How to Modernize Your HR Department

It is essential for HR departments to modernize, adapt and move with the times. Traditional HR models tend to be admin-centric and have little input with regard to the strategy and growth of a business. Today, expectations from HR are much higher due to the need to deliver an employee experience that attracts and retains top talent.

Reduce admin through automation

The administrative burden of HR departments is well documented. If your HR department is still heavily relying on paper-based, manual processes, it is time to build in some automation and self-service to relieve pressure.

Introducing an online knowledge base will help employees to find their own answers to frequently asked questions. Enabling employees to update their own personal details can further reduce admin time.

Many HR tasks are ripe for automation – leave requests, collecting and managing timesheet data, scheduling feedback and streamlining expense management are just some of these.

When a company is small, it may not be as difficult to manage the personal information of employees but as it grows, the task becomes more and more complex. With a single, centralized HR database that is searchable, you’ll save time searching for employee data.

The HR software available today integrates all HR functions into one solution. This can ease the administrative burden and give your HR team the time they need to play a more proactive role in improving business performance.

Focus on the employee experience

A motivated, engaged workforce can have a huge impact on your bottom line. While looking at modernizing your HR department, you should look at ways to improve the experience of your employees.

A smooth onboarding process, regular performance reviews and quick leave requests that don’t take weeks to process can all help. Employee experience is becoming a key factor in promoting your company to prospective employees. It is about more than what you pay – it’s about how respected and supported your employees feel.

Leverage employee data

Modern HR departments are leveraging employee data to their advantage. Empathy and intuition will always be important in HR but decisions are increasingly being made in response to insights gained from analytics.

For example, predictive analytics enable calculation of employee flight risk – analyzing and identifying trends in the record of an employee could give an early warning and make the difference between losing or retaining a star employee.

You don’t have to start big – implement your reporting and analytic capabilities gradually over time so as to gain detailed insights on the behavioral trends of your workforce.

Embrace flexible working

The trend for flexible working is taking off and to modernize HR, you need to embrace this trend. Video-conferencing facilities, cloud-based collaboration tools and sophisticated mobile devices are all making flexible working possible.

Traditional business leaders tend to associate working from home with a lack of productivity and HR departments need to convince them that it can have a positive effect.

Capitalize on other sources of talent

Most organizations are increasingly relying on sources of talent beyond their full-time employees, from freelancers to consultants. The benefits are clear – fewer obligations in terms of holiday and sick pay as well as the opportunity to scale up or down quickly.

The HR department has to adapt to meet the needs of a flexible workforce. It has to be on top of all the rules and regulations and classify workers correctly for tax purposes.

With this type of workforce, HR operates as more of a procurement-type operation – one that’s highly efficient at ‘buying-in’ talent. Processes have to be adapted to requisition, source, onboard, integrate and remunerate such talent. The right systems are necessary to cope with a much more agile HR operation.