Before the introduction of technology, HR relied on human judgment to understand employee complexities: emotions, motivations, and behaviors. Today, HR uses AI and Machine Learning technology to make decisions that are based on reliable data. In as much as HR automation is not a trend that just recently began, the incorporation of AI and Machine Learning into the HR process is improving HR performance at an unprecedented rate.
HR professionals, through the use of these tech tools, can now conduct the enterprise content management effectively. With the level of HR automation present in the HR ecosystem, a total redesign of the HR process management is expected. The role of HR leaders in organizations are transforming into that of an administrator: a decision maker. In anticipation of this industry-wide revolution, organizations are investing heavily in automating human resources to ensure they position themselves well enough to take advantage of the resulting increase in productivity.
The improvement in HR planning and HR process management brought about by automation is a reality that cannot be ignored. It is projected that the HR sector will reach $30 billion globally by 2025, and McKinsey institute projects that AI will have a global economic impact between $7 and $13 trillion. As such, companies in India are embracing these new technologies, which have resulted in a change in the workplace atmosphere. Technologies like 3D printing, virtual assistants and HR automation software have increased the efficiency of overall performance management.
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Despite the improvement brought about by HR automation, the position of HR leaders has not been rendered irrelevant. HR managers remain a very important aspect of HR resource planning and performance management process. The machines are just tools that enhance the efficiency of HR professionals, not substitutes for HR managers.
HR automation: Using technology to enhance HR functions
Many claims that technology will wipe out many professions often turns out to be wrong. One such claim is the report from a survey on the ‘Future of Workforce’. According to the survey, the HR function is the most vulnerable to be replaced by machines. If one were to look at the historical impact of technology, one will realize that technology only replaces labor-intensive jobs in the immediate to create new kinds of jobs in the long run. Such is what is set to happen with HR process automation.
HR automation is the use of technology to improve the duties of HR in an organization. The use of these technologies is expected to bring certain changes to the HR process. As such, the traditional methods of managing employees may become redundant, obsolete and thus, ineffective. However, the human element that is so crucial to the enterprise content management cannot be negated.
In as much as the automating human resources will expand the boundaries of HR efficiency, there are areas where HR automation would be redundant. This is because there are aspects of HR that cannot be done by machines. In areas of performance management, where management of employee stress levels is important, machines can only provide data on effective ways to help employees handle work pressures. Only the HR professional can use this data appropriately to enhance employee wellbeing.
The performance of HR duties relies heavily on the human element when dealing with people. HR automation is not set to replace this, not now, not anytime soon. Dealing with people, which is the job of HR, requires a great deal of empathy. This soft skill, which HR professionals possess in abundance, helps them design and create different schemes to ensure that employees work productively.
Although HR automation is important, the technologies incorporated can in no way replace the quality of management brought on by HR experts. They possess the day-to-day psychological and subjective elements necessary for effective employee management. They bring in the subjective element which cannot be replaced with the use of any virtual assistants.
HR automation trends in India
An uncertain industrial environment is driving companies in India to invest in new technologies. This is aimed at engaging their employees, improving productivity and developing efficient data-driven operations solutions. This serves as an indication of the graduation of the role of HR from an administrative and compliance department to key decisions and impact makers.
Some of the major HR automation trends emerging in India include the following:
HR automation has encouraged the use of the latest technologies such as AI and elastic and deep search, which has opened up new possibilities in background verification. Information digitization and supporting technologies have enabled the creation of proprietary databases and powerful search engines. This has improved the delivery of data security services and ensured adept HR compliance.
The mobile app-based employee self-service
The emerging trend of remote work presents a management problem for firms. For all the benefits organizations stand to enjoy, engaging a virtual workforce is immensely challenging. This has driven organizations to embrace the use of the latest technological trends to take care of these challenges. Organizations use new-age mobile solutions to establish constant connectivity with employees. Mobile app-based employee self-service also enables companies to communicate and track attendance based on proximity.
HR automation now enables decisions surrounding promotion, training, compensation and employee retention to be taken using reliable data from HR analytics. There is even the development of a new form of data based on sentiment analysis. This is generated from a multitude of interactions between employees and managers.
Learning and development
Seeing as learning and development of employees falls under the purview of HR, the use of tech solutions has made the process more efficient. The use of HR automation tools such as AI and VR (virtual reality) has made training programs more suited to individual needs, while also guaranteeing participation. By automating HR processes, recruitment is getting more efficiently done as the right HR analytics tool enables managers to make accurate predictions on labor market realities.
Integration of internal communication platform
Communication is an important factor that solely determines the success of an organization. Without adequate and effective communication structures, the organization’s chances of success are very low. Through HR automation, communication platforms are integrated with core HR to improve the mode of communication. As such, employees are privy to a single source of knowledge, information flow and clarity of firm direction.
Automation of statutory compliance
Today, total and complete statutory compliance is expected of organizations. Recent amendments in labor laws legitimate the use of more stringent measures to ensure statutory compliance. Organizations rely on their HR to ensure they meet their statutory obligations. As such, HR professionals are using technology to automate statutory compliance requirements. The need to generate and maintain manual reports has been eliminated providing more efficient management of statutory compliance.
Companies now use continuous performance reviews to achieve a higher level of performance in employees. HR automation in this sphere ensures that managers can record, store and track employee feedback instantly irrespective of the time. There are software applications available to managers for human resource planning and setting of goals that are transparent to team members. This enhances transparency, builds team spirit and increases productivity.
Social network analysis and visualization
The application of data analytics to organizational relationships helps understand and measure relationships between people. The network is designed such that nodes represent people and groups with links show relationships and flow between nodes. Some companies in India are using the visual data presented by this type of social network analysis to understand how employees relate with customers. This is one of the numerous HR automation tools that HR uses to maintain quality enterprise content management.
You might also be interested to read: What is the Human Resource Information System (HRIS)?
HRIS (Human Resource Information System), HRMS (Human Resource Management System), HR software, HR solutions, etc., are all categories of HR automation. These tools bring “Agility” in all the HR functions, thus streamlining business processes. Not just for the future, today, HR automation has become indispensable in all HR functions.
- Role of Technology in the HR Industry by Ajay Trehan; July 12, 2019
- In the Age of Automation, Where Does The Future Of HR Stand? by Vikas Arora; November 8, 2018
- Indian Companies Increase Investment in HR Technology: Report by The Week; August 8, 2019
- Automation in HR: Game-changing evolution is here to stay by Milan Sheth; October 11, 2019
- Top 7 HR Automation Trends in 2018 in India by Chandrashekhar