When you think of service providers within an organization, IT and human resources should come to mind quickly. All employees in the company depend on technology in some form or fashion, so they all lean on IT for service. HR is the employee service department — every individual at the company depends on HR from the hiring process through the day they exit the organization. It only makes sense that HR and IT would share some of the same strategies in service delivery, so they actually intersect quite often.
Using Technology in HR
HR depends on technology for two main reasons:
- It helps automate and speed up processes that employees depend on.
- It provides a knowledge base so employees can find information on their own.
Let’s look at these points individually. First, think of all the things employees depend on their human resource departments for. HR onboards and trains employees, helps them through payroll and benefits, and facilitates logistics for company events and conferences, travel, catering, etc. Some of these processes require multiple levels of communication, specific data that impacts the particular service request, and a bunch of small decisions. Technology can help automate and simplify these processes.
Second, think about a simple resource an employee might need like an electronic W-2 form or an update to a benefits package. Previously, they might need an HR team member to assist with paperwork. They’d need an actual, physical service delivery. Now, HR technology helps an organization build knowledge resources and FAQs so employees can find all of this information themselves.
One of the best examples of where HR, technology, and internal service intersect is in one of the major functions of the department — recruiting and hiring.
If we view talent acquisition as a service to the hiring managers, we can see how HR can use technology to provide efficient service for a potentially complicated process.
Internal Hiring Process
Without the right strategy, the internal hiring process is potentially quite complicated. Let’s say an account executive leaves the company, for whatever reason, and now you need to quickly find a new one.
There’s likely a set of executive approvals before the job posting even goes live. This takes internal coordination right away. Some hiring managers will want to be involved in reviewing resumes, so you’ll want to include maximum visibility there. In the interview stage, there might be travel involved. Depending on the position, some managers like to administer some kind of test (could be a writing sample, a written test, etc). Once you have the right candidate, there’s another round of executive approvals, digital applications for paperwork and electronic signatures, and maybe even a background check.
All this to say that there are multiple parties involved with numerous approvals and responsibilities. You need a formalized process to make sure there are no internal snags. Without streamlined communication, your hiring managers and your best candidates will quickly grow frustrated. HR needs to leverage technology throughout the process.
Now that we’re viewing talent acquisition as an internal service provider, we can start to borrow from practices that we already know are successful in service management.
When a hiring manager needs to fill a position, why don’t we just treat it like a service request?
A service request might include different tasks and approvals from different service providers. You can automate many of the steps and notifications involved with a service request, and in the end, it creates a much more efficient delivery for the customer (in this case, the hiring manager).
If the hiring manager starts with a service request, you can collect all of the relevant information up front, cutting down on back-and-forth communication throughout the process. The request might include required fields for experience, salary, professional licenses or qualifications, or willingness to travel. All of this information can help you with the job description, interview process, and even job offer phases.
Following ITSM best practices, you can also set up that service request to automatically notify the parties who need to approve certain steps. Maybe the hiring manager wants to see every résumé from the first-round interviews. You can post those in the service request and make sure the requester is automatically notified. As you approach the final stages, maybe the CEO, CFO, HR Director, and legal team all need to approve formal offers. You can set up an automatic notification for all of those parties. If you need an electronic document for a formal offer, build a task into the service request, assigning responsibility for that document. Include a task and a notification for the person in charge of conducting the background check as the process reaches the final stage.
The best part of using a formal request for the hiring process is that the requester (hiring manager) will see exactly where the request stands at every point of the process. That means neither you nor the hiring manager will need to constantly check on the process via email.
In the end, an efficient internal process will lead to satisfied hiring managers and a better candidate experience. Candidates talk to each other and review your hiring processes on sites like Glassdoor, so it will almost certainly hurt your efforts if internal communication bogs down the process.
The best recruiting efforts start with a coordinated internal effort, so take some time to build an explicit strategy.