10 HR Functions To Automate

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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.

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