Automation is a concept that is growing in importance for businesses and industries with each passing year.

The consequences of this trend have been particularly noticeable in the world of work. Research has shown that automation, artificial intelligence and robotics could fundamentally change the nature of work, replacing some jobs, while also giving rise to new roles and opportunities.

Looking at this trend from an HR perspective, managers will be thinking about how they can realize the benefits of automation without creating any negative consequences for the business and its employees.

HR-technology
HR-technology

With that in mind, here are some of the key areas of HR where automation can prove particularly advantageous:

screening

Finding and hiring the people your organization needs to succeed is one of the HR department's fundamental responsibilities. It can be a time-consuming and challenging task, particularly when you're faced with obstacles like skills shortages and a need to hire staff quickly to meet urgent needs.

Automated HR technologies can make a big difference by taking some of the more onerous parts of the recruitment process off your hands, freeing up the human members of the HR team to focus on high-value tasks that require a personal touch.

Modern businesses have a range of tools and technologies to choose from that can help you optimize hiring through automation. Chatbots, for example, can take on a lot of the work involved in early applicant screening and managing large candidate pools.

A dedicated 24/7 chat function is one of the many features that we have incorporated into Relevate, a new platform that brings Randstad's entire tech stack together in one easily accessible, centralized portal. Relevate Chat is available to jobseekers whenever they want to ask questions or complete straightforward tasks such as scheduling an interview.

Relevate provides various other tools and benefits that can take your recruitment process to the next level, including access to a national talent database and an AI-powered candidate matching engine.

reference checking

One specific part of the recruitment process that can really benefit from the efficiencies achievable through automation is reference checking. This is a key stage of the recruitment cycle, where you want to be sure you're being thorough and making the right decisions, without dedicating an unfeasible amount of time to the job.

When this task is done manually, it eats up your team's valuable time, and if you're not able to commit sufficient resources to the process you face the risk of hiring people who aren't right for the role or the company. 

This is a clear example of how automation can benefit a business - by making a key process quicker, more efficient and more reliable. 

With Relevate Reference, you can optimize this aspect of your recruitment process and make sure you're collecting information on individual candidates' strengths, skills and experience with maximum speed and efficiency. 

onboarding

Optimizing your onboarding process can deliver a range of benefits for the business and for your workforce.

If you do a good job of bringing new recruits into the business, you can expect to see advantages like:

  • Strong engagement from the start
  • Reduced staff turnover
  • Positive workplace relationships
  • Better performance and productivity

Onboarding is a magic moment when new employees decide to stay engaged or become disengaged. It offers an imprinting window when you can make an impression that stays with new employees for the duration of their careers.

Amy Hirsh Robinson
principal of Interchange Group

Incorporating automation into this aspect of your HR function means you don't have to worry so much about the various administrative tasks and paperwork involved, so you can focus on the human element of helping new hires settle in. This puts you in a better position to avoid some of the most common onboarding mistakes.

Key elements of onboarding that are good targets for automation include:

  • Sending out welcome emails
  • Making essential information available to new joiners, such as company policies
  • Distributing documents for electronic signature
  • Confirming completion of key steps on IT checklists 

Specific tools that can support both automated and remote onboarding include Bamboo HR's onboarding software, which provides functions including welcome emails, IT checklists and electronic document signature.

workforce scheduling

One of the most common challenges HR managers face today is collecting, managing and analyzing large amounts of workforce data.

If you're able to do this effectively, you can gain valuable insights into your human resources, how they're deployed and how to plan these in the most efficient way at an operational and strategic level.

When you're faced with complicated data sets, however, getting to grips with the information isn't necessarily easy.

HR technology can help you get to grips with data and optimize your workforce scheduling. Relevate Schedule is an automated solution designed to streamline workforce scheduling and reporting, so you can fill shifts faster and find the right people for your business. 

routine tasks

Research by Gartner has shown that 69% of a manager's time is typically taken up by activities that could be handled by technology.

The firm offered the example of expense reports, which could be looked after by expense management systems, and in-the-moment coaching, which could be replaced by real-time chatbot interventions.

69% of a manager's time is typically taken up by activities that could be handled by technology.

Gartner

There are many other examples of routine tasks that could be automated, such as:

  • Timesheet approvals
  • Handling leave requests
  • Updating employee records
  • Scheduling training

With dedicated HR technologies in place to look after tasks like these, you'll have more time to concentrate on the human side of your job.

If you feel unsure about where your company currently stands in terms of adoption and application of technology, Randstad has created an HR tech readiness test that could give you a clearer picture.

about the author
SOFIE M
SOFIE M

sofie maervoet

vp global concepts staffing

Sofie is one of the staffing leaders in Randstad with a track record in process optimization, training and coaching. She started her career as a staffing consultant in Randstad Belgium in 2002. Later, she joined the team in Randstad Switzerland as concept manager until she joined the global concept development team in 2018.