7 Aspects of HR to Consider Automating in 2024

Estimated read time 6 min read

Automation is a buzzword that’s been rocketing around in the business universe quite a bit lately. Every department is eager to introduce automation into their workflows, and HR is making its way to the head of the line. This department is often overlooked when it comes to automation, but its need is arguably greater than most.

HR teams bear a massive burden, between the need to manage high employee expectations for flexibility and pressure from business leadership to keep costs down. At the same time, so many of HR’s work hours are consumed by tedious manual processes, leaving them little time or energy for the strategic work they need to do to help improve business operations and drive revenue.

In that context, it’s not surprising to see that 78% of HR managers are either investing or planning to invest in automation solutions in the next year, while Gartner reports that 56% of companies that use AI for HR do so in order to automate repetitive tasks.

If you work at one of the many companies planning to introduce automation into HR this year, congratulations. We’ve gathered some advice on where to start.

How to select which HR processes to automate

Top of your list should be those areas that will drive the most value, free up the most time, and remove the most friction from processes. According to a survey run by Engagedly, the areas that HR leaders are most interested in automating are performance management, employee engagement, recruitment, training and development, employee inquiries and assistance.

In general, it’s a good idea to prioritise for automation any formula-based activity that’s solely deterministic, does not require human interaction, and routes inputs to generate outputs. On the other hand, tasks that need a lot of customisation and human intelligence, and/or that vary frequently, are not suitable to automate.

Of course, each organisation will have slightly different answers. We’ve gathered seven HR tasks that should be top of the list for automation.

1. Recruitment and hiring

Automation is ideal for the initial stages in the recruitment and hiring process. Tasks like screening applicants and running background checks are predominantly rules-based, making them a good fit for automation.

HR teams can use automated tools like Fetcher to screen candidates according to specific skills or experience, carry out background checks, and filter resumes by keywords. This way, they can reclaim time for more in-depth interviews with those candidates who are more likely to be suitable for the company.

How to select which HR processes to automate

2. Payroll management

Gathering data for payroll and compensation processes, calculating overtime and shift tallies, and factoring in deductions are all time-consuming tasks that are overdue for automation. Automating payroll helps lower the risk of manual errors and can free up payroll personnel time for other tasks.

Pento streamlines workflows, slashing the time it takes to prepare payslips and issue payments. It automatically pulls data from integrated HR information systems, applies elevant formulae and wage compliance rules, and manages tax reporting and payments. The increased accuracy from payroll automation also boosts employee trust in HR calculations.

3. Onboarding new hires

Onboarding automation tools like HiBob can handle basic onboarding processes such as collecting employee information and guiding new hires through workflows like how to use your tech stack and procedures for requesting leave, filing expenses, and more. It allows experienced employees to do their jobs instead of interrupting them to run onboarding.

Automated onboarding is also beneficial for new hires. It allows them to move through the process at their own pace. They won’t hold back from asking a “stupid” question, and can refer back to material that was already covered without feeling embarrassed. This raises new employees’ feelings of comfort in the organisation, which in turn makes them more likely to reach the 90-day retention line.

4. Training and development

AI-powered automation enabled a slew of e-learning platforms such as EdApp. These solutions make it possible to offer personalised training programs that match each employee’s preferred learning style, speed, and educational methodology. Personalised training has been repeatedly found to increase engagement and boost completion rates for training and certification.

At the same time, such platforms can gather data about employee skill and knowledge levels and deliver insights that help HR teams to plan learning and development programs that ensure a workforce able to deliver on the business’ long-term strategic goals.

Employee assistance

5. Employee assistance

A massive amount of HR time goes on responding to requests from employees. According to one study, this is the second-most time consuming area for HR, only beaten by meeting with senior staff and partners. An automated self-service portal powered by Beebot handles a significant number of these queries, allowing HR professionals to focus on more complex issues.

With Beebot, employees can request time off, check documents, look up overtime and bonuses, change shifts, and more, all without the involvement of HR individuals. As well as saving time, automated self-service platforms give employees more independence, speed up responses for holiday requests and shift changes, and support 24/7 access for employees.

6. Compliance

Compliance is a fast-growing and pressured area of concern for HR teams. Issues like work conditions, pay levels, data privacy, and more need to be assessed on a regular basis in order to ensure adherence with the relevant rules and regulations.

Automated solutions can ease this burden. They gather the necessary data, scan it for anomalies or irregularities, and sometimes even compare it against compliance requirements. Automated compliance checks are usually more reliable and accurate than manual ones. They can also be run more frequently, which helps maintain regulatory standards and lower the risk of violations.

7. Performance management

Performance management is another tedious and sometimes frustrating aspect of HR responsibilities. Tasks like setting goals, tracking employee progress towards those goals, and providing regular feedback are prime for automation.

Leapsome can replace manual cycles with automated systems that are more consistent and objective. With automation, it’s also possible to move performance assessment to be continuous and comprehensive, rather than sporadic, which provides more support for employees.

Automation can bring a lot of value to HR in 2024

With so many time-consuming, repetitive manual tasks and processes, HR responsibilities are simply begging for automation. From recruitment to performance management and onboarding to payroll, automation can streamline HR operations, free up HR time, and empower HR professionals to focus on strategic decision-making and driving business revenue.

Sarah Cantley

Editorial Head at UK Blog for Business & Startup.

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