For several years now, the automation of the HR function (which consists of automating actions through the use of algorithms or robots requiring no or only partial human intervention) has been a proven trend.
This concept should be correlated with the digitization of HR processes, which aims to optimize the processes of a company through the use of digital technology. Already in 2018, 82% of the managers consulted had made automation one of their priorities. Today, we can see that the majority of HR processes are affected by automation. Companies see it as an opportunity, not only to optimize the performance and investment of their employees, but also to have more structured HR processes that allow for more refined employee data feedback.
In 2020, this trend towards process automation has been reinforced by Covid-19, which has highlighted two major trends that should be highlighted:
The importance of having a reactive and agile HR function to respond to this type of crisis – HR process automation promotes agility and today becomes almost essential for the company. During the health crisis, digital HR played the role of the ‘backbone’ of the company, facilitating the implementation of teleworking, new aid schemes proposed by the State and guaranteeing a form of cohesion between teams. In fact, 65% of the HR managers consulted believe that process automation is a key issue for 2020.
A blatant reality: HR processes are not always optimally automated. The result is a loss of efficiency. For example, the Time and Activity Management (TAM) process is nowadays highly automated, while the offboarding process is hardly automated at all. 59% of the HR managers surveyed by Markess by exaegis believe that HR processes are moderately automated. Above all, 65% of them say that this automation remains moderately effective.
This dichotomy between the need for automation clearly expressed by companies and the realization of these projects can be explained by the lack of a global and aligned policy on these subjects. The result is a heterogeneous treatment and level of automation and digitization, depending on the processes and issues specific to the organization.
On the one hand, there are highly digitized processes that are well established in the company, most often related to the payroll and ‘administrative management’ segments, but which are slow to benefit from the latest technological advances.
On the other hand, there are less structured, more recent and less digitalized processes, often related to ‘human capital management’, but which benefit from the latest technological innovations, especially in the field of automation. The deployment of machine learning (ML) tools on the training side, or applications that allow a more efficient matching between advertisements and candidates illustrate this point.
2 brakes are also at the origin of this reality:
- The technological and technical constraints linked to the integration and management of these new solutions.
- Internal obstacles resulting from the difficulty for some employees to adapt to a rapid ‘digital revolution’.