Using HR technology to reduce operating costs
Blog //19-10-2021

Using HR technology to reduce operating costs

by Alex Arundale, Chief People Officer, Advanced

With businesses across the country still feeling the financial impact of the global pandemic, it is no small wonder that most organisations are now viewing the opportunity to cut costs and operate on a leaner scale, as an extremely attractive prospect. The HR function is an area in many businesses which is often ear marked for cost cutting measures, being viewed by many as a somewhat bloated and unwieldy element. As businesses look to tighten their belts and drive forward their business recovery plans, it seems likely that many organisations will prioritise money saving measures within their HR departments.

Is this the right way to go about things however? By being beholden to this somewhat outdated perception of HR, businesses run the risk of missing out on the opportunity to fully leverage the talent and experience of their people teams to help influence their future business strategies. Furthermore, by preemptively placing the HR function on the chopping block for cost cutting measures, organisations run the risk of compromising employee wellbeing and morale by reducing perks and benefits. Furthermore, a well embedded people team is a vital component in the recruitment and onboarding of new talent- an element which will be critical in helping promote a strong economic recovery.

Instead of perceiving your HR department as a millstone around your businesses’ neck, why not look at how you can instead support your people teams and empower them to help your organisation achieve more? HR systems and technology can provide your people teams with the tools they need to streamline the HR function and free them to help influence areas such as talent searches and overall business strategy. By leveraging the talents of your HR people in this way, you can ensure you maximise operational efficiency and output, all without having to make sweeping cuts.

HR cost saving initiatives

In this piece, we will take a brief look at the role HR technology is set to play in the future of organisations and how leveraging new systems and processes can help businesses focus their operational efforts and make the savings so needed in order to drive forward success.

Recruitment and Onboarding

Any business who is serious about driving forward long-term success and profitability will understand that everything stems from the hiring process. Organisations who take a lax approach in sourcing talent will find themselves faced with high levels of employee turnover as unfit new hires inevitably leave the organisation. A successful hiring process will always contain an element of forecasting, with organisations using a talent pipeline internally to identify gaps in their processes or skillsets and how a new talent can enhance the business.

Rooted as it is in largely admin and comms heavy responsibilities, the hiring process is an area rife for renovation by new systems and processes. By adopting new systems and technologies, businesses are better equipped to support their people teams and empower them to create a recruitment process that is efficient, open and stress free for all parties.

Here are a few examples of some of the areas where HR technology can be leveraged to help enhance your recruitment process:

  • Initial talent search- A degree of forecasting in terms of talent or skillset gaps will empower businesses to hone their search for new employees. New systems and processes can help provide this oversight, providing you with a shortlist of specific requirements which you should use to help focus your talent search from the start.
  • Automated scheduling- Free your HR teams from the burden of manual, heavily admin based tasks and allow your HR system to take the strain, automating the comms process of the hiring journey, sending out automatic letters of rejection to unsuccessful candidates and also scheduling follow up interviews with potential new hires.
  • Skill assessment- Getting a measure of an employee’s skillset or ability is always a difficult proposition when relying on credentials and documentation. By leveraging technology, your HR people can set up exercises designed specifically to test the suitability of potential new hires, as well as automating the notification results, helping you to filter out candidates for interview.

Increase Employee Retention

Unfortunately, finding and hiring the right talent is only one part of the puzzle. In order to be able to focus on driving long term success, it is paramount that businesses are able to retain the services of their people. Returning to the recruitment pool time and time again is a costly exercise both financially and in terms of the hours lost.  Ensuring that you have a well embedded and sympathetic onboarding process can go a long way towards making new starters feel welcome, furthermore, by placing an emphasis on employee training and development, you are able to demonstrate your commitment to fostering the growth of your people, which can result in employees feeling more motivated and engaged with their roles.

At a most basic level, it is far more cost effective to retain the talents of your existing employees than constantly searching for new recruits. By refining your onboarding process, you can reduce costs incurred by continuous returns to the recruitment pool as well as ensuring that you are maximising the long term value of your existing employees.

HR technology is an undeniable asset in helping increasing your employee retention rates. HR systems allow you to have a comprehensive overview of any new starter’s requirements, allowing you to ensure they are furnished with any equipment or other accommodating factors from day one. A comprehensive system will also allow you to build an effective onboarding roadmap, ensuring that in their first week, any new starters are introduced to colleagues and other key team members.

Having a robust system in place can help bridge the troublesome gap between hybrid workforces. With more and workers becoming disparate and widespread, HR teams are finding remote onboarding to be a consistent challenge. By leveraging technology, your people teams are able to bridge the gap and create a comprehensive onboarding experience for even the most remote of new colleagues with virtual office tours and team building exercises being folded into your onboarding process.

Beyond that all important first week, by leveraging the power of HR systems, you can ensure that you have a complete overview of your employees and their goals and aspirations. Harness the strengths of new systems and processes to foster the growth and development of your people, ensuring you are constantly touching base in order to discuss long term goals.  By demonstrating to your people a commitment to foster their development, you are more likely to retain their skills long term.

HR Cost Optimisation: Task Automation

There’s no getting around the fact that HR involves a lot of burdensome, administrative tasks. One of the reasons that the HR function is perhaps ear marked as an area for sweeping cuts, is this perception of it being bloated with cumbersome, manual processes.

The irony is that in dismissing their people teams in this fashion, organisations are missing out on the opportunity to help streamline processes and free their HR leaders in order to leverage their experience and expertise in wider business planning. Furthermore, without investing in automation, businesses open themselves up to a raft of costs incurred by human error.

The power of harnessing HR technology to automate processes is two fold: Firstly, by shifting your HR processes away from manual inputs such as paper based systems or spreadsheets on Excel, you greatly reduce the opportunity for human error which can incur financial costs as well as potential legal concerns around compliance or data integrity.

Secondly, by freeing your HR teams from a raft of manual input, you free up a significant portion of their working week, allowing them to better focus their efforts in other areas of the business. As organisations are looking towards the future and promoting a strong post-pandemic recover, surely it makes sense to leverage the influence and experience of your HR professionals for your long term business planning?

One area in which HR technology is particularly poised to unburden your people teams is employee self service. Many HR professionals find that they are constantly fielding requests from staff around matters such as payslips or holiday allowances. By offering a degree of employee self service- providing each employee with unique access to a module which displays all their relative information, payslips and holiday allowances, this allows your people to take ownership of certain HR elements and most importantly, frees your HR teams to focus on more influential matters.

Conclusion

At Advanced, we understand how important it is that you are driving success in your business and planning for the future ahead. We also appreciate that at times, operational costs can be on a knife edge and in many instances, lean operations are far more attractive than investment in areas. However, in their rush to reduce operational costs, businesses should be mindful of missing out on opportunities to level up parts of their organisation.

HR technology is perfectly placed to help hone your people management process, guaranteeing efficiency and cost effectiveness, all without the need for sweeping change.

We believe in the power of technology to help you achieve more. Our Cloud HR solution has been designed specifically to help empower your HR teams and free them from the burden of manual processes. We appreciate how important your HR people can be in influencing your future business strategy and how crucial it is that their expertise is being leveraged for more than just admin tasks.

If you would like to find out more about how Cloud HR can help empower your HR teams and allow your business to reduce costs,  Contact one of our friendly team members today.

Blog Human Resource
Alex Arundale

Alex Arundale

PUBLISHED BY

Chief People Officer, Advanced

Alex joined Advanced in February 2016 with a track record in senior HR positions. She has been responsible for innovative strategies to lead the company’s talent management.

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