4 tech steps you can take to make your HR more human

Melinda Davila of AbacusNext discusses how technology can help HR professionals to engage with their workforces on a human level

It’s no secret that HR professionals are facing increasing administrative burdens. Uncertainties such as Brexit, ever-changing regulatory factors and meeting the demands of fast-growing workforces have placed major hurdles on their productivity.

As more companies expand their global workforce and employ increasing numbers of remote employees, HR professionals must now ensure they meet and understand the needs of employees based internationally, factoring in different laws and regulations.

These new and complex challenges require a tremendous amount of time and dedication to ensure they are overcome. It has never been more important for an organisation to ensure they remain compliant at all times. The average HR employee spends a third of their working year – over 600 hours – on administration alone.

The HR Department is the backbone of any organisation, and HR professionals must creatively and intelligently engage with their workforce to ensure employees are supported sensitively and appropriately.

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 administrative 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.

Ensure your expense processes are efficient

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 These are just some of the many elements of outdated and time-consuming processes dreaded by HR departments.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.

Streamline your social media activity

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.

Automate the annual leave request process

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.

Don’t risk sending dodgy documents

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 80pc, allowing HR professionals to spend more time finding creative solutions to nurture their workforces and bring a human touch back into their role.

Melinda Davila is human resources director at AbacusNext.

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Melinda Davila Job title: Human resources director at AbacusNext

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