HR Automation: How to Streamline Your Processes and Save Time 

Picture automation in the workplace. What do you see? Robots on a production line, perhaps at a large industrial manufacturing plant? Self-service checkout at a convenience store? Automated check-in at your Doctor’s office? 

In 2024, tasks that formerly were performed through human labor can be automated almost anywhere. It is available to small and midsize businesses, not just large firms, and spans departments from sales to marketing to human resources. No matter the industry or the team, automation can streamline processes, save time, and contribute to a business’s growth.  

1. Office Déjà Vu? Identify Repetitive Tasks! 

An HR administrator’s workday is a mix of fresh challenges and repetitive manual tasks. For small businesses, the person responsible for human resources often has a multitude of tasks and responsibilities. Repetitive tasks can take a lot of time, and these are precisely the kinds of duties suited to automation.  

Surprisingly, many small businesses have not turned to automation despite the number of suitable tasks in HR, payroll, and benefits. Research from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that only 16 percent of employers with fewer than 100 workers use automation or AI compared to 42 percent of employers with 5,000+ workers. The same survey revealed that 85 percent of employers are saving time thanks to their automated solutions.  

Automation for HR can cover tasks like payroll processing, filtering out unqualified job applicants, tracking PTO, answering basic questions from employees, providing fully automated onboarding resources, posting job descriptions, and more.  

When these tasks eat up valuable time that could be spent proactively growing the business, it’s time to seek a solution.  

2. Evaluate Your Needs  

Combining HR and automation can look very different from one company to another. For every task that is common to all HR departments, there is another that is totally unique. For example, your company might have specific compliance requirements or a growth target within a set timeframe.  

Before deciding on the specifics of your HR automation plan, consider what you have and what you need. What do employees find time-consuming or inefficient? What are your technical capabilities and limitations? Do you work in a field with complex legal concerns?  

3. Develop an Implementation Plan  

Developing an implementation plan for HR automation involves identifying the right tasks that can be automated and then establishing clear, time-bound goals for those tasks.  

Goals must be achievable, relevant, and measurable. Have you targeted reducing the time it takes to onboard a new employee? How many hours and within what timeframe? Only by setting concrete, measurable targets can you track the success of your plan and refine it to achieve substantial results.  

Your plan should be focused and realistic. Identify one or two new processes to automate at a time. This will help you understand what works and what doesn’t and allow for a phased implementation that employees will be able to manage.  

This might be the stage at which you evaluate if you have the resources to implement HR automation yourself or if you should partner with an outside organization to provide automation of common time-consuming and repetitive tasks.  You don’t need to invent automation.  Consider taking advantage of the knowledge and skills of professional organizations that routinely automate HR tasks.  More to come on that.  

4. Test, Monitor, Refine  

If you decide to move forward with automation of some HR functions, use a combination of quantitative and qualitative data to assess the newly automated systems. First, track the metrics defined in the implementation plan. How many hours did it take to process the quarterly Form 941 or to set up a tax ID in a new state? What was the average time taken to onboard a new employee? How many attempts did it take before the process could be completed in an acceptable time?  

Next, gather feedback from relevant parties. Are all employees able to manage the new system? How did new hires find their onboarding process? Are different employees expressing similar concerns? The system might not be perfect in its first iteration, but your experienced employees will know if something is working or not.  

Before proceeding to the next phase of the implementation plan, consider how the results and user feedback can be used to improve the current system. Make any necessary refinements and keep staff informed about the changes.  

HR Automation with AdvanStaff HR  

AdvanStaff HR is a trusted provider of HR automation software and solutions to a broad range of businesses, covering everything from employment law compliance to HR onboarding automation. We can help you identify opportunities for automation, implement streamlined new systems, and offer full-service support to ensure the system reaches its full potential.  

Let AdvanStaff HR give you a quick and easy quote for making your HR functions more efficient. Schedule a call here

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