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Putting the human back into Human Resources  

Melinda Davila, Human Resources Director - AbacusNext

As HR departments have evolved from ‘hire and fire’ to an invaluable support system for employees, so have their professional expectations. Aside from keeping their organisations running smoothly, HR professionals also want to creatively and intelligently engage with their workforce.

But increasingly, HR professionals face major hurdles to their productivity. They’re asked to work faster, handle heavier workloads, adapt to new regulatory factors, and navigate future uncertainties such as Brexit. Additionally, more HR departments are now serving a global workforce and remote employees. HR professionals must now ensure they meet and understand the needs of employees based internationally, and factor in differing laws and regulations.

It’s not surprising, then, that the average HR employee spends a third of their working year – that’s more than 600 hours – on administration alone. Even the most skilled HR manager can find themselves dedicating countless hours to repetitive and mundane tasks. And while larger companies have managers to specialise in specific functions, smaller HR departments must take a multifaceted, ‘jack-of-all-trades’ approach to their work.

In an industry as highly regulated and with as many needs to meet as HR, it is crucial that HR departments find smart ways to streamline their processes. Doing so will allow them to spend less time on repetitive administration and more time focusing on the human elements of their role, such as building trust and driving employee development.

Here are four ways your HR department can leverage technology to make that happen.

Stay savvy on social media

To get the attention of the best job candidates as quickly as possible, it’s crucial to have a strong social media presence. But posting job opportunities, trawling LinkedIn to find potential candidates, and regularly promoting your company as a great place to work can be time consuming.

Social media scheduling and monitoring platforms such as Buffer or Hootsuite can easily lift the daily burden of managing your social media. They allow you to schedule posts ahead of time and to monitor all your platforms in a central dashboard. You can even quickly check mentions of your company and new followers, keeping you in the loop with minimum time and effort.

Eliminate excruciating expense claims processes

Excel sheets. Piles of receipts. Petty cash. Lost invoices. These are just some of the many elements of outdated and time-consuming processes dreaded by HR departments. Automating this process with software such as a spend management app saves time, eliminates the opportunity for error, and works in real time, avoiding last-minute panic at the end of the month. By removing many of these manual processes, employee stress can be avoided and efficiency levels improved.

Annihilate annual leave anxiety

Dealing with holiday requests manually can be a laborious process, requiring management, HR and finance approval. Add to that keeping track of days owed, negotiating request clashes with other team members, and your team can easily waste hours.

Automated leave request software can automatically show employees how many days they have available, and the request is filed through a form which allows managers to quickly check a shared calendar to ensure no clashes before approving. As all details will have been automatically checked, HR processing is just a quick and easy formality.

Deliver perfect documents every time

A major pain point for HR professionals is the sheer volume of documents requested, created and delivered each day. Many of these are the same kind of document that is regularly used, such as employee contracts. When dealing with contracts and other legal documents, HR professionals must ensure accuracy and minimise risk. But by copying and pasting into a new document then changing the required info (name, address and so on), or rekeying information, it’s easy to miss a point that needs updating or miss an embarrassing typo.

Automated document generation software is a great way to ensure consistency and mitigate risk. By inputting the required information via a smart interview-like form, your document is then automatically created ensuring all relevant information is included, and that all documents retain consistent branding and style preferences across the board.

Software like this also reduces document creation time by up to 80%, allowing HR professionals to spend more time finding creative solutions to nurture their workforces and bring a human touch back into their role.

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