Improve HR Efficiency and Expand the Strategic Role of Your Human Resources Team

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Liz Strikwerda

Content strategist and corporate blogger (2000+ posts). Her work has been featured on G2's Learning Hub, Human Resources Today, Better Buys and over 500 business websites. She plays bluegrass mandolin and enjoys sailing her catamaran and hiking in the red rock wilderness of southern Utah. Connect with me on LinkedIn

Human Resources gets a bad rap at many companies. Some consider the admin staff as paper pushers who get in the way of legitimate profit-generating activities. There are those who go so far as to say that most businesses could eliminate the entire department and be better off for it.

I am not sure how those companies would recruit, hire, do payroll, and administer benefits. But the point is that some people question whether HR contributes much value at all.

If your Human Resources department is inefficient, it may not be their fault. The traditional corporate structure was not designed for Human Resources efficiency. HR struggles with decentralization, manual processes, and a lack of automated tools. If managers are uncooperative, things can get pretty bleak.

With the right technology, the right people, and the right mindset, HR can automate transactional processes. Then they have the time to take on higher level strategizing.

In a small company, HR may only handle core payroll functions. At larger companies, they may handle recruitment, hiring, onboarding, training, benefits administration, engagement, and performance reviews.

If you want to improve HR efficiency, you need workforce management software designed for your industry.

Let’s look at how workforce management software simplifies Human Resources processes.


Applicant tracking systems (ATS) simplify everything necessary for recruiting. This includes job posting, emails, resume importing, candidate screening, and interviewing. With ATS, companies can process hundreds of applicants quickly and efficiently.

ATS automate the processing of posting jobs online. ATS integrate with job boards so you can manage all the boards from within the system. When a candidate applies from a job board, they enter your ATS, though the transition is seamless from the applicant’s perspective.

When your job is posted, you will start to receive applicants. They will submit their resumes in a variety of electronic formats. Some applicants may send theirs with snail mail. Your ATS will standardize the electronic documents and create a database. You can scan any paper documents into the software as well.

Resume screening (or parsing) starts narrowing down your pool of applicants before you even read one resume. The software identifies keywords and phrases that match the job description. Algorithms eliminate candidates without the necessary qualifications or experience. It categorizes the potential hires depending on how well their experience and qualifications match up with the requirements of the position.

Now that you have a pool of candidates, the software tracks applicants through the process. This includes interviewing, reference checking, job offers, and acceptance. When the position is filled, the software maintains an applicant database. It is organized by position and department. When a similar position comes open, you already have a pool of candidates who have passed the resume screening.

Employee Onboarding

Employee engagement can start on day one. Onboarding software makes it easy. Help new hires get up to speed quickly and start contributing sooner. Self-service portals simplify document completion and management.

Benefits Management

Benefits management is an important part of onboarding. HR portals make it easy for the new hire to choose benefits and enroll. Employees appreciate being able to access documents online at their convenience. Administrators appreciate sophisticated records management tools and integration with third-party software.

Performance Management

Some companies have let formal reviews fall by the wayside because they quit being useful. With performance review software, you can re-energize the process. Well-designed performance reviews boost employee engagement, satisfaction, and overall productivity. It also lowers turnover and helps employees progress more quickly along their career path.

Performance review software linked to productivity measurement tools have transformed the process. Performance appraisal can now be an ongoing process instead of a once-a-year occurrence.

The software allows all stakeholders to collaborate. Managers, team leads, and HR create development plans and track progress.

Time and Attendance

Employee timekeeping encompasses so much more than tracking timesheets. To really improve HR efficiency, look to the newest workforce management tools. Absence management, vacation tracking, and schedule adherence tools distinguish state-of-the-industry software from first-generation systems.

Shift Scheduling

If you are using spreadsheets, employee scheduling is the low-hanging fruit for increased efficiency. Advanced scheduling systems improve efficiency and workforce morale. Work schedule apps allow managers to tackle the most complicated scheduling logistics. When scheduling processes are mastered, you can use analytics and labor forecasting. Business owners are discovering that data-driven scheduling can give companies a competitive advantage.


There is a compliance component to each of these processes. Anti-discrimination laws affect recruiting and hiring. Fair Labor Standards Act minimum wage and overtime laws guide time and attendance. Fair Work Week regulations influence shift scheduling. Plus the Affordable Care Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, and workplace laws at the state and local level. Add collective bargaining agreements, industry regulations, and provisions that apply to government contracts. It helps to have several employment law experts on your HR staff!

If you are going to improve HR efficiency, you need workforce management software with compliance tools. Look for systems designed for your industry and type of business. Customize your software for industry-specific or local employment laws.

Human Capital Optimization

When you have optimized these processes, HR can now fulfill a higher calling—optimizing actual humans. This includes employee engagement, advancement, retention, wellness, worker allocation, and labor forecasting.

The goal is to have a workforce optimization strategy as comprehensive as your marketing and financial plans.

SwipeClock helps small and mid-size business owners improve HR efficiency and develop human capital optimization strategies.

Simplify HR management today.

Simplify HR management today.

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