An inbox full of urgent emails. A payroll spreadsheet that requires manual updating. A pile of new hire documents that need to be mailed out.
If you answered “yes,” you’re not alone. Research reveals that the typical HR-to-employee ratio is one HR professional to 100 employees. That’s a lot of responsibilities weighing on the shoulders of one HR employee. The same research states that HR managers are spending 73 percent of their time on tedious administrative tasks, namely recruiting, onboarding and termination services, maintaining and auditing records and creating HR systems and procedures.
There’s no escaping these essential tasks. However, for HR managers to really contribute to the success of a business, they should be focusing less on these mechanical, routine activities and more on managing employees’ success.
The solution is clear: technology.
HR technologies have been around for years. Yet, many business owners have struggled to equip their HR teams with these tools. Why? There’s a misconception that integrating technology into the day-to-day HR processes and systems is too expensive, too difficult and too time-consuming. When in fact, with the right technology, businesses can save time and money while boosting HR productivity.
Here are four HR productivity leaks that technology can fix:
1 | INTERVIEWING
All HR managers have been there. After sifting through dozens of cover letters, applications, and resumes, the number of potential interviewees has been narrowed down to a handful of candidates that “look good on paper.” You block half of your days for the next couple of weeks for interviews, hoping to find the one for the job, only to get disappointed and in retrospect realize that precious hours were wasted interviewing the wrong candidates.
Furthermore, applicants could get the impression that HR managers wasted their time coming to a job interview in which they are considered unqualified for the role.
How can technology solve this predicament? There are two ways:
First, set up on-demand interviews. After shortlisting the candidates, recruitment managers send applicants a link to a page containing a set of questions. Using the camera on their computer or mobile device, applicants are required to video record themselves answering the questions within the specified length of time. The answers are saved, and HR managers receive a notification after a candidate has completed the process. This provides additional insights as to whether or not an applicant is a good fit before inviting them for a face-to-face interview, thus saving time and increasing productivity.
Second, instead of physical, face-to-face interviews, HR managers can opt to do video interviews for the preliminary screenings. This not only saves applicants commute time by eliminating the need to go to the office, but it also saves HR managers time from having to coordinate logistical requirements such as booking an interview location.
2 | ORGANIZATION
With the amount of data HR managers need to collect, organize and track for each employee, it’s no doubt that many HR professionals feel they’re swimming in forms. Recruitment, hiring, onboarding, benefits enrollment, collective bargaining agreements, approving time off — the list goes on and on.
Collecting these forms is already tedious. However, HR managers still need to sort and organize. Plus, when the time comes for these forms to be retrieved, HR can spend hours trying to sift through file cabinets and folders.
HR managers need to break this exhausting cycle of paperwork and transition into seamless and digital data collection and management. All this work can be replaced by a single technology platform that collects and compiles all the HR information needed for all employees. These tools, also called Human Resource Management Systems (HRMS), promote self-service among employees. Instead of bothering HR to provide them with the documents they need, employees can access the forms on their own.
3 | PAYROLL MANAGEMENT
Payroll is arguably one of the most time-consuming responsibilities HR managers need to do in the lifespan of their careers. There are a lot of moving pieces — it involves accurate auditing of work hours, tax deductions, benefits, shift differential compensation, labor laws compliance, collective bargaining agreements, etc. For HR managers, payroll preparation is a precision-driven task. One mistake can take hours to rectify, not to mention the penalties a business could incur if the error is compliance-related.
Advanced payroll management software can significantly reduce payroll preparation and management time. It minimizes if not fully eliminates errors, saving HR managers from hours of correcting employees’ paychecks. These payroll technologies can also take into account other payroll factors such as benefits and labor regulations compliance, simplifying what is otherwise a complex and time-consuming process.
4 | PRODUCTIVITY TRACKING
Monitoring and tracking employee productivity is actually one of the reasons why an HR team’s own productivity takes a slump. Having to go through manual timesheets, verifying that time entries are correct, then organizing the data into cohesive reports for other managers to use. This is another administrative task limiting HR managers’ time to focus on strategically improving employee performance and contributing to business growth.
An accurate time tracking software is able to accurately record employee work hours and activities. It allows for consistency regarding how employees record their tasks. This makes it easier for HR managers to create productivity reports and provide guidance to the workforce on how to better manage their time. Accurate time tracking also ties in with accurate payroll, as well as other benefits such as time theft prevention.
HR managers don’t really come first to mind when thinking about the busiest members of the workforce. However, in reality, they are overworked and overburdened with routine and tedious administrative tasks. While this administrative work is unavoidable, technology can streamline and automate many of these processes to help HR teams reclaim their time, thereby focusing on objectives that would make a bigger impact for their organization.
Taking advantage of technology is the only way HR departments can cope with the increasing range of requests from both employees and managers. Shifting to more technology-driven processes and systems may take a small investment in the beginning, but the benefits are long-term and far-reaching.
Esteban Gomez is a marketing consultant with interviewstream. He loves learning and has a passion for traveling, having visited many countries including China, Colombia, Italy, and Peru.