Impact of Robotics in delivering HR Services

by Brucelin 

1.What is your take about robotics automation in the HR industry?

In any industry, repeated and manual tasks are good candidates for automation with bots. HR industry is no different and it has a huge potential for robotic automation.

The HR spectrum ranges from pre-on boarding to post–exit operations and currently there are several mundane and redundant tasks which are done manually. The key here is to pick out those activities that are time-consuming at a mass level and try to replace them with software programs called “Bots”

Tasks, like verifying the on boarding checklist, sending out emails, validating payroll inputs and outputs etc, are good candidates for automation.

Automation also improves precision and quality of these activities apart from saving time and effort.

2.Can you name some of the common HR processes where bots intervene to enhance the quality of work delivered? Has this drastically reduced manual intervention?

Sub-processes in on-boarding, recruiting and payroll processing are some HR processes where bots are found to be commonly deployed. Let us take the case of On-boarding/exit; the following tasks can easily be automated using this evolving technology

  • Assess, prepare and create new joiner data
  • Streamline information across disparate corporate systems for preparation on Day 1
  • Consolidate leave input from business areas and feed to downstream systems

In the case of recruitment, there are several areas where automation can be applied. Take, for example, the following scenarios

  • Processing candidate notifications for interviews, rejection and feedback
  • Candidate reviews – screening of CV’s and online application forms

The entire sequence of events from sourcing resumes by referring to a Job Description to scheduling interviews and rolling out offers can be automated through proper strategizing and planning.

However, these are just the tip of the iceberg; there are several other innovative aspects to this, if rightly explored, could result in strengthening the HR processing landscape

3.List some of the key advantages of using robotics in HR processes?

Some of the key benefits of using robotics in HR include

  • Time and cost savings
  • Increased accuracy and efficiency
  • Increased consistency of processing
  • Improved productivity and throughput

4.What, in your point of view are the key trends to watch out in the field of robotics in the next 5 years? What would be the biggest technology trends to look forward to in 2017?

I think robotics is going to be a huge game changer across all the industries. The wave has already started everywhere and Robotics along with Artificial Intelligence, Block chain and IOT are going to create a huge disruption in the way in which businesses are going to operate in the future

In the next 5 years, tools like Blue Prism, UI Path and Automation Anywhere are going to be used exhaustively to automate manual processes across all the industries. In areas where strategy and decision making are required, AI and Robotics will collaborate.

The Key trends to watch out for in 2017 include Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Block chain and IOT

5.Do you think any particular industry is adopting robotics fast these days? As an authority in the field, could you point out the early adopters of RPA in the industry?

Retail and health care are two important industries that are adopting robotics at a rapid pace. Take the case of Amazon, they already have drones manning their warehouses and they also plan to do door delivery of goods using drones in the future.

Robots are also deployed in production and assembly lines in major factories to reduce dependency on Human Resources.

In the case of healthcare, robot-assisted surgeries are highly common these days, we also have robots taking the role of general physicians by imbibing all the knowledge that are essential to analyse patient cases and take necessary actions. Artificially intelligent healthcare chat-bots could evolve to treat many common ailments.

6.In closing, can you share few key learning’s that you’ve had over the course of your professional exposure and experience in dealing with the robotics and automation?

The most important thing to understand is that automation is not really a new term – The era of automation started with the advent of computers and later the internet where various tools were devised to solve business. From mainframes to the client servers to cloud computing, automation has evolved in different phases encompassing different areas.

Robotics and AI have existed for a while now and the thrust to use them has increased in the past couple of years due to the enormous growth in business processes due to the scarcity of manpower as well as the ever-increasing cost of skilled and unskilled labour.

My final take is that unlike earlier occasions, robotics is going to make a huge dent in the way business is being carried out now and unless business owners realise this and make the right moves, they might find themselves questioning their survival amidst competitors who might have travelled far ahead of the curve.


Emerging Trends in Centralisation of Global Payroll

Reprinted from Global Payroll-March 2017: The official magazine of Global Payroll Management Institute

  1. What emePriyankan Goswamirging trends or significant issues have your attention in global payroll?

The most significant trend in recent years is that organizations are starting to move toward a centralized or standardized model for managing global payroll, as it has proven to drive efficiency and scale. Industry leaders are starting to accept the usefulness of a single solution to global payroll in terms of technology and are backed by a single service provider.

At the same time, payroll is increasingly taking an employee-centric approach and has moved from being a traditional bridge between the HR and finance functions to a more strategic tower that defines business decisions and employee morale. One key challenge that we witness, of course, is the resistance to change, which is coupled with decisions resulting in the continuation of an old school of thought, rather than opting to optimize and standardize one’s processes through a wholesome global payroll strategy.

  1. As the role of the global payroll professional grows, what are key qualities you look for when hiring?

For me, more than anything else, it’s attitude. One may not have experience, but if one has the right attitude, the job gets done. Top that off with skill development and an appreciation for good work, and one can get the job done better than ever before. Add some mentoring and the right dose of motivation and that person can move up the ladder. That’s what is important in a growing yet challenging industry like the global payroll business. Having said that, of course, I look out for people who are good with numbers as well as communication. I look for people with integrity and the ability to learn quickly.

  1. What resources do you use to stay current on the latest trends and legislation in global payroll?

Decisions of payroll and compliance should be based on multiple sources. Articles and information are available in resources such as this publication, Global Payroll because the information comes from peers or leaders in the industry who have a lot to share in terms of experience and knowledge.

At Neeyamo, we take feeds from three types of sources. The first is an independent in-house compliance and research division that scans through several documented databases and resources for changes or updates in legislatures; the second is pre-qualified in-country experts or compliance partners who share reports on legislature changes, and the third is reliance upon updates from global advisory firms.

Here, the rule of thumb is to cross-validate any legislature change made with all these sources and update our systems as needed. If even one source implies a different story, we then investigate to ascertain the facts. We will contact a country’s appropriate authoritative body directly when needed.

  1. Is it possible to have a single global payroll solution and service?

I feel certain that the question “Can there be only one technology solution to global payroll” will soon become one of the past. It has already become a reality. It is just a matter of time before everyone starts moving in that direction.

  1. What are some of the considerations a company should ask to determine if there is good fit with a prospective vendor?

In today’s terms, I would recommend the following: Delivery capability, including quality and ability to transform and transitions.

  • Delivery capability, including quality and ability to transform and transitions.
  • Technology capability one needs to evaluate the technology being used. It will determine  the level  of automation and standardization one can achieve by selecting the vendor.The  Level of scalability  of the vendor to meet your growth or accommodate dynamic changes in  your organization. At the  same time, it is important to have culture fit to one’s  organization.
  • The Level of scalability of the vendor to meet your growth or accommodate dynamic  changes in  your organization. At the same time, it is important to have culture fit to one’s  organization.
  • Commercial proposition and benefits including the value-adds that the vendor can bring in.

Try to ascertain an answer to the question: “Would I be one among 5,000 customers or would I be one of their special 100?” It is equally important that you feel cherished as a customer.

  1. Share any thoughts about how your approach to change management has helped to make a successful organization.

The key to designing and driving change is to work collaboratively with the stakeholders who would be impacted by the change. For any org-level change such as centralizing global payroll, we follow what we refer to as the “Study-Analyze-Recommend” process and we carve out the blueprint to manage the change accordingly.

Taking global payroll centralization as an example, one can get started by conducting a high-level understanding of current as-Is processes in applicable countries to identify the actual scope for standardization.

This can involve charting out the localized centres where payroll is actually managed such as regional offices, shared model, etc. During this period, one needs to go through existing documents containing process maps and process documents to help understand the As-Is processes and identify and document existing best practices.

One also needs to identify immediate issues and challenges that need focus. Issues such as existing vendor-related risks like contract expiry, people related challenges like attrition, unionized agreements, planned holiday of key resources, and audit findings, etc. It is important to identify historical or recurring issues that needed to be accounted for.

Next, analyzing the data streams must include taking stock of the different technology/systems that are used for upstream and downstream processes such as movement of time and leave data and commissions, etc. This also needs to identify key control points and enablers for each process/data stream. It also is important to have clarity regarding the people involved in roles, activity, and effort.

Once one has detailed insights into these areas and every affected stakeholder is identified, a collaborative solution can be created and effectively implemented.

  1. What are some of the unique aspects of running an efficient and effective global payroll operation? 

Well, global payroll operations, especially if you are a service provider, can sound a bit complex because of its sheer nature. As such, I have great respect for global payroll leaders who have carved out their niche in the industry over the last couple of years.

However, the operations can be well managed if the whole complex piece is broken down into smaller structures. For example, your entire operations can be sub-grouped into different teams such as global payroll implementation, payroll delivery with regional-or country-specific teams, project management office (who also manage risks), compliance team, technology and configuration, partner management, help desk team, etc. These teams can be further broken down by client needs (if you are a service provider) or regional specific teams based on location being operated from; but the key to managing the whole gambit is to make sure every single team member sees the big picture and works in sync by being aligned to the overall organizational or business goal. Leadership with integrity and continual improvement is of utmost importance. I would say that the mantra to successful operations management is to effectively manage the four pillars—people power, process excellence, customer delight, and risk mitigation.


The Global Payroll Management Institute (GPMI), www.GPMInstitute.com, is the world’s leading community of payroll leaders, managers, practitioners, researchers and technology experts. Subscribers connect with each other through networking discussions, collaborative opportunities, and access to education and publications dedicated to global payroll strategies, knowledge, research, employment, and training. GPMI also publishes several global payroll texts and white papers as a benefit to subscribers. Get more information at www.GPMInstitute.com


Getting more from the Benefits Module in SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central

by Vijay K & Sarayu Raghavan, 20 June,2016

Does your organization hire an in-house masseuse to help you relax just after you’ve had a really exhaustive day at work? – does that sound a little too exotic? While I’m certainly aware of companies that provide this as an allowance, let’s look at an employee benefit that sounds a bit more realistic. How about paid-education – according to a recent report by PWC, the millennial generation is committed to their personal learning and development and this remains their first choice of benefit from employers. In an effort to retain their best talent, several companies have out together an entire menu-card of benefits for their employees to choose from. However, most often than always, they are left disappointed to find that employees are often unaware of the benefits on offer or worse do not use it because they think it is complex to apply for.

SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central (EC) comes with an easy-to-use Benefits module, which allows HR admins to easily configure benefits on SAP SuccessFactors to help employees to use the benefits quickly and easily.

In this whitepaper, we offer insight into:

  1. Different benefit types with examples
  2. How to setup custom benefits in EC
  3. How you can create visibility for the benefits within EC

The Benefits Module in Employee Central

Benefits in SuccessFactors Employee Central are organized into 7 broad types:


Figure 1–The 7 categories of Benefits in SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central


A brief explanation of the types of benefits with examples


Workflows can be configured for all benefit types for both “Enrolment” and “Claim”. Benefits like Birthday gift (Australia) can be configured for auto enrolment based on Employee’s birthday on the system which can also be regulated by initiating a workflow.

SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central benefits are country specific and some are pre-configured for example a Christmas Gift for Brazilian employees as shown below –

Table 2

Figure 2 – Benefits screen for an employee showing current enrolled benefits, claims and eligible benefits for enrollment (Country specific Benefits – Brazil)

Eligibility for a benefit can be further controlled by setting up rules to identify employee groups that are applicable: e.g. under a certain age group or employees who have served X months in the company, using business rules. This ensures that the benefit is available only to those employees who qualify

Creating custom benefits in SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central

Since the benefits module is based on Meta Data Framework (MDF), it is easy to create custom benefits that are unique to your organization. Your administrator (or anyone with the right privileges) can help set it up in 9 steps as outlined below –

9 steps


How can organizations make the benefits more visible to employees?

  • Publicity Plan : Create a publicity plan – Build a custom portlet and time it to specific groups of employees, so that they see it when they login.
  • E-mail Reminders : Send emails with auto-enrollment workflows, so that employees can be automatically enrolled in things like a health check or a free dental check-up.
  • Auto-enrollment : Mandatory benefits can be auto-enrolled for employees.

Creating reports in the benefits module

You can build reports using Employee Central to track enrolment, pending signups that help you “nudge” employees to use the benefits. Reports can be created using Online Report Designer (ORD). A few sample reports below –


Figure 6 – Sample SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Benefits Reports in System

How can Neeyamo help you with benefits for Employee Central?

The Neeyamo Consultants can help you design and administer Benefits effectively. We take work out of managing benefits by providing custom reports for internal analysis and government compliance at your fingertips.  The visibility of benefits data has a lot of compliance norms- We use the Roles Based Permissioning framework to keep a check on the information visible to employee, approver, and auditor. To run a simple yet effective Global Benefits – please reach out to irene.jones@neeyamo.com.