Slack’s new tool automates administrative HR tasks

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Slack has a new feature that may help HR departments save time on administrative tasks.

The tool, Workflow Builder, can automate and process requests for PTO and onboarding directly on Slack. Workflow Builder is used by employers, including e-commerce company Poshmark and the software developer HubSpot.

Poshmark, for example, uses the tool to automate the messages sent to new hires during their first day on the job.

“This workflow helped me automate what I was currently doing manually,” says Amanda Pham, an HR generalist at Poshmark. “I was able to [modify] the templates Slack gave me in a way that worked for Poshmark.”

See also: How Slack uses Slack: A look into how the employer uses its own tech for benefits

HR executives are expecting that a more significant portion of their jobs will be automated over the next 10 years. Indeed, 82% of HR executives say their jobs will transform due to increased focus on people management and less on administrative tasks, a new survey from HR technology company Sage finds. The adoption of tools like artificial intelligence will also play a role in shaping the future of HR.

However, not all companies are enthusiastic about advancements in automation.

“It’s clear that while many companies are adopting new technologies and making advancements within their HR departments on their journey toward a ‘people’ function, just as many remain resistant to invest,” Paul Burrin, vice president of Sage People, says in a statement.

HR teams are looking for ways to more efficiently complete their day-to-day tasks so they can focus on higher value work, says Ellie Powers, director of product at Slack.

Workflow Builder helps teams organize requests, such as leave and travel, by constructing a basic form with questions for employees on Slack. HR teams can build their own workflow from scratch, or select from a number of templates, Powers says.

“You don’t have to write and look at any code,” she says. “You can take a process that you do repetitively, and you can automate it so Slack can basically take care of that for you.”

See also: AI, tech are transforming traditional HR

Moving forward, Slack plans to integrate Workflow Builder with third-party tools, Powers says. Slack already integrates with a number of third-party apps including Dropbox, Salesforce and Gmail.

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