Updated: September 11, 2023

HR Automation: Best Practices & Trends

You found our guide to HR automation: best practices & trends.

HR automation is the use of technology to eliminate repetitive, time-consuming processes related to HR administrative duties. HR automation includes data security, onboarding and offboarding, and data entry. Human resources automation has the potential to significantly increase productivity, streamline processes, and cut down on mistakes in the workplace.

HR automation is also related to HR software and may include applicant tracking systems and employee management platforms. You will also find HR books and HR blogs helpful.

This article contains:

  • HR automation trends
  • HR automation best practices
  • HR automation examples
  • HR automation ideas
  • HR automation benefits

Let’s get started!

HR automation trends

Human resource automation trends will be the primary driver for future development. Therefore, it is only natural to speculate about what emerging tendencies will mold the future of work and HR practices.

1. Automated Wellness Programs Can Retain Top Talent

Automated wellness programs are among the top HR automation examples. The growing significance of automated wellness programs in retaining talent is undeniable. In today’s competitive job market, employees value a holistic approach to their well-being alongside competitive salaries. According to Gartner, 96% of employers claim to offer mental wellness benefits. These programs offer a convenient and personalized way for organizations to support their employees’ physical and mental health.

By providing access to fitness tracking apps, mental health resources, and wellness challenges, these programs demonstrate a company’s commitment to its employees’ overall quality of life. Furthermore, automation streamlines the administration of these initiatives, making it easier for HR teams to manage and track employee engagement.

As a result, employees feel valued, healthier, and more satisfied in their roles, increasing their loyalty to the organization and reducing turnover. In a world where attracting and retaining top talent is essential for success, automated wellness programs have become a vital tool for organizations looking to create a more appealing and supportive workplace culture.

However, firms need to ensure their employees take advantage of offered wellness benefits. The aforementioned Gartner article also says that only 42% of employees believe their employer offers mental wellness services. Thus, it is essential to clearly communicate benefits to teams.

2. Hiring Processes Have the Most Potential for Automation

Hiring new staff is one of the most essential parts of any human resources job. The process is not overly complex but takes time and is also quite repetitive, creating a case for automation. Yet, according to Workato, only six percent of recruiting processes are automated, despite rapid annual development in this area.

Arranging interviews is the biggest time waster. Scheduling a single person is a breeze, but the process may become complicated with numerous candidates. Automating the process removes obstacles like conflicting interview dates and ensures that applicants have a positive experience.

Up to 67 percent of HR representatives polled by LinkedIn said they had benefited from automation in terms of time savings. This figure is bound to rise rapidly as innovative applications of AI and automation streamline and improve HR processes.

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3. RPA Systems will Dominate the Automation Market

Robotic Process Automation, or RPA systems, control the software robots that perform automated tasks by interacting with other digital systems and applications. These systems’ primary value to modern enterprises lies in the capacity to automate rule-based, repetitive processes.

RPA platforms are a dominant force in the HR industry. Despite the pandemic’s detrimental impact on the economy, Gartner predicts the RPA market will increase gradually through 2024. The use of RPA has been rising steadily over the last decade, but it got a significant uptick in 2019. Revenue growth for RPAs was about 63 percent, and experts predict this upward trend will continue over the years.

Human resources will feel the impact of RPAs in managing and collecting data as routine tasks become automated. Additionally, RPAs will help HR adjust to the new automation paradigm and understand the altered nature of the workplace in which humans and machines collaborate to enhance each other’s skills and abilities.

Some concerns exist that this new technology may affect the employment rate, but it is more probable that it will only alter the approach to HR. Unfortunately, there is still a long journey to having talent and skill assessment algorithms that do not need human intervention.

4. AI-Powered Automation Will Streamline Processes

In the modern digital era, the demands on human resources are becoming more complex due to the increasing digitization of corporate environments. This demand places greater pressure on HR departments to adapt quickly. HR managers will benefit from streamlining processes such as hiring, onboarding, and employee engagement.

Examples of HR AI automation include:

  • Timely information: Automated data recording and analysis enable HR to anticipate questions and concerns and provide pre-prepared responses.
  • Tailored services: Employees require real-time access to HR services customized to their specific needs and schedules, regardless of their location.
  • HR efficiency: Automation of repetitive tasks allows HR departments to accomplish more with fewer employees, freeing up time for activities requiring human judgment.
  • Constant support: AI-powered chatbots enable businesses to offer continuous HR assistance without the need for round-the-clock staffing.

As companies transition to cloud-based infrastructure, HR will undergo significant changes, with decisions increasingly based on data. This process will lead to a greater focus on employee engagement, productivity, performance, and well-being.

The Global Human Capital Trends library found that 38 percent of businesses in 140 countries expect complete deployment of AI and automation over the next five years. Companies that want to remain competitive need to keep that in mind.

4. Strategy Development Can Be Based on Data

Human resource managers face many decisions daily, each with the potential to significantly impact the company’s future. For example, you will have to use your gut to decide whether to hire an applicant or turn them down, which perks and incentives to provide, how to schedule their days off, and how they perform on the job. Metrics and analytics are becoming more popular in human resources because they eliminate the need for guessing.

Plenty of data are available for tracking and analysis. However, the most successful businesses of the next decade will be those who learn how to make the most use of this data. For example, you can use data to inform HR practices, like choosing candidates with a track record of success, a relevant skill set, and the potential to contribute to your company over the long term. Data will also help you create training programs that adapt to each individual’s preferred learning method and pace.

6. Payroll Automation Will Free Up HR Resources

According to the 2018 Payroll Operations Survey, around six percent of businesses in the United States automated their payroll processes. In addition, the poll found that about one-fifth of those who do not now utilize payroll automation want to do so in the near future. Using automated payroll systems has several advantages. Since data collection takes up the most time, automating this process would be a huge boon.

In addition, if your Human Resources Information System integrates with your worldwide payroll, both systems can use the same database as a single SSoT. In conventional approaches to payroll administration, data validation also plays a role. Human Resources had to compare spreadsheets and double-check payroll details before finalizing any payments. Artificial intelligence can perform this process automatically, speeding up and improving accuracy. In addition, you have the option of establishing timed triggers that will inform HR when a particular action is due for execution.

The most obvious case is eliminating manual labor by automatically populating pay stubs or payslips inside the HRIS using a paystub generator.

HR automation best practices

The following section highlights the best practices for HR automation and how companies can boost their productivity.

1. Streamline Compliance and Reporting

Effective compliance and reporting in HR involves maintaining accurate records, ensuring legal compliance, and generating timely stakeholder reports. Key best practices include staying up to date with changing employment laws and regulations and maintaining meticulous records of employee data and transactions. Additionally, HR teams should conduct regular audits and use HR software for automated reporting. By following these best practices, organizations can minimize legal risks and ensure transparency in HR processes. In addition, these processes demonstrate firms’ commitment to ethical and legal standards, building trust with employees and regulators.

2. Eliminate Permission Loops

One of the most challenging aspects of the onboarding process for new employees is gaining access to the many systems needed for the job. The employee might not know of a particular required process if days have gone by without receiving access to slack for interaction. This issue can potentially cause time and talent wastage.

The IT department may simplify the process by using automated solutions. For example, the department can provide new hires with pre-loaded computers or program a chatbot to deliver all the relevant links and Slack channels. Businesses may use “open by default” instead of the more cumbersome and time-consuming practice of requesting permissions at each stage. By designing your infrastructure to provide permissions automatically, you empower your teams to identify solutions on their own without overwhelming the IT help desk.

3. Use HR Workflows for Seamless Onboarding

The first few new hires can breeze through the manual onboarding process. However, human error becomes more likely when you go from onboarding three new workers per week to onboarding 50. Keeping a consistent experience for new hires is difficult as the complexity of onboarding increases, but it is possible with automation.

Getting a new employee physically and digitally integrated into the workplace takes a dozen little processes and a few different departments. However, with the aid of IT teams, HR can automate the whole process by putting up a series of triggers that prepare staff members for a new employee’s arrival. For example, opening a ticket may initiate the delivery of a new laptop, downloading and installing any necessary software, setting up an appropriate email address, and notification of facilities to locate a suitable desk. Using Jira HR workflows tailored to the specific needs of your HR department, you can accomplish all these processes.

4. Implement Employee Offboarding

Offboarding is a sensitive time for human resources departments, whether an employee departs freely or involuntarily. The processes involved include informing the team, retrieving business property, and adhering to legal rules, all within a condensed time frame. Ineffective onboarding can give unguarded access to valuable corporate data. When offboarding processes are automated, success rates increase dramatically.

Using asset management software in your service desk allows you to track and recover assets when needed. If you are still using a spreadsheet, it is probably time to start thinking about ways to automate and manage your assets. For instance, IT may automate offboarding by sending emails to a distribution list and setting off a chain reaction of smaller activities. If you keep tabs on business property, you may quickly determine who has what until a specific date and close the ticket automatically after the employee has left.

HR automation benefits

With HR automation, you can ignore the busywork and time-consuming details of HR administration and instead concentrate on the most crucial element of your work. Thanks to automation, you can focus more on the employees who make your organization shine by devoting less time to administrative tasks like spreadsheets, emails, and bills.

1. Make Better Business Decisions

One of the best ways for a company to improve its decision-making in any area, including human resources, is to analyze and learn from data. Using HR automation software, you can collect accurate information on human resources factors, including headcount, employee statistics, and pay and salary trends. In addition, you may use artificial intelligence in such technologies to do complex data analyses, leading to better-informed business choices.

For instance, AI can help you identify which workers are thriving in their current positions and which are struggling so you can evaluate whether a transfer would be beneficial. Another option is to analyze a struggling team to find the areas where improvement is possible. By replacing gut feelings with hard facts, leaders can motivate their employees to achieve tangible goals.

2. Save Money

One significant benefit of HR automation is saving money. Automation reduces the need for manual work, which cuts down on labor costs and reduces expenses for things like paper, printing, and storage. Utilizing software also helps prevent costly errors in processes like payroll and compliance. This efficiency means HR staff can spend more time on important strategic tasks, like growing the business. The money saved can then be used for employee development, innovation, or expanding the company’s capabilities. These processes help improve financial performance and competitiveness in the market.

3. Streamline Processes

Traditional human resources activities, procedures, and workflows are overly complicated. Getting through each stage requires work because a large group of individuals is involved, and the process is time-consuming. However, HR automation makes monitoring and administering these HR procedures considerably less of a hassle. For instance, keeping track of employees’ sick and vacation time is a time-consuming and laborious operation that is simplifiable with the help of software.

On the other hand, HR automation means that teams no longer have to manually sift through files or submit requests to HR to get the answers they need.

4. Secure Data

It is impossible to manage a firm without HR records and data. Your company may be subject to audits. Therefore, preserving records for at least a decade is in your best interest. Often, all of this data is stored in one place inside an aging HR system, making it vulnerable to breaches or failure. However, the information you enter into HR automation systems automatically saves to your organization’s cloud servers, safe from accidents. Having reliable backups in place is a critical aspect of HR automation.

5. Reduce Mistakes

Many HR processes still involve manual data entry, including leave dates, payroll, hourly data, and employee information. However, manual processes mean mistakes are inevitable. The monotony and routine of data input may wear workers down and cause them to get distracted or confused, leading to missteps. These errors sometimes produce more faults that are more irritating or costly to fix. Avoiding these simple clerical mistakes with HR automation may help you save time and money.


As a result of the high entry barrier, many businesses delay using HR automation systems. These systems may indeed be somewhat pricey. However, while the upfront investment in HR automation ideas may seem prohibitive, looking at the bigger picture often reveals significant savings over time.

You should see HR automation as a long-term goal and investment in your company’s future. While there is an upfront investment, continued usage of the tools will result in significant savings. Lower mistake rates, improved recruiting procedures, tighter data control, and security, reduced personnel, and more employee motivation and productivity contribute to these cost reductions.

Human resources automation allows your business to work more efficiently and effectively while better meeting the needs of your most precious asset, the employees. It may seem counterintuitive to utilize machines to aid the success of your employees, but that is precisely the purpose of HR automation technologies, and it is now simpler than ever to locate the ones that work for you.

For additional reading, check out our article on HR skills and competencies.

FAQ: HR Automation

Here are frequently asked questions about HR automation ideas.

What is HR automation?

Human resource automation is software that automates routine HR procedures and streamlines repetitive and document-heavy processes. As a result, HR automation drastically shortens the time required to complete HR procedures without compromising quality.

How do you use HR automation?

You can use HR automation for administrative tasks like managing payroll, feeding data, creating files, sharing documents, and finding talent. These kinds of jobs might go on for hours if done manually.

What are examples of HR automation tools?

Examples of HR automation tools include Asana, teamwork, Trello, BambooHR, and Gusto. Teamwork is also a great option for small to mid-sized businesses.

What are HR automation best practices?

Some best practices for HR automation include offering a self-service catalog, streamlining offboarding processes, and eliminating permission loops. You can also set up a standard process for onboarding.

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People & Culture Director at teambuilding.com.
Grace is the Director of People & Culture at TeamBuilding. She studied Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, Information Science at East China Normal University and earned an MBA at Washington State University.

LinkedIn Grace He

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