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As companies rely on a well-organized Human Resources (HR) department to engage and support employees, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can heighten its ability to meet critical objectives. When HR capitalizes on RPA tools to automate outdated, manual, and often tedious, tasks, it can elevate the overall productivity of the department. To ensure long-term success with RPA, the partnership between HR staffers and robots (bots) must be forged methodically. There are best practices for employing RPA for specific HR tasks that are necessary, but time-consuming and how automation can simplify processes and lighten employee workload.
According to Hibob, “Tech automation facilitates crucial communication between the workforce, during processes such as onboarding, offboarding, and employee transfers.” By automating appropriate processes within core functions of HR, teams can take on more strategic roles and focus on employees—not busy work.
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) recently published an article in its HR Magazine detailing use cases for RPA in HR. SHRM asserts, “RPA is now regularly used within HR to automate processes such as coalescing or auditing datasets, sending offer letters to job candidates, onboarding new hires, facilitating health plan enrollment, and even creating badges for conferences and special events.” Though some tasks may be an obvious fit for RPA, experts recommend surveying the workers who will be using the new technology before launching a pilot program or test case. Since the return-on-investment (ROI) with RPA is not only time- and cost-savings, but increased efficiency and quality output, HR team members can offer valuable insight as to how they believe their “employee experience” can be improved. An RPA vendor that provides Change Management services can initiate the assessment of which processes are repetitive and labor-intensive and therefore apt for automation.
Once the HR department and RPA provider have determined which tasks will be automated, the next step is to convey to users how the software will assume their administrative, data-entry transactions. The result of automation for HR procedures is less erroneous keystrokes and paperwork for employees so they can concentrate on work that requires human interaction or complex decision-making. HR Technologist claims, “RPA can dynamically sit within any company and automate the process that an HR professional would carry out in nearly every situation—instantly.” Therefore, the institution of a good change management plan will prepare team members for how RPA will positively impact their daily routines and workflows without unnecessary disruptions.
Businesses already understand the important role HR plays in recruiting talented personnel and the challenges involved in the hiring function that includes sourcing, interviewing candidates, and presenting offers. RPA can decrease some of the manual drudge work and speed up the process overall. ResearchGate claims RPA can be configured to respond to candidates with an automatic request for an interview as well as weed out applications that do not line up with the advertised position. RPA bots can also email pre-approved offers and rejection letters. “RPA is useful in sending automated communications for the applicant through email and text, however, also for collecting, processing, and organizing information regarding the candidate to create a database for future use.” As RPA technology can manage resume screening, scheduling, and other transactional tasks involved in candidate engagement, HR managers can take on a more personal, advisory role. This is a major gain for HR as most folks who go into the profession do so because they enjoy helping people remain satisfied and productive in their workplaces.
Many companies have pinpointed onboarding as a process that can be improved with automation. The standardized onboarding protocol for new hires can be streamlined thanks to RPA. The days of an employee filling out pages of paperwork or inputting data into multiple databases just to be ready for the first day of work can now be simplified with RPA software. Tech Funnel explains, “The company can establish rules that the RPA system uses to make decisions according to the new employee’s profile. This onboarding workflow allows access to company data systems that are needed for the new employees to do their work.” RPA bots can email onboarding documents to a new hire and then save their pertinent profile information, documentation, and passwords followed by transfer of these records to all required domains. RPA can also alert the necessary administrators that forms are complete for immediate admission to email, company systems, or applications. This data is then stored and maintained from day one all the way through to employee offboarding.
RPA can also make an employee’s offboarding process more organized and stress-free. TECHNOVERT reveals how the software bot captures all the mandatory details from final reports and carries out the predetermined activities from, “revoking access to all the systems, to collecting the company assets and generating exit documents.”
The HR Director asserts, “Historically, pay-related documents have been manually produced, printed, and distributed via internal or external mail. But as the adoption of digital technology increases, organizations have started to move away from the more traditional paper-based model and towards one of digital transformation and document automation.” RPA enables such a digital renovation within HR departments, generating paperless payslips and other sensitive payroll documents delivered securely online. RPA can integrate with existing HR systems without interruption and the configuration of bots for specific compensation or benefits administration tasks is relatively quick and easy.
According to Gartner, “96% of managers are dissatisfied with their organization’s current performance management practices.” Since the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted companies in numerous ways, including necessitating hybrid work scenarios, many HR managers have turned to RPA to hone their department’s performance management tactics. Since RPA gathers and centralizes employees’ digital records efficiently, transactions like processing PTO and leaves of absence are carried out accurately, regardless of whether the employee is working from home or onsite.
As HR departments look for ways to up their game in key functional areas like recruiting, onboarding and offboarding, compensation administration, and performance management, RPA has helped many revamp their routines and sharpen strategies that will lead to long-term success. For more information on how Tagence can build, secure, and scale automated HR processes, visit https://tagence.com/robotic-process-automation.