Intelligent HR automation: Importance and how to get started

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Human Resource management has been constantly evolving over the last few decades. With various technological advances, the focus has changed from personnel management to strategic Human Resource planning. In fact, according to Career Builder, 72% of employers expect Human Resource management to become completely automated within the next 10 years. If you’re wondering why let us explain.

For example, take a company with 500 new employees. Each of these employees needs to be onboarded for their new roles. Typically this would include a request for them to complete and sign a number of forms which then need to be filed systematically. By not automating this process, your HR team loses an average of 14 hours a week just doing paperwork, contrary to how the industry shifted focus to strategic resource planning and meaningful employee experiences.

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Talking solely from the HR function’s perspective, though the need for automation is highly felt, automation in this department stands at 14% but is estimated to grow to 48% in three years time.

But at the same time, according to a survey by ServiceNow, 56% of Chief Human Resources officers expect that their jobs are going to be best defined by their ability to create a digital, consumerized employee experience.

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Long gone are the days when HR was only a tactical function, where the HR personnel was only required to send a dozen emails and make phone calls about paychecks, vacations, hirings, and firings. The core goal of HR today has more to do with creating an amazing culture for employees and stakeholders. There is an increasing focus on employee experience in times when employees demand complete transparency and empowerment. Thankfully, digitalization and automation have come to the rescue of HR specialists.

Automating the onboarding process saves HR the need to be physically present for new employee training. Payroll automation has eliminated the need for manual check writing. This may seem like a simple task but it actually meant having to spend hours verifying whether each piece of information uploaded in the spreadsheet is correct and up to date and then manually confirming the accuracy of the payroll results. Imagine if you had to do all this for a thousand employees in an organization, with a decentralized HR system. Automation has shared the burden.

Did you know that manually overseeing employee relocations, managing leaves, and onboarding new hires are the least efficient HR processes? Automating them could likely bring in some much-needed speed and efficiency into these tasks while your HR department could work towards adding more value to your business. It allows HR specialists to focus on their core role today, which is to create exceptional employee experiences.

How and where to begin – Tips to automate your HR function

Identify areas you can automate

Identify Areas of Automate

Determine key areas of your HR function that need a helping hand from automation. Consider onboarding as an example. Studies show that 20 percent of employee turnover takes place in the first three months of employment. Which means the experience your company provides in these first 90 days determine their stay. Onboarding, as such, is one of the most critical determinants of an employee’s initial experience. Having an organized onboarding process in place can ensure that the employee doesn’t feel frustrated by the lack of know-how, confusion, or neglected.

Automation makes the whole onboarding experience even more streamlined. Onboarding process automation ensures that all the needs of a new employee, whether it is their security card or business email account or product training material, everything is in place as soon as they start work. Not having to track down answers and being guided at every step through automation makes the whole onboarding experience a breeze for the new employee.

For a better understanding, let’s go through a couple of INRY’s success stories.

Iowa DoT accelerates HR onboarding services

Iowa Department of Transportation hires more than one thousand seasonal employees every year. Seasonal hires were required to enter the same information on multiple paper forms and ultimately HR spent a lot of their time processing these forms to complete onboarding. On average, onboarding each
seasonal hire was taking HR up to 6 hours.

The leadership team at the Department of Transportation aimed to accelerate their onboarding through a technology upgrade as they saw significant scope for improvement in their existing processes.

Following careful comparison of various solutions, the Iowa Department of Transportation decided to implement ServiceNow® HR Onboarding platform with INRY.

Through effective implementation of the platform, INRY moved all the 13 paper forms to ServiceNow and embedded them on the Onboarding portal. Prospective hires were able to quickly submit information using online forms for various compliance regulations.

Automated HR workflows assign tasks to HR upon submission of the forms. And once the assigned HR team member validates and approves the submission, an electronically signed PDF is
automatically generated.

With this one-stop Service Portal, paperless submission and automated workflows cut down onboarding time per hire from 4-6 hours to under 30 minutes

Read full case study

1) Keller ISD’s legal team brings in agility by automating their advisory process

Similarly, HR teams can also automate their case and knowledge management like Keller ISD did. With 41 campus locations and over 4000 employees, the company dealt with a myriad of requests coming from different sources. The manual process was time-consuming, single threaded and inefficient. With ServiceNow Case and Knowledge Management, INRY helped the company automate its paper tasks and create a centralized system to help them keep track of the progress of requests and also provide real-time reporting.

Read case study

2) Decide the scope of automation

Decide Scope of Automation

Once you have identified all the HR processes that can be automated, we help you map the scope of automation that these processes need to undergo. Does a process require complete automation, or would it be better to use a combination of human intelligence and automation?

Sometimes, fully automating a process can turn out to be a very costly affair. So identify what bottlenecks you face while automating a function, and then work on ways in which you can eliminate them. You need to understand that sometimes you will have to completely redesign certain tasks/processes rather than simply modifying them for automation.

3) Communicate your decision

Communicate You Decision

While implementing automation you need to respect employee sentiments. People might be scared and confused about their changing roles post automation. You need to ensure that HR team members don’t feel insecure about such changes. Contrary to popular belief, automation can actually create jobs. As noted in a ServiceNow 2018 survey, 79% of executives believe automation could lead to job creation. You need to instill a positive outlook towards automation and address any concerns that your team members might be having about changes in their scope of work.

Make sure to communicate the many benefits of automation that the department and its people will experience, such as reduced need for handling routine and administrative tasks. Explain how, with automation in the picture, they can focus on soft-skill focused processes such as creating a shared value system and creative problem-solving.

4) Provide required training

provide required training

Creating a culture of automation requires training employees to work efficiently with the software. If no one knows how to use the software, or doesn’t understand what it is capable of doing, you will not achieve a successful implementation. Having an understanding of how the software works, allows your employees to be better equipped to use it to its full potential.

5) Win the C-Suite’s trust

Having senior managers and leaders on your side is critical to implementing any long term, a critical change in an organization’s function. You will have to prepare a strong case for automation to win their support. Show them how automation means a higher return on investment, point out how it adds more value to each function in your department, and talk about the kind of empowerment it creates for all your employees. These points are highly likely to win your C-suite’s trust in automation.

Implementing ServiceNow HR Automation

Iimplementing Servicenow HR Automation

ServiceNow enables you to automate HR processes throughout the employee lifecycle by creating predefined processes that launch automated workflows. These automation processes can be customized based on your company’s requirements or you can create new ones to cater to specific needs.

The challenging part of doing so is implementing the automation using your existing HR processes. It is not just time-consuming, but it also requires that you look into the existing workflows, identify bottlenecks, possibilities of automation and ultimately create fresh processes. That is why you need expert ServiceNow Implementation Services Company like INRY.

INRY helps organizations transform their HR services, keeping in mind aspects as simple as queries or requests that involve cross-functional coordination. Using intuitive employee portals that offer self-serve options, request and tracking services, and give access to extensive HR knowledge bases, we have increased the efficiency of modern HR teams.

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Bipin Paracha
Bipin Paracha
The article is co-authored by Bipin Paracha - Co-founder and Principal Consultant at INRY and Vishal Raghavan - INRY’s Lead Consultant. A ServiceNow Gold services and sales partner, INRY helps organizations transform their work with faster implementation and effective adoption of ServiceNow® solutions. Connect with INRY at info@inry.com
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