Today, the scope of technologies available to help us perform our jobs more efficiently and successfully is broader than anything we might have imagined just a few years ago.This has been particularly true in the area of human resources with new tools and technologies appearing on the scene at a crazy pace.

The introduction of Cloud-based HR platforms has made technology more affordable for small and mid-sized businesses who often rely on manual, paper-based processes and spreadsheets to manage hiring, employee data, benefits administration and more. This helps explain why we see more SMB companies moving towards automation. The other is that HR leaders have recognized the benefits technology offers; a recent survey by global talent acquisition and management firm Randstad Sourceright found that 92 percent of C-Suite, HR leaders and professionals surveyed believe that technology enhances the attraction, engagement and retention of talent.

Yet for companies with under 100 employees, it can be difficult to make the move to automation, especially for HR departments of one that are comfortable with the existing processes. At some point, however, the volume of work becomes too much for even the most efficient HR professional. To help smaller HR departments, we have identified key areas you can point to that indicate you are in dire need of HCM automation.

How do you know when it's time for HCM automation?HR departments of one most often derive the greatest benefits from an all-in-one HR platform.
Increased risk of compliance fees and penalties

According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), lean or one-person HR departments relying on outdated tech or other basic tools can easily make serious mistakes that lead to noncompliance and its associated penalties.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 SHRM.

“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 Affordable Care Act or not knowing when your employees I-9 documents are expiring, non-compliance can lead to fines and other penalties. These penalties can be significant, especially for a small company. A comprehensive HR solution the automates payroll, benefits, employee verification and other tasks that have associated compliance requirements can help to ensure your organization stays within legal parameters.

Slow-paced, inefficient operations

When it comes to vacation time, sick day requests or questions about their paycheck, your employees don’t want to wait a long time for someone in HR to get back to them. And the more time HR has to spend on administrative tasks like approving time-off requests, providing copies of year-end documents, or updating employees’ personal information, the less time they have for strategic initiatives, the sort of projects that can improve the candidate or employee experience or help the company achieve its goals.

HR platforms with self-service functionality help employers avoid the slowdown of processes that should be a breeze. Empowering employees and managers to efficiently handle administrative tasks such as requesting and approving time-off, updating dependents or personal contact information, or checking a pay stub not only creates a better employee experience but also frees up time for HR.

Missing out on top candidates due to inefficient recruiting or onboarding

According to HR Technologist, traditional approaches to recruiting and hiring can involve a great deal of repetitive tasks. In periods of low unemployment like we have today, 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. A comprehensive HR solution that can 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.