Why ignoring business automation costs HR time and effort

In order to succeed, every modern business needs to remain competitive and relevant. Human resources lie at the heart of every organisation. This is the department that ensures the business runs smoothly, that the workforce is happy, and that standards are being met. As such, especially given today’s rapidly evolving software, it makes logical sense to take full advantage of the tools available to save time, effort and money.

Business Process Management (BPM) focuses on streamlining existing workflow within an organisation, making them more effective and adaptable to the dynamic needs of a business. Business Process Automation (BPA) is a large part of BPM, as results can be seen sooner and to a larger extent when software is incorporated to manage workplace processes.

automation HRBPA works by leveraging computing technology to streamline everyday HR business processes. With all the recent advances in software, it has been said that 2016 is the year of workplace automation. Unfortunately, those businesses choosing not to keep pace will inevitably fall further and further behind.

The good news is that software and automation are no longer the reserves of the larger conglomerates. SMEs are seeing the value of automation and are increasingly investing money, as they have become aware of the following HR benefits.

Automating workflow saves time

Every HR department spends time on repetitive, menial tasks that could be easily automated. Doing so would allow employees to focus their attention and intellectual resources on more meaningful and complex work that has the capacity to add real value to the company. As valuable as people are to the smooth running of an organisation, there are certain tasks that are simply more efficiently carried out by a computer. For example, using barcoding software, a company can quickly sort, file, and store information for easy retrieval at a later date. This is done in minutes, meaning that the days of manual filing and laborious data retrieval are long gone.

Automating tasks saves money in the long run

Automation makes a world of sense to a savvy entrepreneur with a forward-thinking mentality. Though automation may cost money upfront, companies ultimately save money. Employees do not need to be hired to complete trivial tasks, money does not need to be spent training employees on automated processes and due to diminished Garbage In, Garbage Out (GIGO), human error is reduced, leading to a saving in time and money.

Automating certain tasks eliminates human error

Human error is costly to any business. It has been reported that a company with 100,000 employees will lose approximately £31 million per year due to human error, roughly equating to £315 per employee. According to a report commissioned by the Department of Health, the NHS loses as much as £2.5 billion per year due to “preventable errors” relating to improper use of medication.

While human error may never be eliminated as a business risk, automation certainly diminishes the likelihood of errors occurring. Software is reliable, it doesn’t tire, and it is scalable to a growing business. Regardless of how many clients, patients or customers you bring on board, automation will grow to your business’ needs, performing reliably and with high-quality results.

Businesses experience increased accountability with automation

Software guarantees a heightened degree of transparency and accountability within an organisation. Instead of spending time determining where a given process went wrong, asking questions, and finding the people responsible, software tracks each process diligently. It can then display where errors occurred, allowing management to consider where further training is needed to keep employees up to speed. On top of this, managers will be able to determine how long given tasks take to be performed, allowing for further streamlining in the future.

What HR tasks can and should be automated?

There are a number of ways in which business automation can facilitate HR processes. The biggest one of note involves information management. Forms processing can be simplified with the use of barcodes, which eliminate the need to manually input data. Instead, barcodes allow organisations the capacity to store and index data in conjunction with Electronic Document Management Systems (EDMS). This means that data is much easier to retrieve at a later date, as they are safely and centrally secured to a network. An EDMS can also automatically schedule reminders or follow-up tasks, further streamlining workflow. Documents can even be given a determined life-span, making compliance far simpler.

Recruitment is an area that has been revolutionised with the advent of automation. It is integral, given the time and money it takes to recruit employees, that the right candidate is picked to fill a given role. Automation means that CVs can be collected from email attachments and scanned for keywords relevant to the given position. On top of this, automation, in the form of recruitment software, can create candidate profiles and track these applicants’ progress. There are other recruitment tasks that can be automated, such as acceptance or rejection emails and auto-responses to schedule interviews.

If meetings and appointments are not things that you are automating currently, this is something you need to change right now. Businesses spend on average five hours per week scheduling meetings, equating to six weeks per year. Your time is valuable; don’t waste it needlessly. Automation can help businesses schedule and book appointments, and automated reminder emails can be sent to the relevant parties prior to the meeting. Not only does this mean that businesses save time organising meetings, but it means that employees and managers have no excuses for missing an important meeting.

Yaakov Smith is an entrepreneur who provides creative solutions to everyday business problems. He is the owner and founding manager of Logican Solutions Ltd, which offers a range of products including PPI claims management software, property portfolio software, and IVA software.