Every business function today is heavily reliant on technology and HR is no exception. Rosemary Haefner, CHRO at CareerBuilder talks about how automating repetitive, time-consuming and labor-intensive HR tasks could help drive bottom line growth
Human resources management is constantly evolving, and in the last few decades, it has changed its focus from personnel management to strategic human resource planning. New technological advances have allowed for an increase in affordability, simplicity and accessibility of HR automation services for organizations of all sizes. A recent survey from CareerBuilder shows that 72 percent of employers expect that some roles within talent acquisition and human capital management will become completely automated within the next 10 years.
But the rate at which companies with 250-plus employees are adopting automation varies considerably. Although more are turning to technology to address time-consuming, labor-intensive talent acquisition and management tasks – that are susceptible to human error – the CareerBuilder study shows a significant proportion continue to rely on manual processes. One-third of employers (34 percent) don’t use technology automation for recruiting candidates, 44 percent don’t automate onboarding and 60 percent don’t automate human capital management activities for employees, such as payroll, benefits and personnel administration.
By not automating you could be hurting productivity and falling behind competitors. CareerBuilder research identified that HR managers who do not fully automate say they lose an average of 14 hours a week manually completing tasks that could be automated; more than a quarter (28 percent) waste 20 hours or more, and 1 in 10 (11 percent) spend 30 hours or more.
Any number of HR processes can be improved through automation. For example, onboarding new employees is typically laden with forms and can take an unreasonable amount of time when it’s done on paper. With electronic forms and automated workflows, data entered once can be used to populate multiple onboarding forms. Employee reviews are another process that benefits from automation by being faster, clearer and easier to trace from beginning to end. And it isn’t just HR processes that can benefit. Other business processes like expense reporting, maintenance requests or transportation management benefit from electronic forms and workflows too.
According to the CareerBuilder survey, employers who have automated a part of their talent acquisition and management processes have seen the following results:
Saved time and increased efficiency (93 percent): An HR manager who spends time looking through time-log spreadsheets, files or emails might end up doing nothing else but that. The more the time consumed, the lesser the productivity. Automating the process increases the productivity rate of the HR team.
Improved the candidate experience (71 percent): Communicating clearly and consistently with applicants throughout the recruiting lifecycle reduces candidate frustration. Applicant tracking software makes it easy to communicate electronically, and candidates also feel empowered because they can log in and check their own application status. Further, if applicants call HR with questions, all the relevant information is available in one place for the HR team.
Reduced errors (69 percent): Automating your strategy enables you to standardize records management. At the same time, it removes the potential for human error that plagues so many HR offices. A paper-based system can be a big risk – there might not be back up and, if misplaced or lost in a fire or burglary, for example, some information may not be recoverable.
Saved money and resources (67 percent): Many businesses are chasing their tails, being bogged down with manual work that can (and should be) handled through HR automation. By not automating, you could be wasting a significant amount of time (an average of 14 hours, as mentioned above), and therefore money.
Improved the employee experience (60 percent): Every employee has different requirements. Some travel and have to apply for travel requests and submit expense reports. Others may contact the HR constantly to update their personal and professional information. As an organization grows there will be more and more employees that require HR assistance. Automated HR systems let employees manage all these activities themselves.