When I started the business 17 years ago, I did not regard the HR function as the most important function in a business enterprise.  But as we grow, I realize now that HR is one of the most important, if not the most important, functions in the company especially when you are in a service business.

A service business by default should be an employee-driven company.  Year after year, I realize the importance of 201 file, employee contracts, company policies, training, comp and ben, and many more. These things are more than a handful and for an efficient HR department, you will need an innovation that will cut through the clutter and have your personnel manager and human resources focus on what’s important, getting quality applicants.

So how do we innovate in human resources department?  Below are the things that I learned over the years:

1. Optimize recruitment – online paid job postings are slowly dying.  Job seekers are no longer reactive in those platforms.  LinkedIn and social media are the most effective platforms these days. A company might also want to do a continuous pooling to easily retrieve one CV when needed.  One software we made with one recruitment outsourcing client was an in-house uploader of all sourced CVs so the recruiter can easily search any requirement when needed.

2. Succession and Promotion – An HRIS can easily track personnel action or movement.  Implementing one will definitely improve HR’s monitoring of employee promotion and changes in compensation and benefits.  By having an inventory of skillset in place, HR can easily re-classify existing employees to fill positions that have opened.

3. Training and Development – Personally, I prefer home-grown management.  HR can implement this by establishing training programs that can be offered to qualified existing employees.  If you are a growing company, it is more effective to source managers from within the ranks rather than outside.  HR can start by establishing short-term and long-term goals for each employee and follow it through by performance evaluation and appraisal.

4. Employee Engagement – Establishing a formula that enhances human drive is a very interesting topic for me.  Human behavior and psychology are things that I want to learn even during college.  It’s actually my second choice if I didn’t pursue computer science.  There are many publications online and offline that talk about strategies to secure employee engagement.  The basic formula for me is empowerment, task autonomy, and ownership.

With all of these learning, automating some of the functions of HR is definitely an innovation in itself. Barring HRIS and payroll software, innovating to keep your personnel engaged in the company is a challenging task that goes beyond incentivizing them all. Be creative and immerse yourself to learn where innovation is much needed in the HR department.
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