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How HR managers can shift from paperwork to people work


Human Resources management can be surprisingly labour-intensive. The amount of “process” can be highly counterproductive, too, eating up time and resources. The new approach to HR management is automation. 

Automation has a lot to offer for hardworking people who need all the time and space they can get. Increased efficiencies are across the board with HR automation, from the absolute basics to recruiting, and more. 

HR Automation Essential Concepts

HR automation delivers a full suite of practical applications. There are many types and scales of HR automation and solutions, and all of them are highly productive. This technology is specifically designed for HR needs, including all facets of records, data management, and reporting. 

HR automation isn’t quite “MYOB for HR”, but it is equally adaptable and flexible, suitable for any HR environment. Whether you’re a gigantic corporation or mid-range business size, HR automation is a very high-value asset. 

HR Automation Features

HR automation technologies offer many useful features: 

  • Payroll: Spreadsheet-based records which integrate with any financial accounts system 
  • Tax records and forms: Payments, deductions, group certificates, new employee taxes, etc. 
  • Employee key data: Easy to manage personal records for all employees
  • Staff evaluations and reports: These critical documents are created and recorded on the HR system
  • Onboarding: Full-spectrum onboarding data for all new employees from day one. 
  • Recruitment: Automated recruitment is highly efficient, including a full record of applicants, job information, and all relevant additional documentation. 
  • Records management: HR records of all kinds are digitally stored, indexed, and easy to maintain. Most HR automation systems also provide backups to avoid loss of data. 
  • Time management information: Automated systems are ideal for HR managers who need shift data, travel records, and similar information. 
  • Employment type-specific data: Depending on the type of employment your company offers, like casual, full-time, or part-time, your HR automation system can manage all types of employment. 

As you can see, there’s almost no limit to how these HR automation options can work for you. 

Cost Benefits

The cost benefits of HR automation are irrefutable. These systems save a lot of money across the bandwidth of HR operations. From better records to better reporting and overall management, the old paper and earlier digital HR systems simply can’t compete. 

Cost analyses show that even the most basic features of modern HR systems are exceptionally cost-beneficial. Far less time is spent on maintaining HR records. Many new systems also include capacity for employee inputs, like changes of address, marital status, payroll deductions, and similar features, as well as the HR inputs. The overall result is a far more accessible system with instant documentation wherever required. 

The HR automation upgrade also has some very clear benefits:

Modernisation: Obsolete and “nearing end of product life” HR operations and methodologies can be phased out and HR operations can be brought up to current market standards. (Old systems can be serious liabilities, particularly the very old systems which are usually unable to upgrade, leaving HR with vast amounts of data to be laboriously put on the new systems.)  

HR management: HR management is really about managing people, not endless processes.  The fact is that many HR managers are well and truly lumbered with systems which interfere with their management roles. There’s no credible business reason why that should happen. HR automation is the all-round solution to this problem, in so many ways. 

HR automation is the solution to so many HR management needs it’s now considered best practice around the world. If you’re looking for better options, explore HR automation. You’ll love it. 

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Choosing an HR Software System Your People Want to Use: The How-To


Choosing an HR software system comes with many of the same challenges as implementing any other new procedure in your business. Because of this, you’ll need to show your employees that the software brings real value to their workday. 

This could be through making tasks easier or saving employees time. It could be through better communication or an improved end result. Either way, if those at your company don’t see value in the software, they will be less likely to want to use it. 

When choosing a new HR software system, you must make sure it addresses the challenges faced by your HR team. If the software does this, it’ll only be a matter of time before they see the value in the new tool and fully embrace using it.

Here is our guide to choosing the HR software system your people will love to use.

Does the HR Software Tackle Specific Challenges?

The key to successfully implementing HR software your employees will want to use is to ensure the software tackles the specific issues the HR team has. Talk to your organisation’s HR department to see what challenges they are facing and where they think HR software could improve their day-to-day work.

Perhaps they feel employee reviews are taking up too much time. In this case, choosing software that automates part of this process could be a priority. Alternatively, if your business has a high staff turnover, you may need software that can take care of part of the employee onboarding process.

Being sure about your needs is important because while most HR software platforms come with a similar core of features, there are differences in what they offer. Many also provide extra features and addons to tackle specific tasks such as payroll or employee rewards. 

Be sure to check that the software package you choose has features that tackle your business’s specific challenges. 

Is the Software User Friendly?

Your employees already have a way of working. It may not be optimal, but it is what they are used to, and old habits can be hard to replace. Therefore, the easier it is for your employees to get to grips with your new HR software, the more likely it is they will want to use it. 

Key to this is quality training. It’s very unlikely that your team will instantly understand even the easiest to use software. However, by choosing a product that provides robust instructional material or even in-person training you may be able to make the process easier. 

If your team is familiar with the software from day-one, it will reduce teething issues and ensure your team is able to get the most from the software straight away.

Does it Automate Key Processes?

One of the biggest draws of HR software is that it automates time-consuming processes, saving your HR team time and allowing them to focus on other tasks. The HR software you choose may automate many tasks including those related to:

  • Document generation-By setting templates and specifying what information to fill, HR teams can automatically generate documents such as employment contracts and company policy.
  • New hire onboarding-Many solutions automate much of the onboarding process, from capturing key employee information to providing them with training videos.
  • Payroll-HR software can automate payments and keeps records. If you have hourly employees, it can automatically track hours worked on make payments based on this data.
  • Data storage-By automatically keeping track of your records, HR employees can easily find the information they need when they need it. Some software systems allow you to set notifications based on this data. This can help with discovering when, for example, employee certificates are set to expire.
  • Employee reviews-HR software can automatically take care of the employee review process by sending out timely questionnaires and storing the answers.

As mentioned in the first part of this article, it’s important that you speak to your HR teams to ensure the software you choose supports them with the tasks they feel they need help with. 

Is it Cloud-Based?

Cloud-based HR software has many advantages over non-cloud-based alternatives. Many of these advantages make using the software easier for your team.

Changes you make to HR system data will update automatically for every user, meaning your team will always have access to the latest information. Additionally, cloud-based systems can drive productivity by allowing your employees to work wherever they are through smartphone or browser-based apps. 

Beyond this, being cloud based means the software is easier to integrate into your business than on-site alternatives. Software updates are also easier and will happen automatically. 

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Does the Software Have a Strong Employee Portal?

While most of the benefits of great HR software systems will be for the HR team itself, it is also important that it is easy for your business’s non-HR employees to access and use. This is because many of the features will require input from employees. 

A strong employee portal will allow your staff to complete tasks related to onboarding, training, and feedback. It may also allow them to check payslips and request holidays. 

How this works will depend on the HR software you choose. Some may provide an app that employees can download to manage aspects related to their job. Other may provide a browser log in. 

Either way, making this process as easy to access and use as possible will encourage workers to use the software, in turn making life easier for your HR team.

Does it Integrate with the Tools Your Team Already Uses?

HR software doesn’t exist in a vacuum. The more it can integrate with the tools your team already uses, the more likely it is they will be happy using the new software.

The exact integrations you require will depend on your team’s existing tools. Common integrations include those that work with time tracking apps, learning apps for ongoing training and onboarding, payroll software, and applicant tracking software for new hires. 

Wrapping Up

The HR software system your employees want to use is the one that tackles the challenges they face in the workplace. 

Being sure about what these challenges are and then picking a software based on solving these issues is the first step to choosing a platform your employees will love to use. Beyond this, the software should be user friendly and fit into the teams existing workflow. 

10 HR Functions To Automate

Human resource (HR) departments are responsible for the administration and management of numerous important tasks in an organisation. Since employees are the most valuable asset of a business, HR plays a central role in the realisation of the enterprise strategic goals. The HR workload can however be enormous and thus a strain on HR staff. Ergo, any mechanism that can simplify, streamline and speed up HR processes must be welcomed with open arms. 

In decades past, HR teams had no option but to perform their role manually. With the coming of the Digital Age, HR departments can now leverage the power of information technology to great effect. Tasks that would need hours or days to do under a manual regime can now be completed in a matter of seconds. If you are looking at automating your HR processes, here are the tasks that are prime candidates.

Recruitment

The proliferation of predictive analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence has not only been a boon for lead generation and conversion but can also be a powerful tool for recruitment. 

HR departments can choose from a wide range of tools that handle part or all of the recruitment process including posting ads on multiple job portals, tracking applications received, analysing candidates for suitability, shortlisting the best matches and scheduling interviews.

Onboarding

No one loves paperwork. Not only does paper make a task seem bigger than it is but managing it can be exhausting. This is particularly problematic when onboarding a new hire as there’s a whole lot of documents that have to be correctly completed and signed. A complex and arduous process can be repulsive for new staff and is a key reason why some leave an organisation within the first 90 days. 

HR automation tools can eliminate paperwork, manage employee integration, provide the right training and on-time, and overall hasten onboarding.

Attendance and Timesheet Management

Keeping tabs on employee attendance is vital. And that’s not just because it ensures staff are available to do what they were hired to do but is also how wages are calculated. Traditional attendance tracking and timesheet management was a cumbersome fraud-prone endeavor that became much harder to do as the number of employees increased.

Yet, timesheet management is perhaps the easiest HR process to automate with the intervention of HR staff only needed to handle the occasional exception. Timesheet tracking tools can pick up the time an employee card was swiped in and out as well as monitor network logins and logouts. 

Leave Management

Much like attendance and timesheet automation, leave management can be managed and tracked in a similar fashion. In fact, for many HRM systems, the leave and attendance processes are handled within the same module. 

Automating leave management ensures employees obtain approvals for their leave requests much quicker.

Leave days are allocated in a way that will not compromise the execution of work roles. For instance, automation would check for dependencies and prevent any two employees handling the same function (assuming only the two of them can) from going on leave at the same time.

Performance Management

Performance management is one of the more difficult aspects of HR to fully automate.There’s substantial manual intervention required since the performance is an evaluation of the individual’s ability to meet or exceed expectations. 

Nevertheless, automation can come in handy in establishing clear goals for each employee. The goals would be visible to the appropriate stakeholders such as the employee, their supervisor and higher-ups, the organisation’s top leadership and the HR department. Such visibility means the personal goals can be interrogated for consistency with enterprise goals. 

Performance management automation tools can also generate detailed reports demonstrating performance over time thus providing vital data for promotion, payrise and career path decisions.

Payroll

Payroll processing deals with wages, bonuses, reimbursements and appraisals. It is one of the most critical processes not just in HR but the entire organisation. A collapse, discrepancy or delay in payroll processing can have profound repercussions. 

It’s fundamental that the payroll is processed correctly and punctually to avoid antagonising employees, violating laws and regulations, or triggering costly lawsuits. 

Automation through payroll software minimizes errors, enhances compliance, accelerates payments and eventually leads to a highly motivated workforce. 

Benefits

Not all benefits provided by the organisation are available to all staff from the get-go. Rather, employees will become eligible for certain benefits once they attain a particular rank, after they have worked in the organisation or role for a given period, when they acquire a new qualification and many other reasons that vary from one organisation to the next. 

It’s not hard to keep tabs on such eligibility for a company with 5 employees. It’s however a completely different ballgame for organisations with hundreds or thousands of workers. This process can be automated such that as soon as the criteria is met, the benefits are made available without the need for manual HR intervention.

Expense Claims

Under the traditional manual regime, the expense claims process was costly, dated and inaccurate. An employee would complete a paper form that they forward to their manager together with supporting receipts and invoices. The manager approves then sends it to the accounting department for filing and payment. It was prone to mistakes. 

You can automate the expense claims process and shift the responsibility for submitting accurate information to the employee. HR staff only role is therefore just quality control where exceptional or illegal claims and claim patterns trigger alerts.



Offboarding

If there’s a situation when everything must be done correctly each time, it’s employee offboarding. Remember that the circumstances around the offboarding aren’t always cordial. Emotions may be high if, for instance, the employee was fired. A misstep in this process could provide a loophole for future litigation or avail the employee an opportunity to wreak havoc on company data and systems. 

When an employee exits an organisation, numerous steps must be completed including repossessing equipment, disabling system access, organising final dues and revoking authorisation to transact on the company’s behalf. Automating this process would prevent any step from falling through the cracks and provides assurance that everything has been done as needed.

Workplace Injury and Safety Incidents

If an accident occurs in the work environment and an employee is injured as a result, reports must be filed with the workers’ compensation insurer and the appropriate regulator in compliance with the relevant workplace health and safety laws. It’s a sensitive process that must balance the wellbeing of the employee against protection from unnecessary liability for the employer. 

Automating the reporting means the information is gathered, organised and relayed, faster and more accurately.

By automating HR tasks, organisations can not only reduce the number of staff they need in their HR departments but also free up HR employee time for more strategic work. The benefits of an effective HR inevitably spill over to the rest of the organisation. As a result, the entire business runs more efficiently.

Why HR spend is so important

Flare Vlog: #PeopleandCulture

If you’re in HR, you know how important your resources are. You know how important it is to make sure you have the budget for the right tools. People and culture depends on you, and the experience your employees have comes down to the time and the resources you have.

In the first Flare Vlog, our head of content Joan sits down with Cam from our sales team to talk about getting those HR resources and putting them in the right place.