Employees need an efficient Human Resource (HR) department to be optimally productive. When HR is struggling, the whole organization feels it.

But owing to chaotic processes, the HR team is usually knee-deep in delays and inefficiency. It is also considered a cost centre rather than a function that drives value. The reality, however, is that HR processes are in dire need of efficiency and productivity. Automation can help achieve this without breaking a sweat.

Impact of automation

A survey called The State of HR Automation conducted in 2018 by HR.com and Iron Mountain studied the extent and impact of automation in HR functions across 397 enterprise organizations. Some of the top HR operations automated by the respondents include payroll management (62 per cent), benefits (58 per cent), and time and attendance (56 per cent).

Respondents reported that the most likely functions to be automated in the near future were onboarding (46 per cent) followed by records management. Their organizations reported automation advantages such as above-average productivity, increased time for strategic planning, business initiatives, and internal consulting, ability to provide faster HR services, and reduction in the cost of providing HR services.

Respondents also preferred more automation (96 per cent) to outsourcing operations (41 per cent) in order to boost efficiency levels.

How HR functions benefit from automation


A major function of the HR department, recruitment can influence how a company performs. Finding the right candidate for a job is a combination of mundane tasks and strategic decisions. Sourcing resumes, for instance, is a task that takes a lot of time and can be performed more efficiently with automation. Organizations with highly automated HR functions use AI to cherry pick suitable resumes from online pools. This allows the human effort to be saved for tasks that require judgment calls.

Onboarding and offboarding

A company typically deals with multiple onboardings and a few offboarding formalities every month. A large part of these two processes is predictable and repetitive. From collecting documents and training to conducting exit interviews, it’s good business sense to automate these HR processes. Automating them facilitates deeper insights and feedback that can be utilized to improve HR functions in future.

Performance management

HR teams also have to manage a significant part of an employee’s development at work along with their managers. Activities such as appraisals, timesheet tracking, leave management, and event planning are just a fraction of what their work entails. Automating these processes with effective HR software can ensure efficiency and faster turnaround times.

Payroll management

Workforce transformation has led to the introduction of remote employees, freelancers, and contractors to organizations. On-time payroll processing is critical for businesses that wish to retain competent teams and vendors. Automation software can help these processes function seamlessly. HR teams are also responsible for benefits administration to employees, which can be streamlined with automation.

HR analytics

HR teams deal with massive amounts of data from their vast range of responsibilities. From simple counts of new employees in a quarter to complicated employee engagement metrics and productivity levels, analysis of HR functions can provide powerful insights into driving the organization in the desired direction. HR software typically features powerful analytics capabilities that facilitate valuable insights.


Automation allows HR teams to record data regarding process performance. These records prove useful during audits when the team has to demonstrate compliance.

Benefits of automating HR management

Common advantages reported by companies include

  • streamlined efficient processes,
  • greater insights,
  • effective records management,
  • better resource allocation,
  • improved productivity, and
  • consistent operations across locations.

Needless to say, when the team that powers your employees are functioning optimally, your business gains an extra edge over competitors with ease.

Getting started

If you’re at the beginning of your HR automation journey, you may find the entire notion somewhat daunting. Ensure you have organizational buy-in from the top as well as from the end users who will be implementing the strategy on a daily basis.

Get a keen understanding of what your organization’s HR team really needs to achieve goals and use that knowledge when identifying the right HR software for automation. Schedule adequate training sessions for the end users to ease the transition.

Arming yourself with know-how and keeping the execution simple is key to a successful implementation. If automation starts to become counterproductive, don’t be afraid to hire an expert to identify and resolve snags.

Empowering your HR department with automation will help the team drive value through efficient people management. High-performance HR teams get businesses fired up and on the path to success.

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