Simplify Employee Onboarding with Automation

Employee Onboarding HR Automation

Onboarding new employees is a time intensive, complicated and often tedious process for new employees and HR departments alike.  Credit checks, new employee data gathering, ordering of new IT systems, orientation scheduling and payroll management are some of the preboarding paperwork required even before start day.  Then there are the reams of forms that new employees inevitably find themselves filling in on their first day – not the most motivating start to any new job. 

These issues could be eradicated by automating the whole process – but only 2% of organisations do¹. More worryingly, only 12% of employees strongly agree their company does a great job of onboarding².  Something is clearly going wrong. 

At AUTTO we help organisations to simplify their onboarding process easily and quickly. No special programming skills are required to use AUTTO so anyone can use it.  We have seen the incredible benefits using automation can bring and want to share them with you – so here we present our top reasons why all HR departments should automate the onboarding process:

  • Cuts vast amounts of wasted time 

Forms, forms and more forms!  Excessive paperwork in the hiring process is one of the problems for new hires and HR department alike. New personnel fill in lots of forms. Often on paper and often by hand.  Typically, a new hire will be given 41 administrative tasks and 3 documents to complete³.  The HR department needs to create and customise each of these forms for every new employee and then manually input all the information into their system.  Dull and laborious for all we are sure you’ll agree.  Automation can eliminate this waste of time. It can generate bespoke new hire forms from templates tailored for each new hire – each form can be cross populated with repetitive information, so your new staff member doesn’t have to repeatedly fill out the same information on different forms. Plus time is saved by your HR department as they no longer spend hours typing up the information.

  • Ensure accuracy and speed 

Streamline document processing. Usually, new hires will submit documentation by hand, via post or email, running the risk it gets lost, forgotten or even sent to the wrong place. These forms may contain information that needs to be passed along to other departments or organisations, such as equipment orders, desk allocation or IT setups. These run the same risk of being sent to the wrong place or buried in a busy inbox and all this too-ing and fro-ing significantly delays the whole process and the risk of human error increases.

Onboarding automation erases these delays and ensures accuracy — documentation is routed electronically, according to pre-set “rules”. Once forms are submitted, they’re automatically sent to the department or organisation that needs to complete the next step.  If nothing happens then a reminder is generated and sent. Additionally, more time is saved and accuracy ensured as there’s no more manual data entry as everything uploads automatically.   

  • Automate hiring approvals to support regulatory needs

Onboarding new people comes with regulatory requirements – whether that be tax declarations, checking Right to Work or references and financial information. By taking the automation route, tax and other official forms are easily generated and if required sent to the new employee for information entry, digital signatures etc.  A digital paper trail is created and saved centrally to meet regulatory requirements.

  • Employee satisfaction from day one

Proper onboarding sets the tone.  An effective and supportive onboarding experience for new employees can create loyalty from day one.  Plus, HR staff stop spending vast amounts of time ‘paper pushing’, feel more valued and can focus their time and energies on more strategic HR issues.   Overall staff who are happier and more satisfied in their roles are prepared to work and perform better.  Importantly this makes them likely to speak more highly of your organisation – which in turn helps YOU attract top talent.  

And given people who did NOT have a positive new hire user experience4 were twice as likely to seek a different opportunity in the near future, how can you afford not to automate your onboarding? 

Get in touch with us to discuss all your automation needs – Let’s Chat


References:

¹ Experian HR Onboarding Trends report Nov 2019
² Sage “The Changing the Face of HR Research” report at gallup.com/workplace/242252/employee-experience.aspx
³ SaplingHR, 2021
4 Digitate survey – SUPER CIO: What the CIO sees—that other people don’t

Top HR Functions to Automate and Why

Human Resources (HR) is a department dominated by process heavy administrative tasks.  These tasks are often repetitive and still largely managed by manual processes – highly time consuming, inefficient and costly.  As other parts of the organisation look to map a successful future using digital transformation, the HR department must follow.  Intelligent workflow automation of certain processes has the potential to catapult the efficiency of the HR function to new heights.  Benefits are huge – the internal client base has a far better experience with the HR team and reducing the time spent on tedious manual tasks motivates staff to focus on more complex strategic tasks.

We at AUTTO acknowledge the vital role HR plays in bespoke human interaction and can never see a time where HR will be fully automated.  However, automation can be used to support this important human element provided by HR.  Consider the benefits of automating the following: 

Streamlining Onboarding

This must be the most obvious and strongest argument for automation.  With a third of senior HR management believing they are trying to create a better candidate experience for new employees but only 12% of employees strongly agreeing their company does a great job onboarding¹, something is clearly going wrong. Employee satisfaction starts from day one and facing a day or more of endless form filling when starting a new role does not set the right tone.  We would recommend using automation to improve for example:

  • All new joiner and user forms
  • IT equipment set up
  • HR profile creation
  • Orientation scheduling

Employee day-to-day administration

In our opinion, the second most obvious area to automate.  Imagine a department where the following is seamlessly processed and takes a fraction of the time it currently wastes:

  • Employee data entry and change of status updates
  • Annual leave requests
  • Payroll and Audit checks
  • Tax form generation

Why automate these HR tasks?

The benefits of automating these paper-heavy repetitive tasks are enormous.  Some of the key ones we can see include:

  • Greater employee satisfaction, less frustration and time wasted
  • Improvement of reputation as a good ‘people place’ valuing  its employees which in turn can attract higher talent
  • Time saved on admin which can be used on more complex strategic tasks internally within the department
  • Reduction of human error and the complexities solved in correcting these
  • Improve poor audit trails  – automation automatically generates audit logs to ensure compliance and reduce error
  • Produces analytics to validate HR decisions 
  • Replaces ageing systems that don’t integrate or “talk” to other systems across the enterprise
  • Saving the actual physical and environmental cost of paper shuffling!

The best part? No, IT knowledge is needed! Using a simple drag and drop function, AUTTO is user-friendly and easy to implement. Helping you spend more time on your employees and growing the business! Why not try a FREE TRIAL?


References:
¹Sage “The Changing the Face of HR Research” report at gallup.com/workplace/242252/employee-experience.aspx

HOW THE DIGITAL GC CAN IMPLEMENT AUTOMATION

Digitise GC

How the digital GC can implement automation to drive efficiencies across the whole tech business

As the GC (general counsel) of a midmarket tech business you already occupy a trusted seat at the table with the rest of the company’s key business units.  You appreciate the need for your organisation to increase productivity whilst keeping costs low in order to increase your customer base and grow.  You regard your internal stakeholders as your own “customers” and want to deliver a service to increase efficiency, save them time as well as giving your department more time to focus on strategic legal matters. You are part of a technology team so are naturally tech-savvy and you know technology is the way forward, but you’re just not sure how.

Automation may be the key.  

With legal touching every department from sales and marketing to CRM and procurement, you have an overall appreciation of the process challenges your business faces every day and may be best placed to implement automation.

By automating aspects of your legal service delivery you can not only improve department efficiencies but optimise service delivery and free up time to empower staff across your organisation to do what they do best! With the right tools supporting key processes, sales teams have more time to sell, CRM managers have more time to improve the customer experience, lawyers have more time to, well, practice the law! 

We look at some key areas to help you consider digital automation and why: 

    • Contract turnaround time – So much time is wasted by your sales teams, HR, procurement and business divisions struggling to understand which contract templates they should use and then communicating with all parties including legal to get sign off. Empower your sales teams to have the right contracts to share with their customers at their fingertips, reduce the amount of time spent gathering paperwork and shuffling it between sales and legal.  Repurpose the time wasted by teams on contract admin by turning to technology to automate it.  It can take care of the lot –  from customising contracts, sending out notification emails to get other departments connected to obtain the layers of approval required right up to digital signatures.  This frees up significant amounts of time for all parties involved to focus on more strategic initiatives. 
    • NDA’s – similar to contracts
    • Approvals – automating the approvals workflow creates a quicker route to revenue generation. It can massively cut the legal contract process time, resulting in greater overall efficiency and accelerated sales cycles. 
    • Creating an audit trail for compliance – by automating all of these processes, data is gathered in the right place automatically providing an audit trail to prove compliance. At AUTTO we actually use our own software inhouse to ensure and prove all new employees have had the information security training required to honour our own ISO 27001 status!

At AUTTO we are proud to be working with Olive AI, an innovative technology healthcare provider.  Olive’s GC uses AUTTOs to optimise efficiency of commercial contracting, as well as streamlining internal processes to reduce time, improve accuracy and minimise unnecessary paper shuffling associated with such a legally intensive business.  

If you are interested in learning more about how we can help your GC, please do get in touch.   

Bridging the Digital Divide

How SME’s can ALSO reap the rewards of the digital transformation by automating

The wide-ranging benefits of digitalisation to business has never been more obvious.  Recent McKinsey & Company research demonstrates the pandemic has had such a profound effect on digital transformation that seven years of progress was made in a matter of months.  No wonder this has thrust digital transformation to the forefront of business goals.  According to a survey by HCL Technologies, 80% of organisations now see it as a priority.

However, despite the obvious benefits, data also indicates that SME’s lag behind big business in the adoption of nearly all technologies.  The largest gaps are in the digitalisation of internal organisation processes where automation can save time and money. Why is this the case? Are SME’s unsure how to proceed to best benefit their business? What are the barriers to digital transformation? How can SME’s also ride the wave of this technology revolution?

Process automation and digitalisation could be the answer. Using simple, cost-efficient technologies, SME’s can transform manual operations into digital ones.  For SME’s, the benefits of embracing automation are huge:

  • Save time to focus on what matters
  • Reduce costs
  • Boost sales
  • Reduce human error

We acknowledge SME’s are a diverse group but some processes are common to us all.  Think how long the sales process can be. Quotes, approvals and sales contracts going back and forth in countless emails and phone calls.  Routine documents such as NDA’s, onboarding new clients (and staff), invoices and reports are also extremely time-consuming.  Overcomplicated communication, slow approvals, rerouting of documents, fixing errors and digging through piles of paperwork and emails.  Automation is the answer – it simplifies the systems, eliminates the tedious tasks and replaces staff time with tech, freeing up more time for them to do what they do best (which let’s face it, is what you employed them for).

So, what is holding SME’s back?  Why is there this digital divide? Is the perception that the cost of automation is too high for a small business?  Automation doesn’t have to be expensive just strategic.  Simple tools can be used to do repetitive tasks for you, saving time and money for the business.  But implementing automation must require specialist skills by IT programmers that we simply don’t have, right? Wrong! New low or no-code platforms like AUTTO puts the technology directly into the hands of people who run the everyday business without the need for specialist programming skills.  Valued staff are empowered to identify their own pain points and easily automate their day-to-day tasks with no-code automation.

The McKinsey research concludes that although small business is less likely to automate than large corporates it is more likely to succeed.  We at AUTTO want to help you realise this. Get in touch today to discuss how we can help you bridge the digital divide:  https://www.autto.io/  or info@autto.io

Is business automation affordable for small businesses?

Definitely, yes.

Gone are the days where automation tech was only affordable for large businesses. As cloud-based automation software better suited to SME’s has become available, the cost as plummeted. The cost of implementation has also dropped spectacularly as

no-code technology has meant for SME’s that expensive developers are not required.
Implementation of automation has become so intuitive that really only requires the technical expertise of a good Microsoft Excel user.

Cloud-based subscription service like Autto, which allow you to pay for what you use mean you don’t have to automate everything all at once to recover upfront investment on an expensive software license. You can automate bit by bit.

Furthermore, as automation products have matured they have become highly

adaptable to your business. Most service providers offer solutions that integrate to your existing systems. So you don’t necessarily need to throw out the old for the new. You can keep what already works and enhance it.
Any task that is repeated on a regular basis can be automated. Automation saves you time because routine tasks that usually take hours to do, can be done in minutes. Automation isn’t just about saving costs on salaries, it helps you complete tasks quicker, with less mistakes. Slower turnaround times and more mistakes means less revenue. If you can run your processes quicker and better this will lead to more satisfied customers and perhaps, eventually new customers or more business from existing customers.
Businessman showing computer screen to coworkers in creative office
Automating tasks means you don’t have to hire more people to get more done. Automation helps you do more with less. Hiring more staff is costly and not scalable. Here’s just a few of the human resource costs to consider when hiring a new employee:
  • Salaries and inflation
  • Onboarding and training
  • Workers compensation insurance
  • Payroll taxes
  • Leave and sick leave
These are just a few of the reasons that making a compelling case for automation solutions. In fact you can’t afford not to automate because your competitors are already doing it and you cannot risk being left behind.
Automation loves the jobs you hate
When you automate business processes, you simplify them because you eliminate unnecessary tasks that have no value. Streamlining processes means freeing up your employees to focus on other activities that they enjoy. Let the machines take care of dull and boring tasks so that your employees can pursue tasks that use their talent, skills and interests. Your employees can focus their creativity on doing things that they love. You’ll find that these are often tasks that machines can’t do. This ultimately
leads to more satisfied employees, improved morale and better employee engagement. And we all know that happy staff equals happy customers.
Because automation saves so much time, it has the ability to create shorter work weeks. Studies have shown that reducing the working week has mental health benefits, improved quality of life, even, in some cases, improved productivity. This improved work-life balance is key to improving employee experience and engagement. 
Automation is good for your business and good for your team. If you’re not convinced by now then talk to us so we can show you just how simple and cost effective automating your business processes can be.

How do you select the right automation software for your business?

So, you’ve decided to automate, congratulations! This is the first step towards changing your life and running your business. Yes, automation will literally change your life, for the better, of course. No more repetitive tasks that you don’t enjoy. Now you can focus on what really adds value to your business. The ultimate aim of automating is turning processes which take hours of your time into process which take minutes or seconds of your time, right?

But, how do you choose the right software for your business? Here’s a couple of things you need to consider before selecting the right fit.

 

What needs automating and why? 

It’s prudent to start by asking the following questions:

  • Where are your businesses choke points – what is talking up the most of your teams time?
  • What processes need performance enhancement – which processes need more accuracy and accountability?
  • What problems need to be solved – this will determine what functionality you require and it will also test if your processes are working optimally even before you automate them.
  • Which repetitive tasks need automating?

These questions may seem obvious but it’s a necessary exercise in order to understand exactly what functionality is required.

You can also ask your employees what they think, ask them what they need help with. User buy-in is a very important aspect to any change in processes.

 

Usability and integration 

You want to choose automation that’s easy and intuitive to use and ensure that it integrates smoothly with existing software applications you may be using. All systems need to work together to ensure that workflow is not disrupted or made more complicated.

 

Using artificial intelligence (AI) 

Be careful not to confuse Artificial Intelligence (AI) with Intelligent Process Automation (IPA). Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) is different to AI. IPA is software used for highly repetitive and predictable tasks and takes instructions from workflows set up by individuals using logical language.   It is rules-based, so IF THAT THEN THIS.

AI is how computer systems use data to imitate human intelligence and reasoning, making the system able to learn, predict and make recommendations.  This is done by using lots of data to train the system to recognise the pattern you are looking for.   For example, using lots of photos of cats that have been tagged as Cat to train the system to recognise cat pictures.  This is called a training set.  So AI is pattern-based, and you need the training data to set it up.    That’s a big commitment.

 

Customising your automation software 

A one-size-fits-all solution might not be adequate for your business, so it’s a good idea to select automation software that is highly customisable. What’s great about automation software providers is that most will allow you to trial the software solution before making a decision.

Some more things to think about before you sign on the dotted line:

  • Make sure that when you choose a solution provider that they are available to guide you and offer you the best possible customer service once implemented.
  • Make sure the software has an intuitive user interface and navigation, so that no special skills or training are necessary to run it.
  • Make sure you choose a partner that helps you consider issues like security and quality control.
  • A good solution provider will also guide you on how to scale your software solutions as your business grows.
  • Does the software allow remote access, so that you’re online anywhere, anytime?
  • Does the software offer cloud capabilities and remote cloud access?
  • Does the software offer a mobile capability?
  • How much money do you have to invest?

These are just a few of the many considerations before finding the right solution. AUTTO is here to help you discover the right fit for your business!

Contact us now to find out how to take your business to the next level.

The 5-Minute Guide to Business Automation.

A comprehensive guide to help your business improve productivity with process automation.

What is business automation?

When people ask me what I do, I tell them I build software that makes business automation easy. They smile, nod politely, and put me down as doing something with computers. They don’t know what I am talking about. And yet they should. Not because they should be interested in me (though that would be nice) but because automation is one of the three technological As transforming business today: automation, analytics and artificial Intelligence.

There are many different names for business automation, namely: business process automation, digital automation, intelligent process automation, digital transformation or robotic process automation. As you can see it’s an ever-expanding list of jargon.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE.org) are writing the dictionary of automation (https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/8070671). They call business automation ‘Software-based Intelligent Process Automation’. Their definition is a tortured piece of English that has clearly been written by a committee of engineers after too much coffee:

‘A preconfigured software instance that combines business rules, experience-based context determination logic, and decision criteria to initiate and execute multiple interrelated human and automated processes in a dynamic context. The goal is to complete the execution of a combination of processes, activities, and tasks in one or more unrelated software systems that deliver a result or service with minimal or no human intervention.’

 

businessman hand working with modern technology and digital layer effect as business strategy concept-1

It’s an accurate technical definition, but it is the kind of writing that makes people’s eyes glaze over. Wikipedia’s shot at the same job (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_process_automationis a lot more comprehensible.

‘Business process automation (BPA), also known as business automation or digital transformation, is the technology-enabled automation of complex business processes. It can streamline a business for simplicity, achieve digital transformation, increase service quality, improve service delivery or contain costs.’

However, I think we can be even simpler than that. My definition is:

‘Business automation is getting software to do some work so that humans don’t have to.’

Why automate?

Human beings are good at dealing with highly variable situations where subtle judgement, complex communication and understanding human emotions are critical.

Conversely, people are poor at doing repetitive, rule-based tasks accurately. Human beings enjoy novelty, they find repetitive work boring. So work slows, errors creep in, and employees try to find a job doing something more interesting.

Automation software loves the work that people hate. It is good at speed, repetition and accuracy. Implementing automation can reduce the time spent on tasks by 75% to 99% depending on the level of human involvement, and this has obvious business implications for reducing costs. It is perhaps less clear, but equally vital that it can also increase the tempo at which your business operates. As software completes tasks within seconds instead of hours or days then cues staff or another automation to begin the next task, then the overall pace at which your business responds increases.

It is not only the amount of time that a member of your team spends doing a task (time spent) that can drop to near zero, but also that the ‘time elapsed’ between when a job was requested, and when it is completed drops rapidly. As your customers (both internal and external) are becoming more used to an ‘Amazon Prime’ business culture of immediate fulfilment, then the ability to deliver quickly is a competitive edge.

 

christopher-gower-m_HRfLhgABo-unsplash

How do I implement business automation in my business?

Automation software is now available for use in use all sorts of contexts. The business context for automation varies both by the volume of runs of a process and the type of technology that is currently being used to do the job. The possible software solutions for these contexts are different though, of course, the same company may encounter one or more of these situations. You need to select the right type of software for your business situation.

High volume, currently using enterprise software applications (bespoke ERP applications)

If you are a large business seeking to automate processes operating at a high volume of repetition and involving multiple existing computer systems, then you should be looking at robotic process automation software. Crucially this software is designed to enable automation without wholesale replacement of a business’ existing software systems. The leading providers in this category are Automation Anywhere, UI Path and Blue Prism.

These are intricate pieces of software which have capabilities in API integration, desktop automation (software pretending to be a human on your existing systems) and increasingly AI. Typically implementations cost low hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars and involve a tech team or implementation partner.

Low to high volume, currently using standard desktop and cloud software (MS Office, email, CRMs)

It never ceases to amaze me the number of processes in sophisticated businesses that are still managed by people using spreadsheets as a database, MS Word for documents, email and then cut and paste between them. Importantly this is work that is not currently handled within existing enterprise software, though it may need to be triggered or provide information to it.

Typically this kind of work has been done by people because the cost of automation is too high and the processes unique to a particular business. However, the use of cloud-based low-code (simple scripting) and no-code (drag and drop) automation platforms means that companies can build, operate and support an automated system with non-technical staff and budgets from a few thousand dollars a year. It has opened intelligent automation up to companies that could not previously afford this kind of tech.

Typically the platforms in this space have a lot of flexibility and yet also allow control, audit trail and monitoring and allocating tasks to human beings. These systems will typically automate document production, calculations, task allocation, approvals, data transformation, integrations and updating records.

It is also worth distinguishing this kind of automation software from project and business process management platforms like Asana and Monday.com. These help you manage the allocation of work to employees but don’t automate the work itself.  Separately, there are many cloud-based, software platforms focusing on automating marketing (Hubspot is the leader) and accounting (Receipt Bank, for example).

 

Two colleages discussing ideas using a tablet computer

Low to medium volume, currently using no software or standard cloud software (Gsuite, online CRMs)

The entry point to automation when you have very low or no budget is software like Zapier and IFTTT (short for If That Then This). These online packages act as integrators linking many different cloud-based software services together – a Google form triggers the creation of a CRM entry and the sending of an email, for example.

 

Boot-strapping entrepreneurs and small businesses have created remarkably inventive combinations of applications that can automate whole products. However, the interface, control, data governance and security issues are much trickier to manage, so it is less suitable as a business matures and grows.

Automation is accessible

Just over ten years after the automation revolution began, automation is now available to businesses of all sizes and all technical abilities.

Now is the time to begin looking at how you can start the digitisation and automation of your business operations.

  1. Pick the scope of the automation project – look for your most obvious pain point
  2. Select the right context from the list above
  3. Examine your vendor choices
  4. Consider PoC or trial

Hi there,

AUTTO is a no-codebusiness and document automation platform. No-code means you can build tailor-made automated processes without having to be a developer.

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