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An Introduction to Workflow Automation in HR Applications

Workflow management is one of the most misunderstood and underutilized tools when it comes to any part of your business – but especially the human resources department of any company, in our experience.

In fact, we often hear clients use the words “project” and “workflow” as though they’re synonyms. Sometimes you’ll also hear the term “process management” thrown around as well. While workflows, process management, and projects have certain aspects in common, these words are not all as interchangeable as some might think.

You may be wondering why we’re being so particular, and that’s a fair question. However, while it might not seem important on the surface, defining the difference between your HR projects, processes, and workflows might be one of the most important things you can do for accuracy and efficiency.

In this article, we’re going to walk you through the necessary steps to get handle on your human resources workflow, and how to automate them properly – resulting in fewer mistakes, more money saved annually, and a happy workforce.

Remember: to automate anything, we must first understand its function and its parts, so that’s where we’ll begin.

Human Resources Workflow, Projects, and Process Management

So what is the difference between a workflow, a project, and process management?

Workflow: Very simply, your HR workflow is the series of necessary steps that need to happen in a specific sequence in order to finish a task.

When it comes to your human resource (HR) workflow, we’re referring to any number of distinct steps that your team must take to complete necessary tasks. A workflow is used, for example, when a new employee is hired. This workflow ensures that all required HR tasks related to onboarding a new person are completed in an efficient and timely manner.

Projects: Consider a project to be a planned effort to achieve a specific goal or outcome. It can be done by an individual or a team, but in the end, there’s the desired result.

Projects are different than workflows because they are less rigid in their structure as long as the end goal is achieved. Projects are more fluid and can include workflows, but workflows by their nature rarely include projects.

Some examples of human resources projects are things like:

  • Ensuring all employee job descriptions are accurate and current.
  • Updating the company policy document and having all employees sign.
  • Checking all employee contact info is correct.

Process Management: Process management is considered the discipline of using various methods to try to improve, optimize, and even automate processes within a business.

For example, you’re very likely engaging in process management right now as you read this article. As you search for an automated workflow for your HR team, you’re attempting to discover, improve, optimize, and automate – all earmarks of process management.

Now that you have a clearer understanding of these different aspects, you can see how when they’re not clearly defined, can result in tangled, inefficient HR departments.

Before we automate anything we need to understand how it works within our company. Let’s take a deeper look at the goal of human resources management.

What Is Human Resources Management?

Human resources management is the overall approach to managing your corporate culture, business operations, and employees. When you have strong human resources management in place your employees will feel taken care of, motivated to work harder, and excited to contribute toward company initiatives and goals.

As a company you should have a purposeful idea of what you want your human resources management to be. If this is under-managed or mismanaged, it can be damaging to employee morale, and make your company a place where people don’t enjoy working.

What Is Human Resources Workflow Management?

Once you’ve decided the kind of workplace you want to provide for your employees, you need to define the repetitive, necessary tasks that will be implemented so that your human resources managers can make them a reality.

By managing your human resources workflow you’re empowering your HR team to streamline their day-to-day tasks, eliminate needlessly time-wasting tasks, and ultimately keep you and your employees happy, protected, and compliant.

Once you have the ideal human resource workflow in place for your company, the next step to improving your company’s efficiency, profitability, and morale is to introduce human resources workflow automation.

What Is Human Resources Workflow Automation?

Human resources workflow automation is taking your existing HR workflow and using software to streamline the process and make it occur digitally. This means taking the operations that are being handled on paper or using spreadsheets that are local to a single person’s computer and putting them all into one easy-to-use platform.

Human resources workflow automation takes time-consuming, tedious, and mundane tasks and automates them as much as possible. Your human resources team will see a marked improvement when it comes to efficiency – not to mention a reduction of errors.

When a human resources team takes advantage of workflow automation, it frees them up to focus on other duties within your company. Rather than spending the majority of their time focused on menial tasks, they’re able to implement initiatives and projects to improve the overall state of your company’s human resources management we discussed above.

In addition, by using a trusted digital platform (like Quentelle) for your human resources workflow, you’re immediately improving the level of security your HR workflow. No more printed forms and paper file folders. Instead, you’ll be able to take advantage of digital safeguards and security, as well as customizable privacy controls that will help you meet regulatory and compliance requirements.

Benefits of Human Resources Automations in Today’s Enterprise

There are many advantages to automating your HR workflow, but here are a handful of some of the most advantageous to virtually any business.

Tax Credit Opportunities

There are few things that can immediately help a company’s bottom line like taking advantage of the proper tax credits available to them. When you use an automated HR workflow, you’re able to automatically identify things like the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) at the point of hire, and that’s just for starters.

Streamlined Unemployment Claims Management

Managing unemployment claims can be a full-time job for a company’s human resources department. The challenge is that if unemployment cost management doesn’t get the attention it deserves, it can cost your company substantial amounts of money in erroneous claims (or claims that were automatically accepted because there was no response).

Automating your HR workflow is a huge step toward unemployment cost control – and you can also rely on the platform to help you with tax rate verification specific to your state agencies so that you’re not over or underpaying when it comes to unemployment insurance.

Reduced Errors

No matter how excellent your human resources team is, the odds are they will eventually make a mistake somewhere in their HR workflow. When your team is responsible for manually handling onboarding forms, payroll, time sheets, employment verification, unemployment claims management, and other aspects of human resources (usually across multiple platforms), costly and serious mistakes are bound to occur.

When you automate your human resources workflow (and do so with an all-in-one platform like Quentelle), you reduce errors drastically – and in many cases can eliminate them entirely.

Unmatched Reporting Options

When you use human resources automation, you’re unlocking quick access to data-driven reports that would otherwise take a substantial amount of time and effort to put together. Additionally, when your HR workflow is hosted on one platform like Quentelle, you’re allowing for the simple and powerful cross-referencing of multiple human resource data points. (We’ll talk about this a bit more in-depth later in the article.)

Give Your Human Resources Team the Tools to Strategize

Let’s put those robust reporting options to good use. When you use a strong platform like Quentelle to automate your HR workflow your human resources team will have a robust set of tools to optimize and strategize the best way to operate. When your team can make data-driven decisions quickly and accurately, you’re giving them the ability to be proactive instead of reactive.

Repetitive (But Important) Tasks Are Automated

There are necessary tasks that any HR department will tell you are critical to operations – but also time-consuming and tedious. Why have a human do what a computer can do more quickly and accurately?

By automating the repetitive portions of certain tasks, you’re giving your team the ability to focus on the parts of those tasks that only a human can do best through intuition and experience.

When you automate your HR workflow, you’re optimizing the workflow of your human resources team and managers – saving valuable time and effort.

Emphasis Can Be Put on the Human Element of “Human Resources”

When your employees and HR team are spending time performing tedious human resources tasks to stay current and compliant, they’re not spending time with clients.

By automating the repetition parts of new employee or contractor onboarding, it gives your team the free bandwidth to interact with these people and begin to cultivate meaningful relationships quickly and naturally.

Acquire and Keep Stronger Talent 

By automating your company’s hiring process, you can greatly improve candidate selection. Rather than shuffling through paper resumes or countless online submissions you can quickly and easily identify qualified applicants that possess the skillsets the position requires.

These tools can make your talent acquisition process quicker and less reactive, allowing you to build an acquisition pipeline.

Additionally, with less “paper pushing”, your HR team can focus on true employee relations and keeping current employee moral high.

Support Various Work Styles

As working remotely becomes more popular and accepted by many companies, HR departments are having to navigate working with employees who are located in various places geographically. With some employees living in different states (or even countries), an automated workflow allows for the quick and secure transmission of any documentation electronically. This is faster and less expensive than other options such as fax and postal mail.

Unparalleled Organization

When your entire team is working from the same platform, there are no issues with data that’s not up to date or different versions of documents and spreadsheets. Working from a single platform like Quentelle will give you a level of organization – and a reduction of errors – that you can’t achieve any other way.

Many, Many More Benefits

As you can see, the benefits that come from using human resources workflow automation are numerous. Another thing to mention is that we understand every business is unique, and each will enjoy the unique benefits when automating their HR workflow. Every company not only has its own “pain points” that can be eliminated by HR workflow automation, but also the things that will bring them distinct benefits.

So how do you begin your enterprise workflow automation for human resources? Let us show you how it works.

Enterprise Workflow Automation for HR – How It Works

Enterprise-level workflow automation for HR can sound like a big, scary topic. Many managers, executives, and owners think that automating HR processes will be an expensive and almost insurmountable task. In some cases, they’re also skeptical that if they use automated HR workforce solutions that they’ll be putting their team out of a job.

The fact is that for most companies, none of this is accurate.

When you understand what enterprise-level workflow automation truly is at its core, you’ll probably find yourself wondering why you didn’t implement it sooner. Enterprise workflow automation is a powerful tool that will allow your employees to increase meaningful output and overall value to your company.

Here are some powerful ways that workflow automation for HR can work for you.

Automating the Identification of Opportunities for Tax Credits

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a federal tax credit that your company can take advantage of at the point of hire of a new employee. The credit is designed to incentivize companies like yours to provide jobs to individuals from certain groups that often face challenges finding gainful employment.

The key is that this tax credit must be identified at the point of hire. If a candidate is eligible there are forms that need to be filled out (IRS pre-screening Form 8850 and DOLF Form 9061) prior to or on the day the employee begins work.

If you don’t follow this process your company will be ineligible to claim the WOTC tax credit.

There’s still more – once the individual begins work, you’re required to submit the properly filled out forms to the state employment workforce agency before the 28th calendar day after the employee started their job.

As you can see, this process is layered and specific. If you handle your Work Opportunity Tax Credit process manually, there are many places the process can go awry, causing you to miss out on your credit.

When you use the workflow automation from Quentelle to handle your WOTC process, you can leverage our partnership with Walton – a trusted, industry leader. We’ll deliver a streamlined solution that lets you screen for Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) easily and accurately.

By using our simple and short process during your company’s onboarding process, Walton will determine eligibility and then pursue the tax credits for you.

You’ll benefit from:

  • A simplified screening process: Our screening process is simple, but powerful, and gets the job done.
  • Wellknown integrations: Walton has a number of integrations with the most reputable and largest applicant tracking, onboarding, and payroll providers.
  • Unmatched results: By using an automated process that turns over every stone, you’ll be able to rest assured that you’re not missing any opportunities for tax credits.

Other Credit Opportunities

The WOTC credit is only the beginning if you’re using the proper automated HR platform. Our partners at Walton will also pursue any other local, state, federal, and point-of-hire tax credits that your company might qualify for. This also includes Federal Empowerment Zone and the Indian Employment Credit programs, just to name a few.

With Quentelle’s HR workflow automation, the only thing you need to focus on is hiring great applicants, and we’ll take care of the rest.

Automating Unemployment Claims Management

Unemployment claims management is a necessary part of running any business. As you are probably well aware, there are many moving parts when it comes to handling unemployment claims properly.

Managing unemployment claims and navigating the unemployment system yourself is a time-consuming, complex, and ongoing process. Sadly, it often results in unemployment costs going up for your company. Not only that, but any single mistake during the process, and erroneous unemployment claims can be paid out, costing your company dearly. It will also increase your overall unemployment costs since a higher number of accepted claims will increase your unemployment tax rates.

By automating your unemployment claims management using a solution from Quentelle, the managing unemployment claims will be simple and cost-effective.

Our primary goal is to proactively examine all of your unemployment claims and decide whether they should be accepted or denied. As you may be aware, any unemployment claims that aren’t responded to in a timely manner are automatically accepted. Having our watchful team on the job typically lowers unemployment costs.

We don’t stop there. We also audit and track your unemployment claims history, and do all that we can to keep down the number of ongoing claims and improve your unemployment cost control.

The calculation of your unemployment tax rates is a complicated, multi-layered process. Our team will also review your claims history alongside tax records to be sure that you’re paying the proper unemployment tax rates. If your tax rate is incorrect, you could be overpaying or underpaying.

We will use the State Information Data Exchange System (SIDES) to electronically transfer all of the necessary unemployment claims documents. This means that you’ll no longer have to use postal mail or other less reliable methods. By using these electronic methods, we’re able to improve claim response times, which secures future appeal rights for your company.

Your team will never have to spend their time on an unemployment claims hearing again. If any unemployment claims do result in an unemployment hearing, one of our highly-experienced staff will attend as hearing representatives on your behalf. Our team members have an average of 20 years of unemployment claims proceedings experience and are familiar with unemployment laws and regulations.

We’ll prepare every witness prior to each unemployment hearing, and we’ll be sure that all documents and decisions are reviewed thoroughly. If the unemployment hearing does result in an appeal, we’ll handle the appeal process for you in its entirety.

You’ll benefit from:

  • All unemployment claims will be answered on a case by case basis – no more automatic acceptance.
  • Lower unemployment benefit charges overall.
  • Not having to use your valuable in-house talent on unemployment claims management.

As you can see, when you use workflow automation to handle your unemployment claims management, there are many benefits that will save your company time and money, and will ensure the most optimal and fair outcome for everyone involved.

The Highest Standards of Compliance

No matter what industry you’re in, your company is going to be subject to adhering to the compliance of federal, state, and local laws and regulations. If you fail to comply with any of these laws and regulations, it can trigger any number of consequences – none of which are good for your business. Your company can experience such things as investigations by various administering agencies, and sometimes the eventual assessment of fines and penalties.

One of the worst parts is that any errors in adherence to compliance and regulations are often the result of a mistake made by a member of your company’s staff. When all of your primary human resource workflows are handled in-house by human employees, the chances of finding your company in non-compliance at some point increases greatly.

How can HR automation help with compliance and reporting? By automating as much of the regulatory minutiae and compliance data as you can, you’re not relying on your team to stay up-to-the-minute on every regulation, rule, and guideline in an ever-shifting landscape.

As we stated earlier, we believe in letting computers do the job of computers, and letting people do the job of people. Even your most experienced and skilled human resources team member won’t have every state, federal, and local regulation or rule memorized. However, by leveraging an automated human resources workflow platform and taking advantages of the solutions offered from Quentelle, you can rest assured that your entire process is current with all regulatory information available.

Powerful and Easy-To-Use Reporting

We mentioned this earlier, but when you automate your human resources workflow, one of the major benefits you’ll experience is powerful, easy-to-use reporting. By having all of your human resource functionality in one platform (like Quentelle’s HR Analytics solution), you’re also giving yourself a method of collecting invaluable data about your organization. You’ll be able to look at cross-referenced data that wouldn’t otherwise be possible and make data-driven decisions confidently.

Take an in-depth look at things like:

  • Staff retention and attrition
  • Job statistics
  • Separation analysis
  • Turnover rate
  • Retention rate
  • Separation reasons vs. job titles
  • Correlations between separation and other data

And that’s only the beginning. As more and more data is gathered, our platform is able to leverage the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to not only show you existing data trends, but also to compile, query, and analyze large amounts of data. The AI can then identify certain patterns and trends that would be much harder to spot otherwise.

When you’re empowered by useful insights you can count on, you can make meaningful decisions with a minimal investment of research time and resources.

Integrating with Your Existing Tech Stack

Here at Quentelle, we wrote the book on tomorrow’s technology delivered today. We understand that you have an existing technology stack that you’ll need to consider before deciding on which workflow automation and HR applications can work for your business.

You’ll want to take a close look at any solution to make sure that it integrates smoothly with your pre-existing accounting and financial reporting software. We’re happy to report that our platform is at the cutting edge of what is available, and integrates seamlessly with many commonly used software services.

If you’re using a well-known provider, chances are that our flexible integrations will connect simply and securely to deliver an all-in-one, convenient solution.

You may be asking yourself: “But what if I don’t use a well-known provider?” Or “What if my business has a specific requirement?” The simple answer is that no matter what, we’ve got you covered. We offer customized solutions to any of our clients who need it.

We understand that there are some industries that rely heavily on managing data that is complex, and that’s no problem.

Are you in one of the following industries?

  • Healthcare
  • Transportation
  • Employer services
  • Agriculture
  • Something else?

No problem. We’ve worked with companies across many industries to develop custom software that helps them solve any challenge they’re facing. Everything we custom-make is designed to work seamlessly with our platform for an incredible experience.

In addition to seamless and flexible integrations, our platform also uses ForeSite, and leverages the power of what cloud computing can do today. This means that you’ll be able to manage and retrieve your data on demand with the utmost security.

Couple all of those benefits with our simple, single sign-on and our customizable push alerts, and you’ll see that Quentelle offers award-winning, easy-to-use solutions that you’ll love.

What Workflow Automation Means for Your Organization’s Bottom Line

As you can see, there are quite a few tangible benefits to automating your HR workflow. At the end of the day, you’re a business and you have to take a look at optimizing your income and doing all that you can to improve profit margins.

For businesses that take the switch to an automated HR workflow seriously, they often see a substantial amount of increased revenue and cost-saving opportunities open up.

Imagine the opportunity you have if every employee you hire is not only screened for WOTC tax credit – but all tax credits available. We see some of our clients get immense tax savings by allowing us to add a simple step to their hiring process.

Having all of your unemployment claims and unemployment taxes information in one place and being handled expertly can also drastically reduce your unemployment costs and keep your tax rates as low as possible.

You can imagine how the amount of tedious, repetitive work being handled by an automated system can free your team up to provide even more value, and in many cases, reduce HR labor expenses overall. Plus, reductions in efficiencies, initiatives, and projects can occur due to your team having more time available to be truly productive.

As you continue to capture data and use powerful reporting and AI-driven HR analytics, you can also participate in more accurate and meaningful long-term business planning and forecasting.

Another major opportunity for improving your bottom line is using HR automation and reporting to identify trends and patterns that your competitors have no way of learning. Seeing patterns that improve talent acquisition and offer other insights can help you beat competitors in ways they’re not expecting.

Quentelle Is the Industry Standard for Workflow Automation in HR Applications

Quentelle is the industry leader when it comes to workflow automation in HR applications. We’re smart and simple redefined through the power of our solutions.

If you’re looking for the most advanced technology available – that’s also simple to use and will integrate with your existing software – then you’ve come to the right place.

We’d love to talk to you about how we can help you streamline your HR workflow like never before, empower your team with the tools they deserve, and improve your company’s bottom line.

To learn more about our solutions, call us at (888) 565-5515 or contact us online.

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