperative.  Some of the common HR functions that can be automated include:

Recruitment and Employee Onboarding

Automation can expedite the HR functions for hiring managers in the recruitment process by parsing resumes, screening candidates, and even conducting initial interviews. Research shared in 2022, by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), indicated that nearly 1 in 4 organizations report using automation or artificial intelligence (AI) to support HR-related activities, including recruitment and hiring.  Onboarding processes, such as document collection, orientation schedules and training modules, can also be streamlined through automation, ensuring a seamless transition for new hires and a decrease in human error.

Time and Attendance

Automated time tracking systems accurately capture employee work hours, breaks and overtime. This not only reduces human errors but also integrates effortlessly with payroll systems, ensuring accurate compensation.

Payroll Processing

Complex calculations, tax deductions and compliance requirements make payroll a prime candidate for automation. Automated payroll systems can handle these intricacies efficiently, minimizing errors and saving valuable time.

Performance Management

Automation can assist human resource management in setting performance goals, tracking progress and generating performance review forms. This helps maintain consistency and provides a comprehensive view of employee development.

Employee Self-Service

HR software that includes automation empowers employees to update personal information, access pay stubs, request time off and enroll in benefits through self-service portals, reducing the burden on HR teams.

Benefits Administration

Managing employee benefits, from enrollment to changes and terminations, involves significant documentation and communication. Automation can manage benefit elections, track eligibility, and generate compliance reports. In the near future, HR software can use automation to help conduct exit interviews.

Compliance and Reporting

HR teams spend substantial time ensuring compliance with labor laws and regulations. Automation can track changes in regulations, generate compliance reports and facilitate audits.

How Do You Automate HR Work?

Implementing HR automation software requires a strategic approach to ensure successful integration and optimal results. Automation drives advancement not by eliminating jobs but by eliminating particular job functions at which humans are inefficient, inconsistent or exposed to risk. That means there still needs to be a human element focusing on the direction of where HR automation can be implemented for maximum impact. Here’s a step-by-step guide to automating HR processes:

Assessment and Planning

Identify the HR processes that are suitable for automation. Start with those that are time-consuming, repetitive and prone to human error. This will allow companies to prioritize based on potential impact and feasibility.

Vendor Evaluation

Research and select appropriate automation tools or software that align with your HR department’s needs. Consider factors such as scalability, user-friendliness and integration capabilities.

Data Migration and Integration

Gather and organize existing HR data. Ensure seamless integration of the chosen automation tools with your current HR tools and systems to avoid data silos.

Customization and Testing

Configure the chosen tools to match your organization’s specific HR department’s processes. Customize workflows, approval chains and notifications. Thoroughly test the automation before full implementation.

Training and Change Management

Train HR teams and employees on how to use the new automated processes. Communicate the benefits of automation and address any concerns to ensure smooth adoption.

Gradual Implementation

Roll out automation in phases to minimize disruption. Start with a single process or a specific HR function before expanding to other areas.

Monitoring and Optimization:

Regularly monitor the automated processes to identify any issues or areas for improvement. Collect feedback from users and make necessary adjustments to enhance efficiency.

How Will Automation Affect HR?

Depending on what areas are chosen to be implemented, the integration of automation into HR tasks brings about several significant impacts:

Enhanced Efficiency

Automation reduces manual intervention, allowing HR workflows to be focused on strategic tasks that require critical thinking and creativity, such as location strategy and skills intelligence. This allows routine tasks to be completed faster and with fewer errors.  85 percent of employers that use automation or AI say it saves them time and/or increases their efficiency.

Improved Accuracy

Automated processes significantly reduce the risk of errors that may occur during manual data entry or calculations. This ensures accurate payroll processing, compliance reporting, and more.

Data-Driven Insights:

Automation generates data that can be leveraged for actionable insights. HR professionals can make informed decisions based on analytics related to workforce trends, performance and engagement.

Enhanced Employee Experience

Employee self-service portals enabled by automation empower employees to manage their own data, request time off and access important documents. This leads to increased satisfaction and engagement.

Strategic Focus

With routine tasks automated, HR team members can dedicate more time to strategic initiatives such as talent development, succession planning and organizational culture enhancement.

Compliance Adherence

Automation ensures that HR processes are aligned with ever-changing labor laws and regulations. This reduces the risk of compliance violations and associated penalties.

Cost Savings

By streamlining processes and reducing errors, automation leads to cost savings in terms of both time and resources.

Is HR Becoming Automated?

For HR management, change is constant, and innovation is key. While technology plays a pivotal role, successful HR automation is not just about the tools but also about understanding the nuances of human interactions, culture and employee well-being. This approach combines the power of automation with the insights of experienced HR professionals, ensuring that the human element remains at the core of every automated process. HR teams across organizations of all sizes and industries have been steadily growing their capabilities. While HR automation will, in fact, revolutionize the field, it’s important to note that not all aspects of HR can be fully automated. Human resources inherently involves human interactions, complex decision-making and a deep understanding of organizational culture. HR automation serves as a valuable tool that complements the work of HR professionals rather than replacing them entirely. Routine administrative tasks and data management can be automated, but the human touch remains essential for functions like conflict resolution — which can potentially lead to expensive claims if done improperly — employee counseling and fostering a positive work environment.

HR automation is a powerful force reshaping the HR landscape and its management systems but will also drive overall business outcomes into the future. By automating repetitive tasks, HR management and HR teams can devote more time to strategic endeavors that drive organizational growth.  When studying Human Resource roles on the TalentNeuron platform from Sept. 2021-Sept. 2023, nearly every skill related to tools and technology, indicated a double digit percentage increase compared to the prior two years. Leveraging real-time analytics, benchmarks and predictive models, HR management can identify opportunities that automation allows so they can assess their impact and implement strategies that align with their unique organizational goals. While automation brings increased efficiency, accuracy, and data-driven insights, it’s important to remember that the human element remains integral to HR’s success. As organizations continue to embrace technology, a harmonious balance between automation and human expertise will pave the way for a more productive and engaging workplace.

Navigating HR Automation with TalentNeuron

In the dynamic world of HR automation, having a trusted partner to guide the journey is paramount.  TalentNeuron data confirms increased priority in automation in the global labor market and specifically in the Human Resources function.  As experts with a deep understanding of the evolving HR landscape and a commitment to driving organizational excellence, TalentNeuron offers a comprehensive suite of solutions that empower businesses to navigate the realm of HR automation with confidence.

TalentNeuron’s platform leverages cutting-edge technology and data-driven insights to help organizations make informed decisions throughout their automation journey. Whether you’re exploring the potential skills evolution of people operations, understanding the workforce needed to automate recruitment processes, developing a workforce plan or locating the talent needed to support a more automated function, TalentNeuron’s expertise can help with a seamless transition.

Ready to learn how TalentNeuron can help you harness the full potential of skilled automation talent, to help reduce redundancies, increase efficiencies and empower your HR team to make more informed and strategic decisions to drive your company into the future?