Colleagues discussing HR automation


HR Automation: Top Tools and Examples

As AI and its effects have a greater impact on businesses, HR’s role in achieving this is now more critical than ever. So, how can HR automation help? What exactly does HR automation entail, why do you need it, and how do you select the best software for your company?

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Why has the subject of HR automation been so topical of late?

Gallup, in its State of the Workforce Report, estimates that low engagement costs the global economy US$8.9 trillion, or 9% of global GDP. Furthermore, Gallup reports that disengaged employees were 18% less productive than their more engaged peers.

HR’s role is more vital than ever in driving a productive, engaged, and thriving workforce – it goes far beyond paperwork and paychecks. As AI and its effects have a greater impact on businesses, HR’s role in achieving this is now more critical than ever.

So, how can HR automation help? What exactly does HR automation entail, why do you need it, and how do you select the best software for your company?

Let’s dive in.

What is HR Automation?

Before you can talk about HR automation, you need to understand the various roles of HR. HR managers and HR personnel are required to take care of;

HR automation involves using software to automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks involved in the above functions. The primary goal is to enhance efficiency, reduce errors, and free up HR professionals to focus on more strategic activities.

Why do you need HR automation?

Slack’s State of Work Report found that employees were “gain,” on average, almost a month per year thanks to automation. If that isn’t reason enough to implement automation in your HR team, here are a few more reasons you may want to consider;

Increased efficiency

Automation speeds up HR processes, reducing the time spent on administrative tasks. For instance, payroll automation can cut processing time by 80%.

Data-driven decision-making

Automation allows companies to analyze large amounts of data to gain insights that provide a basis for decision-making.

Reduced errors

Manual data entry is prone to mistakes. Automated HR processes ensure accuracy, which is crucial for payroll and compliance.

Cost savings

By reducing the need for manual intervention, companies can save on labor costs. Additionally, avoiding errors can save on potential penalties and corrective measures.

Becoming more strategic

Less time spent on administrative tasks means more time for strategy. Automation frees up time for HR to focus on being a strategic asset to the business.

Improved compliance

Automation helps maintain up-to-date records and ensures compliance with labor laws and regulations.

Enhanced employee experience

Automation tools can provide employees with self-service options, making it easier for them to access information and manage their HR needs.

The Top 11 HR automation tools

Before looking at HR automation software, it’s important to know that not all tools perform the same tasks. Some software focuses on applicant tracking and recruiting, while others may focus on payroll time management, or employee onboarding and training.

So be sure to know what your business needs are.

1. Whale - Best HR Automation tool for employee onboarding and training

Whale Intranet

Whale is the ultimate AI-powered employee onboarding and training solution, and the fastest way to get your team aligned. Deliver personalized onboarding and learning journeys to ensure your teams get the support they need, when they need it.

2. BambooHR - Best overall HR platform

Bamboo HR

BambooHR is known for its user-friendly interface and offers comprehensive HR management solutions, including applicant tracking, onboarding, time-off tracking, and performance management. Its intuitive design makes it easy for HR professionals to navigate and use.

3. Workday - Best for uniting finance and HR

Workday for HR Automation

Workday is a robust tool for medium—to large enterprises. It covers everything from HR management and payroll to talent management and analytics. As a tool, it provides a unified system that enhances strategic decision-making by integrating HR and financial data.

4. Zenefits (TriNet) - Best for managing employee payroll and benefits


Zenefits, now TriNet, is ideal for small to mid-sized businesses, integrating payroll, benefits, HR, and employee management into one platform. The platform streamlines administrative tasks, allowing companies to focus more on their growth.

5. SAP SuccessFactors - Best for companies running on SAP

SAP Success Factors

SAP Success Factors offers comprehensive and scalable HR processes, including core HR, talent management, and workforce analytics. It seamlessly integrates with other SAP systems, providing a cohesive experience for SAP-centric companies.

6. Namely - Best overall HR platform for medium-sized businesses


Namely focuses on mid-sized companies, providing a user-friendly platform for HR management, payroll, and benefits. Namely’s intuitive dashboard and customizable workflows enhance HR productivity and employee engagement.

7. Rippling - Best for managing payroll, HR, IT & spend in one place


Rippling combines HR, IT, and finance, making it easy to manage employee data across different systems. The software automates administrative work, allowing businesses to focus on strategic initiatives.

8. Zoho People - Best for talent management and recruiting

Zoho People

Zoho People is a cost-effective option for small businesses, offering HR management, time tracking, and employee self-service features. As a tool, it helps businesses streamline their HR processes and improve overall efficiency.

9. Deel - Best for remote teams

Deel HR Automation Tool

Deel is perfect for companies looking to expand globally with speed, flexibility, and legal compliance. It is an all-in-one platform that simplifies the way you manage your global team: onboarding, payroll, offboarding, and everything in between.

10. Gusto - Best for US companies looking for an all-in-one solution


Launched in 2012 as ZenPayroll, Gusto serves more than 300,000 businesses nationwide. Each year Gusto processes tens of billions of dollars of payroll and provides employee benefits—like health insurance and 401(k) accounts.

11. ADP - Best for those looking for a payroll solution

ADP for HR Automation

ADP offers robust payroll solutions tailored to businesses of all sizes. ADP’s comprehensive suite of HR services includes payroll processing, tax compliance, and employee benefits management, ensuring seamless payroll operations.

Automation and AI aren't passing fads; they're the future. Let's ditch the naming game and dive into long-term solutions. Make HR better with innovation, not just rebranding. It's time to transform, not just follow trends.
Kimberly Saied, MBA, SHRM-CP
Kimberly Saied, MBA, SHRM-CP
Director of People Experience @ Innovaccer | Leader in People Strategy

Best practices to choose the best HR automation software

  • Identify Your Needs: Determine which HR processes need automation. Is it payroll, recruitment, performance management, or a combination?
  • Research HR Automation software: Shortlist various alternatives to try and/or demo.
  • Scalability: Choose a tool that can grow with your company. As your workforce expands, your HR software should be able to handle increased demands.
  • Get everyone aligned: Explain the benefits of automation to all stakeholders and ensure leadership is committed to providing the necessary resources.
  • Investigate necessary integrations: Ensure the software can integrate seamlessly with your existing systems, such as accounting software, CRM, and other tools.
  • Consider user-friendliness: A complicated system can deter usage. Opt for an intuitive and easy-to-use solution for your HR team.
  • Ensure there’s customer Support: Reliable customer support is crucial. Look for vendors that offer comprehensive support options.
  • Consider the cost: Compare the pricing models of different tools. Consider not just the initial cost but also any additional fees for add-ons or upgrades.
  • Check compliance Features: Ensure the software helps you stay compliant with local and international labor laws.

Examples of HR Automation

Paid time off

Managing leave requests can be complex and time-consuming for both HR and employees. Self-service portals facilitate approvals, paid time off tracking, and cumulative leave types and days across the whole business.


By 2030, millennials will make up 75% of the labor force. This tech-savvy generation prioritizes streamlined processes and appreciates working for companies that embrace automation. Choose tools that automate and personalize the recruitment process and keep candidates informed throughout it.

Employee onboarding

Companies with a strong onboarding program experience a 50% reduction in new hire turnover in the first six months. Onboarding software can help new hires feel supported through the onboarding process and assists managers with 30-60-90 day onboarding plans.

Time management

Forget the paper timesheets and trying to figure out manual calculations! Time tracking software is a game change for both consultants and HR teams.


Payroll software can help with automated calculations and deductions as well as streamlining tax calculations.

Employee training

Integrate with employee training management systems to automatically enroll new hires in required training programs, ensuring they are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed. The right tools will deliver engaging content through personalized learning journeys.

Challenges in implementing HR automation

Implementing HR automation comes with its challenges and considerations.

  • Resistance to implementation
  • Integration issues
  • Lack of resources
  • Expensive and complex IT support


Many HR professionals are concerned that AI and automation will make them redundant. This could not be further from the truth. Automation is designed to help create consistency in routine tasks and to increase efficiency to allow HR employees to focus on employee engagement and to provide strategic people insight to the business.

The above challenges can be adressed with change management, involving relevant stakeholders and in ensuring service providers can provide the necessary support.

Bottom line?

76% of HR leaders believe not adopting AI soon will hinder organizational success. (Gartner)

HR automation is no longer a luxury but a necessity for modern businesses aiming to stay competitive. By understanding HR automation, recognizing its benefits, exploring top tools, and knowing how to choose the best software, you can make an informed decision that will enhance your company’s efficiency and productivity.

Ultimately automation eliminated manual HR processes and transforms the function of HR into real human capital management to provide real business value.

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FAQs on HR Automation

The integration of AI and ML into HR functions is revolutionizing the way HR functions. HR professionals can use ML and AI to automate time-consuming and repetitive HR tasks like interview scheduling, resume screening, and onboarding. This enables professionals to concentrate on higher-value tasks.

Potential disadvantages of HR automation include resistance to change, loss of human touch, security/privacy risks, integration issues with existing systems, and the need for employee training.

If HR professionals only focus on tech and automation then they run the risk of losing touch with teams.


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