I imagine I’m not the only one who resents spending time on manual repetitive tasks. Activities that can’t be ignored, but aren’t really adding value either.
It’s not just bad for my personal sanity, but for business too! Completing dull, repetitive tasks can be the bane of many HR professionals lives; reducing the productivity of an HR team and harming the overall employee experience.
However, it doesn’t have to be that way. By embracing digital transformations and using automation tools, those tiresome repetitive tasks can be banished forever.
So without further ado, here’s our list of the ten top automation tools for HR that let you work smarter – so you can spend less time on paperwork, and more on the work you want to do.
Probably the most the most popular automation tools for HR is for managing absences effectively. Even if responsibility for checking and approving holiday requests or sick leave notifications is with the line manager, manual processes are rarely efficient for HR — or anyone else involved.
Automation tools not only help streamline requests and approvals, but can trigger related activities, such as chasing up on overdue fit to work notes. You can learn more about how HR software helps manage absences successfully across a business by downloading our free guide here.
If you’re having to reach for your calculator or a spreadsheet to figure out how much time off each of your employees is due, there is definitely a better way.
An HR system should do the maths for you, and keep the information up to date, so employees and their line managers never have to ask you for their entitlements again. Also, it should help make the business of managing planned absences easier and more straight forward for everyone. Take this real-world example from innovative legal practice BPE Solicitors:
“The ability to go onto Cezanne HR and look at who’s had holiday or how much holiday has been taken across the entire organisation is very useful for planning and tracking. Also, as a law firm, it helps us with logistics. Line managers can project and plan resource and capacity in their teams, identifying who’s available to do the work. We can now better forecast when people will take time off and plan workloads accordingly.”
Sending out and chasing up performance appraisal forms can be a major HR headache. It ties up a lot of time and, since the data is hard to collate, rarely deliver the insight HR can benefit from, or performance improvements the business anticipates.
Automating the flow of forms to the right people at the right time, and gathering all the information in a modern HRIS platform, frees up time, provides invaluable information and encourages a focus on achieving performance objectives.
HR is responsible for ensuring that employees receive a host of important documents and emails, from job offers to confirmation of promotions, or pay rises. All of which take HR time to put together and send out. According to research by IDC, as much as 30%.
Using an HR system that automatically generates, sends and stores personalised documents and emails (using the data you already have), not only saves you time, but means you don’t need to do the filing either!
To give an example, new joiner checklists can be invaluable when onboarding new employees. But, if you have to rely on a manual approach involving disconnected paper-based processes, it can be both time-consuming and a potential headache to manage effectively – especially if you’re onboarding large numbers of new starters!
Automated checklists can make this entire process much more streamlined and efficient for both HR and new joiners. Here’s a real-world example of how the automated checklists that come as part of Cezanne HR’s integrated onboarding module have helped an HR team…
“Before we had Cezanne HR, our new starter process was just checklist, upon checklist, upon checklist… and then we had people forgetting to complete the checklists so the onboarding process was quite disorganised. The Onboarding module has streamlined and simplified all our new starter actions and the feedback from new hires has been really positive. It sets a great first impression of the Company.”
You can read the full success story here.
If you ever publish vacancies online, you know how challenging it is to keep listings up to date on more than a handful of job boards. Even publishing vacancies on your own website can be far from straightforward.
Modern recruitment systems are designed to give you a hand. You write the job description, then tell the software when and where to post it. The software will ensure vacancies are published – and removed – on the dates you specify.
Many recruitment systems already have links to the main job boards, and hooking up with your website should be relatively straight forward too.
Manually sifting through job applications, and progressing applicants through your selection process can be frustratingly time-consuming. If you have to compete for candidates, delays during any part of the process, isn’t good news.
Automation tools for HR can do a lot to help, from qualifying out applicants that don’t meet your core criteria, to involving line managers in CV reviews and triggering the relevant emails to candidates.
Every company has activities that it needs to stay on top of, such as the end of a probationary period, or visa, or mandatory training renewal.
Of course, automation tools for HR can’t guarantee that the people involved actually do what’s needed. However, it can trigger a reminder, flag up activity in their task or to do list – and alert HR so they can provide a nudge if required.
Keeping employees in touch with each other, and with what’s happening across the business, is a tried and trusted way to improve engagement – which can lead to better retention and higher levels of performance.
Some of the modern systems provides forum-like functionality, where employees can be encouraged to post news, ask questions and share experiences. Add to this automatic emails notifications, and you’ve instantly got a way to ensure that everyone is up to speed with the latest news, without you having to do a thing.
If HR data is fragmented in different systems or spreadsheets across the business, effective reporting is never going to be easy. Bring all that information together in a single HR system, that’s designed to help you slice and dice HR data, and reporting gets a whole lot simpler.
Instead of spending days or weeks updating and collating information from multiple spreadsheets, you’ll have graphical dashboards at your finger tips. And, rather than have to drop everything to build ad hoc reports for managers, they’ll be able to run their own queries.
Org charts are an invaluable tool for inductions and workforce planning – but a real pain in the neck to keep up to date.
An HR system should be able to make use of the data you already have to dynamically create organisation charts ‘on demand’ so it’s easy for employees to see where they, and everyone else fit in. Some go even further by mapping other data, such as demographics or absence, so it’s easier for HR to see if there is a particular issue in one part of the business.
Take this real-world example of automated organisation charts in action:
“Now our organisation chart is done through the Cezanne HR system, it’s always live and in ‘real time’. We have a more accurate picture of our workforce now, and we don’t need to be constantly updating a spreadsheet all the time. Any changes we make for employees in the [Cezanne HR] system are picked up, and the information contained within the org chart updates automatically.”
So, next time you feel bogged down by HR admin, why not get in touch? We’d be happy to show you how easily you can free yourself from the most tedious and time-consuming activities – and focus on what you really want to do.
Kim Holdroyd has an MSc in HRM and is passionate about all things HR and people operations, specialising in the employee life cycle, company culture, and employee empowerment. Her career background has been spent with various industries, including technology start-ups, gaming software, and recruitment.