February 26, 2017

The self-service technology trend has become pervasive. In the context of customer service, an increasing number of organizations are opting to complete transactions with as little support as possible from company agents (think e-commerce, self-service kiosks and even FAQ pages). Where operational reporting and business intelligence are concerned, self-service analytics are viewed by some researchers as the way of the future.And then there’s human resources. There will always be a face-to-face component of this critical department, hence the “human” part of HR. But that doesn’t mean HR managers, employees and employee candidates don’t need user-friendly HR portals that enable them to quickly and efficiently serve themselves.

And then there’s human resources. There will always be a face-to-face component of this critical department hence the “human” part of HR. But that doesn’t mean HR managers, employees and employee candidates don’t need user-friendly HR portals that enable them to quickly and efficiently serve themselves. At a minimum, organizations of all sizes should ideally leverage a human capital management tool that provides the core functions listed below. Think of these as the A-B-Cs of HCM:

At a minimum, organizations of all sizes should ideally leverage a human capital management tool that provides the core functions listed below. Think of these as the A-B-Cs of HCM:

A) Applicant tracking that works

The goal is to get the most qualified candidate in the door in the least amount of time possible. From the candidate’s point of view, this is the first impression of a new prospective employer. For HR, hiring managers, team members and any other stakeholder in candidate vetting, this is ideally a smooth process that is streamlined to deliver the best possible talent. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. For instance, the majority of candidates abandon online applications they find too time-consuming or too complicated to complete, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. Meanwhile, in 2016, employers took twice as long to fill employee positions relative to years prior, according to The Wall Street Journal. This was mainly because managers wanted to make sure that the person they hired would be the absolute best fit for the job.

For instance, the majority of candidates abandon online applications they find too time-consuming or too complicated to complete, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. Meanwhile, in 2016, employers took twice as long to fill employee positions relative to years prior, according to The Wall Street Journal. This was mainly because managers wanted to make sure that the person they hired would be the absolute best fit for the job. While this makes sense in theory, doors will close if the process drags. Not to mention that hiring is an expensive process. The more time spent searching; the more productivity is lost. For all of these reasons, a robust applicant tracking system is critical to HCM. For one, it can help HR and hiring managers create an end-to-end, user-friendly experience for candidates. For the current employees involved in the selection process, an ATS with a powerful collaboration framework keeps all stakeholders on the same page and organizes information in a way that smart decisions can be made swiftly.

For all of these reasons, a robust applicant tracking system is critical to HCM. For one, it can help HR and hiring managers create an end-to-end user-friendly experience for candidates. For the current employees involved in the selection process, ATS with a powerful collaboration framework keeps all stakeholders on the same page and organizes information in a way that enables the to make smart decisions swiftly.

B) Benefits management, timekeeping, and other essential amenities

Once new employees are in the door, employers will find it in their best interest to keep them in the office because employee turnover is expensive. One of the best ways to do this is to provide a positive experience for new hires – and when they spend eight hours a day, five days a week in the office, every little detail starts to add up.For instance, HR managers and employees alike should ideally spend a minimal amount of time submitting timesheets, sharing personal documentation and managing their benefits programs. On the administration side of things, workflows should be in place to simplify management of open enrollment. Likewise, dashboards and templates should exist to assist with COBRA compliance, which in some states, applies to former employees for up to 36 months. Ideally, the easier these processes are for HR, the more time they have to dedicate to initiatives that will enhance the value of employees’ experiences and ultimately increase employee retention.

For instance, HR managers and employees alike should ideally spend a minimal amount of time submitting timesheets, sharing personal documentation and managing their benefits programs. On the administration side of things, workflows should be in place to simplify management of open enrollment. Likewise, dashboards and templates should exist to assist with COBRA compliance, which in some states, applies to former employees for up to 36 months. Ideally, the easier these processes are for HR, the more time they have to dedicate to initiatives that will enhance the value of employees’ experiences and ultimately increase employee retention. Self-service benefits management for employees is also critical. Ideally, they should be able to update their plans during open enrollments periods, or at a qualifying life event, without ever having to speak to HR (unless they have questions about benefit plan details). Timekeeping, updating direct deposit information, reporting workplace disturbances, training and other necessities should be equally simple and of course, secure.

Self-service benefits management for employees is also critical. They should be able to update their plans during open enrollments periods, or when a qualifying life event occurs, without ever having to speak to HR (unless they have questions about benefit plan details). Timekeeping, updating direct deposit information, reporting workplace disturbances, training and other necessities should be equally simple and of course, secure.

C) Content management and collaboration

“ECM isn’t just for enterprises.”Enterprise content management (ECM) isn’t just for enterprise companies. It’s also for small and medium-sized businesses that need a streamlined and secure way to share and consolidate personally identifiable information and critical employment documentation. In fact, there’s another big “C” that fits into this section, and that’s compliance. Businesses have to comply with a slew of regulations, including, but not limited to, I-9, EEO, Vets, SOX, OSHA, FMLA, HIPAA and OFCCP. Quality ECM, in conjunction with a compliance manager, can make HR managers’ jobs much less daunting.

Enterprise content management (ECM) isn’t just for enterprise companies. It’s also for small and medium-sized businesses that need a streamlined and secure way to share and consolidate personally identifiable information and critical employment documentation. In fact, there’s another big “C” that fits into this section, and that’s compliance. Businesses have to comply with a slew of regulations, including, but not limited to, I-9, EEO, Vets, SOX, OSHA, FMLA, HIPAA and OFCCP. Quality ECM, in conjunction with a compliance manager, can make HR managers’ jobs much less daunting.

ECM is also integral to the application funnel, when hundreds of digital resumes, cover letters, licenses, clippings and portfolios are being reviewed to identify the best possible candidate. The benefits of collaboration come into play here as well. Features such as calendar and email integration can help keep decision deadlines on track, and ensure that the various stakeholders involved in the hiring process are always in the loop!

Last but not least, ECM without an intuitive search system isn’t ECM at all. For it to be self-service, employees, employers and HR administrators should be able to sift through metadata to view and access the documents they need – without the help of IT or power users.The essence of self-service is streamlined sophistication. HCM should be simultaneously simple in use and comprehensive in build – and that’s the secret to giving users what they want and what they need at the same time.

The essence of self-service is streamlined sophistication. HCM should be simultaneously simple in use and comprehensive in build – and that’s the secret to giving users what they want and what they need at the same time.