Remember when we used to print out or CVs, put them into a file and run to an interview? That’s definitely not happening anymore. Nowadays, people apply for jobs on their smartphones whilst getting the bus to work. This automation journey in HR has varied between organisations as we moved to the cloud and adopted mobile services. Key HR activities, such as hiring, on-boarding and employee changes can now be done much faster and accurately. And, most importantly, employees are becoming an active part of this process.
With new technology, many companies have crystallised the existing HR processes, some of which were built for an earlier industrial era. But there’s one question we need to ask when re-thinking organisations and building new business models: are we automating in the right way?
Organisations are evolving to new models of people management focussed on employee empowerment, better decision-making using broader sources of evidence, use of behavioural science and the adoption of workplace technology. This is exciting and it presents a great opportunity to think differently about the way we work, embrace new technology and also think about our future careers in terms of what we’re really looking for in a working environment.
Where are the opportunities for automation in HR?
The move to the Cloud, or Software as a Service (SaaS), has been a step-change for HR, not because the functionality is much better, but because it has forced the standardisation of HR processes. Organisations who have moved to the cloud have seen around a 20% reduction in HR transactional work, according to analysts Bersin.
Also, In HR, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) technology is used to automate activities that are rule-based, repetitive and standardised. RPA can become a part of the ongoing automation of HR transactional activities, and the current usage will change or reduce with the adoption of better cloud based systems, simply because there will be less transactional work to do.
In general, Artificial Intelligence is becoming more and more used into this process even if this dynamic brings up a degree of difficulty on applying human qualities, aka Intelligence, to mere machines.
Are businesses really ready for this transaction?
Those companies that are ahead of the game have already started this automation process with great results. Not everyone though is ready to move straight into a full-processed automation dynamic, using robots for in depth analysis or general management for HR issues: AI is here and can help many side of the business, but it is often expensive and can be scary sometime. Many companies are looking for an intermediate step, something that could help them achieve results in the short-term but also set them ready to face the future with the right attitute.
Here, a mobile application is ideal to drive this transition. One of the many ways in which HR teams are approaching innovation is by adopting internal mobile apps and incorporating them into their daily tasks. These apps are bringing HR teams many benefits, such as flexibility and more efficient work processes. Mobile apps can bring many new opportunities to HR teams, make recruitment and training more efficient and help save time and increase productivity. And the benefits don’t end there, as apps offer HR teams the possibility of coming up with new, exciting and innovative use cases!
Before fully moving towards automating HR processes in their entirety, a mobile App can really help companies overcome everyday issues and make them ready for the next big step.
So, how should HR professionals face this process? Here are some tips!
- Embrace the new technology. Try it out and experiment in the workplace.
- Keep up to date with the latest trends.
- Work out what really drives employees at work and enable them to give their best day in and day out.
- Ask, what skills will be useful in the future, and how hungry for innovation is my company?
In conclusion, the biggest impact of automation on HR, will not be the technology we use to ‘do HR’, but the way technology is transforming our organisations and people management.
HR should seize the opportunity to learn new skills, rethink people management, lead the changes, and design the future!