If you’re not careful—and prepared—you may walk into the office one day to find that a computer has taken your place. After all, much of the work that human resources (HR) do involve shuffling papers and entering data, and computers can do that better than people.
So, should you be afraid of HR automation? No! HR employees fulfill many essential roles, including hiring and onboarding new employees, managing pay and benefits and ensuring compliance with labor laws. But many of the processes that they rely on to do those tasks are slow, inefficient, and error-prone. Digitization and automation can solve those problems.
What Does It Mean to Digitize and Automate HR Processes?
Digitizing refers to converting paper records into electronic records, generally stored on a computer.
Automating processes means incorporating technology that can perform repetitive work without assistance from humans. Thanks to automation, all kinds of work that used to be done by hand—which was often tedious and time-consuming—can now be done in moments by a machine or a computer program.
Sounds like those computers could take your job, though, doesn’t it? Not so fast. Experts say that automation improves work processes “not by eliminating jobs but by eliminating particular job functions at which humans are inefficient, inconsistent, or exposed to risk.” Let’s take a closer look at the benefits.
Benefits of Digitizing and Automating HR Functions
It’s easy to see how digitizing HR records could generate benefits. Instead of an entire room full of file cabinets with employee records—taking up valuable real estate, requiring constant security vigilance, and offering little resistance to fire or natural disasters—you could have all of that information within a professionally secured, fully backed-up storage system in the cloud. Imagine never having to dig through a file to find a record and never losing a piece of paper again!
The benefits of automation are even more remarkable. Automating HR processes allows employees to do their work faster and make fewer errors, which improves their overall productivity and reduces risks associated with compliance, billing, and taxes.
How to Start Digitizing and Automating HR
Given that, as studies have shown, “virtually all HR functions can be fully or partially automated,” where should you begin?
Hiring. You probably already use an online portal to post jobs. Next, you should automate and streamline the process of collecting and screening applications, contacting applicants, and scheduling interviews.
Onboarding. Instead of spending hours granting new employees file access, laboriously reviewing policies, and completing initial training, set them up with an automatic onboarding tool. Through pre-recorded information, on-demand webinars, and simulators, you’ll save time and help new hires hit the ground running.
Administering payroll and benefits. Timesheets, payroll, expense claims, leave requests—all of these processes are subject to tremendous human error. Eliminate mistakes and complete tasks faster by automating time-tracking, payments, leave approvals, and more.
Poster Compliance Center Can Help You Choose the Right Labor Law Posters for Your Business
The HR department is also, of course, responsible for ensuring that employees comply with all applicable labor laws. Poster Compliance Center can help your training and education processes through our full range of federal and state labor law posters. We even have digitized, virtual versions of all our posters that can be accessed from anywhere.