Automation alternatives for human resources

Automation alternatives for human resources

By Paul Breslau, Breslau Insurance & Benefits Inc.

Routine and repetitive tasks are the first that are automated. In human resources this includes a multitude of systems for payroll, 401k plans, insurance benefits, time and attendance, training, compliance, communications, OSHA safety, performance review, tracking of company property, employee skills and licensing, etc. Over time, these systems continually improve their ability to work together and be integrated.

For example, from the website: “Our software was built on the belief that clients should have the ability to choose the systems right for their business—not the other way around. With 300-plus integration partners across 20 product categories, our open architecture allows you to streamline the management of payroll and human resources data across other business platforms. Our 180-degree and 360-degree integrations give vendors the ability to automate the flow of data to and from Paylocity, or in either (single) direction. Leverage the systems you need without the hassle of disparate data, time-consuming management or a poor user experience.”

According to Kendall Green of Harbor America, the impact starts with recruiting and hiring. From the website: “New hires require a lot of paperwork and a lot of time. Our electronic onboarding system and your dedicated Harbor America HR expert will help get your new employees onboard and making you money. This includes collecting all the necessary tax documents and employment verification, eVerify (as required).”

The above are two basic ways to integrate automation for human resources. Paylocity and similar companies are payroll and technology companies. Harbor America and its competitors are professional employment organizations or PEOs, which take human resources help a few steps further. Additional human resource automation methods are also developed by insurance companies, and specialty companies.

Some payroll companies including ADP also offer PEO plans, which, in its case, is called ADP TotalSource. Then there is Zenefits, which started with free payroll if it was the benefits’ agent or broker. Zenefits is migrating to a pure payroll and automation company and starting to work with the big brokerage agencies.

Competition between payroll companies, PEOs, agents and brokers is fierce. What is important to you as a business owner or manager is to work with trusted professionals. These are difficult to find because many account executives only represent one company. A perspective is difficult to obtain.

For example, AFLAC, Colonial and others compete in the voluntary worksite insurance market. According to Mark Wheeler of AFLAC, “Offering employees and their families the ability to avoid financial catastrophe for a small monthly premium can be invaluable.”

MetLife, Principal and others compete in the ancillary insurance market, which is like worksite, but different. Depending on your business circumstance there are advantages and shortfalls to each.

The pace of change is fast due to technology improvements and legislation. The competition leapfrogs each other in meeting market demands. Please use your own advisers or to give me a call.


Paul Breslau is partnering with leading local experts in all lines of insurance and business services. Call him at 602-692-6832 or for an initial conversation, evaluation or referral.


Breslau—registered health underwriter, registered employee benefit consultant, chartered life underwriter, chartered financial consultant, chartered adviser for senior living—is president of Breslau Insurance & Benefits Inc.