Which core HR Systems and processes can be integrated and automated?
Most organisations have several systems to manage their various HR processes, which typically fall outside the core HR system. These cover essential elements of managing your people, from recruitment to talent management, performance management, onboarding and offboarding (to name a few).
As ideal as these complementary systems may be, they can make HR's life more complex from a data management and reporting perspective – having to locate the data, replicate, transfer it and analyse it.
Being reliant on manual and error-prone data capture and management and not taking advantage of automated business processes is not sustainable. Furthermore, efficiency is clearly lost by not automating repetitive and laborious tasks. This is where HR Automation (also known as systems integrations) can make HR's life easier - more streamlined, and efficient by removing manual, repetitive but essential tasks and enabling your HR team to focus on the more value-added aspects of their role, increase data quality and the speed of data transfer (real-time) and improve confidence in reports.
Operating and maintaining disparate systems requires the training of your team on the various systems, along with multiple logins and entering information numerous times to maintain consistency - all of which results in higher costs. Additionally, there is a complete lack of visibility regarding numbers, tracking, and analytics, and manual reporting becomes a requisite. However, with a single point of entry, not only is your information consistent and accurate, but it's also more efficient and helps with compliance. Integrating your HRIS with the other key systems within your organisation also provides you with real-time metrics on your workforce.
What are the key benefits?
Manual data input (such as verifying timesheets, calculating payroll and checking leave balances) leaves data open to errors, especially if input is required in more than one system. Once set up, automation does it perfectly, without any errors. The improvement of HR and business processes will also result in higher productivity due to faster processing times and data sharing.
System integration will increase access to the most accurate and up-to-date information, make compliance and audits easier, and reduce the risk of non-compliance or policy violations. Additionally, automation enhances security and information governance and mitigates the risk of unauthorised access.
Once processes are automated, the end-users won't have to key the same data in two or more systems, which enhances their user experience of the various systems. HR managers can leverage metrics and data analysis to gain insight into workloads and operations from multiple data sources to make informed decisions and collaborate more effectively with other business units through the transparent sharing of accurate data. In addition, there will be more time to analyse HR data to make informed business decisions with insightful reports.
Having visibility of your workforce and access to key data analytics is no longer a nice to have. Instead, it has become a necessity The time saved through automation can then be redirected to engaging employees and driving higher-value initiatives and strategy, providing consistency and compliance throughout the employee lifecycle. The resultant heighten employee engagement will lower employee turnover rates due to higher satisfaction with timeliness and accuracy.
Juggling the needs of employees and being receptive to their demands, whilst delivering on your strategic human capital management decisions, is a constant challenge. HR Automation will enhance and enable efficient collaboration across multiple teams within your organisation, with HR being able to manage employee requests more efficiently while keeping the human touch. In addition, HR Automation enables you to scale and automate your HR operations, providing you with the ability to:
Support employees on any channel
- Automate your admin and support employees where and when they need it
- Give your people a single point of contact right in their favourite communication tool.
- Offer fast support and regular updates
- Let a chatbot answer common questions
- Negate the need for multiple passwords and enable Single Sign On (SSO)
- Make knowledge accessible
- Build your knowledge base
- Make it easy to find the right resource
- Turn any response into a help article
- Reporting and insights
- Create transparency and optimise your team's processes with data.
- Track service levels over time
- Identify request trends
Manage all processes and requests on a unified platform
- Create a unified workspace for all your policies, processes, and employee requests.
- Assign, prioritise and track requests
- Keep track of projects across teams
- Work smarter with custom views
So, you may ask, what areas of the business can benefit from being integrated? The answer is most (if not all), but below we have highlighted some of the most common HR functions that easily lend themselves to being automated:
HR Systems that can be easily integrated and automated
Recruitment is typically the starting point of an employee's lifecycle. It involves many tasks (from finding the right candidates, screening them, and going through the entire onboarding process) and takes considerable time and effort. Automating your key recruitment tasks, from applicant tracking and job search functionality to interview scheduling and email integration, takes the pain out of recruiting and provides you with a streamlined and efficient process.
Job candidates have a painful experience if HR doesn't follow up with them regularly. But, of course, that's easier said than done. HR staff are swamped with many other tasks, making them unknowingly forget or miss out on getting back to candidates. This is a bad hiring experience, which can reflect badly on the company.
New applicants are often sourced using third-party Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), such as TalosATS, job boards and search/recruitment firms, which perform many of these tasks (and more). Other activities such as psychometric testing, assessment centres, or background checks may form part of the recruitment process. These could be managed through standalone systems such as Sova or Sterling background checks or involve checking third party websites such as the Right to Work website. Still, once the preferred candidate has been selected, their details are often manually loaded onto the HR or onboarding system to trigger the onboarding process. As a result, there is a risk of data being incorrectly loaded, not being captured at all or not captured in a timely manner.
HR Automation can negate all these risks and ensure that all candidate data is seamlessly transferred from one system to the relevant system without the need for double entry.
Additionally, with streamlined hiring processes, HR managers can increase an organisation's engagement with candidates and facilitate faster onboarding—creating a better overall recruiting and hiring process for everyone involved. Organisational growth will also be supported through efficient hiring at optimal operation costs.
2. Employee Onboarding
How HR handles onboarding, in particular, how responsive, flexible, efficient, and personal it is, has a significant impact on helping HR deliver an employee experience that attracts and retains top talent. Handled correctly, onboarding provides the foundation for a productive relationship. A survey by Glassdoor found that great onboarding programs can increase staff retention rates by as much as 82%.
HR automation can dramatically reduce the administrative burden of onboarding employees on HR by enabling the creation of automatic notifications and approval workflows, collecting electronically signed forms and generating official PDF documents, and having devices delivered to new employees quickly without unnecessary delays.
Additionally, new hires can be onboarded far more quickly, without wasting time on their first day trying to get set up and gain access to the systems and applications required to fulfil their roles! With HR process automation, new hires can be granted access to systems and applications automatically based on predetermined criteria.
With the need to retain talent, including new employees, the ability to make this process as painless and easy as possible sets a good impression from the outset and supports the enhancement of a positive employee experience.
3. Performance Management and compensation management
These dynamic HR processes align the employees' activities with the company's objectives and budgets. Automating performance and compensation management systems enables HR to streamline the process and ensure the company has access to the resultant data to determine payroll changes, training requirements, disciplinary action, or termination. HR can also track these performance records and compensation changes and give managers access to add notes, prepare for performance reviews, and ensure objectives are met.
Furthermore, HR Automation can also save the time required to evaluate employees, reduce the length of the employee performance management process cycle by making it more efficient and improve the workflow between supervisors, employees and HR. This all leads to increased efficiency, manager and employee participation, and 'on time' completion rates.
HR automation can simplify the payroll process by automatically transferring the relevant source data to a payroll system, streamlining payments, and making data much easier to find. HR & payroll automation is also excellent at reducing the margin for human error and improving consistency throughout organisational procedures. Without payroll and HR automation, these routine tasks would take much longer to complete, especially if you have a large number of employees
Transforming payroll using digital tools can also help elevate the overall employee experience. With the ability to view and download pertinent payroll-related information, employees can gain greater insight into their pay and deductions without submitting a formal request to payroll or HR teams.
Companies that use specialist software to manage their payroll will benefit further by integrating their payroll system with the company's HR System. Setting up this integration will ensure the relevant data is shared with the payroll systems securely and in a timely manner and will provide HR with the peace of mind that employees are paid correctly and on time.
Aside from calculating pay, deductions and benefits, there are further opportunities to automate within the payroll department to help reduce the number of manual processes your in-house payroll and HR teams undertake. Although payroll solutions will meet the HMRC requirements for RTI (Real Time Information), most do not automatically sync to pension providers.
According to a recent payroll industry report, just under half (44%) of UK payroll managers rank pension management and auto-enrolment within their top three primary challenges. This clearly reflects the extra work involved with managing compliance, contributions, data transfers, opt-outs and legal communications to employees. Through automation, you can seamlessly connect your payroll solution to your pension provider, reducing the manual payroll-to-pension administration, create an audit trail for your pension data submissions and effectively and efficiently keep on top of payments, opt outs and other employee changes.
5. Employee Absence
Managing and tracking leave requests for holidays, sickness, and other reasons can be automated, ensuring the employee's leave allowances are checked and updated, approved by management, and recorded for payroll calculations. If using a separate system to manage absence, HR automation will also ensure that all relevant data (employees, terms and conditions) is shared with the relevant systems such as payroll, time and attendance systems.
6. Employee Benefits
Often employees have little insight into the types of benefits available to them, and even then, their needs can change over time due to life-changing events and circumstances.
By setting up HR Automation, employees can be informed of relevant benefits, especially when they experience a change in circumstances. Areas that can be easily automated include benefit eligibility, education and training, enrolment, onboarding and modification for life-changing events (such as a marriage, divorce, move, a new child, or a new health issue).
Additionally, most companies often use third-party suppliers and/or systems to manage employee benefits. To keep benefits systems and providers up to date with employee benefits uptake and changes, HR automation can ensure that the relevant data is shared based on criteria set up to trigger the flow of information.
7. Learning Management Systems (LMS)
To ensure that an employee's learning and development needs are met and properly tracked and recorded, it is essential that your LMS can share data between your HR System and other core business applications through system integration and HR Automation, enabling certain tasks to be automated and provide the organisation with integrated reporting.
The majority of an employee's training requirements are determined either by their role or by development needs identified during a performance management review. Additionally, some companies are now taking an inward view of their people and identifying those that can be upskilled rather than recruiting talent externally. This information can be sent to the LMS using HR automation. The same process can be set up to transfer results and certification back to the HR system once the training has been completed.
Integrating your LMS with your HR System will lower the risk of inaccurate user data, reduce redundant data, improve resource allocation, and provide personalised, targeted online training. Additionally, it will help to identify trends and top talent, provide more effective online training analytics and improve online training ROI.
8. Employee Offboarding
Employee Offboarding is a critical process that cannot be overlooked. Not only is it essential that the company is protected, but it is also important to leave a good impression on your former employee, especially when considering the impact a negative experience can have on the company's reputation.
Manual offboarding is time-consuming and brings with it potential risks of not covering all aspects relevant to an employee exiting the company and failing to protect the company from a compliance and security perspective. HR automation can reduce the administrative burden of offboarding and ensure that the company is not exposed to any unnecessary security or compliance risks. This includes:
- uploading documents electronically,
- scheduling exit interviews,
- updating personal information,
- ensuring payroll has the correct information for final payment to the employee,
- creating requests for company equipment to be returned,
- removing access to applications and systems on a date of your choice
- and removing the employee from the company directory on their last day (to ensure it remains up to date).
Starting your Automation Journey
As you identify opportunities for HR automation, remember that automation is not a means to an end. HR will always be about the people, and automation technology should serve those people, not replace them. As such, not every aspect of HR can or should be automated; instead, automation should help HR professionals find and retain more talented individuals, collaborate with the organisation and spend more time evaluating their workforce.
Before you spend more resources hiring additional employees to manage your HR tasks, think about automation for your HR processes. As organisations continue to move at breakneck speed, there's no reason to compete at a snail's pace using manual processes. With Tugela People's HR Automation products and services, and unparalleled support, you could be on your way to a streamlined and optimised HR department.