Automation in HR: Challenges and opportunities

As much as HR tasks are hungry for automation, they must be injected into workflows via platforms

Karan Jain September 19, 2022 13:10:54 IST
Automation in HR: Challenges and opportunities

Corporate brainstorming. Image courtesy VectorOpen/Wikimedia Commons

Over the last two years, businesses have seen more human resources dynamics unfold than over decades combined. From shifting workplace dynamics to the great resignation, HR teams have had to navigate through a handful through this period. However, amidst this talent turbulence and rising pressure to cut costs this year (33 per cent are planning budget cuts), digital technologies have helped HR teams mitigate many of these challenges. That’s why, despite the budget cuts, 90% will maintain or raise their investments in technology. Aptly so: because today, more than ever, HR processes are in need of automation. Read on to see why.

Automating the HR function: Five opportunity areas

The following five opportunity areas represent quick wins for HR teams as they plan to deploy automation technologies.

#1 Speeding the hiring process

When millions of workers voluntarily quit their jobs every month, bringing new hires (and the right ones)  in through the door quickly has become an urgent need today. However, juggling through inboxes and platforms, sifting through CVs manually, scheduling interviews, and drafting and auditing offer letters add to expensive delays in the process. In fact, automating the offer letter generation process alone can cut the costs of up to 4 FTWs, whereas automating the entire process can speed hiring from months to days.

#2  Mitigating employee attrition

Employees quit for a reason. While some of these factors may be out of our control, others aren’t. With an automated mechanism that asks employees why they quit, employers can spot the trends and take mitigative actions quickly. Consider a global organisation where an unpopular leave policy prompts employees to quit. With a dashboard that autonomously and continuously tracks attrition rates across departments and shows why most employees are quitting, organisations can easily get a hand on rising attrition rates.

#3 Raising human capital management efficiency (HCM)

There was a time when spreadsheets were the alternative to paperless and brought unheard-of efficiencies to HCM. Today, however, spreadsheets are a top productivity killer, whether they are used to issue calendars, track leaves or attendance, manage expenses, or track assets. When automation has gained complete maturity, these tasks can now be accomplished in an errorless fashion on autopilot, freeing the HR workforce to attend to tasks that truly require human attention.

#4 Elevating the employee experience

From long resolution times of employee issues to minor hiccups across the employee life cycle, every small bit detracts from the employee experience that keeps people satisfied at work. Automation can help organisations mitigate these issues by surveying employees weekly on their satisfaction levels, adopting continuous reward policies that are administered automatically, and tracking employee satisfaction levels via real-time dashboards. This lays the foundations for delivering a world-class employee experience today.

#5 Streamlining communications

HR teams navigate through hundreds of communication collaterals, employee tickets, emails, and messaging platforms every day. This not only fatigues them but also reduces their productivity and the cost to the business. Letting chatbots take on onboarding and offboarding queries alone can reduce the respective workload of HR teams by 50%. Similarly, streamlining communication templates such as offer letters and JDs and standardising their auditing process brings greater consistency and speed to these workflows.

But automation isn’t the golden ticket to HR excellence.

However, taking on siloed automation efforts in HR doesn’t scale and fails to bring the aforementioned benefits to the organisation. Why? Because the gist of automation lies in its scalability, which also results in customizable standardisation. This is made possible by cloud-based platforms as they can be accessed by teams from anywhere and enforce the necessary guardrails over workflows.

As much as HR tasks are hungry for automation, they must be injected into workflows via platforms. Once this transition is made by HR teams, they not only enjoy the benefits of automation but are also liberated to take on more innovative initiatives that add value to the employee experience and, ultimately, to the organisation as a whole.

The author is Co-Founder, HROne. Views are personal.

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