At Back, we look at HR automation first and foremost as a tool to positively shape the employee experience. Whether it’s the employee who now has a frictionless experience or the HR team member who can make time for the work they’re passionate about. But there are compliance and cost benefits that would be worth it alone.
Before we examine the benefits of automating HR for you and your organization, let’s take a look at the cost of not automating.
The cost of manual HR processes
Manual processes and a lack of HR automation can have a negative ripple effect on a business. According to a Harris Poll & CareerBuilder study, HR managers who do not fully automate say manual processes have led to:
- Lower productivity: 41%
- More errors: 40%
- Higher costs: 35%
- Poor candidate experience: 18%
- Poor employee experience: 17%
- Less engagement: 17%
- Poor hiring manager experience: 11%
Reduced time and costs
As with any type of automation, time and cost savings are among the most imminent benefits of automating HR. In addition to the 35% cost savings from the study mentioned above, you can just look at the time you and our team members currently spend on administrative tasks.
A Kienbaum study found that 39% of HR’s time on admin work. So reducing the time spent on admin work by just 50 – 70% would already free up your schedule quite noticeably. And that’s time you could be investing in the optimization of inefficient processes, which in turn saves your organization even more money. It’s a virtuous cycle!
The less automation you have in place today, the more impressive the time and cost savings will be. But even if you’re not starting at zero, pushing for more HR automation will almost certainly be ROI-positive.
Increased fairness and compliance
Without automation, employees are inevitably treated inconsistently. You may have robust guidelines, but it’s easy to miss a step here and make an exception there.
Say an employee wants to take a sabbatical leave and gets approval immediately after sending out a quick informal email. Three months later, another employee with the same request has to fill in a long form and ask two senior colleagues for approval. The result: the second employee feels treated unfairly, or outright discriminated against. Automating the sabbatical request process would ensure every employee follows the same process.
Automating key HR processes also helps you stay compliant with labor law and other local regulations. A process that runs automatically is by nature clearly defined and traceable, so you don’t have to worry about missing a step that your team or individual HR employees may be liable for.
Improved employee experience
There’s a misconception that employees crave direct, face-to-face communication whenever they need something from HR. But the reality is much more nuanced. Sure, personal contact is unrivaled for some complex or emotional topics. Bur for the vast majority of tasks, all employees care about is speed and convenience.
Imagine you had to talk to a person whenever you order an item online or want to track your package. All the major e-commerce platforms make it easy to interact with them without the need for direct contact. On the contrary, if you’re about to make a major purchase, you might be after the personal consultation you get at a local store.
Personal contact is about having the right kind of conversations, not about forcing employees to talk to you for every little question or request.
Reaping the benefits of automating HR
What’s great about upping your HR automation game is that you will see results really fast. With every task or touchpoint you automate, the experience for you and your people will become a bit more efficient, consistent, and enjoyable.
Why not start with giving employees automated self-service support via a smart chatbot in Slack or Microsoft Teams? You can do this and much more in our HR automation platform Back.