Four ways to reduce time spent on HR admin

January 15, 2024

Repetitive, day-to-day tasks – such as entering starters and leavers and approving team absence requests – can often take up a lot more of a HR professional’s time than they would like. This is especially true if these tasks are conducted manually.

And of course, the more time spent on data entry, the more time taken away from planning and executing more proactive and strategic HR projects, for example.

As highlighted in this recent article from People Management, January is the month when many businesses renew their annual leave allowances, so is usually the month when HR teams see an influx in absence requests as employees book their planned holidays for the year ahead.

Not only is this spike in HR demand adding to an already busy to-do list for many HR teams but in most cases, could have been avoided in the first place by prioritising, and potentially making changes to, how HR services are delivered.

As such, we share four of the ways you can reduce your overall levels of HR administration to become a more efficient HR team and give you back time to focus on what you really want to achieve.

Table of Contents

Provide accessible HR policies to set expectations from the start

Battling through a pile-load of HR admin and requests can be time-draining enough. But if for one reason or another, their request cannot be fulfilled, it’s best practice to then follow up with a timely response as to why that’s the case. An example of this is an employee submitting a leave request for a longer period than is permitted at any one time.

If this isn’t feasible within your team, you may need to communicate to the employee why the leave request cannot be approved – creating yet another admin task.

However, this situation is less likely to happen if an up-to-date absence policy document, clearly stating any rules around time off, is always available (and easily accessible) to employees, enabling them to read and understand any restrictions before submitting.

Utilise integrated HR technology

It’s not uncommon to find HR teams still behind the curve when it comes to how they handle their HR paperwork, with some organisations continuing to follow manual processes. In fact, nearly a quarter (23%) of HR specialists still rely on paper-based HR administration – a far higher number than expected with the technological enhancements available in 2024.

Instead, organisations should look to re-evaluate their current HR setup and consider introducing automated technology that can integrate with other software used across the wider company, such as payroll, to enable automatic data-sharing.

In doing this, not only do you rid the need for repetitive data entries in multiple systems but significantly minimise the chance of human error and, in turn, the requirement to correct and re-enter inaccurate information or calculations.

Introduce a self-service app

Continuing on the theme of technology, self-service apps that integrate with your HR and people software are a great way to shift the responsibility of managing employee-based admin from the HR team to the line managers or, in some cases, the employees themselves.

Employee self-service apps empower individuals to send requests, complete forms, or update personal information and bank details simply, using their own devices wherever they are, 24/7. Submitted requests then fall straight to the line manager to deal with.

This substantially cuts the workload for HR professionals – freeing them up to deal with more complex issues – along with ensuring all employee details are as accurate as possible at all times.

Outsource HR admin to a trusted HR partner

Some organisations instead see the most value in handing the day-to-day admin processing and, in some cases, the entire HR function over to an expert outsourcing partner. In doing this, you receive hands-on support from knowledgeable HR professionals who work alongside your business as an extension of your team.

Removing the single point of failure in HR operations, utilising the benefits of an outsourced team can be the most cost- and time-effective solution for organisations looking to re-focus their energies on more strategic, value-adding projects to achieve business goals.


If your team is drowning in HR admin, our friendly team of HR professionals is here to lend a helping hand. Contact us to discover how we can support you.


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