Automating your HR department is one of the best first steps you can take as a growing small business. It is arguably the most important department when it comes to maintaining a protected, organized environment for employees. And for many businesses, quality employees are the most valuable resources. Full circle, taking care of them in the best possible way is almost always the most effective method of raising the standards of your business.
Why is automation necessary?
Recruitment, compliance, and, consequently, employee success are all dependent upon strong human resource systems. Since each HR procedure comprises numerous phases, human resource professionals are accustomed to lengthy, time-consuming checklists for tasks such as onboarding, orientation and benefits enrollment.
These checklists can take up the precious time of HR staff and introduce bottlenecks that slow down the welcome process. The best way around these slow-downs? Transition HR processes into comprehensive automated systems. The focus of this article is to list and describe some of the most effective steps you can take on your quest to attain full-fledged automation.
Fundamentals of HR automation
First of all, any automation, computerization or mechanization of business tasks frequently conducted by the human resource team in an organization has become referred to as HR automation. HR automation depends on the use of specialized software and technology that can do redundant, formerly manual tasks at far faster and more accurate rates than human beings.
According to a report published by McKinsey Global Institute, existing technologies are capable of automating over 56 percent of so-called “hire to retire” HR activities (i.e., operations linked to an employee’s tenure at the organization).
It is crucial to note, however, that HR automation is only meant to support, enhance and accelerate the operations of your current HR staff. The value of personal touch and discernment for welcoming and training new employees is still invaluable.
Steps to successfully automate your HR department
There are plenty of ways in which you can completely automate the activities of your company’s HR department. It depends primarily on the organization’s needs and your personal preferences as an owner. For anyone willing to improve the business significantly, it is likely best to tailor custom solutions according to both long-term strategy and daily practices.
Implement an HR management software
If you want a major shortcut for transitioning into complete automation, there is nothing better than HR management software. That is because a vast majority of these tools comprehensively deal with anything and everything related to HR activities with partially prebuilt functionalities.
As an example, Paycom’s HR management software allows rapid creation, assignment, archiving and retrieving of documents. Onboarding is also streamlined by allowing the creation and assigning of onboarding-specific tasks. Every pertinent digital document can be stored across multiple secure, off-site locations that are easily accessed.
Administrative work is also made smoother and easier. Employees can unlock around-the-clock access to benefit and plan information. They can see real-time salary and payment information within the software to benefit personal planning and eliminate discrepancies.
Furthermore, all employees are able to ask questions directly in the system without having to make appointments with HR personnel or schedule meetings. This reduces the number of phone calls, emails and foot traffic within the premises of the office.
As these queries are presented in writing, and not verbally, employees can go back to previous conversations in search of information. The advantages are straightforward in any type of business. But effective implementation is the difference-maker for successful HR automation.
Automate employee recruitment and training
Some of the problems associated with arranging and conducting training for existing staff and recruits can be alleviated by automation. As part of the orientation process, automated techniques are capable of distributing training materials to new workers at a custom pace, without any form of human intervention. Training programs are adjustable, and staff can be automatically reminded to work through modules.
Unwanted errors or priority confusions are largely avoided in these cases. That is because automated systems are significantly less prone to errors compared to human beings. Even if a human resource officer takes down every detail from a prospective employee or new hire, there is room for error, from the granular, simple information in the company database to the more abstract skill evaluation. In automated systems, information and evaluation processes become consistent and repeatable.
Computerized performance management methods
Many companies are made or broken according to their personnel. Openly accessible performance management programs guarantee that the owners and managers are constantly providing and receiving employee input. There can be more transparency as individuals develop a sense of trust about their positions in the firm and express career aims.
If performance levels begin to drop, constructive criticisms can be pushed in context. Extra or more specific trainings can be block scheduled and assigned so that struggles are met with opportunities for improvement instead of punishments or power struggles.
And when employees are performing up to desired standards, company owners and managers will find themselves with fewer worries. Thus, automating performance management methods is one of the most crucial steps to take when shifting toward full automation.
Accelerate processing employee time-off requests
Even a moderately sized organization may find employees spread across different departments. If each department generally consists of at least one team leader, then knowing who to report to for what, when and how can become a headache. Getting approval for almost anything can become unclear, including time off.
Requesting paid time off without ease or hasty confirmation is a sure way to disgruntle employees. And if the whole process relies on physical documentation that can simply be lost or damaged, you have a system that isn’t inspiring confidence.
Automating time-off requests goes a long way in enhancing the trust between employees and management while simplifying and streamlining communications. Employees are more satisfied and efficiency is increased. That’s a win-win.
Streamline exit interviews
Every time an employee leaves an organization, there is some reason behind it. Often and ideally, it is because the person has found a better opportunity elsewhere. In a less perfect environment, an employee might simply leave the company because of inconveniences or daily frustrations.
Human resource managers are better off when this information is able to be received openly and honestly. Automation allows for safer, better-documented feedback. Feedback is a cornerstone of organizational improvement. Getting feedback from departing employees during the time of their exit can prove to be crucial to fix future issues. Employee retention rates increase when implementing this strategy.
Furthermore, automation allows reminders to be set for line managers and team leaders so they can be prepared when the time comes for an employee transition. They can compile a set of questions and be available for valuable feedback on the company policies.
This not only makes the exit fair, as the employee can express everything on his or her mind, but it also provides a platform for all entities to exchange the information related to the departure. That data is kept consistently and accurately across all departments, as it is automatically stored courtesy of an automated system.
Improve payroll calculation efficiency
Payroll calculation is now more complex than ever. With the introduction of various labor laws, remote contractors and the complications of determining taxes, HR managers are going through challenging times, and it is only getting worse. Without an automated system, the chance of errors is extremely high.
Automated systems negate the possibility of errors related to calculations. The complex mathematics is done by the software itself, while all the HR manager has to do is input the correct parameters and build the protocols. This way, payments are processed faster and without the possibility of errors. A timely, reliable paycheck is both legally critical and a foundational part of any organization’s employee approval.
Raise the scalability of the organization
One of the most inherent benefits of HR automation for recruiting companies is the ease of scalability. With most repetitive processes automated, effective managers can focus on scale. That can mean taking on more clients, hiring talent on a larger scale or even opening new locations.
With fewer resources whittled away by menial tasks, employees can pursue deeper, more meaningful work. Records are more accurately kept and shared between coworkers, departments or branches. Efficiency becomes measurable.
Businesses around the world are rapidly embracing the use of HR systems that are run completely on automated mechanisms, doubly as the working landscape has shifted toward mixed remote. The hurdles of software research, selection and implementation are worth the benefits associated with automated systems. With more businesses shifting online and relying on data, there is no better time than now to take the initiative and add automation to your HR department.