‘Our people are our most valuable asset.’  You’ve probably heard this phrase a million times, and it’s true. Your employees are the ones who drive your company forwards, so it’s essential to keep them happy and engaged. And that’s where HR comes in.

Human Resource is responsible for a lot of things, from recruitment and onboarding to training and development, benefits, and payroll. It’s a complex and ever-changing sector, which can be tough to keep up with. But what if there was a way to make your HR operations more efficient and effective?

Enter RPA.

RPA, or Robotic Process Automation, is a technology that can automate repetitive, time-consuming tasks. And it’s not just restricted to the world of manufacturing, healthcare, or eCommerce – it can be used in any industry where there are rules-based processes that can be carried out by a computer.

What is Robotic Process Automation RPA in Human Resources?

Woman in Black Long Sleeve Shirt Standing Beside Woman in White Long Sleeve Shirt

RPA in HR operations can be used for a whole host of tasks, from recruitment and onboarding to performance reviews and employee communications. It can also be used for compliance-related tasks, such as keeping track of training records or ensuring that payroll is up to date.

RPA can help you to automate the mundane and time-consuming tasks that are preventing your HR team from being productive. And by freeing up their time, you can enable them to focus on more strategic, value-add activities that will have a real impact on your business

Use Cases of RPA in Human Resource

There are many ways robotic process automation can be used in human resources to drive operational efficiencies. Here are some of the most popular use cases for RPA in Human resources:

1. Recruitment & Talent Acquisition

In 2022, HR will spend 25% more time recruiting.

Source: McLean & Company, McLean & Company Reveals the HR Trends for 2022, Dec. 2021

Screening resumes, scheduling interviews, and conducting background checks are all time-consuming processes that can be made much simpler with the help of RPA.

RPA can be used to quickly gather applications and compare them against a list of specific job requirements. Candidates who match the selection criteria can be sent interview notification calls, while those who don’t can be automatically rejected.

Additionally, HR managers can use RPA to eliminate paperwork by automatically categorizing and notifying all candidates of their interview results. With predefined rules to guide the overall selection procedure, RPA can help make the recruitment process much smoother. In turn, this can help attract and retain top talent.

2. Onboarding & Employee Lifecycle Management

“Another new employee, another set of onboarding paperwork to fill out.”

If you’re an HR manager, chances are you’ve said this to yourself more than once. The onboarding process is often long and tedious, requiring coordinated efforts from multiple people. But what if there was a way to streamline the entire process?

RPA can be used to automate the onboarding workflow, from activating a template for the new user account to automatically transcribing information from various sources into multiple systems. 

In addition, not only does RPA help reduce onboarding costs and processing time, but it also helps to reduce error rates in HR onboarding processes.

3. Employee Data management

Maintaining employee data is one of the most important and critical responsibilities of HR departments. This data includes employee contact information, organization hierarchy, employment history, pay scale, performance records, and more.

With RPA technology in place, HR teams can focus on more strategic tasks as software robots can be used to manage this employee data. For instance, they can be programmed to automatically extract data from old systems and migrate it to newer ones.

 Also, rules can be set so that any changes made to this employee data are updated across all applications in real-time. This way, the HR department can be assured that all employee information is accurate and up-to-date at all times.

4. Generating Payrolls

The payroll process is another area where RPA in HR can be used to automate and drive operational efficiencies. Software robots can be used to automatically populate employee timesheets, calculate working hours, and generate accurate payrolls based on the organization’s policies.

Bots can also help in managing shift patterns, leaves, and other time-off requests made by employees to ensure that the payroll calculations are done correctly. Further, RPA can also be used to reconcile statements from different systems such as the ERP and CRM systems to get an overview of all employee data in one place. This data can then be used to generate customized reports for different departments or management levels.

5. Expense Management

Using conventional methods for managing expenses can be time-consuming and often leads to errors, as employees have to manually input data such as expense amount, date, or location. This can be frustrating for both employees and HR managers alike.

However, by employing an RPA solution for expense management, companies can automatically extract all the important fields from expense receipts. This not only saves time but also prevents the need to carry around physical receipts and reduces the chances of human error. 

Additionally, RPA software can be configured to follow specific rules and procedures for approving expenses. This ensures that all claims are processed correctly and in compliance with company policy. Automating expense management with RPA can significantly improve efficiency and accuracy in the HR department.

6. Compliance and reporting

There are numerous compliance-related tasks that HR teams have to perform on a regular basis. This includes maintaining employee records, tracking training completion, managing performance reviews, and more. 

With the help of RPA technology, companies can automate these processes and ensure compliance with government regulations. For instance, by setting up software robots to automatically track employee data, HR teams can be assured that all information is up-to-date and compliant with relevant laws. 

Additionally, RPA can also be used to monitor employee training programs and flag any incomplete courses. This way, the HR department can take prompt action to ensure that all employees are properly trained and compliant with company policy.

7. Employee Offboard

When an employee leaves the organization, there are a number of tasks that need to be completed by the HR team. This includes returning company equipment, updating employee records, finalizing payroll, and more. 

Automating these processes with RPA can help to streamline the employee exit management process. For instance, software robots can be configured to automatically update employee records when an individual leaves the company. This ensures that all data is accurate and up-to-date, which can save valuable time for the HR team. 

Additionally, RPA can also be used to automatically generate exit interviews or surveys. This way, the HR department can collect important feedback from departing employees and use it to improve organizational processes.

8. Employee Induction and Training

When new employees join the organization, they need to be properly inducted and trained. This can be a time-consuming process for HR teams, as they have to ensure that all new hires are familiar with company policies and procedures. 

Additionally, HR teams also need to provide training on relevant topics such as health and safety. Automating these processes with RPA can help to improve efficiency in the HR department. 

For instance, software robots can be used to automatically send induction emails or schedule training courses for new employees. By incorporating a digital profile of each employee, RPA can also be used to provide customized training programs that are specific to an individual’s role. This way, employees can receive the most relevant and effective training possible.

9. Performance Management

Nothing can be more frustrating for employees than not receiving feedback on their performance. This can lead to a lack of motivation and a decrease in productivity. Additionally, it can also be difficult for HR teams to manage performance reviews, as they have to keep track of individual employee performance data. 

Automating these processes with RPA can help to improve the efficiency of the performance management process. For instance, software robots can be used to automatically generate performance reports based on data from various sources. 

This way, HR managers can easily see which employees are meeting targets and identify any areas where improvement is needed. Additionally, RPA can also be used to remind employees when their next performance review is due. This way, they can be sure that they will receive timely feedback on their progress.

10. Tracking Attendance and Leave

One of the most important duties of HR teams is to track employee attendance and leave. This ensures that all employees are adhering to company policy and helps to prevent absenteeism. Automating these processes with RPA can help to improve the accuracy and efficiency of the attendance tracking process. 

For instance, software robots can be used to automatically update employee records when an individual arrives at or leaves work. This way, the HR team can be sure that all data is up-to-date and accurate.

 Additionally, RPA can also be used to generate reports on employee attendance and leave. This way, HR managers can identify any patterns or trends and take prompt action to address any issues.

7 Best Practices for RPA in Human Resources

In order to make your HR process more effective, here are some best practices that you can follow:

1. Work Closely with IT:

Gartner states that A total of 41 % of respondents believe that a solid relationship between IT and HR contributed to the success of their HR software.

RPA projects will require close cooperation between the HR and IT departments. This is because RPA software will need to be integrated into existing systems and processes. As such, it’s important to establish a good working relationship with the IT department from the outset.

[Related article:10 Smart Practices for Better Business-IT Alignment]

2. Create a centralized service system:

In order to manage RPA effectively, it’s important to have a centralized system in place. This will help to ensure that all software robots are properly monitored and maintained. Additionally, a centralized system will also make it easier to track the performance of RPA projects.

3. Design Robust Processes:

When designing processes for RPA, it’s important to think about the long-term. This means designing processes that are scalable and can be easily modified as needed. Additionally, processes should be designed with error handling in mind. This will help to ensure that RPA projects can run smoothly even if there are unexpected problems.

4. Start small and expand slowly:

When implementing RPA, it’s important to start small and expand gradually. This will help to ensure that the process is properly tested and refined before being rolled out on a larger scale. Additionally, starting small will also make it easier to manage the project and make any necessary changes along the way.

5. Stakeholders and leadership should be on board:

For an RPA project to be successful, it’s important to have the support of senior management. This is because RPA can have a major impact on the way that HR functions. 

As such, it’s important to ensure that all stakeholders are on board with the project from the outset. Additionally, it’s also important to communicate regularly with senior management and keep them updated on the progress of the project.

6. Set realistic and achievable goals:

From the outset, it’s important to set realistic and achievable goals for an RPA project. This will help to ensure that the project stays on track and doesn’t veer off course. Additionally, setting realistic goals will also make it easier to measure the success of the project.

7. Cultural Change

In order for RPA to be successful, it is important to ensure that there is buy-in from all employees. This can be a challenge, as some people may be reluctant to embrace change.

 It is therefore important to communicate the benefits of RPA to all employees and make sure that they understand how it will impact their work. Additionally, it is also important to provide training on how to use the software robots. This will help to ensure that everyone is able to take full advantage of the automation project.

[Learn more: 9 Reasons why data and analytics projects fail]