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Utilizing Robotic Process Automation to create a more efficient HR department


Human Resources (HR) departments are busy as companies continue to face labour shortages, leaving them scrambling to hire additional staff. And before that they were helping with the shift to remote work due to the pandemic. Now they're a key player in the return-to-work and hybrid work plans. Many do not have enough resources or staff. The work doesn't stop, and people often need something from their HR team. It's no surprise many HR professionals are feeling stretched with all of their day-to-day responsibilities.

So what can you do to make your HR department more productive without causing burnout among staff? Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a very useful platform and HR professionals could benefit from using it as well. RPA can make a vast difference for HR professionals and companies. It can help with an overall smoother employee experience—providing 10 times faster onboarding, 40% more HR employee capacity, and 0% error rate on compliance programs, according to UiPath.

In today's remote, modern, and sometimes more disconnected workplace, you can utilize automation to create a more human-like experience. When implemented thoughtfully and wisely, automation can assist HR departments with the following, and more.

  • Pay slips, tax slips, and other common letters like proof of employment for mortgage approvals
  • Automating routine and repetitive paperwork, such as offer letters or exit documents
  • Data entry
  • Talent acquisition, including sorting through the high volume of résumés
  • Onboarding experience for new employees
  • Payroll, benefits, and expense management

Contact our Modern Workplace Team

Where should you start?

While automation can make a huge difference in HR operations, it's important to follow a process and carefully select the areas you think will be best served with automation. Participating in a pilot engagement with a short, targeted activity can be very beneficial. We can work with you to illustrate how a robot can augment the employee in a specific use case. A robot can help new employees with entering time, requesting vacation time, and submitting expense reports. AI-powered chatbots can give employees quick responses to questions about benefits and company policies.

Consider the following questions before you decide on using automation for a particular task:

  • What tasks do you work on in your department?
  • What are the processes? How many do you repeat every day or hour?
  • What if an employee didn't have to do a specific task anymore—will they be happier?

Through the pilot engagement, you can see how you'll be able to spend two minutes on the process instead of 15 minutes every day. People start to understand in once they see the impact of automation in action.

Consider the example where an HR service provider was processing 100,000 events with six full-time employees. It took the employees an average of 60 hours to accomplish the tasks, according to Zenesys. However, with automation assistance they were able to automate 90% of their manual assignments—decreasing the processing time by 85%.

Employee concerns and implementation challenges

From the beginning, it's important to engage in discussions about how automation can enhance human interaction and decision-making capacity. Employees are afraid that automation means they will lose their job, but that's not the case. It's a change management hurdle for organizations—you need to focus on changing the culture and helping employees understand the benefit. It's not about people losing their jobs, but empowering employees to focus on higher value work. Automation helps remove repetitive work so employees can redirect their skills to more valuable tasks.

A hybrid approach is the most optimal solution. Automation focuses on high volume, tedious, and neutral tasks. Leveraging quick, robotic accuracy with human intervention and subjective analysis at critical points of a process usually results in successful automation.

You could face challenges in implementing automation within your HR department. The most vital decision is usually about where you should start. Many organizations make the wrong selection in the beginning, which then throws off the whole automation program. We can walk you through process on where to start and make recommendations on how to choose.

Very old legacy systems that are difficult to interact with are another potential issue. Some enterprises are running software that's 20 to 25 years old, which is a problem for automation. However, our professionals can help upgrade systems if they're not able to support automation.

Leverage BDO's expertise

Our approach to accelerate automation success

We can assist with the strategy, identifying the processes, building the business case, and educating the employees on how it can improve their job. Our team can support the automation process within the HR environment. And we can develop a center of excellence, so organizations can perform the automation themselves.

BDO is well-versed in implementing and using automation solutions. We aren't just selling the product—we live it and use it in-house. We are also partners with leading automation companies in the world, giving us access to sophisticated tools. Our goal is to help you be more successful.


Andrey Isaev
National Practice Leader, Modern Workplace – Digital Labour

Jesaiah Mills
National Practice Leader, People Experience 

Reach out today to start your automation journey

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