I’ve long believed that technology makes HR departments stronger by eliminating common HR challenges, and in my experience, HR automation is a foundational part of that.

Still, I’ve heard from many HR leaders who are hesitant about technologies like automation in HR. Some worry that technology, especially automation, will take the human out of HR. Others find the idea of implementing a big solution like HR automation to be intimidating, fearing that it might cost them a great deal of time or money they just don’t have.

The good news is that these concerns are rooted in myths. Let’s debunk six of the most common myths about HR automation so you can start capturing all the benefits this technology offers.

6 Common HR Automation Myths, Debunked

Myth 1: “HR Automation is Only for Large Companies.”

HR automation is for companies of all sizes. This technology solves common challenges faced by HR departments of companies, big and small. HR automation offers value that’ll change the game for your company, no matter your size or industry. Plus, it’s a highly scalable solution that isn’t just supportive of your company’s future growth. It’s also a vital trait for any HR technology, considering how quickly HR’s role is evolving.

Myth 2: “HR Automation Will Replace HR Professionals.”

One of the biggest perks of HR automation is its ability to enrich the work life of the HR professional. Pre-HR automation, HR professionals usually spend a large portion of their days on activities like filing paperwork, searching for documents, and chasing down employees asking for a form. When HR automation squares away tasks like these, you unlock more time for work, like having meaningful conversations with your employees and strategic initiatives surrounding employee engagement. With this shift in responsibility, HR automation doesn’t replace HR professionals. But it does transform the way we work (for the better, if you ask me.)

Myth 3: “HR Automation is Difficult to Implement.”

HR departments have a lot on their plates, especially those that haven’t embraced HR technology yet. So, it comes as no surprise that the HR automation’s reputation for being a bear of a project gives them pause. The good news is it’s not necessarily true. Choosing a well-established solution and an experienced digital transformation partner can ease the implementation process. These partners have seen it all and honed their solutions and practices to create streamlined implementation experiences. Having implemented these solutions hundreds of times in HR departments across industries, they’ll have pre-built templates, workflows, reports, and more available for the solutions that reduce configuration time.

Myth 4: “HR Automation is Expensive.”

When it comes to money, investing in an HR automation solution certainly has its up-front costs. But down the road, it can result in savings that keep rolling in for years to come. For one, it lets you avoid costly compliance fines and remediation costs, saving you money and giving you peace of mind in a consistent experience. HR automation also simplifies and reduces the cost of physical file storage, off-site retention costs, and managing retention policies. Not to mention the cost of the precious time of our HR professionals that is already stretched so thin.

Another savings opportunity comes with the opportunity to condense your HR tech stack. Many HR departments manage multiple disparate software tools that do different things and often don’t even “talk to each other,” leading to data inaccuracies and overall inefficiency. HR automation can perform a wide variety of tasks, which may prevent you from investing in as many additional tools to solve your problems. You might even be able to let go of redundant tools in the process. The time savings HR automation brings can also positively impact your bottom line.

Myth 5: “HR Automation is Impersonal and Reduces the Human Touch.”

I often like to use the phrase, “HR technology puts the human back in human resources,” and this absolutely applies to HR automation. As I alluded to in myth #2, HR automation frees up time for HR professionals to engage with employees 1-on-1 more often and focus on work that improves the employee experience. And let’s be honest: the tasks HR automation takes on were never opportunities for HR professionals to have personal contact with individual employees. The closest we got was tracking down employees and reminding them to turn in their compliance forms – but that’s not the kind of conversation I want to have with employees. Instead, we can connect on their personal ambitions, career goals, and thoughts on improving the employee experience.

Myth 6: “HR Automation is a One-Time Project.”

Digital transformation is a long-term commitment to streamlining your processes, eliminating manual work, and creating better customer and employee experiences. This applies to HR transformation, too. Whether you’re implementing HR automation or another HR technology tool, you’ll need to continuously improve and update your solution over time. This way, instead of becoming outdated and a poor fit for your evolving organization, it’ll remain effective and efficient.

Benefits to Enjoy Now and the Future

Far from depersonalizing HR’s role, HR automation reintroduces the human element by freeing up valuable time for HR professionals. And that’s huge because this time can be redirected towards meaningful interactions and strategic initiatives that enhance the employee experience. Combine that with this technology’s potential for savings and scalability, and you have a versatile solution that’ll serve your organization as you grow and as HR’s role continues to evolve.

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About Tricia

As Naviant’s Chief Human Resources Officer with 20+ years in the HR field, Tricia has seen HR professionals across industries grapple with similar challenges: endless needs and a shortage of time. She’s also seen the role of the HR professional evolve dramatically. These realities give rise to the need to evolve and adapt. Tricia believes that the answer to these challenges is to lean into technology. This way, HR professionals can truly put the human back in human resources. With her monthly articles on the Naviant blog and her regular LinkedIn content, Tricia is on a mission to empower HR professionals to embrace technology to shift their focus from keeping up with the need to supporting people and fostering growth and engagement. Want to keep up with the latest in HR? Connect and follow Tricia on LinkedIn to keep the conversation going.