How to Maximize the Potential of Your Human Resources Department

Are you getting all that you possibly can out of your Human Resources Department? In order to answer that question you first need to define exactly what your expectations are for HR. Believe it or not, many business owners and site managers aren’t able to list all of the responsibilities either they or their predecessors have assigned to the team behind those glass doors. Sure, you know that they’re the folks who handle recruiting and job applicant tracking, but what else do they do? You know that you send employees there when they have benefits questions or complaints about supervisors and co-workers, but is that it? You might want to find out.

The first step in maximizing the potential of your Human Resources Department is to define what their responsibilities are and who exactly in that department is handling each of them. Cross training everyone to handle all tasks is good for when you’re short handed, but having single points of accountability will tell you whether or not you’re over-staffed. In a department as vast and busy as human resources can be, it’s easy to spend more than you have to. Filing and record keeping can cost you much more than they should. Do you have efficient job recruitment software to take care of that or are you using file folders?

Once you’ve evaluated the responsibilities of each of the individuals in the Human Resources Department, take a look at the list of tasks the department as a whole is expected to perform. Is there duplication of services? Are they taking on too much? Larger companies often separate benefits administration from Human Resources. Have you reached that point or should job applicant tracking and health insurance questions still be handled in that one department? Take a look at technology solutions before you start moving people around. Investing in some web based recruiting software that has health care, EEOC, and OFCCP guidelines built in could help streamline the existing department.

Once you’ve upgraded your technology, targeting your advertising and recruitment efforts will further reduce waste. Where exactly are you searching for new employees? If you’re using the local newspapers you’re probably getting dozens, maybe even hundreds of applications from people who aren’t qualified for the positions you’re hiring for. The best applicant tracking systems track the sources of all resumes submitted. Run some reports that show how many actual hires are coming from which sources and target the ones that are giving you the highest percentage of good candidates.

In recent years, compliance issues have been added to the plates of human resource professionals in the United States. There are guidelines for hiring, recruiting, termination, and benefits administration. Some companies are outsourcing any tasks related to compliance to an outside legal team. It’s expensive, but for larger companies it’s a worthwhile investment. Compliance violations cost a lot more than preventative legal fees. Look into outsourcing options for this and other tasks now being handled by Human Resources if you’re looking for additional ways to maximize that department’s potential.

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