Using automation to get the best of Human Resources
Human Resources is typically the department responsible for the employee experience, hiring, firing, training, benefits, payroll and employee relations. It almost seems odd that automation would have a place in the Human Resource department as so much of the job involves working with people - employees, management, new hires. However, the function is also responsible for a lot of administrative and repetitive activity, such as employee on-boarding, off-boarding and reviewing resumes to search for the best applicant for a vacant position. These are the areas that make automation a great candidate for HR support, we’ll outline how automation provides this assistance in a moment.
The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic has resulted in huge changes for many businesses around the globe. A Stanford report from June 2020 referenced a staggering 42% of the US workforce working from home full-time vs. an estimated 5.2% who worked remotely in 2017.
This shift in daily working life has meant businesses of all sizes have adapted to a sudden change of remote work, turning many usual procedures upside down and accelerating discussions and plans for digital transformation.
If it’s an option at your company, now is a good time to review the organization’s workflow, evaluating areas where automation makes most sense financially and for the well-being of employees.
One notable advantage to remote working is opening the talent pool to candidates around the world, not just those in the same geographic location, which allows for diversity in the workforce. As businesses begin to pick up again, we are seeing companies hiring remotely and continuing to work remotely. The hiring process is the first area we’d like to discuss where automation could help ease the workload.
- Applying for new roles online is easier now than ever, particularly with features like LinkedIn’s ‘Easy Apply’, you could put yourself forward for a new job in minutes. However, this means those in recruitment/HR have hundreds of applicants to look through which is very overwhelming and makes finding the ideal candidate a real challenge.
- Automation can do much of the heavy lifting by noting the desired criteria for the job vacancy, understanding the most valuable experience to look for and using this knowledge to filter through the volume of applications to find the great candidates.
- One key watch out is to avoid any bias from the algorithm and this can be done by ensuring the automation is properly trained with diverse data (more on AI bias in this article).
Another way in which automation can relieve the HR team is through a Help Desk or Self-Service assistance. Like an IT Help Desk, this platform would act as a first port of call for employees who have queries about contracts, policies, training and countless other requests. It would enable staff members to get instant answers for many straightforward questions and track tickets with more complex requirements. Allowing a bot to pick up the routine aspects will grant the HR team more time to dedicate to the stimulating and challenging aspects of their role.
On-boarding and off-boarding
The third and final area we’ll discuss is on-boarding and off-boarding employees. On-boarding tends to be more complex but is very much like off-boarding in reverse, here are some of the many procedures to follow for on-boarding;
- Ensure contracts and eligibility documents are signed and provided ahead of the employee’s start date, liaising with the new candidate’s team, setting up access to the building and all necessary IT systems, scheduling training – the list goes on and on.
And for off-boarding;
- Arranging exit interviews, returning all company-owned equipment, removing access to systems, calculating final pay/expenses, holiday allowance etc.
These processes are priorities for HR but they usually involve collaboration with other departments in the company to ensure procedures are followed correctly. If there is a disconnect between departments or other divisions have many other priorities alongside this, important details can get lost and forgotten.
This could result in your eager new starter waiting around like a spare part on their first day with a computer but no access to any networks they need to do their job, or an employee leaving on their last day with company credit cards, laptops and access to sensitive information.
Fear not, automation can help close any logistical gaps between departments, remove human error and protect sensitive information by ensuring access is granted to current employees only.
At Roots Automation, we have an HR Assistant Digital Coworker who liaises with HR, IT and the relevant team for the joining/leaving employee to gather all information, notify relevant parties with updates and deadlines, schedule training for new starters as well as arranging deactivation, exit interviews, automatically calculating and informing leavers of their final paycheck.
All we need is access to your company system so our Digital Coworker can log in, as your employees do when working from home, and we can have your pre-trained bot ready for work in a matter of weeks.
Taking away the laborious and mundane work will allow your HR professionals the time to concentrate on areas that need a human touch - employee relations, development and supporting management.
Get in touch today for a free consultation: firstname.lastname@example.org