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HR Automation: Meaning, Examples & Possibilities

Human Resource (HR) management is a critical piece of any well-functioning organisation, and developments in technology have made HR automation easier than ever. Automating HR tasks and processes allows teams to invest the time and money they save in more high-impact work.

In this article, you'll learn:

  • What HR automation is

  • The benefits and challenges of HR automation

  • Examples of HR automation in practice and how to choose the right tools

  • And much more

Let’s take a closer look.

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What is HR Automation? 

Human resources automation (HR automation) is a method of using digital technology to minimise human intervention in repetitive and laborious operations tasks and employee journeys. Tasks to be automated can include things like employee onboarding, payroll, timesheets, administration of benefits, learning and development, and much more.

The Benefits of HR Automation

Why is it worth it to invest in HR automation? Automating tasks and processes enables HR teams to:

  • Save time & improve efficiency

  • Reduce expenses

  • Increase fairness across the organisation

  • Ensure compliance

  • Improve the employee experience

  • Allow HR to focus on strategic tasks

  • Boost security

  • Gain actionable insights

  • Reduce errors

  • Improve communication

HR Automation in practice 

HR automation can be put into practice across almost any HR area or process. Whether a process should be fully or partially automated will depend on the situation. Here are a few examples: 

  • Recruiting – Automated CV screening, background checks, email flows, etc.

  • Onboarding – Automated document collection, e-sign, tool access, device distribution, etc.

  • Offboarding – Automated document e-sign, exit interview scheduling, sending of final paycheck, application access removal, etc.

  • Absence management – Automated manager approvals, doctor’s note requests, checking leave balance, recording absence for payroll purposes, etc.

  • Expense claims – Automated extraction of receipt data, notification of approving manager, prioritisation for controller, etc.

HR Automation Tools 

When looking for an HR automation tool, you’ll need to consider the challenges you’re aiming to solve. Any tool you choose should integrate with the software you already use and be easy for the HR team to learn and use. Also consider your budget, timeline, and stakeholder concerns.

Many companies have 10+ systems they use for automating HR processes, so integrations are especially important. You should also consider that tools may need to be updated if, for example, they don’t scale as you grow in size or move to new markets.

There are a variety of HR automation tools out there, but let us offer Personio for your consideration. Personio is an all-in-one solution to automate your everyday people processes. Unlike tools that work now but won’t grow with you, Personio meets the needs of your organisation yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Speak to one of our product experts about our HRIS solution and start automating HR with Personio today.

The Stress of Lacking Automation in HR

Without HR automation, your HR and People Operations teams will no doubt face unnecessary challenges and stress. A Harris Poll & CareerBuilder study found that HR managers who do not have full automation say their manual processes have led to:

  • Lower productivity: 41%

  • More errors: 40%

  • Higher costs: 35%

  • Poor candidate experience: 18%

  • Poor employee experience: 17%

  • Less engagement: 17%

  • Poor hiring manager experience: 11%

The Challenges of HR Automation

As with any large undertaking, there are challenges that come with automating HR tasks and processes. Here are a few to keep in mind:

1) Security, privacy, and compliance

Since HR automation often involves data collection, there are security and compliance concerns to contend with. Consider how laws like GDPR might impact how you process and share data. Above all, make sure any new tool you add is compliant with the laws and rules that you operate under. 

2) Training requirements

As with any new technology, your HR teams will need to be trained on the HR automation tools they are expected to use. The solutions you choose need to be user-friendly to ensure they are actually utilised each day and have the intended impact.

3) Integration with current technology and processes

As mentioned above, integrations are crucial to HR automation. If your tools don’t work together, they’ll end up leaving you with extra work – the opposite of what we want to achieve through HR automation. 

But integration won’t always be simple. Some features of your chosen HR automation software could be tricky to implement within your IT architecture. With the right solution – like Personio – this won't be an issue.

HR Automation: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What Can Be Automated in HR?

It’s possible to automate just about any HR process or task. Some common examples of areas for HR automation include:

  • Recruiting

  • Onboarding

  • Payroll

  • Absence management

  • Time tracking

  • Paid leave

  • Expense management

  • Offboarding

  • Tax filing

  • Employee benefits

  • Etc.

What are the Challenges of HR Automation? 

Common challenges of HR automation are 1) security, privacy, and compliance; 2) training requirements; and 3) integration with current technology and processes.

What is HRMS Automation? 

A human resource management system, or HRMS, can help organisations to simplify and automate HR processes across the employee journey. Using a HRMS allows teams to automate the management of multiple HR functions.

Best-in-Class HR Automation with Personio

When we think about HR automation, there are two impacted groups to consider. First, there are the HR team members for whom automation saves them time by streamlining processes. Second are the employees – the “customers” of HR – for whom each touchpoint with the company is like a feature of the “product”.

With Personio, you can implement HR automation that makes life better and easier for both these groups. 

Our HRIS makes it simple for the HR team to automate their tasks within a single software, giving them more time to work on important HR topics. You’ll get all the benefits of having data and processes that are seamlessly integrated with each other.

On the other side, the newly introduced Personio Conversations makes it easy for employees to get help within the channels they already use every day like email, Slack, and Microsoft Teams.

Streamline All Your HR Processes

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