Driving HR Automation: How and Why to Automate These 5 HR Processes

When it comes to automation in business—and in particular the department of human resources (HR)—improving workplace productivity and data security while reducing overall cost are three equally important areas. In today’s post, we’ll explore five HR processes you can (and should) automate to avoid common problems and maximize workplace efficiency.

Improved productivity, cost and safety are the key drivers (pun somewhat intended) behind the future of automated transport. Henrik Christiensen, head of UC San Diego’s Contextual Robotics Institute, recently claimed that children born today will never get to drive a car.

The statement may seem absurd at first, but it is largely agreed that driverless cars are on the horizon. Christensen mentioned that “All the automotive companies—Daimler, GM, Ford—are saying that within five years they will have autonomous, driverless cars on the road.”

It’s already common knowledge that the vast majority of car accidents are caused by human error, while Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s long-term ‘cars as a service’ plan would see drastic improvements to both the efficiency and cost of traveling from A to B. Let’s explore how automating your processes in HR can lead to similar improvements to workplace productivity and cost efficiencies.

 

The current state of HR processes

The HR department of any business is responsible for a lot of different tasks, many of which depend on document-driven processes to help employees get work done. Some common responsibilities HR professionals deal with include:

  • Job applications

  • Résumés

  • Pre-boarding and onboarding

  • Employee referrals

  • Timesheet processing

  • Expense reimbursements

And these are processes that, many will argue, used to be done manually in an ad hoc manner, but have long since become automated.

The reality, however, may shock you. An AIIM study taken in 2016 found that paper documents are still prevalent in many organizations; when asked “what is paper usage (%) in the following processes?” the results were as follows:

Paper based HR processes

Up to half of certain processes still operate with paper documents, despite the extra effort required for the same results. For each of the above processes, workflow automation software allows you to rid yourself of paper documents and make your job easier.

5 HR processes you should be automating:

  1. Employee file management

    As an HR manager, you can save time and improve compliance by having a central HR system that tracks all employee records and only reports anomalies to you. This includes basic personnel records, work permits and key employment terms like contracts, benefits, and so on. Automating this process still gives you access to any information you may need, but removes the hassle of correlating and filing records.

    According to this article, HR managers spend up to 15 hours per month on average sorting through employee time sheets, for example. When the tracking and validating of time sheets is done over spreadsheets, it quickly becomes arduous and inefficient. Automating the time sheet approval processes—and employee file management in general—can greatly simplify data collection, validation, and saves the trouble of manually updating employee records.

  2. Onboarding

    There is a lot of administration to contend with when onboarding new hires. Automated workflows can help streamline the process considerably, improving communication and accountability.

    You can ensure all new hires are provisioned with the necessary equipment and IT access as soon as they arrive. Things like setting up accounts and software they will need can be automated to save on time (and headaches!).

  3. Employee Seperation

    At the opposite end of the onboarding process, automated workflows are also useful for employee separation: gathering and processing employee termination documents and supervising the return of access cards and equipment.

    Workflow automation software can enforce retention policies and ensure the destruction of any documentation when appropriate.

  4. Policies and procedures

    It’s important that employees understand your company’s policies and procedures at all times. This helps improve their own knowledge and, more importantly, prove your company complies with industry regulations.

    Workflow Automation software can efficiently create, distribute and track employee acknowledgement though created forms, while reducing any associated administrative tasks. Similarly, you can reduce liability by holding all employees accountable, while at the same time improve employee productivity by eliminating manual, paper-based processes. It’s a win-win.

  5. Payroll

    The usually mundane payroll process can be sped up through automated features. Compared to the manual payroll processing, an effective payroll solution can minimize the margins of human error. An automated system can always pay your employees on time and to the parameters you set.

 

Take your HR forward

Whether it’s improving the efficiency of your administrative tasks, enabling tighter security of sensitive information, or reducing human error, HR automation can prove extremely useful, allowing your business to lead your HR department into the future.


For more tips on best practices check out some of our other blogs on workflow automation, such as; “
Best Practices of Automating Expense Claims” and “Best Practices of Handling Customer Complaints” on the Nintex blog. For more information on the best workflow and content automation software available, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Nintex Technical Evangelist Vadim Tabakman is a Nintex developer with 20 years of development experience and more than nine years’ experience in SharePoint and Nintex technologies. He understands how SharePoint, business process automation and forms can successfully join forces in numerous industries and business scenarios to drive business adoption and success in SharePoint projects.