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Smart process applications are strategically designed to streamline HR department resources while saving companies money and time. Because HR tasks are often repetitive and monotonous, automating tasks frees up valuable time, allowing your HR staff to focus on other important things.

Automated processes are also beneficial since they improve data accuracy, efficiency, and consistency. When embraced by HR professionals, their productivity increases and data becomes more secure. Employees also benefit by becoming more directly involved in their own management and development.

Which processes should be automated? The answer depends on many factors, ranging from budget limitations to time needs. How much time are you currently spending on HR? What processes are duplicated and often repeated? Which processes have the most errors? What data would be useful to analyze to improve employee productivity?

Common HR functions to streamline include:

1. Recruitment and hiring

With online applications, recruitment and subsequent hiring paperwork is completed by the person who is actually applying for a position. Prospective employees input their information, upload resumes and related documents, and answer any specific questions you need before considering them for a position. The software can often search for keywords and skills required for the job, effectively screening the resumes for each position.

Because the applicants and new hires input the information themselves, the data captured is more accurate. They do a better job catching incorrect Social Security numbers and personal information. And when the time comes to offboard an employee, they can complete exit surveys and other final processes online.

2. Scheduling and time sheets

Smart process applications for scheduling employee work hours can have an immediate payback in costs and time savings. A centralized scheduling software offers consistency in staff scheduling, immediate communication via email and text, and an employee interface. As with hiring, employees have a portal to request time off or swap shifts, as needed.

Many businesses experience seasonal shifts in volume and revenue, and with scheduling software’s ability to manage time sheets and provide direct communication with employees and departments, managers can schedule staff appropriately. Labor cost savings can be significant and employees are happier with the remote access that scheduling software affords them.

3. Payroll services

Gone are the days of printing paychecks on the office printer. Payroll services do this job more efficiently and with more legal compliance. With each employee’s wage data, payroll services take the headache out of benefits payments, tax deductions, legal compliance, and automatic deposits into employee banking accounts.

As with most smart processes, employees have portals for accessing their pay history, deductions, and tax status. Instead of a HR employee having to locate copies of checks, for example, an employee can get them on their own. If an employee wants to change exemptions, they can do so, and their information is automatically updated. Accuracy increases and HR time is reduced on such individualized requests and changes.

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4. Benefits management

For companies that offer multiple benefits like medical and retirement planning, keeping track of personal data is critically important. When a medical or life emergency occurs, having accurate information available can help smooth the process for both employees and employers alike. Benefits enrollment can be administered online to employees online, too, which simplifies their medical choices and clearly outlines costs.

5. Performance management

Employees are your company’s most expensive asset, and through good management of their growth and productivity, they can become your most valuable asset. But it takes time, and few people enjoy the process of employee reviews or performance improvement plans.

With an HR system to ease the burden, regular review policies and procedures are much easier to manage and offer a more positive experience. As a collaborative vehicle for performance management, a smart process for reviews includes methods for employees to self-evaluate and compare against a manager’s evaluation. With cooperative input from both parties, employee growth is more collaborative and benefits the company.

Analyzing it all

When these five HR processes are streamlined through smart process utilization, companies can also analyze employee utilization and effectiveness. Each of these systems will save a company time and money, and data-rich aspects will contribute to resource planning for future growth. For example, hiring data can help a company determine where to find new employees. Also by streamlining each HR task, payroll services and annual tax records are simplified, and employee development is better managed.

Utilizing HR automation software will help streamline your HR operations and quickly contribute to your success through cost savings and improved productivity.

RELATED: My Small Business Doesn’t Have an HR Department—Is That OK?

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