The most powerful and sophisticated tools of Human Resources (HR) specialists are empathy and their ability to communicate. So is there any space for automation in HR? More than one would expect.
In fact, HR automation is a hot technology trend that supports solving critical HR challenges. According to the recent PwC study, the HR tech market is currently worth $148 billion with multiple cloud-based solutions and many promising startups delivering disrupting innovations. The market has also impressive perspectives of growth with 74% of companies planning to increase spending on HR tech to address the growing talent needs.
But what exactly can be automated in HR if it is all about soft skills and empathy?
What is HR automation?
There are multiple HR-related duties an outsider is rarely informed about. Starting from a head-hunting and a candidate screening, ending with onboarding and performance monitoring. So in fact, the daily routine of an HR specialist is full of repetitive and dull duties with the interview being only the tip of an iceberg.
HR automation is basically reducing the amount of work required in all these fields and transferring this work on the machines instead of doing them manually. For every specialist, it is natural to look for some solutions that will make his or her work as seamless as possible.
Thus, it is common for HR departments to run their errands using more-or-less sophisticated Excel sheets, monitoring their processes with kanban boards using Trello or similar software, and using a myriad of other tools.
On the other side, there are startups aiming to either deliver a holistic HR environment, enterprise-scale behemoths that aim to insert the HR into a flow of company processes, and startups aiming to deliver an extremely accurate tool to solve a particular HR-related problem.
Automating HR functions – benefits
Either corporate or startup-offered, HR-process automation comes with multiple advantages.
Reducing the dull work of the HR department
Apart from the recruitment process-related duties, HR consists of tons of paperwork that aims to support the already working staff. This consists of collecting feedback from their managers and subordinates, maintaining their morale, and delivering opportunities to grow.
Also, it is usually up to the HR department to calculate the wages and deliver payments. Thus part of HR duties is also automated, effectively delivering hundreds of dollars in ROI.
Simple example – 80% of job seekers would be discouraged from considering a relevant job opening if the company didn’t notify them of the application status. In a more straightforward way – this means attracting fewer applicants and reduced hiring efficiency.
Building the measurable workflow in HR
You can’t improve what is not measured. Employing an automation tool forces the company to induce measurable and more organized workflows. What has been previously done in a soft-skill and custom manner, with automation becomes a clear funnel of operations?
Thus, the foggy nature of the HR-related soft skills can be measured in a neutral and non-disputable way.
Freeing the time of HR specialists
The HR team aims to hunt the best talents and build the best company culture possible. But to do that, they need time, which can be blocked by the need to fill in forms and do the dull paperwork.
The time earned by tossing these activities will be invested in more sophisticated duties like hunting for new talents or gathering information about the issues and tensions in the company.
Data gathering and data analytics
Measurability is the first and foremost step toward optimization. When armed with key performance indicators (KPIs) the company can make tests, spot bottlenecks, and optimize processes accordingly to the goal.
With the analytics and HR-related data gathering, the company can also harvest for insights and apply the best practices from both the industry and its own experience. Thus, instead of following intuitions, the company can get real knowledge on the stare of HR.
A good example was mentioned by KPMG in their report, where the performance of every employee is measured to find the skill gaps and address them with proper training.
Building transparency about HR-related issues
Last but not least when the HR department works in a measurable way, delivering data and insights, there is a significant rise in transparency. Although it is hard to measure the company culture or the working atmosphere, delivering information about working hours, performance and overtime are crucial for planning projects and expenses.
In fact, the implementation of the HR tech is usually motivated by building a better culture ��� up to 80% of HR employees implemented these solutions to improve the employee attitude.
HR automation benefits mentioned above stack up, delivering even more value-added for the company. HR is not the core activity of the company – that’s obvious. But the core activity is delivered by talented employees hunted and cared for by the HR specialists. And that’s why automating human resources can deliver a significant boost in performance.