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Bill VenteicherJune 18, 2024
Topics: Talent Experience

What Is HR Automation? A Guide (With Examples)

As an HR leader, you know that workflow automation is a hot topic right now — and for good reason. But if you’re not familiar with how it works, it can be hard to know where to start. While the challenges of integrating complex tech stacks, streamlining redundant software, and smoothing out operational friction can be substantial, learning to navigate them is worth the effort. Adopting these automation tools makes talent acquisition and management more efficient, and enhances interactions with candidates and employees, boosting retention rates and reducing time to hire.

With 26% of business owners now using AI tools to source and recruit talent, and the total AI market predicted to grow to over one trillion dollars by 2028, there’s no question that AI is going to reshape how we work. This rapid expansion emphasizes the widespread adoption of advanced technologies to streamline processes and enhance efficiency across various industries. 

This article will take a closer look at why HR automation is on the rise by highlighting how it can provide benefits across multiple areas, including data security and analytics. It’ll also explore practical strategies for integrating systems, managing change effectively, and securing funding for new technology. By the end, you'll know how to choose and implement the best solution for your organization.

In This Article

    What Is HR Automation?

    HR automation is the use of software to turn manual HR tasks into automated processes. This shift makes HR tasks more fluid and accurate, helps companies meet compliance requirements, and supports strategic decision-making — boosting efficiency and saving significant time in the process. With routine tasks automated, HR professionals can focus more on strategic areas like building relationships with candidates, skills development, and employee engagement.

    The benefits of HR automation extend beyond simplifying workflows. This technology can also improve overall operational efficiency and enhance the candidate and employee experiences by enabling quicker responses and more personalized interactions. The impact of HR automation also reaches far beyond the HR department by promoting engagement and productivity across the organization.

    Benefits of HR Automation

    HR automation offers many benefits that maximize operations and foster a more dynamic and responsive HR department. By reducing manual tasks, enhancing data accuracy, and offering real-time insights, automation paves the way for efficiency. Here are some specific benefits:

    Increased Productivity and Efficiency

    Automation reduces the time HR teams spend on routine tasks like candidate screening and interview scheduling. This ultimately leads to higher efficiency and productivity. In fact, AI has the potential to increase employee productivity by 40% by 2035. Employees can use this extra time for strategic planning, innovation, and improving customer service.

    Informed Decision-Making

    Once HR teams have implemented automation – for example, to support their hiring workflows – there is a need to evaluate the effectiveness in meeting the desired outcomes. It is here where HR managers and organizational leaders benefit from real-time data and analytics that can support their decision-making. These give insights and recommendations to optimize the performance of their automated workflows. In fact, a survey of employees across departments — including HR — found that almost half felt that AI improved their decision-making

    Access to detailed insights into workforce dynamics, performance metrics, and recruitment outcomes allows leaders to identify trends, forecast needs, and make informed decisions that align with business objectives. This data-driven approach can enhance your ability to make smart decisions about recruiting and talent management initiatives.

    Reduced Errors

    The shift towards HR automation plays a crucial role in optimizing the accuracy and security of important organizational, employee, and candidate data. Because it has the ability to automatically detect and correct errors, AI can make HR data entry and maintenance much more precise than human teams can. It can also protect against accidental security breaches due to human error. With one survey revealing that 36% of respondents thought they had made a mistake at work that could compromise security, it’s easy to see why HR automation is an increasingly popular option for ensuring data is precise and secure.

    Better Collaboration

    HR automation tools facilitate better collaboration among managers and teams by providing platforms for sharing information, tracking project progress, and managing goals. These tools help break down silos and enable real-time communication. This ensures that everyone is aligned with organizational objectives and has the support they need to work productively. And with more than 70% of employees spending time collaborating with colleagues, increased efficiency in this area could go a long way.

    Positive Candidate and Employee Experience

    Automation in HR processes also enhances the candidate and employee experience by streamlining application and onboarding processes and offering personalized communication paths. Providing consistent and timely communication to candidates is important, considering 62% of candidates will lose interest if they don’t hear back in two weeks. This means poor communication not only provides a bad candidate experience but hinders businesses from landing top talent. 

    Learn how to use AI and automation to optimize the candidate experience. Download the eBook

    Stronger Security

    Because quality HR automation tools centralize your HR data, they support your organization's efforts to ramp up security. This is a must in today’s digital landscape, where a data breach costs an average of $4.45 million. Automation can help you avoid financial and reputational risks by keeping your data safe, regulating access to it, and adhering to privacy laws. 

    Decreased Compliance Risk

    HR automation is a reliable tool to have as your organization navigates the maze of labor laws, internal policies, and union agreements. Given that companies spend an average of 4,300 hours every year on compliance, finding efficient, repeatable solutions is crucial. By keeping up with the latest regulations and automatically applying them to HR processes, these systems help you steer clear of compliance pitfalls and costly penalties.

    Improved Business Performance

    The cumulative benefits of HR automation—enhanced productivity, strengthened security, and reduced compliance risks—directly contribute to improved business performance. With 92.1% of companies reporting returns on their data and AI investments, it's clear that automation pays off. This uplift is a result of more fluid operations, better risk management, and the ability to allocate resources towards growth-oriented activities rather than administrative tasks.

    Automating multiple HR workflows simplifies the management of day-to-day activities and sets the stage for achieving optimal results across the organization. With HR automation in place, businesses are better able to manage hard costs–like compensation, benefits, and taxes–and soft costs like employee onboarding and turnover. As we move forward, we'll explore how to effectively implement HR automation to realize these comprehensive benefits.

    HR Automation Examples

    HR automation encompasses a wide range of applications, from recruitment to offboarding. Modern HR technology platforms offer comprehensive solutions that automate tasks, making HR operations less time-consuming. Here are several key HR tasks that can significantly benefit from automation:


    When you automate recruiting, you also lay the groundwork for more efficient workflows and better candidate experiences. Some recruitment automation technology uses AI to handle:

    • Candidate discovery and sourcing 

    • Job postings and job descriptions 

    • Interview guides 

    • Candidate-screening questions

    • Personalized job recommendations

    • And answers to a candidate’s questions

    Recruiting software kicks off the initial conversation and then follows up with custom email and SMS campaigns providing the right level of engagement for each open position. This means your HR team can spend more time connecting with top talent one-on-one. Plus, with its analytics features, you get detailed insights into how your recruitment efforts are doing, helping you fine-tune your strategies.


    Getting new hires started on the right foot is key for a smooth and fulfilling journey. With AI-backed tools, onboarding becomes a breeze. It takes care of mundane tasks like handling required documents, sorting out training schedules, and getting initial assessments done—all on autopilot. This means new employees get everything they need immediately, making their onboarding experience positive and contributing to their overall growth in their role.


    HR automation tools can streamline the offboarding process and ensure a consistent and respectful transition for departing team members. These solutions take care of tasks like exit interviews, final payroll processing, and access revocation, freeing up HR teams to focus on more strategic efforts. The most advanced solutions can even help identify potential flight risks before offboarding becomes necessary, allowing for proactive retention strategies.

    Performance Tracking

    Continuous performance tracking is vital for employee development and organizational growth. AI-powered software automates the collection and analysis of performance data, facilitating regular feedback and development plans. This automation supports a culture of continuous improvement and helps identify areas for professional growth.


    For industries with high turnover rates or seasonal hiring peaks, automating the hiring process can save significant time and resources by driving efficiency at scale. Automation can be particularly effective for high-volume hiring by enabling efficient screening, interviewing, and onboarding processes. This approach ensures quality hires without sacrificing efficiency, which is critical in sectors like retail, healthcare, and manufacturing. 

    Further, automation makes it easier for other team members, like hiring managers, to get involved in the recruiting process. Whether you’re looking to hire at scale, or simply improve your hiring process, automation can help. 

    Talent Development

    Developing your existing talent pool is not only cost-effective but it leads to greater employee retention and well-being. HR automation can serve up recommendations for new learning opportunities, job openings, and career paths to keep employees engaged and growing. 

    Automating expense report submission and approval accelerates reimbursement processes and improves financial tracking and compliance.

    The best software for automating talent management and recruiting excels by focusing its efforts entirely on these processes while seamlessly integrating with other essential HR software. Although these functions are housed in a different system, you can use specialized technology — such as Phenom’s engagement tools — to create a centralized location for core HR resource information. Then, you can reach out to employees by email or SMS to promote HR initiatives and monitor task completion.

    Automate Your HR Workflows With an AI-Powered Solution From Phenom

    In our exploration of HR automation's game-changing impact, we've shed light on how it tackles the everyday hurdles faced by HR professionals. From the maze of tech integration to the struggles of onboarding, offboarding, and recruiting, the process of automating your HR workflows might seem intimidating. However, its ability to move you closer to reaching goals like smoother operations, reduced errors, and smarter decision-making makes it worth the effort.

    Phenom is designed specifically to streamline your recruiting and talent management processes. The Intelligent Talent Experience platform taps into AI and automation to turbocharge HR workflows, improving every step from hiring to offboarding. Our platform includes tools for faster recruitment, seamless onboarding, and reliable performance tracking, helping organizations dial into big-picture goals like talent acquisition, employee development, and company growth. The system doesn't just streamline processes — it adds a personal touch to candidate and employee experiences, upping the engagement and retention factors you depend on for a cohesive, driven workforce.

    Learn more about automating your HR workflows by exploring the Phenom Intelligent Talent Experience platform or schedule an Automation Conversation with one of our Phenom experts to find out how you can fine-tune your hiring workflows and see our AI-powered technology in action.

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