Author: Ajay Nimbalkar

Posted On Jul 07, 2017   |   4 min

Industry experts believe that 40% of all current HR activities can be automated, making way for more roles and avenues to be pursued by HR Managers. This has motivated many organizations to turn towards Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Some of the advantages of using RPA include:

• They can easily use the existing systems removing any need of additional investments.
• Provide accurate results.
• Reduced lead time for automated processes, thereby saving cost.
• Free up resources for more complex tasks.
• Are heavily reliable and can work multiple assignments simultaneously round the clock.

Realizing these benefits, HR experts have started looking at various avenues to implement RPA. There are a host of activities where RPA can be applied, especially with big organizations operating in multiple continents, multiple time zones and verticals. So, if you are looking to reduce costs, turnaround time for tedious HR activities, and have a flexible HR workforce, its time you think about implementing RPA in your organization. But what are some of the things you need to first consider before implementing RPA? I have compiled below a list of such few factors for your deliberation.

• Which processes to automate?
The whole RPA application would be determined by which process or system you are looking to automate. Is it a complex system, or an easy one? Does the process see changes in operation often? Will automation decrease the lead time? Once you have thought over all of these points, you can zero-in on the process and plan accordingly.
E.g., For small to medium firms, having state of the art HRIS may not be financially feasible. They can however, go ahead with enhancements for automating their processes. One such domain can be resume parsing. Not only can resumes be perused per skills, experience etc., but also categorized for further references and procedures.

• Stability of processes
A process that is constantly subject to changes or alterations is a poor choice for automation. You therefore, need to take into consideration, how often is the process subject to change, how much does it/will it change before implementing RPA. You should consider the goal of automating the process here, along with man hours saved and cost incurred in automation.
E.g., Resume parsing is an activity which can be stabilized through proper classifications and assigned parameters, and hence is a suitable candidate for automating your HR processes. One can make additions to it to integrate social channels thereby pulling in more information.

• Bot intelligence
Essentially, bots can be of different intelligence levels, depending on the complexity of tasks. Once you have identified the process for automating, you can also decide the complexity and intelligence of the bots. If your need is more to do with analytics and calculations you may want a bot with complex mechanisms; a less intelligent bot can be used for monotonous and tiring tasks.
E.g., An organization can improve its HR activities by automating its ticket resolution through a cloud-based chatbot solution. The chatbot solution processes requests with the help of NLP, and bots are trained to respond automatically to requests for resolution. This way all routine HR requests are handled without bothering HR staff.
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Apart from these, there are quite a few factors to be considered, such as using the right tools for automation, technology platforms to be chosen and level of automation to see desired output among others. Continuous monitoring and analysis is a key element to determine success for implementing RPA.

Has your organization implemented RPA in some form? Which functions in HR can be automated according to you and why do you think so? Drop in a comment, would be glad to know more.