The future of HR in the age of automation

The future of HR in the age of automation

The article explores how the world of work is changing. And how HR can adapt its organizational processes in response to automation and next-gen technology to the betterment of the organization.

Automation will allow business processes and systems to operate automatically with reduced human input through technology. Although it sounds like something from a sci-fi film, it doesn't mean the robots are taking over. But, it does raise some interesting questions. As automation's presence in the workplace increases, what about our role? And in the case of HR, what does automation mean for it now and in the future?

The role of HR encompasses many critical organizational needs: job postings, candidate screenings, training, performance tracking. In addition, the sheer amount of business-sensitive information they handle demands ample bandwidth and resources. 

Therefore, rather than look at automation as a threat to jobs, it should be seen as a vital tool in transforming traditional HR functions. Technology helps change how processes are executed internally and externally with customers to deliver excellence. 

As you read through the article you will learn:

  • The role automation can have in an HR setting.
  • The benefits of automation for your HR team, including maximizing productivity, lowering costs and supporting your employees.
  • And the areas in which HR could look to introduce next-gen technology, such as within administration, data analytics and recruitment, to add value to their operations.

The benefits HR can achieve through embracing automation

Maximize productivity

Administrative tasks can prove to be a time sink, forcing HR to spend hours on repetitive tasks, alongside hunting for critical information from disconnected data environments and silos. For HR professionals, finding a solution that can maximize productivity, quick processing, and data sharing will enable them to work swiftly and increase collaboration.

And this is where automation can help. 60% of the workforce could automate almost a third of their responsibilities. Automation is the solution to liberate HR, which can deal with the more menial tasks of HR. Thus, through automotive technologies capacity and speed, HR professionals can now spend more of their working day on jobs requiring face-to-face human interaction and delivering a more engaging workforce experience.

Lower costs

With everything online, it reduces the need for expensive storage or printing. In addition, automation dealing with many repetitive and numbers based tasks can prevent the costly impact of human error. 

Automation can help redesign vital HR systems, streamline them, and enable significant cost savings. 56% of HR departments have increased their revenue through incorporating AI technology into their daily life. The switch of focus from manual HR to complex and more profitable tasks such as decision making and strategizing can improve the company's bottom line.

Support employees

Faced with the same tasks daily, it can cause employees motivation to drop, impacting their efficiency, effectiveness and engagement. Employees, on average, feel they waste 4 hours and 59 minutes every week on tasks they think could be automated.

Automation can allow HR employees to spend more time on the jobs that matter. In addition, it can help deliver a more engaging workforce experience, with the everyday HR tasks being dealt with by automation. Thus, helping lower employee turnover, creating a happy workforce engaged and motivated by their role.

Where you can introduce automation into your HR processes

Data Analytics

With more processes automated, it provides organizations with vast quantities of data that are easy to measure and analyze. The accumulation of HR data can help to make intelligent business decisions. Furthermore, with the increasing centralization of HR activity through automation, data arrives at a single source. Thus, providing HR with easy access, reducing costs and human error. 

Moreover, data can offer HR actionable insight into people and operations. The data accumulated can support HR with performance management. You can now track employee performance to see how individuals align with the organization's targets. Automation can ensure accurate decision-making and a bias-free perspective on your employees' work. 

The understanding of data can help HR understand the workforce's progress and, when needed, offer extra support. Ultimately, automation can help create effective business strategies to improve employees' capabilities and shape business objectives.

Recruitment and Onboarding

61% of business decision-makers believe automation technology could help hiring managers to find the right talent for the job.

Sourcing and hiring are becoming increasingly challenging. Hence, organizations need support. 

Automation can help with the heavy lifting of the recruitment process so that HR can spend more time making the right decision. To help speed up and improve the recruitment process, chatbots and intelligent analytics can help with automated sourcing, drafting open letters, job descriptions and sorting through resumes to find the right candidate profile, with the skills and qualifications the position demands.

 It can also ensure regular communication throughout the recruitment process and provides a positive candidate experience as it tracks individuals through their journey. 

Furthermore, when it comes to onboarding your chosen candidate. It can help speed up collecting crucial documentation electronically for verification and ensure access is granted to the systems quickly, so your new employee can hit the ground running.

Personal training at your fingertips

HR is responsible for delivering training across the organization. Automation doesn’t signal the end of traditional training styles, but to deliver faster, more efficient employee training and development, it can support employees increasingly. 

The knowledge of where employees require specific support or certain skills that the workforce could improve, can help HR use digital training methods to personalize the training process. For example, apps, webinars, and recorded training could allow employees to learn whenever they have free time—ultimately saving money and time achieving gains in performance among the workforce.

Increase frequency and quality of employee engagement

Automation can increase the scope of interactions with employees. For example, whereas previously, HR may have needed to organize meetings to discuss how the workforce was finding their jobs, now they can send out automated surveys or pulse-taking emails to engage with employees regularly. 

Thus, helping to make a communicative process less tedious and time-consuming. And ensure you know how your employees feel and what they find works well or what can be improved. 

Furthermore, HR can use these communicative tools with candidates and employees who leave your organization during the recruitment process. Exit interviews can help you understand why the employee is going; the data you acquire can highlight trends, and what you learn can improve retention in the future.

Increased employee engagement through automation can provide HR with insight into the organization. HR can find positives and potential problems in the accumulated data, from which HR can action suggestions to improve the business culture and work practices.

Administration: The nuts and bolts of a business

Some daily operations that make up an HR professional's role that can be automated include:

Personal records of employees. 

With all documents related to an individual available online, automation allows HR to track and update personal digital records easily. There is no longer a need for substantial filing cabinets; everything can be kept orderly and safely stored, and AI allows for fewer errors in data entry. With HR able to oversee records, the employees can access their records and perform tasks themselves.

Support employees

As said previously, HR can regularly send targeted surveys to increase interaction with employees. But, additionally, automation can increase transparency and empower employees to set their responsibilities and drive their workday. Everything is available to them in a digitally connected and centralized workplace.

Leave requests and holidays 

Calculating and approving leave manually can take up a lot of time for HR professionals. They need to check the leave balance, get approval from managers, and record the leave. But if the process is automated, the process is in the employee's hands requesting leave. With everything online in one fixed location, requests can be dealt with promptly and prevent them from getting lost in someone's email. 

Payroll and tax

When you manually process pay, there's an increased risk of error. With automation, HR can improve its accuracy. It can ensure that everything runs like clockwork, with employees paid the right amount on the right day and maintaining records online to satisfy regulations.

Why HR can benefit as processes adopt automation

An organization has several benefits in adopting automation within its HR processes. 18% of IT leaders believe the highest ROI for automation occurs within HR. It can help HR harness the latest technology and automation, tailored to its specific needs, to emerge more agile and stronger than ever before.

With some tasks to be completed automatically, it can create a more streamlined and optimized HR department and its processes. And most importantly, it can help HR focus more time and energy on the people who make up the organization. To work hand in hand with automation and the data it creates, HR can use it to improve the employees' lives and impact the business's bottom line.

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