Robotic process automation “is the term used for software tools that partially or fully automate human activities that are manual, rule-based and repetitive,” according to the Association for Intelligent Information Management (AIIM). These automated tools are essentially “robots” that use software to perform routine business tasks by replicating the way humans interact.
In human resources, RPA uses software robots to automate routine, repetitive and labor-intensive HR tasks. Since these robots mimic what humans can do, there is some fear among HR professionals that robots might take over their jobs one day.
However, studies show that humans are still needed to a substantial degree in HR, as most employees do not want robots to fully replace human HR teams. Ultimately, RPA should augment the HR function, rather than completely replace human interactions.
Before you incorporate RPA into your HR processes, you should know which activities are ideal for RPA.
The goal of RPA is to automate HR processes that are:
- Rule based.
- Prone to error.
- Digitally based.
- Time critical and seasonal.
A huge chunk of an HR professional’s job falls into these categories, including:
- Strategic activities such as developing and implementing HR policies and managing organizational design, employee satisfaction and workforce planning.
- Talent management such as managing recruitment, hiring, onboarding, employee development, training and job performance.
- Total rewards such as managing compensation and benefits.
- Operations such as administering employee data and managing positions, reporting, health and safety, payroll, employee termination, scheduling, and employee relations.
Benefits of RPA in HR
- Improves efficiency and productivity by automating time-consuming manual HR processes.
- Increases accuracy. So long as the rules are properly entered and updated, the RPA system is likely to produce accurate outputs.
- Gives HR more time to manage pressing business concerns that require judgment, critical thinking and empathy, such as building a positive workplace culture and championing employee well-being.
- Makes compliance easier to obtain. RPA plays a massive role in keeping HR compliant with recruitment, hiring, compensation, benefits, payroll, and health and safety laws.
- Serves as a 24/7 customer service agent. Chatbots are available to answer questions from candidates and employees around the clock.
In addition, RPA:
- Delivers a platform that promotes HR innovation.
- Provides access to HR analytics.
- Cross-checks information that flows between related departments (e.g., HR, payroll and finance).
- Automatically corrects certain erroneous information.
- Facilitates consistent decision-making across all HR verticals.
- Integrates easily with existing HR systems.
- Simplifies global HR management.
- Helps HR smoothly drive organizational change.
- Saves time and reduces labor costs.
Simply put, if you’d like to improve the employee experience and business performance, robotic process automation may be the solution.