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!

Here’s our list of the ten top HR automations that let you work smarter – so you can spend less time on paperwork, and more on the work you want to do.

Absence Approvals

Probably the most the most popular HR automation of all is in absence management. 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 not only helps streamlines requests and approvals, but can trigger related activities, such as chasing up on overdue fit to work notes.

Holiday Entitlements

If you are 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.

Performance Reviews

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 human resources management systems, frees up time, provides invaluable information and encourages a focus on achieving performance objectives.

Employee Documentation

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!

Job Vacancies

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.

Candidate Selection

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 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.
Automation 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.

Employee Collaboration

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.

Organisation Charts

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.

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.

What are the other areas where automation could – or is – making a difference for you?