How Do You Know When It’s Time for HCM Automation?


As the second decade of the 2000s rounds the turning point into the third, the scope of available technologies for professionals in countless industries – including human capital management – is broader than anything we might have imagined just a few years ago.

“Automation may save your HCM operations from slowing down.”

Yet in spite of that, there are still plenty of small and even medium-sized businesses where HCM or HR operations are the responsibility of a skeleton crew of three to five people. More than a few firms, out of necessity, deal with the dreaded “HR department of one” scenario, which is not feasible for the long term if the business is stuck working with basic spreadsheet programs and accounting software – or worse, paper-based processes.

At the same time, if your organization is in a situation like the one described above, you may have gotten so used to this way of operating that you’re unsure exactly how to get out of the rut. Let’s take a look at some of the clearest indicators that you’re in dire need of HCM automation, and also learn what the PeopleStrategy eHCM platform can do to make these tasks that much easier:

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, lean or one-person HR departments relying on outdated tech or other basic tools
can easily make serious mistakes that lead to noncompliance and its associated penalties. Holly Payne, compliance manager for a freight management firm in St. Charles, Illinois, elaborated on this in an interview with the HCM professionals’ association.

Misunderstanding essential compliance guidelines

“A lot of companies that are smaller may have an office manager who’s moved into HR, so that person doesn’t necessarily have knowledge about what’s compliant versus not compliant,” Payne told SHRM.

Whether it’s a mistake regarding open-enrollment procedures as required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or not knowing how long employees’ Form I-9 documents must remain stored, failing at any of these responsibilities can lead to hefty fines and other penalties. PeopleStrategy’s comprehensive eHCM solution automates payroll, benefits, employee verification and other tasks that feature compliance requirements so your organization stays within legal parameters even if a single manager is supervising HR.

Slow-paced, inefficient processes

Employees don’t want to spend a lot of time thinking about their vacation time and sick day requests, or their paychecks – they want these tasks handled by HR as quickly as possible, within standard time frames. A separate report by SHRM pointed out that if HR is relying on emails or paper forms employees submit to create various scheduling requests or to access payroll data – check stubs from particular pay periods, W-2s and so on – HR personnel won’t have the sort of time that could be better spent on strategic initiatives, the sort of projects that can truly improve employees’ overall experiences.

Self-service technology, as represented by PeopleStrategy’s platform, provides the ideal avenue by which to avoid the slowdown of processes that should be a breeze. Those in your workforce should have the assurance of submitting vacation requests or payroll inquiries in a matter of seconds and receiving responses shortly afterward. Considering that workers may submit well over 1,000 such queries every year, handling them manually or with basic software just won’t do.

Problems with recruiting and onboarding

According to HR Technologist, traditional approaches to handling talent acquisition can involve a great deal of repetitive tasks. Given low unemployment across all major industries in the U.S. (3.8 percent as of February 2019, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics), you simply can’t afford to have your recruiting and onboarding be bogged down in inefficiencies, especially if you’re in dire need of new employees for mission-critical open positions.

Cliff Justice, U.S. leader of intelligent automation operations at KPMG, explained how intelligent automation can critically aid organizations’ talent acquisition operations.

“IA will free these teams from repetitive, routine tasks and enable them to focus on responsibilities that require a human touch … such as redesigning recruiting and onboarding processes, or developing new rewards and training programs to attract and retain top talent,” Justice told HR Technologist.

Justice’s point is especially salient when you consider how recruiting and onboarding must extend far beyond the steps of hiring and also focus on workers’ professional development. Implementing the PeopleStrategy eHCM solution to handle the basic but essential requirements of talent acquisition – alongside payroll, benefits management, scheduling and performance evaluation – can help your organization realize the greatest possible value from its most important resource: its people.