AI and automation in HR: A quick guide for our future workforce

artificial intelligence

Human resource is one of the essential parts of any business or organization. Out of all the parts of a company, this one deals with matters involving its people. For example, it handles job postings and candidate screenings. Included as well are training and development and performance tracking, among others.

With the amount of workload, even for a small company, the tasks of Human Resources can post a challenge. What more, if a company scales and has many locations – the workload can be overbearing.

Aside from the workload, you also have to worry about the sheer amount of information that Human Resources handles. And if that is not a problem for you, think about the number of documents and papers carrying that information.

The good news is that advancements in technology have affected the way we do things. And even the processes involved in HR are no exception.

There’s a lot of advancements in technology nowadays. And the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation is not really a new thing. We already have heard of or personally experienced automation one way or another.

Have you used an ATM recently? That’s right, an automated teller machine. That’s a prime example of automation.

Automation describes a range of technologies having a single aim. That is to produce and deliver goods and services with minimal human intervention.

Factors such as decisions, process relationships, and related actions are predetermined. These predetermined factors are then embedded in the technologies employed by the company. When a company does this, it improves the efficiency, reliability, and speed of many tasks previously executed by humans.

When it comes to Human Resources, the use of AI and automation has been a great consideration. AI recruitment is an example that has been a trend for companies nowadays. It offers the workforce a better experience. And it greatly increases efficiency in hiring for potential.

And using AI and automation in Human Resources can offer more than this.

Benefits of automating HR processes

Using AI and Automation in Human Resources is now the trend today. However, if you are not automating human resource practices in your workplace, you are already behind in operations.

But what does it really mean to automate your HR department? If we automate, will employees be obsolete because of this change? Let’s take a closer look.

Using automation in Human Resources means increasing the efficiency of the whole department. This is done by taking away many tedious manual tasks. With this, employees can focus more on complex tasks like decision making and strategizing.

By automating your HR department, organizations can deploy services faster and at a considerably lower cost. This can also bring benefits to the company such as the following:

  • Improved employee productivity: Employees can now focus on things that matter more. Everyday mundane tasks that are routine can be left to automation. With a system that is more user-friendly, it can improve morale and boost productivity.
  • Lower employee turnover: Automating the tasks under Human Resources will result in higher levels of engagement when it comes to the employees. They can focus on tasks that require strategic and creative thinking.
  • Cut down the cost of activities involved in paper-based processes: Papers can fill up not just your tables and storage areas. Paper-based processes can be cut down once automation has been implemented.
  • Efficient hiring leading to better organizational growth: Letting AI and automation deal with the hiring process will make it more efficient in choosing candidates. This will be an assurance for the company. In addition, better organizational growth is possible since the ones hired will be on the same page as the company.
  • Lessened errors in data entry and lessened instances of lost documents: Since we are dealing with fewer paper-based processes, there is no need to maintain paper trails. Data entry errors will be lessened, particularly if they are pre-programmed. And lost documents will not be of concern anymore as everything can be accessed online.
  • Increased focus on strategic decision making: The everyday routine tasks will be done by automation. Employees will be able to focus their energy on things that require high-order skills, such as decision-making.
  • Better employee training and development: Employing automation in HR will allow for easier collaboration to hire, train and retain skilled labor.

What processes to automate and streamline in HR?

Not all processes done in the HR department can be automated. Strategic decision-making and human intervention are still necessary. The following are some of the processes that are usually automated in Human Resources:

1. Employee recruitment and onboarding

Employee onboarding is one of the more tedious tasks taken by Human Resources. And all these tasks are done regularly. It includes job postings and collecting resumes and documents for verification. As well as giving network and tool access to new employees.

All these processes can be automated. This can speed up the hiring and onboarding process while decreasing associated costs.

2. Employee timesheets

Tracking timesheets manually is inefficient. Furthermore, this form of time tracking is usually filled with errors. This is because not everyone can remember what happened during the workday.

And imagine if it’s already time for payroll. The nightmare of compiling and managing all timesheets for all employees can be a substantial headache.

3. Leave requests

Filing a leave request can be for several reasons. It can be medical, educational, marital, or something else. Calculating and approving leaves manually can be problematic. This is due to its tedious and time-consuming nature. Human Resource staff must check the leave balance, get a manager’s approval, and record the leave for payroll calculation.

Responding and approving requests in a timely fashion is more difficult. But imagine if automation can provide secure approvals instantly—all the while updating employee’s leave records immediately. The convenience of the process will leave everyone happier.

4. Expense claims

Scanning through various spreadsheets and stacks of paper files. And all these to sort through one employees’ expense records. This is the reason why it took a lot of time for the process to be completed. But, regardless of claim size, the process stays the same.

Human resources would have to process an employee’s records into the company’s system. Then, It would also have to be reviewed and approved by the employee’s manager. Next is the accounting department. And then filing the claim can happen.

With the amount of workload and backlogs due to the process, frustration and fatigue are normal. However, with the help of automation, tedious manual processes are removed. This relieves the Human Resources team of unnecessary frustration and fatigue. And with lessened accounting errors to boot!

5. Payroll

Accurate calculations are needed in Human Resources. And this can be a problem if processing payroll is done manually as it increases the risk of error. Moreover, automation can offer more than just accurate calculations for payroll.

It can also maintain payroll records that can satisfy government regulations. As well as ensure that employees are paid the right amount at the right time.

6. Performance management

Performance management is an important aspect of HR. It’s a dynamic process that tracks, measures, and analyzes an employee’s performance. This is done by aligning it with the business’ goals and objectives.

Having automation will streamline the whole process. It will also keep it free from any form of bias, and it will ensure accurate decision-making. The best part is – it will make the experience memorable for both employers and employees.

7. Employee benefits

Tracking employee benefits through manual processes is extraordinarily difficult. In addition, employee benefits can change at a moment’s notice for each employee. This can be due to life-changing events or open enrollment.

Automation can mitigate the cost of maintaining the processes involved in benefits administration. Such processes can include benefits eligibility and benefits education and training. As well as benefits modification for life-changing events, open enrollment, and benefits onboarding.

The time, effort, and costs for such processes can be efficiently allocated elsewhere.

8. Tax filing

Tax time and tax compliance can be a struggle for many companies. However, automation provides some good news on these matters. Using automation, you can ensure you charge the right amount of tax for your products and services. Moreover, in light of government regulations, you can automate your payroll taxes as well.

9. Employee offboarding and exit interviews

Manual and paper-based exit interviews are tedious, time-consuming, and ineffective. Files must be collected and processed. Company equipment needs to be taken care of – returned and audited. And steps must be taken to remove the terminated employee from existing payroll and benefit records.

Having automation will allow these tasks to be done quickly, reliably, and consistently. This will make the offboarding process more manageable. And this will prevent any potential legal issues from arising. This can also help organizations to identify potential problems and retrieve actionable data to improve employee retention.

Expecting the value added

There are a lot of benefits of having to adapt automation in Human Resources. And the number of tasks and processes that can be automated is not lacking as well. As a result, businesses and organizations can only expect added value in their operations.

It would be better to think about automation for your HR processes before you spend more resources hiring more employees to manage the workload. There is no more need to complete processes at a snail’s pace. As things move for organizations at breakneck speed, automation is the way to go.

But a lot of factors need to be considered for a successful HR automation implementation. Factors include budget, timeline, needs, stakeholders, security, and compliance. At the end of the day, using automation for your Human Resources should be tailored to your company’s specific needs.

Once everything has been considered and taken note of for implementation, then you are on your way to a streamlined and optimized HR department.