Best Practices of Human Resources Leaders: Part 1

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If you’re in HR, you know it’s tough to manage today’s workforce. HR managers have to juggle employee performance in both real time and the backend, and they must ensure staff are complying to company policies – all while studying long-term productivity to ensure they have the best people in the right positions. They want the best people coming in and staying, and they want to transition unproductive people out. And of course they also want their company’s information secure, and costs down.

Challenges in Human Resources Today

Successfully managing HR begins with successfully managing a lot of sensitive information. To illustrate just how important that information is– many organizations’ back-office departments are operating on a completely manual, paper-based system. Research from World Resources Institute show that a business has a 70% chance of failing within just three weeks if they lost their records in a disaster.

The Paper Problem

On top of the real threat disasters pose to a business, the amount of paper going through these departments is only growing, an astounding 22% every year – or doubling less than every 3.5 years. And, all of this paper means real problems for your Human Resources department.

paper volume growing

With the increase in the volume of paperwork, HR professionals have a lot more to manage than in the past.  State and federal laws require new, more and frequent written communications to properly educate and communicate with employees regarding their pay rates, pay changes, FLSA status and insurance changes among many other areas.

Efficiency Thieves

In a recent HR webinar with PayStream Advisors, 63% of poll respondents said that new applicant paperwork was the biggest efficiency thief.

HR departments running on manual systems are failing to efficiently allocate their resources. Employees spend 30% of their time rummaging through cluttered email boxes and filing cabinets for the right document. Did you know that each paper file can cost your organization anywhere from $125 a year if none are lost? Files are always lost. And the cost to recreate documents is even higher.

Disparate HR Systems Increase Risk

Besides organizing important paper documents, there are more HR-specific challenges associated with manual HR systems. According to a survey conducted by Price Waterhouse Coopers, The Hidden Reality of Payroll & HR Administration Costs, the top pains in daily HR tasks include meeting compliance obligations and manual processes.

HR departments challenges

Compliance is a big and complex issue for HR, especially when they operate on separate management systems or completely manual ones. Companies run the risk of limited audit reporting, non-compliant employee activity, or failing to fulfill the Sarbanes-Oxley.

And manual processes? That ties in directly with compliance. Manual HR processes consistently result in errors, lost documents, high costs, wasted time—and compromises HR’s ability to deliver timely reports. When HR is bogged down in endless administrative tasks they can’t efficiently deliver real value to their company

Best Practices of HR Leaders

What do Human Resources leaders do that other professionals don’t do? In this article, we’ll outline three of the best practices used by top performing HR leaders according to research conducted by PayStream Advisors.

Proactive Approach to Demographic Changes

Let’s start at the beginning of an HR professional’s role: hiring. What do we know about the hiring process today? For one, we know the job market is picking back up. And that’s great for everyone – but increases workload for HR teams that are already stretched thin with limited resources.

human resources demographics

Percent of New Workers Entering the Workforce Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012

We also know that there an increasing number of millennials entering the workforce—2015 is the year millennials became the largest segment of the workforce.

Millenials have often done their homework on social networks and the internet to perform research before ever being contacted by HR.

Today’s HR leaders understand this and work with their marketing teams to ensure their websites and social networks tell the right story about the company.

Automate and Enhance the Hiring Process

As the business world globalizes and technology plays a bigger role in both professional and personal lives, the current workforce has different expectations than many of their predecessors. Even so, potential hires of all ages are looking for an electronic and more personalized hiring process, and a more collaborative work environment.

HR departments can’t stick with outdated manual processes—they have to change with their changing talent. HR in leading organizations have already prepared for this change and have adjusted their recruiting efforts to ensure their workplace culture will be successful with the growing workforce.

  • Today’s workforce is more technology-minded than their predecessors
  • They want efficiency, connectivity, and a technological focus in both their work and personal life
  • They value an integrated, transparent, collaborative “silo-free” workplace culture

Standardize the Onboarding Process

HR wants to hire great workers, and they want to keep them. High employee turnover is costly, as is losing good, productive people. One way to keep employee retention high is to streamline the onboarding process. The Society of Human Resources Management found that new employees who attended a structured onboarding orientation program were 69% more likely to remain at a company up to 3 years.

This also leads to an overall 50% higher retention rate, and 54% more new-hire productivity.

Streamlined onboarding can be accomplished with an Enterprise Content Management system. ECMs offer document management that simplifies applications, background checks, insurance forms, and other hiring documentation.

ECMs also offer workflow to make sure these documents are processed quickly and correctly, and security measures to protect the sensitive information. As an added bonus—ECM systems often do the same things for employee-separation documents on the back-end.

At DocStar, we use our DocStar ECM software to manage the entire hiring and employee lifecycle process. When an applicant is hired, their entire packet of information is electronically available in the system. This then becomes the start of their secure, permanent employee personnel file.

Additional information, such as I9s, health insurance paperwork, etc. are added to the electronic files. Offsite employees often send in the information electronically and it can be imported into the system without ever being printed out. And due to the security levels within the product, only people who are supposed to view this information have access to it.

The Case for ECM in HRIncreased Productivity, Improved Governance & Compliance

Human Resources is an excellent place to automate and reduce paper. Human resources creates dozens of pieces of paper for every employee. From applications, background checks, insurance, employment and benefits forms to post-separation forms, you generate and manage a lot of paper.

And all that paper takes a lot of your time to fill out, file, and find later.  It would be much easier to handle and manage this information electronically and create automated workflow processes to automatically route, track and manage employee information.  The ability to track and audit activity is a huge benefit along with the enhanced ability to stay in compliance with both internal policies and external governance.

Managing forms and documents for the complete employee life-cycle

  • Employee On-Boarding process
  • Benefits
  • Change in employee status
  • Time off requests
  • Terminations

In our next blog, we’ll divulge three more best practices of HR leaders as well as the future role of HR. If you can’t wait for the next installment, watch our webinar with PayStream Advisors, Secrets of World Class Human Resources Departments. In this fast-paced 30 minute webinar, we present the latest research on the best practices used by Human Resources leaders to help you start your journey on becoming a World Class HR Department.