Jump into a time machine set to 1982, and you’ll find “personnel” departments full of forms and paper.
Today, it’s “Human Resources,” and it’s less about pushing paper and more about optimizing a company’s most precious resource – its people — to affect company profits.
Why the change?
First, company owners and managers began to realize that people are one of their most important (and sometimes most expensive) resources. It made sense to protect and invest in them.
Second, as technology made the world smaller, your competition was not only down the street but also across the globe. When the competition has access to employees and materials cheaper than yours, you need a better way to compete.
And that’s where HR strategy comes in. HR can contribute directly to your bottom line by finding better ways to hire and retain people. How does that make you money? Here’s the short formula:
1. Having good people in the right positions make for happy employees all around.
2. Happy employees tend to be more productive (which can make you more money) and stay in their positions longer.
3. Recruiting and training new people makes turnover expensive so less turnover saves money, time and frustration.
A savvy HR department can implement a variety of strategies for everything from recruiting (for example, finding people who fit positions and your company culture) to retention (developing motivation and reward programs) and conflict resolution (making people happier and keeping you out of hot water).
The problem is, human resources is still responsible for the traditional and administrative responsibilities of the past: maintaining employee data, processing payroll, responding to unemployment claims, resolving disputes, maintaining benefits enrollment and scores of other duties. Where can they find extra time to just strategize?
Here are two suggestions:
It’s hard for you or your HR people to spend time on strategy when they’re bogged down with paperwork and administrative duties. With HR software or Software as a Service (SaaS) applications, you can get relief from a broad range of daily HR responsibilities.
Automating tasks such as maintaining and updating employee data, tracking time and attendance, and monitoring annual performance reviews, can save you or your HR staff a huge amount of time and allow them to focus on more strategic capabilities.
Integrated HCM (human capital management) systems are also automated and group many HR tasks into one system. With an HCM system, recruiting processes, employee data, payroll information, benefits information, training and much more can all be housed in one place. No file cabinet required.
In this kind of system, all employees in your company have access to the system with varying degrees of permission. So, while new employees may be able to onboard themselves, change their address and check their pay deposits, HR and management will be able to view an employee’s pay history, check the status of an employee candidate and affirm that employees’ certifications are up-to-date.
With many HR outsourcing services or professional employment organizations (PEO), you get a comprehensive suite of software much like HCM systems, but you also get a service team to assist you and your HR department. The service team isn’t meant to replace whoever you currently have handling your HR. It’s a team that you have access to in addition to your current HR staff. You don’t lose any control; you just have more assistance.
An HR outsourcing service can do everything from meeting your many administrative needs to helping you with government compliance and processing your payroll.
Outsourcing is a great way to supplement your team, and is an especially good choice for overburdened business owners, HR departments and rapidly growing companies.
If you or your HR department could use help finding more time to strategize, talk to Insperity about our many HR solutions.