HRIS Strategy

Using automation in HR operations

2 mn 4 May 2020

As one of the core aspects of any workplace, Human Resources is one of the most important departments in the office. Given that a business is nothing without its people, we can fairly say that a business will struggle without its people department. 

There are many responsibilities that come with working in HR, including recruitment, retention, wellbeing, training and performance. Keeping track of everyone’s activity in the company is likely to be difficult, so it’s necessary to utlise automation where possible.  

Historically, HR operations have been flooded with work – handling all of the paperwork and processes that cover all essential aspects of an employee’s journey. That, however, is where automation comes in.  


What is HR automation?  

Automation in HR allows for manual and functional tasks to be handled by a computer instead of a human being. That means repetitive data input and visualisation can be done quickly and efficiently – leaving skilled professionals to decision-making, interpretation and implementation. 

The hiring, recruitment and retention process is one aspect which could be helped by automation. Not only can the application process be easier through online forms but onboarding can be made easier through easy-to-follow new starter processes and anonymous surveys can be sent around the office to ensure maximum happiness among employees.  


Why HR automation?  

Instead of focusing on time consuming processes, automation gives HR the opportunity to focus on proactive, strategic thinking in terms of what can be done to improve a business. This isn’t about replacing HR, it’s about freeing the department up to focus on people and the actions needed to tackle key issues such as absenteeism. 


The benefits of HR process automation:  

However, having more time to focus on alternative work isn’t the only reason automation works well. We’ve listed a few of the reasons why HR automation is the perfect thing to embrace into your business model.  

  • Efficiency – why waste employee time on inputting data? 
  • Records management – with automation, there’s a reduced chance of human error. 
  • Increased productivity – if HR focuses on problem solving, it can look after people more effectively. 
  • Simple recruitment – make it quicker to find hire and train your ideal employees. 
  • Performance management – log, track and update employee records in an easy format. 

Instead of filling out forms when onboarding, for example, you can use a dashboard – giving the employee a chance to fill in their progress as they go and return to elements they are unsure of at their own time. 


Which HR roles cannot be automated  

While automation can play a part in most areas of business, the below are the roles which are unlikely to be affected:  

  • People performance – people often need one-to-one support from a human being to talk through issues they might be having. 
  • Strategy – what needs to be done to change the way your business looks after people? Let HR professionals do the thinking while machines do the functional work. 
  • Organisational skills – introducing and maintaining the HR system needs to be led from the top by people. 
  • Management – from helping line managers to setting out a wellbeing strategy, HR departments need to take a lead and establish how a business intends to look after its people. 
  • Employee relations – it’s good to talk – and you can’t leave that to a computer! 


Automation can be key to delivering a fast, effective and efficient HR function in a modern, progressive and proactive workforce. If you haven’t already, it’s time to consider how to embrace this growing trend in your HR department. 

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