The Human resources department is an essential part of any business. Whether it is paying employees, ensuring that working practices are compliant with local laws, hiring new members of staff or approving annual leave, the HR department is critical to any organization. But, despite the HR team being critical, it is also still a function that is thought of as being highly administrative. Many HR professionals are still doing significant amounts of work manually, despite technology existing for several years that can automate these manual activities.


There is no reason that payroll should still be done manually today. It has been a well-established principal for over a decade that payroll processing costs can be reduced by as much as 80% by automating the process. While many companies have moved to some sort of basic payroll system, the HR team are still manually checking a lot of information before submitting payroll. This should not be the case anymore. One of the reasons why this has historically been the case, is often because the payroll system and HR system were different systems that did not “speak” to each other. But with cloud based solutions now offering seamless API integration, along with most tech teams being able to build a simple RPA solution to instantly transfer the data from one system to the other, and validation of the data  without the need for human involvement, this should no longer be an obstacle requiring human involvement in payroll.  

Annual Leave

Ever been chased by someone because there is an annual leave request that is outstanding, and it’s been stuck in someone’s inbox? That should not be the case anymore. It is extremely easy to automate the entire annual leave process with modern cloud-based tools. Calculating leave balances, ensuring approvals, and recording of leave entitlement can now automatically be done by technology. In fact, this technology is so basic and common place, that many traditional HR systems are under threat from simple, free to download apps that can also manage this entire process automatically.

Employee Onboarding

Onboarding has traditionally been one of the most manual HR processes. Documents need to be collected and validated, those documents need to be signed, IT needs to be informed to set up relevant systems and access, building management needs to organize building access passes, desk space needs to be organized and so on. Again, with simple automation tools this can now be fully automated. Everything can now be run by a simple bot including welcome emails, organizing of a buddy, arranging induction meetings, notifying IT, and building management, enrolment into company benefits programmes, sending and receiving of onboarding documents, all of it.


Did you know that you can automate almost the entire recruitment process? Traditionally, you would require a human to post a job advert, screen the job applications, arranging interviews, conduct interviews, arrange reference checks, generating contracts and so on. Not anymore. Again, the software now exists to automate all of this. There are simple integrations that can automatically take a vacancy from your HR system and automatically post it on numerous different career websites. There are bots that can scan CVs and identify which applicants are most qualified. There are other bots that can then reach out to those applicants and arrange interviews and others that can then conduct an interview. Moreover, contracts can be automatically generated, and reference checks automatically initiated.

Tip of the iceberg

This is just the beginning, there are maybe another dozen or so HR activities that can be automated today. Exit interviews, generating employment letters, promotion letters, pay review letters, the nature of software today means you are only limited by your imagination. There is little reason why HR should be spending more than 10% of their time doing anything manual when it comes to processes moving forward. This will free up HR significantly to focus on much more complex and higher value activities.

Cost is also no longer a barrier to technology, as most of these solutions are incredibly cheap. In the old days, implementing a new HR system would cost millions, these days, most of these tools are available for as little as a few thousand dollars. In fact, a large global organisation with 100,000 employees, could acquire some of these tools to use globally for no more than $20,000-30,000 and even the most complex and expensive tools would rarely cost more than $100,000. A smaller organisation would be looking at solutions that would rarely approach $10,000.

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