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The HR department is often overworked and burdened with too much paperwork. Many organizations undermine the work done by the HR department and their hard work is overlooked by the managers. But the truth is, the human resource department plays a vital role in the success of a business and also enhances workforce management. That is one of the reasons we need to celebrate HR Day to recognize their hard work.  Whether it’s hiring new employees, training them, or ensuring smooth payroll processing, HR has a huge responsibility within an organization. Over the past couple of years, the role of HR has changed from merely hiring and onboarding to strategic planning and ensuring all laws and policies are followed within an organization. Without proper functioning of the Human resource department, an organization would fail to achieve one of its main targets, which is workforce management.

Some of the areas where HR plays the main role to ensure a smooth workflow within the organization are as follows:

  • Recruiting and onboarding
  • Training and development
  • Strategic management
  • Handling payroll process
  • Ensuring employee safety and satisfaction
  • Offering benefits and compensation to employees
  • Resolving conflicts within the organization

With so many tasks at hand for HR, companies have realized that it is not practical to handle these tasks manually. This is where automation comes into the picture. Automation is taking over most of the HR functions and HR professionals are more than happy to adapt to this change as it eases their work in many ways.

Before we get into details on how automation will benefit HR, let us first discuss what HR automation is and what areas of HR tasks can be replaced by automation?

What is HR automation?

HR automation is the process of using software tools to free the HR professional who is usually occupied with tedious paperwork and ease their work so that they can concentrate on other important tasks which require manual supervision like decision making and strategizing. HR automation helps to save the time and cost of an organization by automating various repetitive and manual HR functions.

Let’s have a look at 7 HR functions that can be automated.

With the advancement in technology, most HR tasks are being automated to save the valuable time of HR from repetitive manual tasks. Some core HR functions that remarkably benefit from automation are as follows:

  • Recruitment– Recruiting includes many tasks like posting job ads, responding to calls or emails, Screening resumes, scheduling interviews, employee assessment, etc. These tasks usually involve stacks of paperwork, misplaced forms, and miscommunication. Automation of the recruitment process helps in many ways like shortlisting candidate resumes based on the criteria that have been set up. This saves an incredible amount of time as HR does not have to sink in piles of paper to shortlist the right candidate’s resume. A recruitment management system helps in sending automated emails to candidates and updating them about their job status. The interview process can also be automated where candidates can send short recorded answers for the questions you have specified or conduct interviews through video calling apps.
  • Employee Onboarding– Once a candidate is hired, the next step is employee onboarding which is a very important HR process. The onboarding process involves a lot of manual work like collecting an employee’s documents for verification, signing innumerable forms, giving access to various tools, etc. Manual onboarding is prone to error and becomes tedious for HR. HR automation comes as a rescue for this problem. Automating the onboarding process is a blessing for the HR department as it helps them in more than one way. HR chatbots can be used to guide new employees on how to fill out forms. The automation process ensures that new employee information like Name, Date of birth, and social security number does not have to be filled in repeatedly. In fact, the tool fetches all this information and auto-fills the forms. This saves a lot of time and improves the employee experience.
  •  Payroll- Manually calculating each employee’s Paid leaves, In-Out time, sick leaves, etc. are prone to errors. This leads to employees being overpaid or underpaid. This can create tension between the employee and the employer. HR automation is the solution to avoid such situations. When an employee joins an organization, HR can give them access to the automated payroll system. Payroll software automates the entire payroll process by calculating attendance and leaves, generating reports, and depositing salary every month to the designated bank with zero human intervention. It also generates payslips and gives all tax-related information at a click of a button.
  • Time and Attendance Management- Attendance management is one of the core HR functions that need to be automated. Manual entry of employee attendance often leads to inaccuracy of attendance calculation. This leads to various problems like time theft, inaccurate payroll calculation, indiscipline in the organization, etc. Automating this process and using an Attendance management system helps the organization track and manage employee attendance by keeping a tab on each employee’s Login/Logout time, working hours, break time, etc. This can be achieved by using biometric attendance systems which prevent any proxy or manipulated data entry. Remote employees can also be tracked and managed by using mobile apps and geofencing technologies.
  • Performance Management- Tracking the performance of an employee is not an easy task. Automating this process and switching to a performance management system helps an organization in many ways. Organizations can use this tool for tracking each employee’s performance and giving them valuable feedback and can carry out a fair and transparent appraisal.
  • Employee Training– Training an employee is very important as it enhances their skills and motivates them to do better. A Training Management system or a TMS is nothing but making use of software tools for administration, documentation, tracking, and analyzing training programs. Leaving the traditional training method behind and switching to automated methods like using Apps, portals and online webinars helps employees to attend training at their own pace.
  • Expense management- Out of the many processes that an HR handles, expense management is one of the most crucial HR functions. Manual processing, paying, and auditing of business expenses can lead to errors and fraudulent expenditures. An Expense management software simplifies or resolves the above problems of the finance team by automating most of the processes related to business expenses. An expense management software automates the tasks such as reviewing, approving, and reimbursing expenses incurred by employees.

Benefits of HR automation

  • Reduced errors – Manual management of various processes like payroll, attendance, timesheet, etc. paves way for human errors like lost receipts or miscalculations. Automating these processes will help reduce these errors and can complete the task quickly.
  • Improve productivity- With fewer errors and more efficiency, there is an improvement in work productivity. HR professionals do not have to invest too much time in tedious paperwork and can instead concentrate on other tasks which require manual supervision.
  • Cost-effective- Eliminating manual errors helps in reducing the cost and thus organizations can stick to their budget rather than paying a huge amount in rectifying the errors. Paper-based documentation requires a huge amount of printouts and storage space. HR automation reduces the cost associated with this.
  • Powerful Analytics and better insight into employee performance- HR automation gives insight into employee performance by tracking, collecting, and analyzing their report. This report can be used for improving employee performance.
  • Transparent and positive work culture- By automating various HR processes employees get a clear view of their goals and objectives. Employees also get a self-service portal where they can get all details like their attendance, payslip, upcoming tasks, etc. Therefore there is transparency within the organization. This provides a positive employee experience.

Over the past few years, the rise of technology and automation has increased like never before. No matter what size your organization is, if you want to save your HR department from mundane tasks and increase the efficiency and productivity of your organization then automating your HR process is the answer.