Some people think HR technology means a robotic approach to managing the people who work for you. On the contrary, using HR tech frees HR admins and managers from the frenzy of paperwork and gives them more time to focus on their teams.
Why the upsurge in HR tech?
Businesses in healthcare, financial services and construction are leading the charge in adopting HR technology solutions. What do these three industries have in common that helps explain their higher-than-average adoption rate? They all face a labor shortage to a greater or lesser extent, and they all have steep regulatory compliance hurdles to clear.
It’s not because they want to eliminate the proverbial human touch extended by HR departments to employees—and they don’t have to. Here’s why.
How does HR tech save HR departments time?
The administrative push starts with the very beginning of the employee lifecycle. Companies that approach these processes manually have to upload job posts one by one to their list of job boards, rifling through resumes just to screen for baseline experience, and then trudging through the dozens of emails and calls.
That’s not all. There’s collecting applications by email, arranging interviews and more. Move too slowly and you lose out on good candidates. With HR automation tools like an applicant tracking system (ATS) and onboarding software, the burden of repetitive tasks and paperwork shuffling is lifted. The easy application process attracts candidates, while simple, instant job board posting is a benefit for HR.
Online screening questions reduce manual applicant sorting, email templates with bulk options ease communication, and built-in WOTC, AAP and VEVRAA screening help ensure compliance and tax benefit bases are covered.
Once you make a hire, onboarding begins. While there might be a few words and smiles exchanged during this process, HR managers have to juggle tax forms, drug testing and background checks—basically just handing off paperwork and checking compliance boxes. Onboarding software puts all compliance paperwork on the cloud, letting HR managers digitally request the forms they need and allowing new hires to fill them out at their convenience, from anywhere.
Not only do paper timecards or timesheets eat up time for workers and supervisors in the field while often reflecting inaccurate hour totals but using them for time tracking makes payroll difficult for office admins. Accounting for every paper timecard before beginning the processing of payroll is stressful and can create tension between the office and field managers.
A good time tracking software delivers a much easier payroll process that relieves office admins of a weekly or bi-weekly headache. Hours are collected digitally in the field and transmitted to the office throughout the week, then transferred to the accounting software at the end of the pay period.
Robust time tracking apps offer additional time-saving features such as collecting timecard sign-offs from employees, gathering responses to compliance questions about health, injuries or work breaks, and transmitting notes from the field to the office about a change or update on a job site that needs to be recorded. In these scenarios, technology opens up—rather than reduces—communication between the office and the field.
Learning and Performance
Every HR manager and business owner knows their company should give out performance reviews. You’ve heard the stats: 57% versus 43% of employees prefer constructive over positive feedback, and 75% say constructive criticism improves their performance. But performance reviews are a big job. Reviews need to be well-organized so that managers can act efficiently and confidently, and all workers go through a similar process. They should also occur consistently so that employees know to expect them and begin to build goals around them.
Without some kind of system or model in place, consistent performance reviews are a big production that eats up HR admins’ time over multiple months. Performance management software such as Arcoro’s Learning Management System, provides the infrastructure for performance reviews, automating the timetable and process so that there is much less logistical work for HR.
If performance management helps employees set and track improvement goals, learning and development is a great way for businesses to support workers in reaching those goals and gaining new skills.
Workers also need safety and compliance training. With so much training to handle, L&D becomes an ongoing task that can keep HR admins in rush mode week after week.
Training and skills development don’t have to be handled manually, with the tasks of rounding up a trainer, posting signs, sending reminders and gathering the crew at a good time all resting on the HR manager. In fact, these days much of the training your workers need—including OSHA safety training for some construction businesses—is available online. Learning management software provides a platform for scheduling and administering online trainings that can send email alerts and reminders, and track completion and worker sign-off, reducing HR’s burden significantly.
HR Tech Has Saved You Time—Now What?
HR technology slims down tedious tasks and reduces the legwork for HR managers and admins. Some HR tech offerings that are app based even open up new lines of communication between field workers and office admins.
For HR managers motivated to help people—which is why most human resources representatives got into the field—this presents a great opportunity for reconnecting with your staff. Here are some ways HR managers can take advantage of the time HR tech software returns to them to apply that human touch:
- Plan virtual or in-person employee events – These can be anything from half-hour trivia or game-playing sessions to quarterly volunteer days. Use your touch to help your employees build connections among themselves.
- Host company webinars – If your team can’t all be present in one location for quick rundowns on company policy changes or HR software implementations, host live webinar trainings rather than sending an email,
- Set up “office hours” so employees know you’re available – Just assuming employees know they can come to HR about questions, conflicts or issues isn’t enough. Provide them with specific office hours, even if it’s just two hours a week, when you’ll be available.
- Insert a human touch in your technology solutions – Some HR tech solutions allow you to customize what you present to employees to convey warmth and company culture through these portals. For example, Arcoro’s cloud-based onboarding software lets you add a customized welcome video for new employees. Another way to make a digital experience more “human” is to break long trainings into manageable chunks that employees can complete more easily.
- Retain in-person interviews – Don’t substitute a quick phone call for a video or in-person interview. Nothing beats a face-to-face conversation when getting to know a candidate and letting them get to know you.
HR tech can do wonders for simplifying HR processes. Then it’s up to the humans who use it to maximize the rest of their time and apply a human touch to their staff. The benefit will be a more engaged and motivated staff that feels connected as a team and accomplishes more for your business.