The use of RPA in human resources management can help improve the efficiency of HR operations by automating repetitive, tedious tasks, and streamlining end-to-end HR operations.
Human resources management is one of the most important functions of any organization. It mainly involves recruiting employees, ensuring their work satisfaction, and, ultimately, their retention for an extended period. However, while performing these tasks, human resource managers face many challenges. That’s because a majority of HR processes are usually time-consuming, repetitive, and involve a lot of paperwork. Managing these tasks while handling their core responsibilities like talent acquisition and development, regulatory compliance, and employee engagement and retention becomes highly challenging. These processes usually require a large amount of investment in the form of time and resources and even then may fail to deliver the desired results. Thus, there arises the need for using digital technologies in human resources management. The use of automation technology like RPA in human resources management can help iron out the inefficiencies usually encountered in these processes.
RPA tools can help to streamline end-to-end processes involved in the human resources department. These tools can help simplify the management of the entire employee life cycle, right from the candidate screening stage to onboarding all the way to employee offboarding. RPA tools work on rule-based decision-making algorithms and hence prove highly beneficial in carrying out mundane, repetitive tasks involved in human resources management. Some key processes where RPA tools can be utilized include:
Screening candidates for recruiting is a challenging task. HR teams often go through hundreds or even thousands of resumes for filling a single vacancy. The process is highly time-consuming as the HR teams need to analyze the details of each candidate to narrow down on a few potential ones. This task increases in complexity with the scale of the organization. RPA tools can help automate the process of screening resumes of candidates. RPA tools can read candidates’ resumes and filter the candidates that are most suitable for any given role. It makes decisions based on rules defined by the organization’s human resources team. It scans through resumes and highlights important information such as educational qualifications and work experience. It then filters out candidates that best match the job requirement. RPA tools can also be used in conjunction with applicant tracking systems (ATS) to sort and arrange resumes in an orderly manner. Even though a candidate is rejected for the current job, these tools can automatically search and recommend the candidate for future job vacancies.
RPA tools can also be programmed to respond to rejected candidates automatically. Once the human resources manager has marked the candidate as ineligible, the automation tool can trigger an automated email to the candidates. Similarly, RPA tools can also trigger emails to candidates who progress through to the next rounds of the selection process. Keeping candidates updated helps in employer branding and helps in projecting a positive image of the organization as candidates, especially millennials, feel they are being valued even when they are rejected.
RPA tools can also be deployed to schedule interviews as they can analyze the human resources manager’s work schedules and determine optimal interview timings. The tools can send a pre-written message and automatically fill in the candidates’ details, informing them about the interview. It can then notify the HR manager about the interview, once the candidate replies affirmatively to the email within the predefined time.
Once the HR manager has shortlisted candidates for a position after an interview, RPA tools can be used to create offer letters for the selected candidates automatically. The human resources manager only needs to confirm the candidate’s appointment in the database, and an RPA tool automatically creates a digital offer letter with all the necessary details such as the job position, salary, and other details like annual leaves.
Furthermore, RPA tools can be used in partnership with OCR tools to check and verify the digital copies of the candidates’ documents. The tools can verify whether the candidates have provided all the necessary documents. They can even remind candidates if there are any documents missing, such as mark sheets or previous work experience letters, and trigger an automated response asking the candidate to upload the same. Once the verification process is complete, these tools can also send offer letters to the candidates. Using RPA and other tools helps managers with time management as these tools require minimum to no human intervention. Additionally, it improves the accuracy of the process as it reduces the chances of human error.
Once the candidate is selected, an excessive amount of time is wasted on onboarding the candidate. Setting up business emails and granting rights to documents based on the hierarchy are often time-consuming and increase onboarding costs. RPA tools can automatically perform these tasks. The tools can be programmed to create work email addresses based on the candidate’s name, grant file, and folder access based on the candidate’s position automatically. Thus, human resources managers can end up saving time, cost, and effort. The employee can focus on his work right from day one without spending much time on induction and onboarding. Thus, RPA tools prove beneficial for managers and candidates alike. RPA tools can even forward onboarding documents and enter data regarding the candidate in the HRMS and other enterprise applications.
RPA tools can help schedule role-based training for new joinees. Based on the work schedule of the recruits and the trainer, an RPA tool can automatically schedule training sessions accordingly. Candidates can be delivered predefined training content in the form of audio or video clips based on their roles. This reduces the need for a tutor, helping organizations save time and resources, and ultimately reducing training costs. It also helps embed a progressive, digital culture that most businesses are looking to create or have already adopted at their workplace.
RPA tools can be used with biometrics to log the attendance of employees. These tools can automatically mark the attendance of employees and forgo the need for manually recording attendance at the workplace. The check-in, check-out times are registered and entered automatically in the database. This further simplifies the payroll process as the salaries can be calculated, and salary slips can be created quickly based on the data captured by the RPA and biometric tools.
Additionally, RPA tools can be leveraged to track employees working remotely. HRMS apps with GPS capabilities can be programmed with the location coordinates where employees are allowed to work. The app can detect the location from where the employee has checked in and compare it with the programmed data. If the detected location meets the programmed criteria, the HRMS tool automatically marks the attendance of the employee. This eliminates the need for approval from managers. Similarly, if the employee checks in from a location not present in the pre-programmed dataset, it can trigger a rule-set response notifying the managers of the same. Thus, managers can focus their attention only when needed, helping them concentrate on other important tasks.
Report generation is a vital activity in any enterprise. Human resources managers need to create reports to comply with regional and international labor laws. These reports cover, among other things, the monthly labor expenses, employee benefits, and the employees’ performance during a particular period. Manually creating such reports by collecting and collating data can take days or even weeks and can be prone to errors. RPA tools can streamline the process, reducing the time required to just a few hours with increased accuracy. RPA tools can automatically access the data required for generating reports. It can then merge, process, and format the data to create accurate and customized reports based on predefined templates. Thus, organizations can save time, resources, and have a clearer picture of their organization while ensuring regulatory compliance using RPA tools. Traditionally, HR tools have not been very data-centric. When data-centric HR tools did emerge, they were at the computer-code level, which made them too complex for the average employee to use. These tools later evolved into GUI-driven applications that still required a fair bit of manual data entry. Now, the introduction of RPA in human resources management has further simplified the function. This has laid the foundation for even more complex levels of automation with tools like AI, machine learning, and cognitive computing in human resources management.
Naveen is the Founder and CEO of Allerin, a software solutions provider that delivers innovative and agile solutions that enable to automate, inspire and impress. He is a seasoned professional with more than 20 years of experience, with extensive experience in customizing open source products for cost optimizations of large scale IT deployment. He is currently working on Internet of Things solutions with Big Data Analytics. Naveen completed his programming qualifications in various Indian institutes.