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Robotic Process Automation in HR Operations

Jul 18, 2022


  • EDITORIAL TEAM Talent Management Institute
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Robotic Process Automation in HR Operations

As absurd as it may sound, RPA in HR is helping to restore the human factor in human resources. With the help of robotic process automation, businesses can simplify HR transactional tasks so that HR professionals can concentrate on more strategic and valuable activities. How? Let's find out.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is one of the most recent technologies that has completely changed our perception of repetitive and routine tasks. A recent study carried out by Deloitte has confirmed RPA as a feasible and tested solution, with more than 74 percent of respondents planning to use the technology over the next few years and 22 percent already having piloted or implemented RPA.

Automating human resources operational and administrative tasks saves a significant amount of time and money, which could be used in more strategic and productive actions like giving face-to-face time to employees’ or solving problems.

The first step in implementing RPA is determining which use cases will provide the highest advantages. You can read through all RPA uses, advantages, and steps in the HR department below:

An introduction to RPA in HR

Robotic process automation (RPA) is a great option to boost HR's data management capabilities. This software helps automate rule-based, highly transient procedures in the HR department that require only a little or no human involvement.

RPA for HR functions is mostly a way of having a software robot complete repetitive, high-volume operational task for HR professionals. They include onboarding new employees and processing payroll data, benefits enrollment, and compliance reporting, which need a substantial amount of manual work and repetition. Alongside improved precision and efficiency of the data process, RPA is a key factor in reducing the overall cost of HR.

Benefits of RPA In HR

The market for automation is expected to grow rapidly. Based on data collected by AI multiple, the global market for robotic process automation was USD 1.40 billion in 2019 and is projected to grow to 11 billion in 2027, growing at a 34 percent CAGR between 2020 and 2027. Additionally, the economic impact of Knowledge Work Automation is estimated to be USD 5-7 trillion in 2025.

According to UiPath, an automation platform, some of the brief advantages of automation through robotic processes in HR include:

  • Reclaiming up to 40 percent of time spent by employees;
  • Ten times faster onboarding of employees;
  • Return on investment on payroll attained in 4 months;
  • Staff expenses decreased by 60 percent
  • Manual errors are reduced to a great extent

The value of RPA technology to benefit businesses through the human resources department is enormous. The most significant advantages of RPA for HR departments are as follows:

  • Easy to integrate and low risk: RPA is a low-risk non-invasive technology that is easily integrated into an existing HR system, allowing the HR team to develop an environment that is constantly growing with the introduction of new techniques and Machine Learning tools.
  • Productivity: RPA can free up human workers to concentrate on high-value tasks, such as retention and employee engagement, and can directly impact the company's overall strategic goals and increase overall efficiency.
  • Scalability: Cost per effort involved in RPA is low when used on a large scale and can be increased or decreased according to the system's needs, which results in zero or no waste of effort and downtime for the entire system.
  • Accuracy: It gives exact output and quick decisions in data analytics because of its supreme computational power superior to human equivalents.
  • Duration: RPA projects run 9-12 months, with a return on investment of 30 to up to 200 percent within the initial year.
  • Consistency: It's been designed to ensure perfect replication and error-free performance, removing output variations throughout an operational term.
  • Reliability: They can be on the job 24/7/365 and won't require sick days.
  • Flexibility: RPA is an industry-agnostic tool that implements a well-designed procedure regardless of its deployed environment.

Steps to Implement RPA For HR Management

If you're looking to implement RPA in HR for your organization, follow these steps:

1) Identify the scope of the HR RPA Project

The first step is to determine small and manageable HR processes that can benefit from automation. The most effective approach is to pinpoint the streams that perform repetitive tasks. It will reduce risk and maximize the value of the purchase.

2) Determine the baseline operating cost for human resources operations to calculate the benefits gained from HR RPA Implementation

After determining the project's scope, the next step is finding out the operational baseline expenses of the venture. The calculation of the initial costs and the costs to be incurred after implementation is crucial to ensure the project's success and stakeholder involvement.

3) Analyze the state of current human resource processes to document the potential for RPA

After determining the baseline cost, the following step is to watch the process, record your observations, and discover possible opportunities to implement RPA within your department. The procedure should be as precise as possible, going down to every keystroke or mouse click.

4) Standardized HR processes

Standardizing the way tasks are completed is vital. There should be only one method in which the job is executed to ensure that there isn't any ambiguity, and this should be accomplished before or during the implementation of RPA.

5) Get your robotic process automation started

It is the most important stage of the process. It will demonstrate how RPA can result in productivity improvements for the department.

Popular Use Cases of RPA in HR

Nearly every HR department must manage a variety of time-consuming administrative duties. RPA gives companies and HR departments numerous straightforward benefits. Here are a few of the most effective uses that you must be aware of:

  • Shortlisting candidates based on their CVs: On average, every corporate job offer draws around 250 resumes or more. In the case of basic HR processes like recruiting, most time is spent evaluating the resumes and applications submitted by applicants for open positions. RPA collects resumes and then compares the data with the specific job requirements. These requirements are thought of as rules established by the company that affects the entire selection process using RPA technology. In the end, qualified applicants may receive telephone calls informing the applicant of an interview, and those who don't meet the requirements for selection may receive rejection notifications. HR managers also utilize RPA technology to reduce the paperwork needed to complete the process.
  • Training and induction of employees: The onboarding process for new employees is always a challenge. HR specialists manage responsibilities including generating the username and an email account for a new employee and allowing access to vital information, applications, or IT tools required by the employee. Whereas, the RPA technology permits employees in the HR department to automate the induction process completely.
  • Management of employee data: Manually managing employee data is a nightmare for HR managers. It is usually a process of systematic and consistent tasks across multiple databases, from employee benefits and payroll to regulations for the company and much more. If automated systems manage data, it is easily accessible to various platforms, it is frequently updated, and there is a minimal risk of inaccurate data entry. RPA can complete data cleaning regularly to ensure that data is compatible across multiple databases.
  • Maintaining compliance with the company: Employment laws are among those that go through the most frequent changes due to the need to adjust to shifts in the socio-economic status of the workforce and to provide employees with adequate health, safety, and welfare conditions. Robotic process automation in HR enables enterprises to adhere to compliance norms that are always changing by combining data from numerous platforms. As everything is carried out by software bots using RPA, the process may be accelerated while simultaneously minimizing delays and human mistake. This improves the process' overall accuracy.
  • Payroll Processing: Payroll processing is among those HR tasks that companies cannot do without. Tax rules are constantly changing, and the rapid increase in reporting requirements and technical problems makes the process more demanding. Manual payroll administration can be prone to errors because of the large volume of data input. Due to its capability to connect data from multiple different systems, RPA Human Resources can assist in simplifying the process. Additionally, RPA bots may validate employees' hours that have been added to the system, collect correct information, and avoid any delay in the payment of salaries to employees and vendors.

Can RPA replace HR jobs?

One of the main worries among HR managers is whether new technologies such as RPA could eliminate their job. However, most evidence available suggests it isn't likely.

"Jobs don't usually go away per se; tasks go away with RPA," says Mike Pino, partner and workforce learning strategies leader with London-based PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a research and consulting firm. "HR tasks offer a variety of possibilities for automation. I believe that as the use of RPA and other technologies that automate expands, HR professionals will notice that their daily routines in their job will be quite different from before."

For instance, Pino says applying RPA to processes like onboarding will allow HR employees to focus more on making "emotional connections" that are needed to bond new employees to an organization.

"When new employees do not feel any emotional connection to the organization within the first few weeks after starting their job, you'll see a rise in employee turnover rate," Pino says. "When you can assign your HR generalists to focus more on the front of employee experience, you'll get two benefits. You will get the ROI for retention of employees in addition to the return on investment from the reduction of manual labor and improving the effectiveness of the onboarding process through the introduction of automated processes."

Nancy Hauge, Chief People Experience Officer (CPEO) of Automation Anywhere, has implemented numerous RPA bots in her HR department and claims they haven't yet resulted in the removal of the staff posts.

"If you're employed in a field which can be completely automated, you've probably been obsolete for some time," Hauge says. "HR is full of many transactional tasks that we no longer require humans to do. We evaluate the effectiveness of RPA using the number of fingers we can remove from keyboards. There aren't many HR roles that don't require strong decisions, business acumen, and human interaction skills, and RPA will allow HR professionals to utilize more of those capabilities and perform more productive tasks."


The trend of robots, AI and NLP entering the workspace is not a new one and the majority of businesses utilize products/services that are a direct result of these technologies. Robots can assist companies in streamlining repetitive tasks that can save lots of time. Apart from improving the speed and accuracy of data processing, RPA may help reduce the overall costs of HR for an organization.

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