The growing importance of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in HR processes automation

November 23, 2020

Featured-Image_Blog_The growing importance of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in HR processes automation _EN

More than ever, the modernisation of the HR function is at the heart of the major challenges companies are facing. This involves digitalizing and automating their processes, whose relevance continues to grow with the current health and economic crisis.  In the Markess’s new HR  e-book, “Digital innovations for the benefit of the HR function”, the analyst investigates in depth the technological advances associated with this company department. 

RPA tools generalization process 

RPA (Robotic Process Automation) softwares automate the repetitive tasks of a business process by relying on the use of robots. These robots act according to the instructions received. They are part of a HR process automation dynamic, which in 2020 will be a key issue for 65% of the HR managers consulted by Markess by exægis. This percentage is certainly a consequence of the health crisis. During this 2020, companies have understood the urgent need to digitize HR processes. 

This is why the generalization of RPA tools is still a slow process, because until this year, the digitalization of HR was not such an obvious priority. In fact, in 2019, only 17% of HR managers asked by Markess by exægis were willing to invest in RPA technology. While in 2020, 44% stressed the importance of developing expertise in RPA by 2022. It should be noted that the decision-makers adopting this position most often come from large companies whose resources, digital maturity and complex processes favour the use of these RPA tools.

In 2020, however, 52% of the HR managers consulted by Markess by exægis do not plan to use RPA tools for HR process management. This fact is probably due to the uncertainties linked to the coronavirus, the economic crisis and the difficulty of calculating the return on investment (ROI) of these solutions in the short term.

Several types of RPA tools 

  • Robotic Desktop Automation or “attended RPA”: the automation of the task is done at the workstation level, where the robot will perform the interactions instead of the human being (data management, opening of windows…).

If necessary, it is possible for the employee to take over. If necessary, the robot will be able to perform control actions on the data it handles.

  • Autonomous or “unattended RPA” robots: here, automation takes place at the server level, without any interaction with the employee in charge of executing the process. The robot will retrieve information, execute the expected processes and implement them in other HRIS applications via programming interfaces (APIs).

In addition to the time savings highlighted by 87% of respondents, the deployment of these solutions improves employee performance by relieving them of recurring tasks, often with low added value and often a source of errors. In fact, it enhances the entire organisation’s performance. The payroll process, a time-consuming process for HR managers and a source of recurring errors, illustrates this point. In addition, RPA tools contribute to simplifying the daily life of the employee, and thus to the development of a relevant ’employee relationship’. Finally, in times of crisis, these programs bring agility and reactivity to the HR function, which can thus better focus on the most urgent tasks and, guarantee the normal business operations and activity.