How do HR Workflows work?


Zooming in on HR Automation: how HR workflows work

So we’ve talked a lot about the use and importance of automation, next to that we also went over a few practical examples. This might be a little hard to wrap your head around so we’re going to zoom in on a specific scenario to really show you what’s possible.

One of the major components of HR process automation is workflows. We call them HR workflows.

HR workflows map out predictable, repetitive and consecutive tasks within processes that HR manages. They’re especially convenient when approvals or requests are needed from multiple departments or hierarchies.

An example of a process with a lot of tasks, approvals and requests is the employee journey. So let’s look at how we can improve this process by automating it.

The employee journey

We call every item within the employee journey a case. If the employee journey is a story — and that’s how you should look at it — every case is a chapter within that story.

Here’s the employee journey of a new recruit at Nmbrs as an example:

Employee journey

Table 1: Nmbrs’ Employee Journey

In the employee journey, each case will have its own workflow.

Within each case, you will have certain steps that you always take, often with dependencies. Each workflow has its own approval rules, assignment rules and fulfilment tasks and notifications.

It’s these consecutive steps that you can create an automated workflow for. For example an automated employee onboarding flow.

Note that not all steps within a case can be automated. Take for instance time registration, which is highly dependent on the type of industry. Your HR tooling might not support it and will possibly cause you to work with additional tooling.  

As you can see in table 1 above, the first case in Nmbrs’ employee journey (1) is the application phase.

You could, for instance, have this set of actions in the application case:

  1. Source
  2. Review resume
  3. Check references
  4. Contact previous employers
  5. Invite candidate yes/no

Note that to successfully create an automated workflow for a case, you should know exactly what path the case should take. It’s highly recommended you draw out this path first. No problems if it will look jumbled at first. Underneath is our very first draft of the employee journey.

Schermafbeelding 2019-05-13 om 16.53.48

So to recap, this is the order in which you work your way down:

  1. Identify the employee journey and its cases
  2. Identify the tasks within each case
  3. Outline workflows for each case
  4. Implement the workflows in your HR software



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