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When every function and department within a business is optimized to perform at its best, overall organizational goals are better realized. That includes the sometimes-overlooked HR department, which is an important area for both small and large companies alike. In fact, HR work consumes up to 35% of a small business owner’s time, proving the HR function is not a place where shortcuts can be taken. For those ready to drive business growth and success, there are several tips for streamlining your HR processes.

Embrace the Digital

The best starting point for streamlining your HR is to take a hard look at paper and pen processes that can be replaced with computer software or programs. Over 50% of an HR department’s time is spent processing information and answering employee questions. By going away from paper you’re not just saving trees, but you’re saving valuable time. There will be no more looking through disorganized drawers for files. In just seconds, a search from your keyboard can file appropriate paperwork for new hires, locate previous incident reports, or share a background check with a hiring manager. On top of this, digitalized information housed in a cloud can be easier to access from multiple devices, as well as safer from the physical damage that fire or floods pose.

Utilizing digital records also provides the opportunity to perform valuable data analysis. There’s a reason that 60% of companies are investing in big data and analytics tools to improve their HR departments. When an employee violates company policy and an HR rep wants to investigate if the incident is a pattern or an isolated incident, a database quickly presents the answers. Not only that, it can help discover relationships between data, bringing up any related reports surrounding previous incidents as well as information on any coworkers who were involved. On paper, finding all this information is often difficult or tedious, but when they’re in a digital format, insights can be efficiently accessed.

Utilize Employee Portals

Hand in hand with going digital, incorporating employee HR portals that can be accessed via the internet are not just convenient for employees. These systems take a great burden off HR when a workforce can easily request PTO, view their pay checks, locate insurance documents, print out their W2s, fill out disability paperwork, file a complaint, or review handbooks, policies, and frequently asked questions. When customized to your specific organization, an employee portal will save a great deal of time and effort for the HR department. Likewise, these portals can serve as a way to provide greater transparency to employees by being a centralized place to share news, updates, and information. This is critical, as 90% of job seekers say that it’s important to work for a company that embraces transparency.

Overhaul Training Procedures

Properly streamlining your HR necessitates a look at training procedures. If you haven’t changed your training methods in several years, it’s a sign you’d benefit from a training overhaul. Today, effective training can be conducted through digital channels easier than ever before. While the human factor is still necessary in training, increasing digital portions of the process make it more efficient. Less time spent training gives HR reps more time dedicated to other tasks, but the big gain out of improved training is a decrease in risk and an increase in compliance. The better trained your employees are, the better they will perform at their roles. Additionally, the chances of devastating discrimination and harassment incidents drop significantly.

Examine the Interview and Onboarding Process

If you’re looking to drive business growth, the last thing you want is an inefficient hiring process. The cost of a bad hire amounts to at least 30% of that employee’s first-year earnings, underscoring the severity of mistakes in this area. It may vary depending on the organization and role, but HR is always involved in interviewing and onboarding to some extent. While that does not present any problems on its own, when the involvement of HR stretches out the interview process, good hires are pushed away.

23% of interviewees that receive no follow up one week after an interview will lose interest in working for you, and 46% will lose interest after two weeks of no feedback. While HR must process paperwork, conduct previous employment verification, and sometimes deal with background checks, it’s important that these processes do not delay offers reaching good candidates. Avoid multiple communications with various requests for paperwork, and instead, provide the candidate with one clear packet (perhaps digitally) to fill out. Likewise, limit the number of interviews whenever possible. Take this efficient mentality and apply it to the onboarding process and even exit interviews, and your HR department will be running more smoothly than ever.

Tips for Streamlining Your HR

There are numerous ways of streamlining your HR function, but nobody said it would be easy. Change on this scale takes time, and all too often organizations give up citing high cost or the lack of resources to implement change. That’s why many turn to a PEO such as Synergy in order to better achieve business growth. It’s often the quickest and most cost-effective way of reinventing your HR, and in turn, your organization.