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The Future of HR Technology

Rebecca Sealfon, Former Software Engineer at Google and Writer for Outlets like the New York Daily News, Smithsonian Magazine and Daily Beast writes about the Future of HR Tech

The Future of HR Technology

Human resources (HR), sometimes called by a different name such as People Operations, is an important part of any organization. Ultimately, an organization is defined by the people in it. HR manages the logistics, guiding them to shape the organization.

In recent years, the face of work has changed. Jobs are becoming less permanent and more piece-by-piece, with contracting on the rise. Better long-distance communication and the COVID-19 pandemic have also enabled remote work, sometimes across continents, to become more common.

Some of the key bottlenecks of HR workflows include excessive paperwork, data errors, redundant and duplicate work, inefficient use of resources, and low employee morale. No-code technologies allow HR departments to address many of these issues efficiently, with less of a need to hire specialized engineers that may be removed from the applications at hand. For more general information about what no-code is and looks like, you can read this.

What is an HR workflow?

A human resources workflow involves processing documents such as performance reviews, timesheets, onboarding documentation, sick leaves, or various surveys as well as submitting, approving, and tracking HR requests — all in one platform. In simple terms, it is a set of routine, repetitive tasks related to document processing. Thus, as soon as a workflow starts, the HR manager is already aware of every step that comes next. However, this does not make the human resources management process easier: a typical HR workflow, such as employee onboarding, can contain a number of documents as well as routing back and forth between the new worker, the HR department, the project manager, and others.

What does HRM mean?

HRM, or human resource management, is the practice of recruiting, hiring and managing employees within an organization. A number of these tasks can be streamlined by automation.

1. Onboarding new employees

The first step in managing human resources is onboarding new workers. HR managers not only need to provide newcomers with all the necessary documents and get them signed, but also make sure the new employees are aware of the company’s policies, values, code of conduct, and other necessary information. Sending out every document manually, as well as checking whether all of them have been filled out and signed, is time-consuming and prone to error. By automating document routing, HR departments can devote more time to personal communication with new workers, thus helping them to adapt much faster and without stress.

2. Collecting employee surveys

HR departments deal with many different surveys on a regular basis. These can be employee engagement surveys, employee performance surveys, professional development surveys, 360 surveys, employee opinion and satisfaction surveys, and many others. All of them have a similar workflow: the HR manager sends out the surveys so that employees fill them out and send them back. Automation is of high importance here because it ensures that all the fields in a survey are completed. Thanks to automatic notifications and reminders, people will not forget to fill them out.

3. Managing employee requests

Employee requests can have many different purposes, such as business trips, vacations, and sick leave. Processing these requests is a human resources task. The key challenge here is routing documents and transferring data. Workflow automation eliminates the risk of directing a document to the wrong recipient and significantly reduces the time it takes to complete a process by instantly transferring the necessary information between documents and internal systems.

4. Managing incident reports

From time to time, incidents are bound to occur at the workplace, regardless of the industry. To minimize the damage, it is necessary to analyze the situation, interview the people involved, and create a detailed report to help solve the issue and prevent it from repeating. Automation helps structure the process, collect, route, and sort all the necessary data to respond to the incident as soon as possible.

The previous examples as well as other human resources business processes have a more or less similar pattern. But before detailing the benefits of automation for HR workflows, let’s have a look at some statistics and research data to better understand why the future of human resource management is inconceivable without automation.

According to Deloitte, there are four possible scenarios for HR development within the upcoming decade. Most, for good reason, involve automation.

Assessing the workflow automation needs of HR

In the future, human resource management will be impossible or stiflingly inefficient without workflow automation. However, automation cannot replace HR managers completely. Here are some human resource activities that can and cannot be automated.

There are many more examples of HR workflows, but even those in the diagram show that all the processes, except in-person communication or creative work, can and should be automated.

The next step is to put these workflows in the order of priority. Finally, one should identify which high-priority processes consume the most time. Once you’ve identified the key inefficiencies, it’s time to select a tool for digital workflow automation that will help you address these issues. Here are some tips that will help you choose the right software for your human resources workflows.

No-code automation

No-code software is worth paying attention to because your HR managers are unlikely to have coding experience, and you probably don’t want to spend the extra money on outsourcing developers to help you set up automated HR systems. No-code platforms allow you and your team to build full-fledged automated workflows of any complexity without coding skills.

Cloud service integrations

Document sorting and storage is one of the key challenges HR departments face on a regular basis. The issue can be easily resolved with an HR automation software that supports integrations with cloud services like Google Drive, OneDrive, Box, and others. With such a tool, documents are automatically updated, attached, transferred, and saved to the selected folder of the cloud service you’re using.

Workflow visualization

This feature might not seem crucial at first glance, but imagine that you can see the entire process right in front of you, visualized as a diagram — including all the participants, documents, and access permissions. You can drag and drop the steps of the process to build document routing, add names to these steps to make it understandable for you and your team, assign fields in documents to specific recipients, and set up conditions for the document to be sent to a recipient.

Training resources

Almost any software, even the most user-friendly and intuitive, requires instructions in order to work with certain features. Check if the HR automation software includes dedicated training or courses to teach you and your team members how to work with their product. Also, check if these courses are free or if you would need to pay extra.


No matter which industry you work in — education, healthcare, IT, or something else — the human resources department is an integral part of your organization. By automating HR processes, you not only increase efficiency and eliminate endless paperwork for HR managers but also reduce the levels of stress for both newcomers and existing employees.

** Rebecca works for HR automation softare company, airSlate. The content of this post was originally published in airSlate’s blog, as this article and adapted from Rebecca's post on her personal medium page.

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