Is your HR team overworked and suffering from burnout?
Human resources (HR) departments are vital to every organization, but due to high volumes of repetitive transactional activities and manual, paper-reliant processes, HR teams often struggle with slow hiring and onboarding processes, increased clerical errors due to repetitive tasks such as those in payroll, and high recruiting and operational costs.
Like everyone, HR teams feel the heightened pressure of a changing work environment – pressure exacerbated by rapidly evolving work-from-home and international remote hiring policies. HR staff have an immense transactional workload, all while handling staff shortages and managing employee expectations. All of this, with the increasing regulatory and compliance requirements across organizations, threatens employee burnout.
With these heightened restrictions and quick-moving pieces, HR departments are looking for better ways to manage their increasing workload and expectations. With intelligent automation (IA), organizations are finding automation solutions to the bottlenecks and cost-leakage issues across the business.
SS&C Blue Prism’s intelligent automation is a grouping of cognitive technologies designed to streamline workflows by deploying digital workers to automate daily tasks. IA includes robotic process automation (RPA), machine learning (ML), natural language processing (NLP) and the one we all know, love and are hearing a lot about lately: artificial intelligence (AI).
HR is foundational to every organization, and finding ways to improve operational efficiencies for these time-consuming back-office tasks will increase productivity across the business, allowing your HR teams to focus on high-value tasks like the people-facing work they’re meant for.
Implementing automation into your HR systems is all about delegating tedious, monotonous tasks to your digital workforce so your human workforce can be engaged in more interesting, strategic tasks. Because if there’s one thing we know about HR, it’s that it’s all about people.
What is RPA in HR?
HR teams traditionally spend a lot of time on administrative, data-driven work. But with market demands increasing and the need for speed in acquiring top talent, HR teams must find a way to digitally transform human effort to get the best possible end-to-end experiences and the competitive advantage to boot.
Robotic process automation (RPA) deploys software robots that mimic human actions to automate manual processes, reducing error and speeding up time to delivery so your employees can focus on other work.
RPA helps HR with numerous activities such as ensuring the right talent is hired, employee satisfaction is top of mind and high-performing employees are retained, upskilled and utilized to their fullest talent. RPA is designed to improve operational agility, from analytics and compliance reporting to expense management and payroll.
What is intelligent automation in HR?
In HR, intelligent automation is good at overcoming challenges of scalability and business growth. Where RPA handles manual tasks, intelligent automation integrates AI into those automations, creating intelligent digital workers that can automate multi-step complex tasks and read and translate unstructured data.
Now, before we explain which HR processes can be automated, it’s good to look at the characteristics of early automation candidates. That is, areas in your business where automation can be deployed quickly and scaled effectively.
Here’s what to look out for:
Find areas in your organization where your workflow is reproducible and documented. A good example in HR is recording and clearing employee records from a company database. This type of systematic procedure is ideal to start your digital transformation because IA can read structured and unstructured documents with SS&C | Blue Prism® Decipher intelligent Document Processing (IDP) and SS&C | Blue Prism® Document Automation (DA) and translate it into readable data.
Using SS&C | Blue Prism® Chorus business process management (BPM), you can take these translated documents and implement that data into the correct systems. This alleviates tedious tasks from your staff, lowers the risk of errors or missed information and speeds up your organization’s throughput.
High volume, low complexity
When you’re looking to implement your first automation into your systems, start with bite-sized chunks. Look for a process that’s high in volume – meaning it takes a lot of manual keying of data, as an example – and low in complexity – meaning you’re familiar with every step in the process and there are no major issues.
By choosing this quick-win as your first automation, you’ll deliver a compelling return on investment (ROI) to your leaders, which will gain organization-wide buy-in to expand and scale your intelligent automation program further.
HR is a department wholly familiar with cyclical work; AKA, work done occasionally, such as monthly or seasonally. For example, payroll or periodic reporting.
In HR, another potent example of cyclical work is hiring and onboarding employees. This isn’t an everyday task. Often, procedures are forgotten or missed, there are long processing times for new hires to receive their equipment and so on.
With IA, rather than taking your HR staff away from their regular work – which will build in their absence – digital workers can handle most of those tasks for them, quicker and more accurately.
Digital workers connect disparate systems. If you have a process spanning multiple applications or interacting between departments, you can bring in a digital worker to span across those apps.
Even if it’s not possible to automate end-to-end processes, digital workers can still expedite the work and alleviate your employees from some of the heavier, more burdensome work.
Good candidates for early automation are those laid out in a well-defined data format. For tasks where data is clearly defined, such as a standard form filled in by an employee, digital workers can easily access, classify and utilize this data within the workflow.
Which HR Processes Can Be Automated?
A digital workforce has the potential to totally transform your HR operations, from tedious and time-consuming to efficient and satisfactory. In HR, there are huge opportunities to implement intelligent automation. We’ll share a few use cases here and how IA can answer problem areas to get you better efficiency sooner.
HR Use Cases for RPA and IA
- Employee Onboarding
- Learning and Development
- Benefits Enrolment and Management
- Maintaining Employee Records
Most HR staff will be familiar with the old hiring process: spending hours scouring through mountains of applications, sifting through irrelevant or unqualified resumes until you’re so exhausted, you miss the good ones when they come up.
Rather than peeling through hours and hours of text-heavy paperwork, digital workers can scan through applications and highlight those matching the job description, routing them to an HR employee. That lets your HR people look through only those relevant CVs, meaning they can dedicate their time to considering high-quality candidates. With faster turnover times to reach out to applicants, your organization won’t miss out on the best talent.
Here's where IA fits in the recruitment process:
- Gather candidate data from various job portals
- Shortlist and rank candidates based on their skills and experience
- Interact with candidates in real time, answer their queries and conduct screening interviews
- Automatically place recruitment advertisements
- Automatically generate offer letters
- Track the success rate and productivity of the recruiter and hiring manager
Using a combination of IA tools – robotic process automation, intelligent document processing, natural language processing, artificial intelligence and machine learning (phew, that’s a lot of collaborating behind the scenes!) – help reduce the time to hire the right candidate, thereby improving your HR employee and new employees’ experiences.
Onboarding an employee can be a real headache for your HR department, especially with standards always changing and the process being only done occasionally.
A new employee’s first impression of your organization should be a good one, starting on day one. That’s from the practical – in ensuring they have access to facilities, computers and software – to their initial training and ensuring they know what their job role and expectations will be.
It’s all important, and it’s all very taxing work for your already overworked HR department.
With IA, you can drastically improve your employee onboarding processing speed and accuracy rate:
- Collect e-signed forms and automatically generate official PDF documents
- Create automatic notification and approval workflows
- Create accounts on different software without waiting for IT support
- Resolve new hire queries in real-time
Digital workers alleviate these tasks from your HR people so they can focus on making your new employees feel welcome and excited to start their job.
IA ensures a shorter hire onboarding cycle, minimizes paperwork for the business and the new hire, enhances the onboarding experience, reduces manual human intervention and human errors and, best of all, helps improve your HR team and your new employee’s satisfaction in their job.
Traditional, manual payroll administration can be time-intensive and error-prone, resulting in disgruntled employees and an overwhelmed HR team. Payroll is an important and highly visible task and payday can become a hugely stressful event for those who are pulled from their regular duties to manage it.
Digital workers can improve payroll processing by working alongside your people as digital colleagues to complete salary and payroll administrative tasks effectively and accurately.
During the all-consuming monthly payroll administration, IA can swoop in and save the day to:
- Verify timesheets and reconcile vacation balances
- Make intermittent and ad hoc changes to records in the payroll
- Record month-end reconciliations of payroll
- Detect variances and anomalies
- Document payroll tax, labor cost and pay insights
- Automate paycheck creation, reimbursement and benefits allocation
- Handle pay slip contact center queries
When bringing a digital worker into your payroll management, you’ll end up with timely, accurate payments and satisfied employees.
Learning and development
Promoting learning and development opportunities for your teams can help drive your organization’s long-term success. It empowers your employees to upskill and encourages business loyalty by helping them build their careers.
IA allows your HR team to spend more time monitoring and developing the people within your organization so your talent is invested in your business’ growth.
Here are specific ways IA can encourage learning and development across your organization:
- Track and recommend personalized learning courses using AI and machine learning based on past training, career aspirations and role availability
- Enable employee training in the flow of work using self-service capabilities
- Conduct training programs for your employees through an interactive and engaging learning environment supported by conversational AI bots
- Use AI-powered simulations to train and assess employees
With the quick evolution of AI, it’s becoming easier for you to target and personalize your employees’ training for a more enhanced learning experience.
Plus, intelligent automation helps your HR team with employee management, internal recruitment and finding talent within your existing pool of dedicated staff rather than making costly external job postings. Promoting learning and development in your organization encourages your existing employees to enhance their skills.
Benefits enrolment and management
Benefits enrolment and management are also complex business processes that can significantly impact employee satisfaction. RPA can automate these processes and make them more efficient, accurate and compliant, ensuring your employees have timely access to the benefits they need.
RPA can help automate various benefits-related tasks, such as enrolling employees in health insurance, processing claims and updating employee information. By automating these tasks, HR teams can save time and resources while reducing the chances of errors and non-compliance.
Moreover, RPA can help improve employee engagement by providing personalized benefits recommendations and enabling employees to access their benefits information anytime, anywhere. This can help improve employee satisfaction and retention, as well as reduce HR workload.
Maintaining employee records
Employee data management is a critical function for any organization, and it’s essential to have accurate and up-to-date employee records.
However, maintaining accurate employee records can be a challenging task, especially for organizations with thousands of employees and hundreds of data points. HR teams must deal with a vast amount of data, including employee personal information, job titles, employment history and more.
With RPA, HR teams can streamline the process of accessing, updating and maintaining digital records and ensuring employee data is accurate.
For instance, digital workers can monitor employee leave, automatically update the leave balance and notify managers when an employee is approaching their limit. This can help reduce the administrative burden on HR teams, enabling them to focus on more strategic initiatives such as employee engagement and talent management.
Benefits of IA and RPA in HR
Intelligent automation has the potential to change the entire HR industry for the better.
The biggest benefits of intelligent automation in HR are increased efficiency, cost savings and reduced manual effort. By automating time-consuming routine tasks, HR teams can save time and focus on more strategic initiatives. This can lead to increased productivity and a more efficient HR department overall.
IA can also improve accuracy in HR processes. By automating compliance reports, data validation and data entry tasks, RPA can eliminate manual errors and ensure HR data is secure, accurate and up to date. This can help organizations make better-informed decisions and improve the overall employee experience.
Finally, IA can help organizations maintain regulatory compliance and data privacy policies. By automating tasks such as data reconciliation and incident management, your digital workers ensure HR data is accurate and current. This can help organizations avoid costly fines and legal issues related to HR compliance.
In conclusion, SS&C Blue Prism intelligent automation is a powerful technology that can help organizations optimize their HR operations and provide employees with a better overall experience.