Are you using your human resources department to its full potential? To answer that question, you must first outline your human resource expectations. Many company owners and site managers, believe it or not, want assistance in documenting all of the obligations that they or their predecessors have passed on to the person behind those glass doors. Sure, you're aware that they're in charge of recruiting and monitoring job applications, but what else do they do? You send employees there when they have questions about benefits or issues with supervisors or coworkers, but is that all? You should investigate.

The first step in improving your human resources department's capabilities is to define its functions and determine who in that department is in charge of each one. When you need more people, cross-training everyone to do everything is a wonderful idea, but having single points of responsibility will inform you if you're overstaffed or not. Overspending is easy in a department as large and busy as human resources. Document filing and storage may cost you much more than they should. Are you using file folders or efficient job recruiting tools to do this?

After you've examined each member of the Human Resources Department's duties, look through the list of tasks that the department as a whole is expected to do. Is there any service overlap? Are they too optimistic? Benefits administration is often separated from human resources in larger organizations. Have you reached that point, or should monitoring job applications and health insurance inquiries be handled by a single department? Before relocating staff, think about the technology options. Investing in web-based recruitment software that incorporates health care, EEOC, and OFCCP standards might aid in the current department's streamlining.

You may be able to reduce waste even more once you've improved your system by focusing your advertising and recruiting efforts. Where would you want to recruit new workers? If you place an ad in the local paper, you'll almost certainly get dozens, if not hundreds, of applications from people who aren't qualified for the positions you want to fill. All resumes are saved in the best applicant tracking systems. Conduct some research to establish how many real hires are coming from various sources, and then focus on the ones that are providing the greatest proportion of excellent prospects.

In the United States, compliance concerns have recently been added to the to-do lists of human resources department employees. There are processes in place to help with hiring, recruitment, firing, and benefits administration. Some businesses delegate all compliance responsibilities to a separate legal team. It's expensive, but it's a good investment for larger businesses. Compliance infractions are much more expensive than legal expenses. If you want to expand your human resources skills, consider outsourcing this and other tasks now handled by that department.

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