Role of RPA (Robotic Process Automation) in Human Resource (HR) Operations
February 2, 2021
When it comes to human resources operations, it is obvious we need humans to take care of the key functions for the smooth functioning of the organization. In simple words, we need humans in HR departments for the humans in the rest of the organization.
Now, what if you realize that most of the HR operations could be automated? Yes, that is true! In this article, we will discuss how RPA (or Robotic Process Automation) could revolutionize the functioning of the HR departments.
RPA has become a buzzword in the corporate industry, and the reason is obvious. RPA automates the routine and tedious tasks performed by the back-office employees, freeing them for more productive tasks. Instead of humans, there is a virtual workforce performing repetitive tasks.
Apart from eliminating the repetitive tasks, it also reduces errors and human dependence. Additionally, RPA in HR operations also saves many expenses, time, and other key resources of the company that could be used for more productive tasks.
You might wonder how RPA Software could be incorporated in the HR departments. Read on to find out!
Why Adopt RPA for HR Operations?
HR could be one of the maximum impact areas for RPA. There are multiple tasks, handled by the HR department, that are repetitive and should be automated. For example, the processes like onboarding an employee, leaves management, termination, retirement etc., could all be automated.
Imagine the level of expenses that you can save by automating such tasks. The overall costs of incorporating robots will be comparatively much lower than the overall costs you incur on an employee.
Whereas, you have to offer a decent salary to your employees, the optimum infrastructure, including computers, lighting, air-conditioning, and everything else that makes a perfect working environment. Not to mention the additional benefits and resources you offer.
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Use Cases of RPA in HR
RPA use cases
in HR are numerous. However, we have rounded up the six key use cases in HR Operations, where RPA could prove to be a boon for any organization:
Data Management and HR analytics
Applicant Sourcing and Tracking
Payroll and Benefits Management
Expense and Travel Management
Let us discuss these RPA in HR use cases one by one, for a better understanding:
Data Management and HR Analytics
The HR department has to handle a lot of data belonging to the current employees, past employees, payroll, compliance and regulatory, etc. Managing such data ‘manually’ is a big headache. However, it is more convenient to automate data management.
This will ensure that the data is read, copied, and synced comparatively faster, and there are no mistakes at all. Moreover, complete and accurate data means better compliance.
1. Applicant Sourcing and Tracking
Automating applicant sourcing and tracking through RPA in HR could be a huge advantage for the companies. It is because there are multiple portals and systems in play, and sourcing the candidates just through the combination of keywords is a huge task for any human. Whereas, the bots can be faster and more accurate.
2. Employee Onboarding
There are different formalities that require a lot of time and attention during the onboarding process. However, Robotic Process Automation services in HR is one of the primary and most desired use cases. In fact, HR can focus on the new employee while the bots can take care of the administration process.
3. Payroll Management
Payroll management is a tedious task, especially for a big organization, and if the company pays on a weekly basis, the situation could be gruesome. The results of inducing RPA in HR case studies reveal that it could automate up to 90% of this process, thereby reducing a lot of effort, time, and errors.
4. Expense and Travel Management
The HR team faces a lot of challenges when it comes to expense and travel management. There are missing receipts or poor visibility, erroneous spreadsheets, delayed expense submissions, delayed payments, unnecessary spending, and what not!
RPA can overcome these challenges by automating the claim process and approvals according to the policies and allowed expenditure.
5. Exit Management
Exit management is a rule-based process, and like onboarding, it requires a lot of manual work. However, automation through robotics in human resources could be a huge relief for the team.
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Benefits of RPA in HR
RPA offers multiple benefits to every industry like increased efficiency, reduced costs, better allocation of resources, high ROI, etc. However, in this article, let us have a look at the key benefits of RPA that are specific to the HR department:
1. Increased Productivity
First of all, productivity is increased because the process is faster, and the workforce is free to handle complex issues. Secondly, and most importantly, when robotic process automation handles most of the HR operations and updating the employee log details, etc. automatically, the employees tend to become more disciplined.
In addition, due to regular tracking, they become more competitive and thus, the productivity increases throughout the organization.
2. Flexibility and Scalability
Another benefit of RPA is that it offers immense flexibility as it follows a well-programmed procedure. Moreover, due to high scalability, the efforts can be increased or decreased according to the requirements of the HR team.
If required, process automation can work 24 hours a day throughout the year. Therefore, the HR team does not have to worry about maintaining the logs of the employees replaced by bots.
4. Better Efficiency
An HR service provider from Switzerland used to handle 100,000 events with six full-time employees that took an average of 60 hours to complete the process. Through process automation, they managed to automate 90% of their manual tasks. This helped the service provider to reduce the processing time by 85%, and the data created was free of any errors.
5. Cost Savings and High ROI
Considering all the factors discussed in this article and the above stats, one can easily guess that RPA helps in saving a lot of money, especially for the HR departments. It is because this department performs multiple operations and handles a lot of data, all of which should be automated.
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Moreover, many organizations are generating a 30% to 200% Return on Investment (ROI) in the first year.