An organization has far more than the assets that you may see in its financial disclosures. While the accounting mind sees a workforce as an expense item titled “Salaries and Compensation”, business leaders understand that the depth and diversity of talent in a workforce is a key ingredient for sustainable growth and success. Businesses like Google, Apple, and Amazon started out with unique ideas and business models that led to their current industry-leading positions, but the careful efforts they put into growth-aligned talent acquisition and human capital development have played just as big a role in their success.
Unfortunately, for most mid-sized and smaller commercial organizations, HR is usually not a core aspect of their business model. This often results in marked inefficiencies in HR processes. Thanks to recent advancements in AI and ML technology and their diverse use in businesses, a promising solution that improves the efficiency of HR functions while reducing costs is HR automation. This blog discusses automation and how can it benefit your organization in terms of HR efficiency, talent acquisition, workforce management, and more?
Automation is not a new concept. Many industries, particularly the automobile sector, have been automating manufacturing processes for years, using a mix of human workers and autonomous robots on the assembly line. It is commonly understood that automation helped the automobile industry drive down production costs, reduce redundancies, improve the efficiency of the assembly line, and maintain consistent quality for large-scale production.
All of these improvements directly resulted in making vehicles more abundantly available and more affordable than ever. Many of these automobile manufacturers have grown into global names, with customer bases in international automobile markets.
In this blog we examine the automation of certain HR processes as opposed to manufacturing or revenue-generating functions. While the process is entirely different, the principle of automation remains the same. Using a mix of humans and machines (in this case HR automated systems) to drive down talent acquisition costs and turnaround times, streamline processes, and manage human resources more efficiently. Here are just a few ways HR automation could prove to be beneficial to your business:
Improved HR Team Productivity and Efficiency
Automation doesn’t imply that you don’t need your HR personnel anymore. In real terms, the most benefit to your HR function comes with the synergy of both automated functions and human personnel. The automation aspect should focus on repetitive, time-consuming tasks that prevent HR from engaging in efforts to enrich and develop their existing workforce.
There is no denying that the process of acquiring talent uses up time, money, and effort, while still carrying a risk of employee turnover; that’s not to mention the countless other tasks related to workforce management that are essential for HR to guide the workforce towards long-term growth. An automated HR system that could inform your staffing agency of your most recent talent needs is fairly simple to acquire. But it offers even greater value in terms of time that HR personnel can now devote toward workforce management, increasing HR productivity and efficiency.
Focused Efforts to Maximize Your HR Intellectual Capital
The HR function is responsible for maximizing the intellectual capital of your organization. In simple terms, your intellectual capital is the accumulated knowledge, experience, and innovation across each member of your workforce. HR functions are often tasked with maximizing this capital because that directly translates into better talent in your workforce, which in turn is key to business sustainability and growth.
With less technical (but still important) processes automated, your HR personnel can now focus their efforts on increasing your intellectual capital. This can range from simpler things like training sessions and skill enrichment exercises to comprehensive changes in HR policies to better align talent strategies to a growing business.
Improved and Convenient Workforce Management Tools
Automated HR systems are usually purpose-built platforms that include many tools and features that HR personnel often find useful. An advantage that comes with digital information stored on a single system is that it is accessible to everyone using that system. HR personnel will not have to waste time searching for information on old applicants, tracking new hires, measuring performance appraisals, or even asking for employee feedback.
This is of particular importance in fields with a high risk of employee turnover, such as the mortgage industry. Not only can the system seamlessly inform your recruiting partners of talent needs in real-time, but they can also help you manage and nurture your existing workforce
Stronger Information Security and Fewer Errors
The HR function typically accumulates and deals with very sensitive data. From employee names, addresses, and insurance information to payroll details like compensation, bank accounts, and other confidential information. HR functions also work closely with third parties like mortgage recruiters, meaning they aren’t the only ones at risk of harm in case of a data breach. Businesses lose billions to data breaches and hacks.
Remember, business data is a very valuable asset, which means there are plenty of undesirable elements that would love to get their hands on them, causing you financial and reputational harm in the process. Losing your HR data could prove to be a catastrophe that you can easily avoid with automated HR systems. Since these systems typically house employee information and data at a unified source, it is much easier to protect than different standalone systems.
Added Agility to Talent Acquisition Needs
Reducing the timelines relating to sourcing, prepping, interviewing, and integrating candidates are always top priorities for HR functions. However, since the process is extensive, time-consuming, and often repetitive, many businesses prefer to outsource their talent acquisition to professional staffing firms. Some may even work with more than one staffing agency, depending on what sort of talent that agency has expertise in delivering. However, businesses are often faced with unexpected talent gaps in critical roles that could potentially impact core revenue generation.
As specialized talent like engineering is usually harder to find, this can potentially extend the turnaround time to find a replacement. An automated system, however, can be configured to inform your preferred engineering staffing agency of a need as soon as it arises. In essence, your recruitment efforts begin automatically as soon as the outgoing employee exits the role. Most HR systems can be configured to automatically supply key information to the recruiters as well, such as candidate personas, must-have skills, experience requirements, and proposed compensation for the role.