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Technology has transformed the way an organization functions and nurtures its human resources. Moreover, the challenges posed by the pandemic echoed the need for a highly digitized remote working environment to ensure business continuity and competitiveness. Human resource automation is a method of using software to automate and streamline repetitive and laborious HR Related tasks, aiding the HR department in managing personnel. In this Q&A session, we answer some frequently asked questions about HR automation and the trends driving the HR market in India.
What is Human Resource (HR) automation?
HR Automation is a process of using software to digitize and automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks including employee onboarding, payroll, timekeeping, and benefits administration to simplify HR processes. Cloud based HR SAAS platforms have transformed the HR function and played a pivotal role in bypassing the time and effort involved in maintaining physical paperwork in every-day HR processes earlier.
It would be fair to state that business is bound to take a hit If HR professionals in an organization spend more time on administrative work than utilizing their valuable skills in other consequential areas such as employee engagement, employee grievance redressal, workforce forecasting, talent acquisition, and updating HR policy as per ongoing regulatory changes, amongst others.
However, transitioning from manual HR systems to HR automation requires a certain level of expertise with the technology that is being integrated into organizational processes. The benefits of HR automation far outweigh the time, energy, and capital the organization will invest in the process.
Why should businesses invest in HR automation?
HR Automation directly results in enhancing the productivity of an organization’s HR Department. This is attained by maximizing efficiencies across several HR Related processes to reduce the administrative burden and minimize compliance costs. We have listed down some key benefits of HR Automation below:
- Enhanced efficiency and productivity
HR largely depends on document-driven processes, which when done manually, can be time-consuming, repetitive, and extremely inefficient. Automation of human resource functions can improve efficiency and productivity of an organization by automating such tedious tasks.
- Boosts cost savings
Automating the manual HR operations can help an organization save a substantial amount of capital in the long run. As information is stored online, the money that would previously be spent on paperwork and storage space would be eliminated.
- Simplifies HR processes
HR tech can greatly improve the employee experience in an organization. By automating all essential HR functions, the employees will be able to get their work done much faster. Since everything is automated from a single system, employees can find any information they need online.
- Reduced data errors
As an HR professional, one must deal with tons of employee data on a daily basis. Errors are sometimes inevitable when the data is managed manually. These errors can affect an organization on different levels, reducing the overall efficiency of its operations.
- Actionable insights
HR automation enables organizations to track, collect and analyse data of all kinds. This allows them to spot patterns and create reports on their findings. They can then use these insights to improve processes, correct any failures, and do more of what’s working across the business.
- Improved communication and collaboration
HR automation gives a clear overview of all the processes and stages involved. This helps everyone understand each other’s responsibilities, thereby improving overall communication and teamwork.
What manual processes can be automated in HR?
There is a broad spectrum of HR processes that can be automated to save time and boost productivity in an organization. Some of them are:
- Talent Acquisition
Recruiting is integral to the success of any organization, as it ensures one brings in the right talent and leadership for each available position. Many recruitment processes, like posting job ads and screening CVs — can be automated easily to save the organization considerable time and energy throughout the hiring process.
- Employee Onboarding
While employee onboarding is a crucial process of the HR function, it’s traditionally a time-consuming and paper-reliant process. Automation, however, allows HR teams to offer a more standardized experience for every hire, since it streamlines communication, improves efficiency, and eliminates mistakes that are characteristic of manual data entry.
- Learning & Development
Besides onboarding, training employees is critical to their success in achieving their individual goals, and the best way to approach employee training these days is through conversational technology based training sessions. Not only does it allow HR departments to digitize their training delivery, it also enables them to track the progress of individuals through data driven dashboards.
- Employee Exit Management
Automation can also simplify the process of managing employee exits from the organization through digitized files that will dissolve the employee’s payroll, benefits package, and follow retention schedules required to stay compliant.
- Leave Requests Management
Automation helps in syncing the employee information with payroll and human resources which helps in managing the workflow for any leave requests.
- Expense Claims Management
With HR automation, all mandatory fields and attachments for expense claims are easily created, leading to simplified expense claiming processes and functions, and easier approvals from various departments for expenses.
- Payroll Management
The advantages of automated payroll are manifold since automation can complete all types of payment functions — salaried and hourly wages, overtime, double-time, commissions, bonuses, raises, and more. Automating payroll simplifies tax filing as well, as this method maintains compliance with all relevant tax laws.
Is there a sustainable market for HR Technology in India?
The Indian HR Tech market is primarily being driven by the widespread adoption of contactless hiring solutions in organizations. The overall market size of HR technology in India was around 1.1 billion dollars in 2021.
Various technological advancements, such as the integration of artificial intelligence (AI), big data, cloud computing, and augmented reality (AR) solutions for remote hiring and the management of employees, provide the thrust to market growth.
Other factors, including rapid digitization and the adoption of work from home, and hybrid working models, are projected to have a positive impact on the HR Technology market growth.
What are the top HR tech trends in India in 2022?
- Permanent switch to hybrid and remote working teams
Hybrid work schedules, meaning a mix of work from home/anywhere and work from office, are likely becoming the norm. Applications, such as employee self-service (ESS) portals are becoming more important than ever. This evolution of working models will also have greater reliance on cloud-based systems for day-to-day administration work. Remote candidate screening and onboarding will also become a routine part of the job.
- HR to play a vital role in cybersecurity
With increased digitization and remote work, the threat of cybersecurity is ubiquitous. Around 55 percent of people working remotely have experienced a cybersecurity issue over the past year, with phishing and malware being the most common areas of concern. HR professionals working remotely, who are handling confidential employee data, are at a greater risk of hacking.
It is imperative that HR teams follow strict security protocols when working from home.
- AI’s role in recruitment
For HR professionals, one of the main applications of AI is in candidate screening. Application tracking system (ATS) platforms use AI to screen resumes, and automated chatbots can handle routine questions from applicants.
- Augmented analytics in HR
HR professionals are increasingly resorting to augmented analytics trends to deal with HR data. HR analytics provides data-driven insights on workforce analytics and talent analytics to enhance business performance and make strategic business decisions based on these metrics.
- Inclusive and accessible work culture
Technology enables the organization to provide a more inclusive workplace. Accessibility driven tools provide opportunities for businesses to focus on larger markets and help enhance the employee work experience. These hands-free features provide users with mobility challenges, an easier option to access technology. By eliminating barriers in technology, organizations could render an all-inclusive employee experience across all their products and solutions.
- Freelance economy
Associated with the ongoing shift to the gig economy, freelance staff work for an organization but with relative mobility, independence, and away from the nine-to-five work hour systems. This requires technology aided solutions like round-the-clock accessibility where performance is assessed typically on outcomes and linked to project management deadlines.
- Employee wellness
Employee wellness is as essential as employee performance for high productivity. HR leaders are increasingly focusing on employee wellness, health, and education to facilitate high engagement, quality, and productivity. This is particularly relevant in the post-Covid era where employees have had to contend with multiple uncertainties and challenges, such as communication gaps, lack of motivation, training, and more.
Some excerpts in this Q&A sheet have been taken from our business guide on “Human Resources and Payroll in India 2022” that has recently been released by our publishing subsidiary, India Briefing.
The guide focuses on India’s laws and regulations and provides operational intelligence related to HR and payroll management. This guide is essential for foreign investors who want to establish or are already invested in the Indian business ecosystem, as well as for local managers and HR professionals who may need to explain complex terms from India’s labour policies.
The guide is available on demand and can be downloaded here: Human Resources and Payroll in India 2022
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