HR artificial

Is the future of HR artificial?

There was once a time when HR and payroll management solutions were designed as transactional tools that operated as electronic forms and filing cabinets, with the ability to extract raw data into a simple report format. Over time, they evolved to become sources of truth that provided business insights to inform strategic planning. Now, HR is starting to consider their offering as an experience and are looking for ways to incorporate new technologies into a single HR management tool that is device agnostic.

The last decade saw a leap forward in process automation with approval workflows and self service now common place in many organisations. A leave request no longer requires any paper, a roster can be scheduled and the employee informed via email or text of their work pattern for the coming week/fortnight. Payslips can be accessed 24/7/365 on the employee’s Smartphone. This is functionality that HR could only have dreamed at a time when the employee record was paper based and held in a locked filing cabinet!

If that’s where we have been, where are we going?

The future offers exciting opportunities for Robotic Process Automation (RPA). RPA will operate at the user interface level and will result in faster processing and lower levels of error than manual processing. It will also enable deeper integration with other business processes. RPA robots can complete many tasks once done by humans. They can log into applications, access files, copy and paste data, fill in forms etc and can do so continuously. In a global market, this offers opportunities for 24/7 operations. Costs savings can also be invested in re-skilling the employees whose roles are affected by automation, ensuring a constant need for the human touch at some level within an organisation.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is also taking a significant role in the field of Human Resource management. The constant need for human interaction in HR processes paves the way for the implementation of AI, which is revolutionising recruitment, training and how data is used for people analytics. It is helping HR professionals smartly automate repetitive actions while giving them the bandwidth to focus on more strategic tasks that need human intervention. (If the future of HR is artificial it is worth remembering that whilst AI will cut the mundane tasks, there will always be a need for the human in human resource management; to think outside of the box and make intelligent decisions for the employee.)

Software providers cannot stand still for a moment when it comes to delivering on the future for HR technology. What is a pipe dream one year can quickly transform into reality in the next and progress marches on. Frontier Software has been at the forefront of development in HR and payroll management software for almost forty years, so naturally AI and RPA feature in our roadmap. Right now we provide software solutions to a global customer base, always ensuring that the tools we develop are supporting the human, cutting the routine and keeping a watchful eye on the robots!  

Originally published in HR Grapevine Tech Guide June 2020.