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Keep up with the latest digital transformation trends and learn how automation and AI are revolutionizing the future of work across industries.

What is human resources automation?

Essentially, automation technology helps to put the human back into human resources.

Human resources is the function responsible for managing the human aspect of your business, as in, the people who bring your company’s products or services to life. On the surface, using business automation software in HR might seem counterintuitive.

After all, HR is all about connection and engagement, and that requires interpersonal relationships. But what HR automation allows your team to do is spend less time on the work that keeps them from interacting with your employees in meaningful ways. Essentially, automation technology helps to put the human back into human resources.

 

Automation and HR

Automation has taken hold across many industries and functions, as businesses undergo digital transformation initiatives as a way to differentiate themselves in a competitive landscape. But automation is far different from the outdated perception of robots taking over our jobs. It’s smart technology that seamlessly swoops in and takes on much of what happens behind the scenes, so employees can focus on high-level work that makes an impact on the business.

So what is HR automation? It’s the application of technology to free employees from the tedious, manual tasks that keep them from doing higher-value work that takes advantage of their unique skills and expertise. In HR, that means creating better employee and candidate experiences that result in attracting and retaining top talent.

 

Popular HR processes for automation

Across all areas of HR, there are opportunities for automation technology to improve your process efficiency, cut costs, and create a better employee experience.

 

Recruiting

When it comes to finding and attracting great talent, time is of the essence, and the candidate experience is key. Your recruiters need to act quickly when top professionals become available, and passive candidates need consistent communication touch points to stay engaged. 

Automation solutions for talent acquisition that use cutting-edge technologies like optical character recognition (OCR) and natural language processing can help your recruiters get to the right talent, faster. From parsing resumes to serving up only the best candidates to recruiters, automation technology can give you a competitive advantage against other companies vying for the same talent.

Once you have your sights set on specific candidates, automation technology can seamlessly weave in and out of your hiring process to create a smoother experience for both your recruiters and candidates. Today’s automation tools can be used to schedule interviews, generate documents, send out reminders, and more, to ensure nothing falls through the cracks in the fast-paced recruiting world.

 

Onboarding

The onboarding process is absolutely critical in helping your new hires get off on the right foot and increase your chances of retaining them. It also happens to be extremely well-suited to automation for several reasons.

First, it’s predictable and repeatable. Each new hire needs to go through a standardized orientation to undergo training, learn about your company’s policies and operations, receive equipment and devices needed to do their work, and enroll in appropriate programs. 

The onboarding process is also tedious and task-oriented. Sending emails and invitations, collecting documents, and ordering equipment are time-consuming tasks that can be prone to human error and delays when employees are busy or out of the office. Instead, automation technology can move the process forward without any human invention. The result is a more seamless and efficient process, and more time for your HR team to build relationships with your new hires.

 

Employee engagement and development

Employee surveys, performance management, and employee development programs are important ways that your HR function facilitates ongoing employee engagement and performance improvement. Where employees are looking for ways to continuously grow their careers, having these programs in place allows them to measure and track their growth. 

Most companies use a variety of tools to manage these efforts separately and rely on HR employees to conduct and track surveys, performance cycles, and manual trainings. HR automation technology can help kick off these activities at specific times throughout the year or within your individual employee’s tenure. 

By integrating with these tools and various employee communication channels, automation technology can also send reminders, track progress and completion, and provide roll-up reporting of the status of engagement activities. This increases the likelihood that these programs will be successful as well as boosts your employee engagement and satisfaction.

 

HR Management

How would HR management benefit from automation? For HR leaders and executives, having a strong automation technology strategy can be incredibly valuable in helping to create best-in-class HR operations.

Having accurate, complete, and real-time HR data at your fingertips is important for all businesses. HR automation technology allows you to update and aggregate all data to view and access reports from your various disparate systems, whether it’s related to headcount, salary, productivity, employee engagement, or more. 

The real value of this technology is unlocked when AI and machine learning are applied, allowing you to forecast results, flag potential risks, and make on-the-fly recommendations to help steer your business in the right direction.

 

Benefits of HR process automation

HR automation technology has the potential to improve many different areas of your HR operations, in ways that help establish your company as a top employer.

 

Elevated employee experiences

To enable true business success, companies must provide exceptional employee experiences. And HR automation technology allows you to do this in two ways.

First, your HR employees can automate the mundane, repetitive work that keeps them from the more interesting, strategic parts of their jobs. They’re able to take on new challenges that develop them as professionals more quickly, increasing their potential and value.

For all of your other employees, HR automation technology improves their everyday experience. From their first day on the job until their last, they benefit from timely, efficient processes related to all things HR, from PTO and health benefits to performance reviews and career coaching. It all comes together to make your employees feel valued, which leads to higher retention.

 

Cost avoidance and savings

There are many different ways that HR automation technology can help with the bottom line. Taking a cue from the benefit above, one way is by helping to keep your positions filled longer. With the average cost per hire in the thousands, depending on role, this alone can have a significant impact on your business.

And, we can’t forget that time is money, especially when it comes to recruiting. By getting to top candidates first and moving them through the hiring process quickly, you can save a lot of time and recruiting costs.

 

A more strategic HR function

At the highest level, the visibility created by HR automation technology leads to a much more strategic HR function. With automation in place, you can identify employee flight risks, proactively address compliance concerns, and so much more.

Access to both high-level data and granular trends and insights can get HR a seat at the executive table. In our world where employees are a company’s greatest asset, HR leaders can truly shine by being able to create a world-class workforce.

 

Learn more about HR workflow automation with Catalytic

Where is your company in its automation journey? And where can you go next to transform HR? Read more in our white paper on the digital transformation journey in HR.

Written by Catalytic