A Practical Guide to HR Automation Software
Blog //06-09-2021

A Practical Guide to HR Automation Software

by Alex Arundale, Chief People Officer, Advanced

As businesses across all industries continue to place their focus on a strong recovery and driving forward growth, there is a clear indication that Outdated HR processes are one of the greatest barriers to organisations looking to drive productivity and profitability. Older and outmoded systems and procedures can be a nightmare for businesses, leading to a haemorrhaging of both manpower and time.

The HR function has long been considered an area ripe for innovation. As technology and systems continue to evolve, businesses across all sectors are being presented with a fantastic opportunity to empower their people teams and transform the way their HR function performs.

We thought it might be a good idea to look at some of the ways that HR software can help automate the areas of your business which are leading to needless logjams and delays. We believe that technology exists to free you from the burden of outdated processes and from the perspective of your HR teams- empower them to be able to focus on the human element of their role.

What is HR Automation?

HR automation is the process by which businesses leverage technology to enhance the efficiency of their HR teams by freeing them from the burden of manual workflows or heavily admin-based tasks. Automation of these processes is a key asset in helping teams to broaden the scope of their role and to focus on more strategic, business planning elements, as well as reducing costs and time loss as a result of errors in manual processing.

Why is HR Automation important to your business?

The people management function within a business has long been considered to be a very hands-on, admin intensive role. With this level of manual input comes an ever increasing potential for errors and miscommunication - minor mistakes which can see businesses losing time and money putting out fires from mishandled administrative processes. Reports have found that in the UK alone, roughly £15 billion a year is lost due to errors in tracking documentation, with businesses losing vital manpower and time to correcting mistakes.

As businesses enjoy success, they can also find themselves standing on a precipice when it comes to their HR teams. Many HR professionals pride themselves on their attention to detail and their intuitive understanding of the inner workings of their organisation, as well as keeping a finger on the pulse of the needs of their people. As businesses grow and expand, this hands-on, more intimate form of people management can become untenable if organisations are unwilling or unable to acknowledge the ways in which they have outgrown their current solutions.

Automation of your HR responsibilities serves a twofold purpose: Firstly, by removing the manual elements where possible, you greatly reduce the potential for error and the time loss that comes from correcting workflow inaccuracies. Data accuracy and integrity is also a business critical matter and automation can help ensure that you can avoid any potential legal pitfalls from inaccuracies.

Secondly, by freeing your HR team from the burden of admin, you are able to expand their roles and allow them to place themselves at the heart of influencing business strategy and development. All businesses will undoubtedly want to be focused on driving forward productivity and profitability and automation will be key in empowering your people.

What elements of HR can be automated?

The more you examine the day to day function of your people teams, the more areas of opportunity for workflow automation present themselves. We’ve decided to take a brief look at some of the key areas of HR which are crying out for some level of automation:

Recruitment

The recruitment process has always brought with it massive demands on HR professionals in terms of the time they must invest. From posting job advertisements, screening CVs and sorting potential candidates for interviews, it’s clear that the day to day function of your people teams are likely to fall by the wayside anytime your organisation engages in recruitment. So how can HR automation help?

  •       Paperless background checks - Automation of this process can allow automatic screening of candidates based upon certain criteria (e.g criminal convictions or financial security depending on certain industries).
  •       Automated shortlists - The ability to pre-screen candidates based upon a pre-existing set of criteria means that your HR teams are freed from sorting through piles of CVs and also ensures that your talent search remains focused on the skillsets you require.An automated pre screening process can help hone your search so that only specifically skilled candidates are filtered through to an interview stage. Pre- screening can also help you get the measure of potential candidates in terms of whether they would be a good fit for the organisation.
  •       Candidate communication- One of the most demanding aspects of the recruitment process is staying on top of the communication with all candidates. Automation can be a boon to your HR teams as it allows your organisation to stay in touch with candidates without compromising the quality of their work in other areas. Automated emails allows you to swiftly and efficiently keep candidates informed of their application status, meaning your HR people aren’t constantly fielding incoming enquiries.

Employee Onboarding

Introducing a new employee to the business is a necessary but time-consuming element of the HR function. With many organisations also introducing some element of permanent remote working, this has presented HR teams with a unique set of challenges when it comes to employee onboarding. An effective onboarding process can very well determine the success of any new hires so how can automation help support your organisation when introducing new employees to the business?

  •     Employee profile building - Automatically log and keep track of any specific employee requirements. Any adjustments or allowances that need to be made to accommodate disabilities or other needs can be easily kept on top of.
  •       Equipment and logistics - With more and more people working from home in some capacity long term, ensuring that each employee has the equipment to work effectively and efficiently, wherever they may be, is more crucial than ever. Automation of this process allows your HR and IT teams to have automatic checklists of equipment required or already issued, meaning any new recruits can hit the ground running in their new role.
  •     Induction and team building - Every new recruit deserves a warm welcome to the business and the manner in which they are inducted will be a reflection of the organisation as a whole. Set up team building and introductory sessions, pushing out automated emails to other team members, ensuring their diaries can be kept free.

What to look for in HR automation

Going to market for any new technology can be a daunting prospect. As innovations and developments are pushed forward, it is all too easy to become lost in a sea of bells and whistles and to become distracted by features over functionality. When looking at introducing automation into your HR process, the answer clearly lies in sourcing new systems but as you set out on your search, it is important to remember that the end goal is to support your business and your people, not to overwhelm them with pointless functions.

Any sophisticated HR system should bring with it a base level of functionality. The true measure of what will work best for your business will start by you looking internally at your organisation. Before going to market, assess the state of your business, where are the areas that change seems most critical?

Leverage the expertise of your HR teams and drive conversations with them around the specific challenges they are facing and the ways in which they feel their ability to do their day to day role is being compromised. When searching for any new solutions, it is crucial that you aren’t distracted by needless functionality and sourcing a system which will specifically tackle the challenges being faced by your business.

How Advanced can Help automate your Business

At Advanced, we believe strongly in the power of technology to help free your people to drive forward your success. We understand how outdated systems and processes can sometimes make it feel as though you have one hand tied behind your back. We also understand how daunting it can be to source new technology and we firmly believe in focusing any search to ensure that the new systems you bring in place, specifically target the issues facing your business on a daily basis and how to make the life of your people easier.

We believe that your HR teams have the power to be an inspirational and influential force in driving forward the success of your organisations. We also understand that their role is demanding and full of heavily admin based tasks which place great deal of demands upon their time.

Technology has the power to free your HR people, relieving them from the burden of manual processes and allowing automation to take the strain. Your people teams are far more than task robots and we understand how important it is for your organisation that they are allowed to reach their full potential and become the driving force within the business that they deserve to be.

If you’ve found this guide helpful and would like to find out more about the power of automation in freeing your HR teams, Cloud HR is a solution built specifically to empower your HR people, letting them focus on the Human, not the resources.

Get in touch today to find out more.

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Alex Arundale

Alex Arundale

PUBLISHED BY

Chief People Officer, Advanced

Alex joined Advanced in February 2016 with a track record in senior HR positions. She has been responsible for innovative strategies to lead the company’s talent management.

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