If you’ve got a HR professional on your team, they’re probably spending between 20 and 55 hours a week on routine work that could be performed by HR automation software. That’s according to two separate pieces of research on HR work habits (1, 2), highlighting the volume of recurring tasks like data entry, report generation and meeting-related admin.
Clearly, this is an area where companies can make huge time and cost savings. But the benefits don’t stop there. By automating key processes like onboarding, reporting on employee data, running surveys and reviews, and scheduling and prepping for meetings, HR teams free up valuable time for strategic planning. In short, they can spend more time on projects that have a meaningful impact on employee retention, employee experience, and the bottom line.
By taking on just a few of the recommendations on our list, leaders can free up HR teams up for what they do best, the same work that tends to drive engagement and satisfaction in their own roles - meet 1:1 with people and spearhead initiatives that set employees up for success.
Looking to replace low-value tasks with high-value work? Let’s look at 11 of the best ways to do it.
HR Automation: 11 Ways to Reduce HR admin through automation
1. Automate Microtasks Associated with Recruitment
There are countless ways to use HR workflow automation to improve efficiency during the hiring process, including applicant tracking systems that screen resumes, meeting schedulers that help with organising interviews, and chatbots that answer applicant questions.
Automations like these are particularly useful during phases of high growth, or when the company has yet to invest in an in-house recruitment team.
2. Create Workflows for Onboarding and Offboarding
When a company is growing fast, the digital paperwork associated with onboarding and offboarding really ramps up. HR workflow automation allows teams to create workflows that trigger every time there’s a job change.
Not only will this save time, but it makes for a more positive onboarding experience, which, as we know, is critical for high employee retention rates.
Bonus tip: Create an exit interview survey template that you use every time an employee leaves. Better yet, use Frankli to set up an annual stay interview survey for key employees, to help you identify room for improvement in your talent strategy.
3. Generate On-Demand Employee Data Reports
HR teams typically spend a lot of time tracking employee metrics around retention, engagement, time-to-hire, DEI, and more. They may need to gather and update data from multiple sources including HRIS and payroll systems, and they may need to run employee surveys in order to track metrics like employee satisfaction and wellbeing. And, of course, they’ll need to report this data back to leadership, to help them make informed decisions about their performance management and talent strategies.
Progressive teams use HR automation software to quickly calculate metrics like time-to-hire and cost-per-hire, but also to gather insights on more complex topics like employee contribution and experience.
Bonus tip: Use Frankli to automatically generate employee data reports on employee goal progress, performance reviews, 1:1 meetings, survey responses, and eNPS scores.
4. Use Software to Keep on Top of Compliance Documentation
Compliance software is a great way to take work off your HR team's plate.
The right software can automate the tracking of regulatory changes, store documentation, and generate reports that are compliant with legal requirements. Some compliance software can even provide alerts when regulations change.
5. Create Survey Templates for Quick Employee Research
Measuring and improving employee engagement, satisfaction and wellbeing is a crucial part of a HR professional’s role, and it requires them to dig really deep into the employee experience.
1:1 meetings are great for this, but when gathering information from a large group of employees, surveys are one of the most efficient ways to conduct insightful research. HR automation software uses customisable templates and automatic reminders to relieve the HR professional of the most time-consuming admin, i.e. setting up the survey and prompting employees to take part.
Bonus tip: It takes less than 60 seconds to set up an employee survey in Frankli. Recipients receive automatic notifications and reminders, so all HR leaders have to do is download their one-click employee data report at the end of the cycle.
6. Run Performance Reviews Through a Dedicated Software Platform
The benefits of automated performance reviews go way beyond HR - one piece of research showed that managers spend an average 210 hours per year on appraisal-related tasks (3). Using a dedicated software platform for performance reviews can slash HR admin in half, by offering question templates, automated scheduling, notifications and even, in some cases, data reporting.
Bonus tip: With Frankli, you can set up a review cycle in minutes, and the platform takes care of tasks like circulating surveys, sending reminders, gathering responses and reporting on data. This is particularly powerful for 360 performance reviews, which are shown to be most effective but are particularly time-consuming to conduct manually.
7. Automate Meeting Scheduling and Prep
According to one report, HR managers spend 25% of their time meeting with employees and members of the leadership team (4). Of course, these important conversations can’t be automated (yet!) but some performance management software allows for the scheduling of recurring meetings, preparing of agendas and recording of notes.
Bonus tip: Frankli helps employees to create recurring meeting schedules with preset, customisable agendas and dedicated channels for note-taking and sharing.
8. Use a Platform to Manage Employee Benefits
Benefits administration requires HR teams to not only manage employee benefit programs but also maintain accurate records, connect employees to benefit providers, and process requests.
With the right HRIS, employees can provide a self-service system for employee benefits, allowing HR pros to approve with a single click.
9. Schedule Reminders for Recurring Tasks
HR teams typically have a lot on their plate, including unavoidable recurring tasks like leadership check-ins, compliance updates and reminding employees about ongoing initiatives. Providing HR with tools to help them manage their time and schedule reminders for recurring tasks helps them put the focus back on their people.
Bonus tip: Tools like Frankli help employees link smaller tasks to larger goals, so nothing falls through the cracks and their contribution to the business can be fairly and comprehensively measured.
10. Create a Self-Serve Coaching and Mentoring Program
Coaching and mentoring can contribute hugely to some of your HR team’s key objectives, like improving retention, job satisfaction and DEI (5,6,7), but creating and running a program like this takes time. With the right HR workflow automation, HR pros can hand these duties over to the employees and managers - employees simply request the coaching or mentoring sessions and managers approve them.
Bonus tip: With Frankli, setting up an internal coaching and mentoring program is as easy as communicating the feature to your employees. The self-serve model allows employees to take the lead. Once a manager approves, the employee simply has to schedule their sessions using the pre-populated agenda.
11. Use Digital Tools to Create a Skills Map
Some of the best HR professionals in tech are currently shifting their focus towards employee development, which is hardly surprising when you consider the far-reaching benefits. Skills and competency mapping is most efficient when run through a dedicated software platform, while taking an employee-led approach to career development is another way to cut out work for HR teams.
Bonus tip: Frankli helps companies tap into the benefits of career development by inviting employees to design their own career pathways in collaboration with their managers.
1. 2019 International Employee Survey Report, The Future of Work is Human. 2. Society for Human Resource Management, The High Cost of Low Value Work: Exploring the Impact of Administrative Tasks on the Workforce. 3. SHRM, Is the Annual Performance Review Dead? 4. Emplicity, How Human Resources Spends Their Time. 5. MentorCliq, 2022 Mentoring Impact Report: Visualizing the US Fortune 500. 6. Deloitte Millennial Survey. 7. CNBC, Nine in 10 workers who have a career mentor say they are happy in their jobs.