Regularly recurring business processes are usually in need of optimization. They tie up resources and are often prone to error. This also applies to HR departments. The automation of processes is of particular importance here, because it ensures increased efficiency and helps to avoid errors. Optimal service is also becoming increasingly important for human resources, because the expectations of internal customers and applicants are growing and increasingly demand optimized services. HR processes can be the key. We take a look at what HR processes actually are, what benefits they have, and how they can be automated.
What are HR processes?
HR departments, like many other departments, have countless processes to follow in order to recruit successfully or to handle the diverse tasks of personnel management. These HR processes affect everything from personnel planning to the application process, workplace equipment and payroll to personnel development and offboarding.
Why HR processes?
Employees are one of the most important assets of a company and should be treated accordingly and supported in their concerns. Plus, there are various legal and data protection requirements that must be complied with. Increased demands on quality, speed, timeliness and costs of HR work leave HR managers no choice but to increasingly think in terms of processes. Well-established HR processes help them to reduce costs, shorten throughput times, monitor deadlines automatically and create scope for qualitative, advisory and strategic activities.
The benefits of processes in human resources
When routine processes are automated, this makes the daily work of HR managers much easier. This happens through standardized processes that can be easily triggered and automated, taking into account all required resources, approvals and responsibilities. This increases the quality of collaboration within the company.
These are very concrete advantages that automated or digitized HR processes offer:
- Improved quality of personnel-related work
- Increased transparency
- Faster completion of routine tasks
- More successful recruiting
- Freedom for more creative tasks
- Increase in employee productivity
- Support for the digitalization of the company
- Increased employee satisfaction
So it comes down to optimal, well-functioning processes in HR departments. The use of business process management software can be crucial here, as it helps document the tasks and activities that enable HR tasks to run smoothly.
What HR processes are there?
Given the large number of processes that occur today, it makes sense to assign them to process areas or application areas. Typical HR processes exist in the following fields of activity.
This involves the fundamental planning of personnel requirements, the organization and management of personnel deployment. In the context of personnel planning, overstaffing or understaffing is also identified and consequently eliminated.
Recruiting includes the entire employer branding, i.e. the positioning of an employer as a basis for further activities. This includes the creation of job advertisements, the organization of procurement channels, the personnel selection process, hiring and rejection, and finally onboarding measures.
This is the large area covering the countless administrative tasks of an HR team, such as the administration of working hours and absences, processing of vacation requests and the proper payment of taxes and duties.
Human resources development
A contemporary and exemplary employer pays special attention to this area. Here, it is a matter of agreeing on targets, supporting compliance with them and checking that they are being met, carrying out staff appraisals, and defining measures for staff development and implementing them.
For various reasons, the employee cycle always comes to an end, and at some point, an employee leaves. Now, the HR department has to take care of all tasks related to staff leaving, issue a reference and carry out offboarding.
How to digitize and automate HR processes
Digitization and automation of HR processes save time, reduce the error rate and ensure professional processes and communication with applicants, current and departing employees. In addition, the automation of processes also frees up space in the HR department for other, more creative tasks and most importantly ensures greater satisfaction among employees.
Nevertheless, in many companies there is obviously still inhibition when it comes to digitizing HR processes. Why? Because it’s about people (the employees of a company) and the attitude is often held that the associated tasks also require the appropriate care for people. But it is precisely the technological support of HR employees that gives them the time and peace of mind they need to devote the appropriate care to the affairs of the workforce.
Define HR processes
Before HR processes can be automated, they must first be identified and documented. Documentation usually takes the form of a process diagram. This is the visual representation of all the steps involved in completing a particular process. Creating such a diagram makes it possible to identify areas that can be optimized and ensure that no process steps are skipped. Companies then have an overview that shows who has to do what and when. It also optimizes the use of tools needed to keep processes running smoothly and ensures that information is captured for compliance purposes.
Example recruiting process
The recruitment process offers a good illustration of the process steps required until this process can be completed (ideally successfully) and the new employee is under contract:
- Application received
- Review of the application by HR
- Forwarding of the application to the specialist department or return if the requirements are not met
- Review of the application by the specialist department
- Initial selection of possible candidates by specialist department
- Invitation of the applicants by HR
- Forwarding of appointments to specialist departments by HR
- Evaluation of the interview
- Specialist department informs HR of its decision
- Acceptance of selected applicants by HR
- Rejection of other applicants by HR
Optimize HR processes
The example of recruitment clearly shows of how many individual steps a process can consist. Having many steps and many people involved always mean susceptibility to errors, weaknesses or inefficiencies. This means that defining or evaluating the individual steps also provides a good opportunity to adjust the process. This means determining whether circumstances have changed, process steps have become redundant, or have proven impractical.
These factors make it necessary to adjust the process. The very specific and individual requirements and objectives of the respective HR team should also be taken into account.
Digitize and automate HR processes
Once the processes have been documented and optimized, digitization and automation can begin. BPM software, such as OTRS, is a great support here and companies save time and money while reducing errors. In addition, automated processes make handover and vacation replacement much easier. New colleagues can also start immediately without extensive training.
Automating processes makes it possible to speed them up and move them forward without manual intervention – capture and forget, in other words. Work runs through the defined process, without constant supervision. Everyone does “their part” and the automation takes care of passing the tasks to the next person, team or system. With BPM software, all HR processes can be systematically supported — from the application process to workplace equipment ordering to further training and vacation planning to offboarding.
This is made possible by standardized processes that can be easily triggered and automated, taking into account all required resources, approvals and responsibilities. This significantly increases the quality of collaboration within the company.
The digitized vacation request
Let’s take a vacation request as an example; it’s a process that occurs almost daily, seemingly to be completed on the side, but which is of absolute relevance for the employee. After all, who likes to be “cheated” out of a day of vacation, or worse, have to forgo it because the request was not processed properly and the specialist department has now planned with the colleague and cannot spare him. A process that runs manually holds all kinds of potential for difficulties and inefficiencies. For example, an incorrect calculation of remaining leave, an overlooked release or problems when only one employee is in charge of the process and is absent.
So leave management is one of the potential processes for automation, because it consists of clear, concise and recurring steps.
- Info to HR
- Posting of days of absence
If this is not the case, the matter may become significantly more complex:
- Check how much leave I still have
- Fill out leave request
- Check and release request
- Return request to employee
- Copy of request to HR
- HR records days of absence
- Remaining leave is calculated manually
- Feedback to employee
Preconfigured HR processes
If an HR department does not yet have the support of a software solution for its processes, perhaps does not even have clearly defined processes yet, or has defined them, a preconfigured tool could be the salvation. OTRS offers a special HR Management solution scenario for this purpose.
With this solution, HR employees can immediately and easily access a selection of predefined HR processes, such as applications or vacation requests. This guarantees consistent quality and a reduction in the administrative workload of the HR team, not to mention an optimized user experience for employees or applicants.
The HR Solution scenario from OTRS offers:
- Simple applicant management
- Centralized HR data management
- Employee onboarding and training requests
- Reporting of all relevant personnel and HR data.
Qualified employees are becoming increasingly scarce and companies often have difficulty finding suitable specialists. Efficiency in the application process is often the key factor for the success of the candidate's decision.
Contemporary personnel management with an HR management solution
The tasks of HR departments are becoming increasingly extensive and complex. Not least due to the shortage of skilled workers, companies are facing challenges and the role of HR teams is becoming increasingly important. It has long since ceased to be the case that applicants are in the situation of having to rely on this one job. Qualified employees are becoming increasingly scarce, and companies often have difficulty finding suitable professionals. That’s why efficient processes are often the factor that determines the success of the candidate’s decision. The first contact with the potential employer thus becomes the company’s flagship.
The classic HR topics, such as recruiting and personnel management, are more relevant than ever.
At the same time, professional HR processes are a prerequisite for HR departments that work in a contemporary manner, i.e. that use the standardization and automation of administrative processes. Only these can make a relevant contribution to holistic corporate transformation.
Transformation is unavoidable if you want to remain competitive. Therefore, contemporary HR management with optimal processes will hardly be able to avoid the support of BPM software or, even better, dedicated HR management software.
Create the basis and start with your daily tasks, i.e. your processes. Good luck.
If you want to know how an OTRS HR Management Solution scenario can support you, contact our experts.