The role of RPA in HR: Definition, Benefits, Use Cases & Case Studies
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The HR process has always been one of the most time-consuming and resource-hungry parts of an organization. As organizations tend to grow exponentially after the breakthrough period, keeping pace with the organization’s development becomes the biggest challenge. And this is especially true in the case of HR teams.
However, the road toward creating a more engaging world of work is nowhere with the introduction of RPA in HR. As RPA is now doing more and more manual work, it leaves room for HR teams to pursue and work on high-value work that can elevate the business to the next level.
The first challenge of the implantation of RPA is the lack of clarity. As mainstream business processes are not designed to implement RPA mind, “41% of companies tend not to switch to RPA because of a lack of clarity in the business process.”
However, once someone breaks that barrier and starts switching to RPA, the result speaks for itself. According to Deloitte Global RPA Survey, “78% of the company that has already implemented RPA is expected to increase their investment in RPA significantly for the next three years”.
What is Robotic Process Automation in Human Resources?
The RPA industry was already blooming and growing significantly every year. In 2021 alone, a lot of industries adopted RPA to leverage its power. The leading industry to include Robotic process automation in their growth plan was the manufacturing industry, with a percentage of 35%. It was followed by,
- Tech industry (31%).
- Healthcare industry (10%).
- Retail industry (8%).
- Finance industry (8%).
- Public sector (5%).
- Education industry (3%).
But with the introduction of RPA for human resources, more and more industries are now being inclined to adopt RPA in their business plan.
The HR team has to tackle a lot of day-to-day administrative and operational tasks that can easily take advantage of HR automation. By letting the bots do the non-decision-based work, the human resources department gets a lot of free time and resources to tackle other aspects of the company. They can now also be more productive by spending their office hours on face-to-face time with employees to solve various issues.
What drives organizations to automate HR processes?
One of the biggest challenges of HR work is the sheer amount of input error, regardless of how careful everyone is. As the end goal of Human resources is to work with humans, it brings up various forms of manual error. As a result, this can significantly harm the transaction quality, efficacy of business processes, and accuracy of the overall decision-making processes.
However, the drive to automate HR processes does not end there. As companies tend to grow over the years, more digital records like W-2 forms and performance evaluations are being managed, reported, and analyzed every single day. Managing so many records according to the specific requirement quickly becomes a resource hog.
This, as a result, hinders the performance of HR professionals greatly. Most HR departments depend a lot on various document-driven processes. The more document there are, the more time-consuming and repetitive the process becomes. And truth be told, the rate of completion of tasks slowly falls as the number of repetitive tasks increases.
However, this kind of lot efficiency is not the only type of challenge companies have to face. Ding repetitive and monotonous tasks eventually lead to a higher rate of error. Errors in tasks like payroll calculation, checking leaves, and timesheet verification can be detrimental to the business. On the other hand, automation technology can easily do all of these without any error or loss of efficiency.
Things get even more severe when it is related to new candidates in the companies. Those who are new to your office culture will have one of the worst experiences if HR is not able to follow up with them on a regular basis. However, if HR is overwhelmed with the sheer amount of record handling, they will not be able to get back to the new candidate.
And even if they are hired, they will have a bitter experience with their new company.
With all these problems along with all the benefits Automating HR brings to the tables, all organizations are now opting for this solution. From employee onboarding to maintaining timesheets, leave requests, and performance management, RPA in HR streamlines every process. This leaves more room for HR professionals to focus on things that will help the company grow.
Benefits of RPA in HR and Payroll
The HR department is the backbone of any organization regarding workplace environment and employee support. As companies are going through a digital transformation, the sheer volume of digital records that HR has to manage is increasing by a massive amount.
With so many records being processed, HR professionals are prone to either get slowed down or make human errors, which is inevitable. With RPA in the mix, we can now counter this human error and automate all the manual processes.
RPA in HR is the integration of software bots that can take one recurring instruction-based task and do that by high volume without any errors. As long as the data that is coming in is free of error, it is only a matter of seconds before the RPA bots manage them according to the set of instructions given.
RPA in HR offers a massive potential to revolutionize the modern-day HR industry to the next level. From offering better efficiency to a more significant ROI, RPA is becoming the go-to for both small-scale and large companies.
Moreover, RPA for human resources can work in the background without needing any attention from the employees. Listed below are some of the most noteworthy benefits of RPA in HR and Payroll.
The first and biggest benefit of using RPA in HR is significant productivity improvement. The repetitive tasks that would previously take HR experts hours can now be done in a few seconds through the latest automation technology.
According to research done by EY, HR employees spend 93 percent of their time in the office on mundane and repetitive tasks. It also shows that over 60% of those tasks can be done through robotic process automation.
Utilizing RPA opens up more room for employees to do other high-value decision-based tasks and contribute to the company’s growth. This, in the grand scheme of things, increases productivity drastically.
Another big challenge in modern-day companies is being able to provide a consistent level of work. Without consistency in the workforce, the annual projection of the company can be all over the place.
Repetitive, easy tasks might seem like a simple process to get done. But the monotonous work process eventually makes HR professionals lose interest in work. This can lead to inconsistent outcomes over a long period of time.
On the other hand, PRA will streamline the work process and take care of all the repetitive tasks. This enables HR employees to provide a consistent level of work each day. Moreover, as the Process will be done by bots, there will be little to no error in the performance. This removes any form of variation in the output and offers a consistent result through the operation.
RPA follows a procedure that is preprogrammed by the organization. As the needs of the organization change, the RPA solution can be programmed again according to the specific requirements. This offers a whole new degree of flexibility that can not be found anywhere else.
Moreover, The RPA can be scaled up or even scaled down according to the demand. And as there is no need to keep the system down while scaling, it removes downtime from the equation. This makes scaling easier than ever.
If there is anything about RPA in HR and Payroll that can not be replicated, then it would be the unparalleled level of work accuracy. Due to its pre-coded technology, everything an RPA bot will do is guaranteed to be accurate.
In case there is any inconsistency with the output, then it will be a problem with the input itself, not with the process done by RPA. Moreover, automation bots can be pre-programmed to reject inconsistent input data to make the overall process even more accurate.
This level of accuracy removes the need to double-check the output on every process. As a result, organizational employees get more time to focus on high-value tasks and leave the rest of the repetitive tasks to RPA without any worry.
With RPA, there will be no need for anyone to intervene with the repetitive process. That means automation bots do not have to take any leave of absence, do not get tired, nor do have any downtime. Moreover, they provide highly accurate every time they process new data.
This reliability offers HR and Payroll professionals a worry-free work experience.
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Use Cases – RPA in Human Resources
RPA for human resources offers a lot of use cases that streamline the work process. It enables the HR team to take on and manage a large volume of administrative processes without having to hire new employees. Below are some of the most common and practical use cases for RAP in human resources.
CV Screening & Shortlisting Candidates
When a new job is posted on social media or any other relevant job site, an overwhelming amount of applications pile up. Sorting through these CVs, adjusting the data, and screening them usually take up a massive amount of time for the HR department.
Even the most straightforward hiring process can sometimes take up to two or three days. However, through the use of RPA technology, we can get hands-on all the data from the resume and do various data verification in a few clicks. We can also shortlist the candidates according to our preferred metrics and find the best talents without breaking a sweat.
This saves a lot of time and energy from the recruiter’s end. It also ensures an enhanced hiring process that helps the company find the best match with minimum effort.
RPA bots can easily be programmed to automate the whole onboarding process. From delivering the digital offer letter to sending a guideline for orientation, HR automation can do it all.
After bots do the resume screening on your behalf and shortlist the candidate, you can easily choose who you want as a part of your company. Once decided, the bots can then email them their offer letter, policy document, and any other recruiter file needed for hassle-free onboarding.
Employee Data Management
Employee data management is another big part of HR automation. In most companies globally, the HR team is usually responsible for handling all forms of employee data, including compliance, Hiring, Payroll, Applicant information, current employees’ information, etc.
Manual handling and storage of these data takes a great chunk of the working hours. This is where data management from RPA comes into play.
This technology allows users to automate all of the data management processes and free up HR professionals to do other high-value tasks. More importantly, employee data management by RPA ensures there is no error regarding reading, synching, or copying data.
This low error chance also helps the company reduce the time spent on data troubleshooting.
Payroll processing is the perfect example of repetitive tasks. That being said, it is also one of the most important parts of a company, regardless of the industry, it is based in.
Payroll accounting and processing involves a massive amount of data entry tasks, which are prone to human error. RPA streamlines this process and reduces the completion time of this task by a great amount. Due to this quick calculation and data handling, Employees can now get paid in time. This also increases job satisfaction levels and loyalty toward the company.
One of the HR team’s biggest challenges is in the expense management section. A company has a lot of expenses regarding various small-scale things. It becomes very tricky and stressful to properly manage the payments due to poor visibility of expense data, missing receipts, or delayed spending.
Using Robotic process automation in human resources, the claim process and approval can easily be automated for a hassle-free experience.
Maintaining Compliance with the Organization
In the dynamics of ever-changing labor law, it becomes very difficult for HR teams to adapt and change the work structures regularly. But now, HR teams can leverage the power of RPA and make sure to quickly adapt and maintain all the compliance regulations regarding safety, health, and welfare. Moreover, automation enables HR to create compliance reports for the organization effortlessly.
Employee Exit Management
Similar to onboarding, the responsibility to handle all the exit procedures falls under the should of HR. They have to make sure that the exit procedure or off-boarding of the present employees goes smoothly and in an excellent manner.
This is where many companies leverage the power of automation. RPA can automate all the manual processes, including payoff, System access revocation, emailing exit documents, and notification. This, as a result, creates a great office culture and good word of mouth for the company.
Employee Induction and Training
Whenever a company hires new people or welcomes a brand new project, proper training of the existing employees becomes vital. In the previous era, HR had to go through the employee’s files to ensure they could fulfill the project requirement.
But RPA can now check what certification or expertise is needed for the completion of the project. It can also automate the process of reviewing which employee is eligible for the project at hand and who needs to be trained.
According to the 2020 workplace report, 44% of young employees appreciate if their company is appreciative of their training. And RPA can make it easier for the company to sort out those who have been training to excel in their particular field.
Most performance management tasks require the HR team to gather valuable data from various surveys and performance indicators. Not only that, but they also have to create a report using these complex sets of data. It can take significant time to make these reports, mainly due to how long the performance data accusation process is.
But with RPA, bots can now do all the work on your behalf and take care of all the data capturing and report creation. They can also be programmed to do this at e specific frequency to set up a consistent evaluation strategy.
Calculation of Shift Allowance
In international companies, employees are usually offered a shift allowance. As many workers work in various time zones, the calculation of this shift allowance can become very complex. This is generally calculated by the time the employees log in and log out of various HR systems. However, the maintenance of this data in manuals can cause multiple errors due to the complexities of datasheets.
RPA, on the other hand, can automatically read and store log-in data from multiple HR backend systems and calculate the shift allowance effortlessly. This results in a streamlined process with zero errors.
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Best Practices for Robotic Process Automation in HR
RPA for human resources has the power to elevate your company to the next level by increasing efficiency and productivity. But this is only possible if it follows some of the best practices.
Listed below are some of the best practices for RPA human resources.
Developing a well-defined shared services model
In order to appropriately streamline all the HR processes, you need to have a precise and well-defined service model. This includes a centralized shared server location easily accessed and used for data storage.
With the implementation of RPA through this well-defined service model, you will be able to Simplify Onboarding, Employee Data Management, Payroll Processing, Expense Management, and much more.
Starting with selected processes best suited for the targeted result
With the power of RPA for human resources, it might be tempting to implement it in every sector you may find. Even though that will provide you with the best ROI, sometimes it is not considered the best practice. It is because utilizing RPA on almost every process can cause severe mayhem and chaos.
Instead, the goal is to start with HR processes that are best suited to utilize automation. Here are some of the traits that ideal HR processes should have.
- Well documentation and top-notch stability.
- consistent input for lower intervention and predictable operational cost.
- A high number of processes for the best ROI.
Collaboration from leadership and stakeholders
In order to maximize the chance of RPA in HR to succeed, you need the power of collaboration on your side. That means you need support from the stakeholders, leadership, and all the departments involved.
Try getting regular feedback from everyone so you can plan and adjust your automation process. Moreover, involve everyone who this new technology will impact in the RPA strategy meeting. When it comes to the implementation of process automation, Teamwork is the key.
Set expectations and ROI goals
RPA is only successful if it has a set expression during implementation. To maximize return on investment, you must make sure you have a clear expectation of return. Defining the goal before the implantation will make sure you can create the best strategy for success.
Training all your HR staff, stakeholders, leadership, and users on the RPA capabilities and their individual responsibilities
It is essential to ensure everyone involved in the RPA is aware of its capabilities. They should also know their responsibility to ensure the process is as effective as possible.
This will help the HR professionals work with higher productivity without worrying about queries regarding RPA. Allowing everyone to know about automation capabilities will also help set realistic expectations.
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Does RPA Displace HR Jobs?
Robotic process automation has already replaced various jobs. With the improvement of the latest automation technology, there will continue to replace more job holders in multiple positions.
According to research done by saviom, there are around 12 jobs that AI and automation are likely to replace in the near future. Some of the potential jobs that will be replaced are,
- Customer service executives
- Bookkeeping and data entry
- Retail services
- Courier services
- Market research analysts
And much more.
Even though HR professionals are not on the list, there are various HR processes that RPA is already doing. Does that mean that RPA will replace all HR jobs? Well, not quite so.
Even though there are HR is benefiting RPA tremendously, there are still many tasks that require compound social interaction. These tasks are not likely to be replaced by automation anytime in the near future.
That means HR positions in various companies will remain when automation reaches its ultimate form. Moreover, HR might be one of the only job sectors that RPA can not fully replace.
Managing data and managing other employees are two completely different sets of tasks. And the latter can only be done by HR professionals with a high skill set in their fields.
How does RPA in HR enhance employee experience?
If you want a successful digital transformation, then there are several factors that you need to ensure. And one of the key factors for your success is Engaged employees.
Today’s talents keep on struggling to provide great performance under the weight of monotonous work. And most organizations are not keeping an eye on this aspect. As a result, many employees have a negative work experience, which is detrimental to your organization’s success.
The survey conducted by Forrester states, “60% of the employees say the said RPA restructures existing work and allowed them to have regular human interactions.”
RPA frees up a human from repetitive tasks and offers them a chance to engage in richer interaction with others. This allows them to work on tasks requiring higher brain power and decreases the number of mistakes.
By being able to perform better within the company, employees enjoy an enhanced experience. This allows them to grow within the company and thrive in their relevant field.
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The future of HR in the world of automated work
As time goes by, the RPA industry is evolving to the next level. It is introducing AI to do even many decision-based jobs. But there is no need to be afraid because robots are not here to take over our job. Instead, HR automation is only a pathway that we can take to save precious time and do HR tasks better than ever.
According to ManpowerGroup Solutions, 45% of the organization are not finding the right talent that they need. This case is even more severe when it comes to large-scale organizations. Over 67% suffer from a talent shortage, many of which are in the HR department.
Automation can be the bridge between these companies’ current state and a place where all their talent needs are fulfilled. As HR automation can take care of all the mundane work, it frees up more time for the employees to work on tasks that actually require more brainpower.
This also helps them polish their work structure and train to fulfill the need of the organization.
That means the future of HR will only get brighter as more mundane works of high volume get done by RPA. Organizations will soon be able to save time and resources and take their business to the next level with a productive workforce.
How is RPA used in Human resources?
RPA in HR utilizes the state of automation technology to take on high-volume repetitive tasks from the hand of HR teams. These can include anything from onboarding, payroll management, compliance reporting, Offboarding, and much more.
What should I automate in HR?
There are various things that you can automate in HR. But the best practice is to start with something that offers the highest yield and ROI. Some of the factors that these processes should have been,
- Well, documentation and top-notch stability.
- consistent input for lower intervention and predictable operational cost.
- A High number of processes for the best ROI.
Some of the most common HR tasks that offer the best yield are,
- CV Screening
- Candidate shorting
- Employee Data Management
- Payroll Processing
- Expense Management
- Compliance report creation
- Employee Exit Management
- Employee Training
- Performance Management
- Shift Allowance calculation
- Background Verification
- Attendance Tracking
What is RPA in recruitment?
Robotic process automation can be used the streamline the overall hiring and recruitment process. This is done by bots taking all the data, candidate shortlisting, and other related tasks. This allows HR to make a very quick and effective hiring decision and find out the best match for the company. AS this offers a great recruitment experience, 78% of organizations are expected to have a continuous RPA adoption.
Read more about Robotic Process Automation on Nanonets