The HR department can be thought of as the company’s core. It is where the primary resources of your company—your employees—are selected, managed, and retained.
Meanwhile, consider what would happen if the company’s core did not execute at peak levels. Workflows would slow, and employees would quickly become dissatisfied with their circumstances. It could lead to decreased efficiency, fewer sales, and ultimately, decreased revenue.
Fortunately, today, we have the option of leveraging HR automation to free up time for focusing on the most crucial functions. Moreover, we have the option of eliminating repetitive, time-consuming, and strained workflows.
Most HR functions would have been further impacted by the sudden and unplanned shift to remote work in 2020 if companies had not adopted new digitalization practices.
So, while the future of work has been discussed and debated, everyone can agree on one thing. Automation and digitalization are inevitable in the post-pandemic world, particularly when it comes to HR functions.
The Age Of Digital HR And Its Challenges
The new digital HR is a value driver. But with the double-edged disruption of automation and remote-working, today’s digital HR professionals face new and unpredictable challenges.
With the rise in HR process automation, many HR roles must also be redefined as well. Meanwhile, a lack of technology skills among non-IT staff can be a critical challenge for digital HR teams.
There is a significant disconnect between current HR skillsets and the internal digitalization of HR teams. But the learning and development-oriented training required to bring HR teams up to speed are typically outdated and ineffective.
HR Automation Affects The Entire Workforce
Automating HR functions is easier said than done. Many HR functions are actually HR Delivery Services. These services are how an HR team interacts with and provides services to the rest of the workforce.
When it comes to automating these HR Delivery Services, the rest of the workforce must go through proper training.
Implementation Takes Time
Digital HR transformation necessitates rethinking and rewriting the rules of people management, performance management, leadership, recruiting, and many other areas.
Onboarding these new approaches will require considerable time management, resources, and experimentation.
How AI-Based Solutions Simplify Typical HR Functions
Undoubtedly, AI or artificial intelligence is the next big driver of transformation. AI is already changing HR operations by making them more efficient, allowing for better decision-making, and automating routine tasks.
Accordingly to a 2017 KPMG survey, 56 percent of respondents expect to see an improved performance due to HR automation. Meanwhile, 54 percent believe that sophisticated algorithms will free up people for more strategic tasks.
AI, cognitive processing, advanced analytics, and digital applications are all transforming how HR teams operate. Here are a few ways through which AI-based automation could simplify your people processes.
HR Chatbots Help Streamline Communication
Cognitive automation uses NLP (natural language processing) to interact with employees through HR chatbots. Think of it as an HR cloud-based digital assistant. It handles things like general inquiries, routine transactions, time-off requests, and payroll management.
AI Makes Recruiting Easier
Automation makes sourcing talents much simpler yet less biased. AI-based hiring tools can efficiently filter CVs, shortlist applicants, schedule interviews, collect interview data, help streamline the employee onboarding process, and manage new hires.
Cloud-based AI tools are used to compare job candidates to employees who have excelled in similar roles within the organization.
AI Enhances the Employee Experience
HR professionals can enhance employee experience by harnessing AI-based automation and digital tools on employee-centric programs.
These programs can range from rewards and recognition, employee benefits and compensation, employee surveys, and more. Automation of such programs ensures that engaging people is a continuous, timely, and measurable business process.
AI Aids In Decision-Making
AI-based tools empower HR leaders to make intelligent and faster decisions through tracking employee trends, insights, and data. Non-human involvement also attributes to fewer errors.
Additionally, discussing the complete role of AI in simplifying business processes is beyond the scope of this article. But what we will be discussing is why HR leaders must focus on going digital as soon as possible.
Does HR Automation Truly Drive Better Business Performance?
Digital-first human resource management focuses on innovation and automates everyday administrative tasks. Meanwhile, HR professionals can focus on doing priority tasks. Measuring and improving productivity, understanding talent needs, designing the future workplace, and more.
Here’s how AI-based automation will help them do so.
Data is the new currency of today’s world. Without it, you might very well be shooting in the dark. That stands true for HR too, as attracting and retaining talent is a crucial function of HR.
With the implementation of AI-based tools, collecting, assessing, and acting on data-driven insights becomes a lot easier. It answers some vital questions like, “What benefits do employees really want?” and “Why is the turnover rate higher than last year?”
According to a Unit 4 survey, office workers spend 69 days annually on administrative activities. Ultimately, it ends up costing businesses $5 trillion each year.
Automation software will streamline HR functions, increasing employee productivity, efficiency, and engagement. Thus, if a company continues to rely on manual workflows, it risks losing its competitive edge.
In the 2017 Deloitte Human Capital Trends report, 80 percent of HR and business leaders responded that employee experience was “important” or “extremely important” to them.
It reflects how today’s leaders understand that keeping their workforce happy is vital to “future-proof” a company.
AI and automation software can help you design the perfect employee experience through the timely collection, analysis, and monitoring of employee-centric data. This data can include metrics like engagement levels, onboarding data, exit data, and so on.
How Will HR Automation Affect Your Workforce?
One major upheaval that will come with HR automation is the eventual need for workforce shaping.
Workforce shaping is the process of redefining employee roles and responsibilities to meet the demand of a digitally transformed workplace. It means that no job role is a fixed one. An employee can have a completely different job role by the end of the month.
Meanwhile, the job requirements will change, and the pool of candidates will get more diverse.
It will be easier than ever to use HR automation software to improve the employee value proposition. The employee value proposition refers to the benefits you provide an employee in exchange for their performance.
HR professionals can use AI-based HR tools to focus on the critical factors of making an employee feel engaged. Specifically, these factors include performance-based recognition, compensation, employee benefits, career development, and more.
In conclusion, HR automation represents the inevitable digital transformation shift that experts long predicted.
It may be difficult to manage a mostly remote workforce–but only until HR teams become accustomed to the digitization of their day-to-day operations.