HR Tools Best Practices

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HR Tools Best Practices

HR is facing huge challenges today. One significant challenge during the workforce shortages we've experienced in recent years has been building an applicant pool. This process often feels like a pendulum swing between extremes: going from an overflow of resumes for some roles to a drought of qualified candidates for others. How can HR professionals manage these challenges while maintaining efficient and effective processes? The answer lies in implementing HR tools and the corresponding best practices.

Importance of HR Tools

HR tools have become the MVPs of many hiring teams and a core competency necessary for remaining competitive in hiring today. The best HR tools for hiring and managing employees save dozens of hours, automate mundane tasks, and provide assistance to teams who are short-staffed and feel like they're underwater.

In the past, many of these HR tasks were done manually, leading to inefficiencies and human errors which cost companies time and money. However, with advances in technology, and the introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), today's HR tools are smarter than they've ever been.

But that doesn't mean they're without challenges of their own. Hiring teams at Google, Amazon, and other big tech companies have seen the negative effects of implementing HR tools like AI hiring software, without the oversight of human interviewers trained to eliminate bias from the hiring process and create fair and objective processes - this is where Human Resources Software Best Practices come into play.

Implementing HR tools and best practices is one of the key steps to maintaining streamlined processes, quality candidate (OR) employee engagement, improved productivity, and an inclusive hiring process. However, staying updated on the best HR tools and the best practices needed to use them at their maximum effectiveness is an ongoing process. Internally, you could boil this down to a simple decision matrix, or even a checklist like:

HR Tools Best Practices Checklist:

A. Identify the challenge we need to overcome,

B. Identify a time frame to solve it,

C. Identify the budget needed to implement,

D. Propose the best 3 solutions that fit our needs.

E. Once a purchase has been made, set parameters around the proper use of those tools and distribute best practices to internal users.

This means that when a need is identified, an internal champion is tasked with resolving this issue in a timely manner. For example, if you have an employee attrition problem, and you're unsure why people are leaving, you could: Interview and collect exit-interview data to identify the primary reasons for employees leaving. Set a two-week (example) time frame to propose a solution and choose three viable options to overcome this challenge. Finally, executive buy-in is obtained, and the selected solutions are implemented. You may find that the reason people are leaving is something simple like the role's expectations aren't accurately communicated, or the technical skills required to perform well weren't properly covered in the job description.

These challenges can be easily overcome with the implementation of better job descriptions, a thorough screening process, interview intelligence software, and other simple fixes. Human resources best practices checklists don't have to be complex, in fact, it's far better if they're simple- and solving those challenges is the topic of our next section- so let's dive in.

HR Tools Software

Examples of HR tools go all the way back to the late 1980s when PeopleSoft launched. This employee resource management (ERP) software started the revolution that today includes almost a dozen categories and nearly 400 different solutions. But with the sheer number of tools available, how do you choose the right one?

The secret to selecting the right HR tools, software, and solutions is applying First Principles Thinking to the challenges you're currently facing. First principles is a mode of thinking that breaks down complex problems into their most basic elements, or "first principles," and then builds solutions from there. Essentially, it's a way to think creatively and find innovative solutions to complex problems.

So when looking for HR tools, start by identifying the core challenges you need to overcome. This could be anything from improving employee engagement, lowering employee attrition, streamlining recruiting processes, or creating faster hiring. When implemented correctly, HR tools can do all of these things and more.

One critical example of how HR tools are best used to overcome challenges is DEI. The most prevalent challenge we see in the realm of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is the presence of biased job descriptions. Even unintentional biases in job descriptions can deter qualified candidates from applying and contribute to a lack of diversity within the applicant pool. This challenge not only affects employee representation but also impacts the overall inclusivity and innovation within an organization.

To tackle this issue, Textio was born. Textio is an augmented writing platform that helps create more inclusive and effective job postings. Utilizing advanced machine learning (ML) algorithms to analyze and provide real-time feedback on the language used in job descriptions, this platform flags potentially biased terms and suggests alternatives, ensuring that the language appeals to a broader audience.

Let's break down a step-by-step approach to addressing this challenge with Textio:

  1. Identify the Challenge: Recognize that biased job descriptions are restricting the diversity of your applicant pool.
  2. Set a time frame: Allocate a practical period, such as a month, to review and revise all job descriptions.
  3. Budget Allocation: Determine the budget for implementing Textio and any necessary training for your HR team.
  4. Propose Solutions: Create an HR tools list, and select the one that best fits your organization's needs.
  5. Implementation: After selecting Textio, set guidelines for its use and ensure all HR staff are trained in best practices. Distribute revised job description templates and monitor their effectiveness over time.

We're going to cover more tools for recruitment in the next section, and give you HR tools "shortlist," but hopefully this section has given you a good framework for selecting an HR solution to best fit your needs.

HR Tools for Recruitment

Let's shift focus to one aspect of human resources management (HRM) that requires a lot of attention, HR tools for recruitment. The hiring process has many moving parts, and since company culture and team performance are at stake, it's crucial that you "get it right."

Due to the importance of this step in the employee lifecycle, nearly 60% of the HR tools in the market today are in some way connected to hiring. HR tools for hiring start with AI-sourcing tools, applicant tracking systems (ATS), candidate relationship management software, interview intelligence software, skills assessments, and more. Hiring teams can use these tools to gather insights and suggestions to improve HR practices.

HR Best Practices in 2024

As we see the first signs of recession in the US economy, companies are still facing huge workforce shortages and the rapid adoption of AI. Best HR practices for companies implementing AI are just beginning to gain mainstream recognition, with 60-80% of HR teams expected to adopt one or more of these tools this year. This means that company policies, legal compliance, and best practices will all have to adjust to accommodate AI's use in recruitment processes and performance management.

When considering the best solutions for your recruitment needs, an HR tools list can provide a thorough overview of the available options, ensuring you choose the tools that align most closely with your organization's objectives. Here's a shortlist to get you started:

  1. AI-sourcing software: HireEZ is a favorite because it provides recruiters with a large talent pool, helps remove bias from the sourcing process, and enables them to identify top candidates quickly.
  2. Applicant tracking system (ATS): BambooHR is an easy-to-use ATS that streamlines candidate communication and automates time-consuming tasks like resume parsing.
  3. Candidate relationship management software: Lever is known for its intuitive interface and ability to keep candidates engaged throughout the hiring process.
  4. Interview intelligence software: (our shameless plug!) Pillar's AI-powered interview intelligence uses AI, specifically, natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) to analyze candidate responses and provide feedback to interviewers, helping them make more informed, data-driven hiring decisions.
  5. Skills assessments: eSkill offers customizable skills tests that allow employers to assess candidates' abilities in specific areas relevant to the job requirements.
  6. Onboarding: Greenhouse and BambooHR both offer onboarding modules as part of their overall HR software suites, allowing for a seamless transition from candidate to employee.
  7. Performance management: 15Five and Lattice are two performance management tools that provide features like setting goals, tracking progress, and providing feedback to employees.
  8. Employee engagement: Culture Amp offers surveys and analytics to help employers understand employee sentiment and make data-driven decisions to improve engagement.
  9. Payroll: Gusto is a popular payroll software that integrates with other HR tools and provides features like automatic tax calculations, time tracking, and benefits management.
  10. Learning and development: LinkedIn Learning offers a vast library of online courses to help employees develop new skills and improve existing ones.

While this is not an exhaustive list, it can help guide you in selecting the right HR tools for your organization's needs. Keep in mind that these tools are meant to be integrated, working together and streamlining processes. Don't be afraid to mix and match the best options based on what works well for your company.

If you'd like to learn more about how AI can help you build better recruitment processes, book a demo of Pillar. We'd love to share how interview intelligence can revolutionize your hiring processes making them more efficient, cheaper, and more objective. Chat with someone from our team today!