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Improving Efficiency in 
Human Resource Departments

See also: Organising Skills

As with many other areas of industry and business, the development of software that helps with HR tasks has led to a number of improvements in the way these jobs are carried out.

Compared to traditional methods, many aspects of running a human resource (HR) department have been improved in recent years through the introduction of HR specific software. In the past, for example, it would not have been uncommon for certain pieces of paperwork to have to be produced in duplicate, sometimes even in triplicate. This wasted HR staff member’s time when they could have been focussing on more worthwhile endeavours.

If you are not already using a software package in your HR department, here are a few ways in which your business may benefit.

Recruiting New Staff is Easier

The recruitment of new employees is one of the most time consuming and expensive processes that a business has to deal with.

Using software to deal with the HR aspect of recruitment can help make the process simpler and, therefore, faster. For example, if people are able to apply online, then time and money can be saved by not having to mail out application forms. Additionally, if an employee’s details are already entered into the system in the application process, then HR staff do not need to re-enter the data when a new recruit is taken on.

Improved Employee Development

Software can be used to alert HR staff when employee appraisals are due

This reduces the risk of an appraisal being missed because it was left out of the diary or it just wasn't seen. The same software can also act as a reminder if there is anything to follow up on once the appraisal has taken place.

As well as helping to improve the employee development process, being able to efficiently follow up on any concerns that they may have will make the employee feel more valued and this will, in turn, make them more productive. Productivity can also be improved as effective employee development can ensure that your staff become better at their jobs by enabling them to work more efficiently.

Easier to Monitor Performance

Some HR software can also produce reports that indicate how far your business is working towards current targets.

This type of software can provide information regarding such matters as an analysis of absences or what training has been arranged for employees. As well as being able to quickly see how the business is performing, these reports can also be used to inform what the next steps for the business are and if there are areas where improvements can be made.

When planning for progress, it is important to consider staffing issues and these can be highlighted easily through the use of HR software. Traditional methods of gathering this information and putting it in a form where it can be presented to board members or investors directly may otherwise be very time consuming as the information may not be easily available.

Reducting the Chance of Mistakes

When data is entered manually, there is always the risk that mistakes will be made, regardless of how accurate the person entering the data is.

When processes are automated there is less need for data to be entered manually, thus reducing the likelihood of mistakes. This not only saves time in terms of entering the data in the first place, but if a mistake were to be made then a lot of effort can be saved in identifying where the mistake was made and rectifying it. It may be some time before the mistake is discovered and there would otherwise be the potential for further mistakes to be made if inaccurate data is being used.

Employees Can Enter Their Own Data

This can save a lot of the data entry tasks that would have been the responsibility of HR staff in the past and can also save other employees of the business time in dealing with paperwork.

A good example of this would be time sheets. If staff have to fill in their own time sheets by hand and physically take them to the HR department then this is more time consuming than if they were able to input their hours directly into the system. Even though HR staff will have to check the time sheets that have been submitted for discrepancies, it will still be a far more efficient process than having to manually enter a time sheet for every employee of the company.

Most types of HR software can be easily integrated with any existing systems that you already have in place so disruption to your business would be minimal when the software is installed. If you are not currently using software to assist with HR then it may be something that you want to consider as it can make the HR department, and the business as a whole, much more efficient. HR departments are usually one of the most over-stretched departments in a business.

However, the introduction of this type of software does not mean that a HR role becomes redundant, but rather that staff are able to use their skills to better effect.

About the Author

Lindsay Edwards enjoys writing about human resource management, entrepreneurship, economics and finance.

She is an aspiring traveller who enjoys visiting different countries to experience their food and culture. Follow Lindsay Edwards on Google+.