HR Tech Number of the Day: HR automation

A new report finds employers could save big by automating more HR functions.
By: | May 19, 2021 • 2 min read

$54,709: Amount of money employers could save annually if they automated their time management processes.

While automation is quickly becoming a cornerstone of HR, there are still many processes being done manually—and that’s costing employers both time and money.

A new report from Deloitte and Paylocity found that employers could reap significant cost savings across an array of HR functions by turning to automation. Researchers polled about 1,450 HR professionals to gauge time spent on different manual HR tasks and then calculated labor costs to identify where employers could zero in.

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In particular, time management is an area where automation could be a significant cost-saver, they found—an average of about $54,709 annually. The report cited time management tasks that include timecard entry, collecting and ensuring the accuracy of time cards, correcting errors, submitting PTO requests, calculating PTO balances, responding to PTO requests and tracking leave. Researchers found that about 65% of time management tasks were automated at respondents’ organizations but that number should be at 80% for full automation/self-service.

The largest savings in this area would come from automating timecard entry: netting the organization $14,000 annually.

Researchers also found a significant opportunity in the expense management and payroll and tax functions, with an estimated $37,000 savings in each.

See also: 10 big lessons from HRE’s Health & Benefits Leadership Conference

What it means to HR leaders

As employers strategize for the new world of work, reducing inefficiencies will certainly be top among the priorities.

By automating time-consuming, manual HR tasks, employers can enable HR to invest more time and money into the all-important employee experience, says Chris Havrilla, vice president of HR technology and solution provider strategy at Deloitte Consulting LLP.

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“Businesses of all types have faced new challenges and have had to pivot to work differently through the pandemic,” she says. “Our study revealed that leaders can focus more on enhancing the employee experience when they automate HR and payroll-related tasks, which will be key to succeeding in the post-pandemic era.”

Jen Colletta is managing editor at HRE. She earned bachelor's and master's degrees in writing from La Salle University in Philadelphia and spent 10 years as a newspaper reporter and editor before joining HRE. She can be reached at hreletters@lrp.com.