• HR Digitisation

Your 5 step guide to HR automation

Jazmin Lopez

The COVID-19 crisis has challenged the way many companies and organisations around the world work. Working remotely was previously not allowed or occasional, and it became the only way of working for many employees during the lockdown. Still facing uncertainties, it could still be the future of work.

For the company, this new way of working goes much further than technological or material adaptations. It puts into question human resources strategy, specifically, regarding the HR automation.

An HR strategy evolves many aspects of the HR world, but in this article we are focusing on the digitisation part, an extremely relevant topic today.

What is a digital HR strategy?

HR automation’s ultimate goal is improve the efficiency of HR by digitising HR processes. It is an opportunity for companies to plan the future of their businesses considering the digital transformation and also the changes in the workforce.

While many managers might underestimate the importance to implement a digital HR strategy, it is inevitable to ignore the current HR digital transformation.

The human resources department of a company has many tasks to fulfil, such as:

  • Prepare employee payroll system
  • Manage work schedules
  • Validate leave and absence requests
  • Calculate hours worked
  • Develop professional skills
  • Improve the employer brand image
  • Recruit new employees and onboarding process
  • Manage offboarding process
  • Work on improving the quality of life at work
  • Etc.

Depending on the size of the business, these functions will be managed by one or more people. Some administrative tasks will even be carried out by external service providers.

Either way, managing the tasks of the HR function manually can quickly become very time consuming and complicated. It is now possible to digitise a large part of recurring tasks using digital tools or HR software to automate many processes. The use of paper or even Excel tables is completely outdated.

Ideas that were only seen before in sci-fi movies are now part of the reality of the 4th industrial revolution. Digital technology has definitely the ability to modify HR and all of the other business areas. In fact, HR technology is increasingly being impacted by the progress of artificial intelligence and the development of social media.

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How to build an HR automation strategy in 5 steps

Going from an organisation that relies only on paper forms to 100% automated, absence management software, time tracking software or HR reports can be a big challenge for a business.

A real change management project needs to be carried out. Even if the HR management department and staff managers are the first to be affected by this change, the implementation of an HRIS will have an impact on the way almost all the team members in the company work.

In order to help you implement HR automation processes successfully, we have listed below the different steps to follow:

Step 1: List all the HR function tasks

First, you need to list the various administrative and HR tasks that you perform on a recurring basis. You can either gather them on spreadsheets through data entry or ask employees via email or online forms. Common tasks of HR professionals include:

  • Track arrival and departure times of employees
  • Calculate overtime per employee
  • Track absence/leave days
  • Request/validate days of absence or leave
  • Calculate the number of meal vouchers per employee
  • Gather information relating to the preparation of payslips
  • Validate attendance reports
  • Etc.

    Step 2: Define which tasks are costing you the most time

    For each task listed in step 1, you will need to do the exercise of calculating the time spent each month. This step is helpful because some tasks are only done once a month and last for a few hours, while others come back daily and even if they only take 5 minutes each time, at the end of the month the time is accumulated and spent.

    This somewhat tedious reporting work is very important because it will allow you to identify the most time-consuming tasks that can be automated and delegated. This will give you a clear picture of how much time an HR system can save you and even reduce the cost of your HR. This will also be factual evidence that you can show your manager to back up your need for an HR tool.

    Step 3: Choose a solution that meets your needs

    Plenty of online HR software is available on the market. Some of them offer very advanced features, a digital safe, payroll management, etc. Others have very low entry prices, but as soon as you want to add certain modules, the bill goes up very quickly.

    Again, the most important thing is to choose a human resources management software that meets your needs and that the price of this HRIS software is within your budget. Hence the importance of not skipping step 1 and 2 well. Do not hesitate to test and compare the different tools. Free trial periods and online demos are often possible.

    Step 4: Integrate your data 

    Once the HR software has been chosen, data integration will be necessary. Adding employees, their working hours, their positions, personal data, etc. This step can be quite long, but the advantage is that, in theory, you only have to do it once.

    If you have a lot of employees, and therefore a lot of users, we advise you to ask the person who will be in charge of using the tool to take care of it or ask the tool’s customer support if an automatic integration can be done. It is crucial that the HR department's decisions are data-driven and cloud-based. This guarantees the customer experience improvement along the process.

    Step 5: Get your employees on board

    The HR portal or HR self-service functionality is one of the basics that should be included in your HR automation strategy. This is because employees will become full contributors and users of the HRIS.

    It is therefore important to carry out a real onboarding process in order to train employees to use the HR solution, encourage them to use it on a daily basis and, therefore, ensuring an effective employee experience. Of course, choosing an intuitive and easy-to-use HR software makes the learning and development of the process easier for employees to accept this new tool, as compared to a tool that is difficult to learn and not visually appealing.

    Do not hesitate to list the advantages that employees benefit from when using the HR tool. For example, here are some arguments the HR leaders can share to encourage them to use it: 

    • Having a clear schedule and an up-to-date count of their remaining leave over the year
    • To know in real-time their overtime balance
    • To easily find your last payslip 
    • Knowing whether your colleagues are present or absent today
    • Etc.

    Ultimately, implementing a digital HR strategy and modernising the HR function will allow HR teams to save time and focus on higher value-added tasks, such as career development or the optimisation of recruitment processes. It will surely increase employee engagement and therefore generate better business outcomes.

    If you’d like to start managing your digital HR strategy hassle-free, check out the rest of our HR software at kiwiHR. We can help you handle everything from onboarding and employee records to time and attendance software and time off management. Try kiwiHR for free and start running a more effective business today.

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