HR Myths: Does Automation Take the “Human” out of HR?

A concept image showing HR automation software as 3D images broadcast from a tablet.

Plenty of HR myths are in circulation in a field as important as human resources.

There are plenty of myths about HR that could use some fact-checking. We want to focus on one that’s related to HR business process automation.

Does automating HR processes take the human element out of the picture and lead to unintended consequences?

Let’s take a closer look at this enduring HR myth.

The HR Myth: Fearing Automation

HR process automation, just like automation for any department, can seem like a big problem. A few of the most serious concerns related to HR automation include:

  • Removing the human element from valuable processes: Will HR automation software exclude experienced professionals from sharing input for key decisions?
  • Replacing HR professionals: Could an HR software solution make staff redundant?

In reality, there are many labor-intensive, time-consuming, and repetitive tasks that fall to the HR department. Reviewing the results of those efforts, or using them to support another process, can be vital for success.

The actual work can be little more than plugging data into a spreadsheet, however. They may also be prone to human error, such as payroll tax management. These lower-level tasks either:

  • Don’t require a skilled HR team member to ensure they’re completed, or 
  • Are better served with the consistency and lack of potential for human error that automation provides

Busting the HR Automation Myth: Keeping HR Managers and Staff in the Loop

The design and function of dependable and effective HR automation tools take the value of staff into account.

The most beneficial HR automation software focuses on automatically completing processes that require plenty of time and effort. These same processes ask for little (if any) uniquely human critical-thinking skills or HR experience.

Staff can take the results generated by automation and use them in their own reporting, analysis, and decision-making. Complex processes like selecting new hires from a pool of final candidates stay in the hands of staff. Repetitive, rote tasks are left to HR business process automation.

Tortilla Chips and HR Myths?

HR and food service are very different in terms of daily tasks. However, the Society for Human Resource Management shared a simple and positive example of adding automation to a workflow.

Fast-casual restaurant chain Chipotle recently implemented Chippy, a robotic kitchen assistant designed to make tortilla chips. That task is among the most repetitive for Chipotle employees. Now, those workers can focus more on the duties that require a human touch as Chippy consistently makes chips.

HR teams don’t make a lot of tortilla chips. However, they handle plenty of simple tasks that automation can capably complete.

Four HR professionals use HR automation software on laptop computers and tablets while sitting at a table during a meeting.

Busting the HR Automation Myth: More Focus on High-Level Duties

Simple tasks that fall to HR professionals leave less time for more strategically important work. 

Confirming applicant email addresses or inputting employee PTO requests helps keep your organization running smoothly. But those workflows don’t stand to benefit from a person completing them as opposed to an automated HR function.

Automation in HR technology addresses those repetitive burdens. It also leaves room for staff to focus on the more interesting and engaging aspects of their jobs.

Technology is constantly advancing. But it won’t soon replicate the combination of experience, education, and complex reasoning and thinking skills that HR professionals possess.

Management software should be viewed as a complementary addition to an HR team. It won’t replace valuable staff members because it can’t fulfill all of their duties. Instead, it can take on the least engaging and potentially mind-numbing (yet no doubt important) assignments.

The Benefits of Moving Past the HR Automation Myth

It’s very easy for misconceptions about HR automation software to make this helpful tool seem like a problem.

We hope that highlighting this HR myth can paint a clearer picture of how you can benefit from this software.

AllianceHCM offers a full suite of human capital management solutions, including HR automation software. We have the experience and expertise to implement HR automation tools and provide first-class support and service.

Learn how we can help your business: Schedule your free demo today!

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