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Leveraging the Power of HR Automation

Top HR automations to help keep yourself out of the paperwork and focused on your employees.

Anna Coucke

by Anna Coucke - May 22nd, 2024


Stuck drowning in paperwork while that strategic employee engagement project gathers dust? If so, HR automation might be the answer you've been looking for. By automating tedious HR tasks, you can finally break free and focus on what truly matters – your people.

In this article, we'll explore the world of HR automation, outlining its benefits and showcasing some of the most impactful automations available.

What is HR Automation?

In a nutshell, HR automation streamlines repetitive, time-consuming HR tasks by using software to automate processes — giving HR professionals time back to focus on more strategic work within the organization, like employee engagement and retention.

What are the Benefits of Automating HR Tasks?

Many HR departments are plagued with administrative duties. Automating these tedious, time-consuming processes unlocks advantages for both the organization and its employees and translates into significant time and money savings.

Automation also streamlines HR processes, minimizing the risk of human error (and the potential for resulting compliance fines, fees, and even lawsuits) that come with manual tasks. This results in greater accuracy and consistency, ensuring everyone receives the correct information and benefits they deserve. 

The benefits of automation extend beyond the HR department. With automated HR, employees experience a smoother and more efficient journey throughout their tenure – from onboarding quickly and efficiently to completing engagement surveys and performance reviews via a user-friendly portal. Automation fosters a positive employee experience, contributing to a more engaged and productive workforce.

Automating time-consuming administrative tasks empowers HR professionals to become strategic partners within their organization. Having the time to take the reins on strategic initiatives means they can drive employee development, cultivate a thriving talent pool, and plan for the future of the workforce. 

Top HR Processes to Automate

Now that you understand the advantages of automation, let's dive into some of the most impactful ways you can automate HR:

1. Onboarding

The traditional onboarding process has a negative reputation for involving a large amount of forms and paperwork that have to be printed and filled out manually each time. This adds up fast, with outdated onboarding processes wasting three to five hours of HR and employee time for every new hire. This can lead to delays and frustration for new employees, giving a bad impression of the company’s efficiency, culture, and processes.

Automating your onboarding streamlines the new hire experience by simplifying tasks like sending welcome emails, collecting new hire information, and selecting benefits. This ensures a smooth and efficient experience for new hires, allowing them to get acclimated to their roles faster.

2. Offboarding

Manual offboarding requires manually collecting a departing employee’s accounts and logins to deactivate or reassign accounts to ensure company security. Additionally, it involves drafting, sending, and signing important documents such as termination letters and policies, as well as notifying benefits and payroll providers about the departing employee.

Automated offboarding simplifies employee departure tasks such as collecting company property, terminating access to systems, and finalizing payroll and benefits. This minimizes the chance of sensitive information breaches or unauthorized access by former employees.

Automating your offboarding with an HRIS can also facilitate standardized exit interviews and surveys, leading to more valuable and consistent feedback from departing employees.

3. Document Management

Paper-based document storage means valuable time is often spent digging through mountains of files, and each regulatory change can mean making painstaking audits and updates. Not to mention all of the space taken up by filing cabinets and the risk that confidential documents can easily be lost, mishandled, or misplaced.

Automated document management systems securely organize and store employee documents electronically, making them easily accessible for both HR and employees. Needed updates can be made in seconds, and e-signatures can be collected with the click of a button. HRIS systems also allow you to templatize documents such as offer letters, performance reviews, and government forms, while keeping them organized in one place.

4. Benefits Administration

Manual benefits administration involves a lot of paperwork and can be confusing for employees who are trying to select the right benefits for themselves and their families. Accessing benefits details and enrollment manually can be painstaking and result in misunderstandings and even lapses in coverage.

Benefits enrollment presentations are a thing of the past. Automating benefits administration simplifies selection and enrollment, improves employee understanding of benefits options, and reduces administrative burdens on HR. Automating enrollment helps employees easily understand and manage their benefits selections and coverage electronically.

5. PTO & Time Tracking

Relying on paper or spreadsheets for time tracking and PTO can lead to inaccurate record keeping such as missed entries, forgotten breaks, and miscalculations that throw off your entire system, causing disputes with employees regarding hours worked and PTO usage. Furthermore, managing complex accrual rates and leave policies manually becomes a compliance nightmare that may result in violations and fines. Manual systems also lack transparency, making it difficult for employees to track their remaining PTO and leading to frustration when requesting time off.

With automated PTO and time tracking, employees can submit leave requests, quickly check their PTO accruals, and track their working hours electronically. Scheduling tools make it easy to create and update schedules and see at-a-glance who is on break or leave. Using a modern HR system like GoCo also unlocks advanced time tracking tools such as geofencing, which allows employees in the field to clock in and out with the help of GPS.

6. Performance Management

58% of companies reported they are still using spreadsheets to track performance. Outdated, inefficient performance review processes like this can lead to inconsistent feedback and missed opportunities for growth, with the majority of managers and employees reporting that they are unhappy with traditional performance reviews. 

Automated performance management streamlines the process of setting goals, conducting performance reviews, and providing consistent feedback. Employees and managers alike can track the status and progress of their performance reviews, goals, and career progression.

7. Payroll

We all have a horror story about someone who wasn’t paid correctly or even missed an entire paycheck. Manual payroll is a maze of calculations, data entry, and cross-checking that takes a huge chunk of time. While it might seem manageable for a small company with just a few employees, things can quickly get out of hand when you have different types of workers – hourly, salaried, and part-time – each with their own pay structures and deductions. Keeping track of everything manually becomes a juggling act, and the risk of errors creeping in is often a constant worry.

Modern payroll streamlines the calculation of salaries, deductions, overtime, and taxes, ensuring employees are paid accurately and on time, every time.

Have a distributed workforce in multiple states? Automated payroll automatically calculates state-specific aspects like tax withholding and overtime, helping you stay compliant.

8. Compliance Tracking

Keeping up with ever-changing regulations and compliance requirements can be a challenge for HR departments, with 50% of HR professionals reporting that they are not confident in their ability to do so. Manually tracking updates and understanding whether they apply to your organization can be frustrating and confusing, potentially resulting in errors and non-compliance.

Automated compliance tracking software provides automatic reminders and updates to reduce the risk of non-compliance. This ensures that you don’t miss any important changes and that your HR department stays up-to-date on the latest regulations — while also avoiding fines and other consequences of non-compliance.

Ready to Take the Next Step?

Investing in HR automation solutions can transform your HR department and your entire company. For those looking to automate and streamline their HR, GoCo has everything you need in a single, easy-to-use modern solution that scales alongside your organization. Our mission is to help small and medium-sized businesses spend less time on manual, painful, and complex HR tasks so they can focus on growing happier, more productive teams.

Consistently rated “Best Support,” “Fastest Implementation,” and “Most Likely to Recommend” by G2, our dedicated support team sets you up for success before, during, and after implementation. 

Ready to see how GoCo can help? Take a free tour of our HRIS platform today and start automating your HR!


HR automation uses technology to streamline and automate repetitive tasks within the Human Resources department. This frees up HR professionals to focus on more strategic initiatives and employee relations.

Every organization is different, but to get an idea of how much time and money your company can save by implementing automation through HR software, check out our ROI Calculator!

Security is a major concern with HR data. When choosing HR software, ensure it has robust security features like data encryption and access controls.

First, pinpoint areas where your HR team spends a lot of time on manual processes and determine what features and functionalities are most important for your organization. Then, begin researching available HR software, being sure to consider factors like budget, user-friendliness, customer support, integrations, and scalability.

No. HR automation is designed to make HR professionals more efficient, not replace them. It allows them to focus on higher-level tasks like strategic planning, employee relations, and talent management.3. How much time and money can my company save by automating HR processes?

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