Go to Dilbert.com and search on “HR processes,” and you can get a pretty negative take on the HR function, complete with bumbling employees and upside-down policies. There’s even an HR Director in the cast of characters: CATBERT: Evil Director of Human Resources.
This skewed perspective is partly due to the unusual combination of information management responsibilities in a modern HR department. HR managers must simultaneously demonstrate control and discipline over information while embracing the latest social and collaborative technologies to recruit and engage employees. Secure it, but share it. Go fast, but stay connected.
That balance is a tough one. It impacts companies of any size and staying protected and proactive requires a commitment to HR process automation.
DILBERT © 1995 Scott Adams. Used By permission of ANDREWS MCMEEL SYNDICATION. All rights reserved.
Protecting Against Legal Action
On one hand, HR processes are fraught with risk, requiring tight control and structure. The threat of litigation is real.
According to law firm Rumberger, Kirk and Caldwell, ‘The volume of collective actions brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) against large and small companies has reached a dizzying level, up more than 400% in 20 years.” Insurance Journal notes, “U.S.-based small and medium sized businesses face an almost 12% chance that they it will be hit with an employment claim, with their chances much higher in certain states.” Three of the most common lawsuits are clearly tied to HR processes: employment discrimination and wrongful termination, discrimination suits not based on employment, and wage law violations.
By automating key HR workflows like onboarding, employee performance reviews and more, HR staff can spend more time handling the process exceptions and incident reports that require their skill and attention.
The Need for Engagement
At the same time, HR process automation cannot just be about control. Great HR workflow sets the stage for engaging employees and creating a compelling employee experience.
This begins with the recruitment process itself. Organizations that automate the back-end and manual portion of applications, resume review, interview scheduling, applicant scoring and more can spend more time on actually finding the best talent.
And an efficient, painless onboarding process signals to new employees that the culture is about spending time on real work and leaving tedious processes for automation technology. For instance, web forms replacing paper processes is not only more secure but gets new staff up and running in a fraction of the time.
How sensitive employment information is treated is at the center of organizations’ risk exposure. Automating HR processes and carefully managing their associated documents is key to avoid being on the receiving end of legal action and a Dilbert cartoon.
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