Navigating HR today isn’t exactly a stroll in the park.
With remote work, diverse employee needs, and rapid tech changes, many HR departments are stuck in common pitfalls. Think outdated policies, communication hiccups, and a disengaged workforce.
The result? A workplace vibe that goes from high-energy to snooze-fest, leaving everyone unsatisfied.
But we’re not just pointing fingers. We’re here to provide solutions.
Because there are tried-and-true “best practices” for HR that many of the most effective companies in the world are using. And you can swipe those ideas for some quick wins at your company.
Consider this your go-to guide for modern HR best practices. Follow it, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see you promoted by this time next year.
We’ve broken it down into best practices for hiring, retention, tech, onboarding, offboarding, diversity & inclusion, and future-proofing.
Here’s your list of 30 HR best practices:
HR Best Practices for Hiring
Ever wondered how the experts nail the hiring game? From choosing the right talent to creating a positive workplace, these HR best practices are your guide to building awesome teams.
1. Conduct Panel Interviews with Scorecards
Use panel-based interviews for diverse perspectives on candidates. Forbes recommends incorporating interview scorecards to maintain alignment, capture crucial details, impressions, and enable easy candidate comparisons via a standardized grading scale. This approach has been shown to result in hiring high-quality, sustainable employees.
2. Leverage Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)
In a world flooded with resumes, an ATS streamlines the hiring process. It’s time to consider making it a part of your toolkit. Over 98.8% of Fortune 500 companies and a significant percentage of both large and small organizations rely on ATS.
Employ CEO Pete Lamson shared, “With other employers that are looking for the same top candidates that you are, if you’re not using technology to help … with the actual applicant tracking component … you’re going to be at a disadvantage.”
Over 98.8% of Fortune 500 companies and a significant percentage of both large and small organizations rely on ATS. As AI evolves, ATS software is expected to become even more sophisticated, providing a crucial advantage in securing top candidates.
3. Social Recruitment
According to Content Stadium’s research, 98% of recruitment and talent acquisition teams use social media in 2023. Utilize social recruiting by exploring platforms like LinkedIn for professional skills and experiences and Facebook for character traits. Establish connections with potential candidates through direct messages, recognizing the impact of social media on candidate habits and the growing popularity of social platforms among hiring professionals.
4. Upgrading Your Perks
Enhance your hiring strategy by elevating your employee perks. Upgrading perks not only attract top talent but also fosters a positive workplace culture. It sets your organization apart, showing a dedication to employee well-being and satisfaction.
Abenity offers employee perks programs that provide member-only access to private employee discounts and corporate rates on everything from pizza to car rentals.
HR Best Practices to Take Care of Your Employees (and Keep Retention High)
In the world of HR, success extends beyond just making great hires. It’s about keeping the dream team intact and ensuring everyone’s on the happiness train. Retention and employee happiness are the gold standards, a truth recognized by every adept HR professional.
Here are some recommended HR practices to ensure employee well-being and maintain high retention rates.
5. Personalized Employee Experience
Each employee is unique, and recognizing these differences matters.
By understanding individual needs and preferences, organizations can create more engaging experiences, boosting employee satisfaction and retention. A Gallup study shows that highly engaged teams lead to 21% higher profitability and 17% higher productivity.
To create a personalized employee experience, everything starts with a solid plan. This plan should cover personalized benefits, career growth, recognition, feedback, and an environment tailored to individual preferences.
But take note, this needs to be balanced, adding some standardization with customization for fairness and efficiency.
ClubHealth CEO Daniel Bolus said, “Personalization is not about treating every employee differently or completely individualizing every aspect of EX. Rather, it acknowledges and caters to their unique needs within a framework of standardized processes. This approach helps keep things aligned with company culture, values, goals and budgets, while employees can still make choices within the framework.”
6. Mental Health Support
Over 45% of employees acknowledge that their work is impacted by poor mental health, and a whopping 65% say stress affects their job, as reported by ADP.
To create a workplace that truly cares, start by spreading awareness and destigmatizing mental health. Encourage supportive connections through organized groups and set up an anonymous portal for those dealing with high stress to reach out for help. Don’t just stick to the basics. Consider innovative benefits like Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) and flexible time-off policies. Take a cue from FloQast, the accounting software platform, which not only provides unlimited vacation and paid sick leave but goes the extra mile with Mental Health Days, giving employees a day off to focus on their well-being. It’s more than perks, it’s about creating a workplace that prioritizes mental health and overall well-being.
7. Regular Feedback and Recognition
Picture feedback as your personal coach, giving you tips to improve your skills and make things better. It’s like having a roadmap to success. On the other hand, recognition is like a round of applause, celebrating your hard work and achievements.
Both are important, but they’re different. For good feedback, set clear expectations, give timely input, and balance positives and negatives. Use a model like SBI and listen to what employees think.
On the flip side, recognition means appreciating regularly, tailoring it to preferences, and linking it to achievements that help the company. Keep it sincere and specific, and make sure everyone gets in on appreciating each other.
This kind of positive attention boosts morale, making everyone happier and more productive in their jobs. It’s like a win-win for both the team and the individual.
Best HR Practices for Using New Tech in Your Job
Tech continues to reshape the HR landscape, and it’s crucial to stay in the loop and be ready to make the most of these advancements. Here are some of the best HR practices to redefine your role, make processes smoother, and ensure your HR game is future-ready.
8. Integration of AI and Automation
Ever wish HR tasks were a breeze? Well, AI and automation have made it happen. As technology evolved, smart algorithms and automation emerged, transforming the way we handle HR duties.
Think about it – streamlining recruitment and onboarding, making everything super-efficient. Take HireVue, an AI software example that analyzes resumes, helping to shortlist candidates based on specific criteria.
When it comes to onboarding, AI steps in, too.
“Onboarding is an essential part of HR, and AI can make the process smoother and more personalized. AI-powered chatbots can guide new employees through the onboarding process, answering questions and providing information and prompts,” said Nick Gallimore, managing director of people management at Advanced, a business software company.
But before diving in, consider limitations and vulnerabilities. While these technologies bring big benefits, integrating them carefully is key. Understanding possible challenges ensures a smooth and secure transition, making sure tech upgrades enhance HR without causing hiccups.
9. Data-Driven Decision Making
Ever heard of “people analytics” or HR analytics? This includes info on demographics, psychographics, and key talent factors like engagement, retention, productivity, and performance.
When you analyze this data, it’s not just about numbers. It’s about making smart talent decisions, improving how things work, and creating a top-notch employee experience.
Start by figuring out the key HR metrics for your organization, such as turnover or engagement, and use tools such as HR information systems, surveys, or focus groups for data collection and analysis.
10. Remote Work Tools
Heading to the office every day is a thing of the past. Work has evolved, offering flexible options like the hybrid model or full-on remote work, giving employees more control over their schedules and a chance to find that sweet work-life balance. No more commuting and the bonus of working in your comfiest PJs!
Now, when it comes to tools for remote work, think about simplicity, user-friendliness, and how they can amp up your focus and productivity.
Check out tools like Slack for easy chatting and video calls, Loom for making videos, and Fireflies AI for smart note-taking during meetings. For managing projects, check out Asana, ClickUp, or Trello. Need to access your office computer while at home? TeamViewer is handy for that. And to keep track of your work, tools like Hubstaff and Time Doctor are there to help. It’s all about making remote work easy and stress-free!
Best HR Strategies for Onboarding
Making sure your new hires get the best start is crucial. Sadly, onboarding often doesn’t get the attention it deserves during the hiring process.
The key to great onboarding is simple: shift the focus from the business to the new hire.
“Think of how you would like to be treated as an employee joining a new company. What would you like to experience the month before starting a job, what would your first month in the role look like? Create a journey employees will enjoy.” says Paula Kilby, HR and Talent Acquisition Consultant.
Effective onboarding can boost job performance, make people happier at work, and cut down on employees leaving.
Let’s have a look at some of the HR practices you can apply for onboarding.
Before the official start date, take the time to ensure everything is set up for the new hire. This includes having their workspace ready, providing necessary tools, and giving them a warm welcome. This proactive approach helps create a positive and welcoming environment, easing any first-day jitters.
12. Incorporate Learning and Development
Make onboarding not just an introduction but a learning experience. This involves incorporating software tutorials to familiarize the new hire with the necessary tools and providing videos covering company values, procedures, and the employee handbook. It’s a way to ensure they start with a solid understanding of the company’s culture and operations.
13. Introduce New Hires to the Team
Building a sense of belonging is crucial. Arrange introductions to team members through team-building activities, social events, or casual lunches. Encourage participation in broader company initiatives, volunteer opportunities, or employee resource groups to help them integrate seamlessly into the organizational culture.
14. Long-Term Onboarding
Recognize that onboarding extends beyond the initial weeks. It involves continuous support, including ongoing training to enhance skills, regular check-ins to assess progress, and additional assistance as the new employee gradually assumes more responsibilities. This sustained approach ensures a smooth and effective integration into the team and company.
Best HR Strategies for Offboarding and Graceful Exits
Just like onboarding focuses on a good start, offboarding is about making the end smooth for the employee. It involves returning company equipment and settling the final paycheck. A good offboarding process ensures there are no lingering issues and provides chances for networking, development, and growth as the employee leaves.
15. Treat Exiting Employees Well
When employees leave, treat them with respect and kindness. Plain and simple. How you treat them shapes whether they’ll speak positively or negatively about your company. Turning departing employees into advocates is a goal during offboarding.
16. Transfer Knowledge
Before employees leave, make sure to gather and document crucial information about their work. This includes details about their daily tasks and priorities. Having this information ensures a smooth handover to the person taking over their role. Using tools like an employee handover template can be helpful in this process. It’s all about making sure the knowledge they gain stays with the company even after they leave.
17. Conduct an Exit Interview
Conduct an exit interview to learn about the employee’s experience and why they’re leaving. This is a chance to gain insights and consider them for future roles or networks, turning departing employees into potential assets.
Diversity and Inclusion
“Diversity” and “inclusion” are often grouped together, but they hold distinct meanings.
In simplest terms, “diversity” means differences, and “inclusion” is about welcoming and valuing those differences. For HR, it’s crucial to understand and actively promote both. This helps attract top talent, keep employees engaged, and create an innovative and harmonious workplace, contributing to overall organizational success.
18. Give Equal Opportunities
Everyone should have a fair shot at moving up at work. Take a good look at how you pick people for promotions, plan for the future, and run programs for talent. Make sure it’s fair and square for everyone.
19. Revamp Job Ads and Postings
If you want a diverse team, you’ve got to change how you talk about job opportunities.
Studies, such as the Manifest survey, indicate that 70% of job seekers actively seek out companies that visibly support Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in their branding and job descriptions. In short, using inclusive and appealing language in job ads is really important for promoting diversity.
20. Provide Diversity Awareness Training
Discrimination often comes from unconscious biases, which are unintentional stereotypes about different kinds of people. This training helps to address these biases by educating employees about people from diverse backgrounds, cultures, sexual orientations, and other minority groups.
21. Utilize Employee Resource Groups
Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) play a pivotal role in promoting diversity and inclusivity within organizations. Led by employees themselves, ERGs function as a safe and inclusive space for colleagues to connect and support each other but also serve as essential channels for communication.
Legal Compliance and Ethical Standards
Legal compliance and ethical standards are not just checkboxes for HR. They’re the foundation of a trustworthy workplace. It’s about creating a place where everyone feels secure in the fairness and ethical principles of the system. Here’s a list of HR best practices that prioritize legal compliance and ethical standards.
22. Stay Updated with Labor Laws
HR plays a huge role in making sure the right people contribute to the company’s growth. It’s equally important to follow state and federal employment rules.
You can work with local or global organizations to stay informed about tax and labor laws and handle legal matters, so your team can focus on managing employees. If that’s not possible, signing up for newsletters or visiting the U.S. Department of Labor’s website can help you stay updated on employment laws.
23. Apply Ethical HR Practices
In today’s world, HR does more than just paperwork. It’s vital in shaping company culture, engaging employees, and ensuring fairness. To build trust, attract top talent, and drive overall success, it’s crucial to follow ethical practices and be transparent.
Start by creating a clear Code of Ethics that spells out the organization’s values and expected behavior. Clearly define what ethical conduct looks like in different situations, offering examples to help employees grasp these expectations.
More importantly, transparency is key. Employees must be aware of privacy and data protection rules and procedures.
These ethical practices and open communication not only build trust but also contribute to long-term success.
24. Handle Workplace Conflicts Effectively
Ever wondered how to tackle workplace conflicts like a pro? Despite half of HR professionals spending one to five hours each week on resolution, there’s an art to it. Open communication is crucial, letting everyone express their views ensures a thorough understanding of the issue.
Staying neutral also shows fairness in the resolution process. A neutral stance builds trust, as HR, even if not the ultimate decision-maker, provides unbiased advice.
And more importantly, consider creating a clear conflict resolution policy is key, outlining reporting, investigation, mediation, and disciplinary steps. This ensures everyone understands the processes and expectations in conflict resolution.
Best HR Strategies for Future-Proofing
In this fast-paced business world, it’s crucial for HR to stay ahead of the curve by future-proofing strategies. By embracing emerging trends and technology, HR can attract and retain top talent, inspire innovation, and remain competitive. Let’s delve into some of the best HR practices that prepare your company for future-proofing.
25. Adaptability to Change
HR policies and practices must be flexible and adaptable.
One example is the adoption of flexible work arrangements during the COVID-19 pandemic. HR departments have been quick to recognize the increasing need for remote work options and flexible schedules.
By anticipating and embracing future workplace trends, HR can effectively respond to new challenges and seize opportunities to drive organizational success.
26. Continuous Learning and Development
HR professionals should actively pursue opportunities for professional growth. Whether it’s mastering new technologies, understanding evolving HR trends, or enhancing leadership skills, ongoing learning keeps HR at the forefront of industry advancements.
27. Succession Planning
Think of succession planning as a safety net for organizational stability. What if a key team member decides to explore new horizons? Succession planning ensures the company is prepared, with ready-to-go plans for replacing top talent when needed.
By regularly assessing employee potential, identifying high-potential individuals, and providing them with growth opportunities, organizations can ensure a seamless transition of responsibilities and avoid disruptions when a key employee leaves the company.
Unique Ideas and Innovations
28. Gamification in HR Processes
Imagine turning mundane HR tasks into a game, and you’ve got gamification at work.
Gamification aims to make HR processes more engaging and effective. From quirky personality quizzes during recruitment to point-based employee referral systems, gamification injects a dose of excitement. Onboarding becomes an adventure, with quizzes ensuring policy comprehension providing a sense of achievement.
Walmart, for example, uses a computer game to help their employees learn about their safety policies.
In short, it’s not just about having fun. It’s about creating a workplace where learning feels like a win.
29. Sustainability in HR
In today’s world, businesses need to care not only about profits but also about their impact on the planet. HR is stepping up to this challenge by weaving sustainability into its practices. Big companies worldwide are aiming to be kinder to the environment.
In HR, this means smart moves like using less paper and choosing virtual interviews to cut down on carbon emissions. Remote work is another green choice, reducing the need for office space and cutting down on commuting and energy use.
If an office is a must, making it sustainable is the way to go. Think of energy-efficient lights, recycled materials, and less waste. It’s HR’s way of making sure the workplace is not just good for people but also for the planet.
30. Utilize Social Media for Employee Engagement
Don’t underestimate the power of social media in engaging your employees and creating a culture that not only keeps your current workforce happy but also attracts top talent from the outside.
When your team joins social media, it’s like having a group of rock stars promoting your company. They share their work stories, show how amazing your company is, and become trusted voices in the online world.
And guess what? 79% of job seekers hunt for jobs on social media. Play your cards right, and your company will be the top pick in town.
Conclusion: The Evolving Landscape of HR
We’ve uncovered the secrets to staying ahead – from tech-savvy moves to caring for your diverse team. It’s time to ditch outdated ways and step into a future-ready HR game.
HR is evolving, and to thrive, you’ve got to adapt. Whether it’s tech integration, caring for your team, championing diversity, or future-proofing, the game has changed.
Now, your mission? It starts with taking the first step.
Abenity’s Perks Report covers top-notch perks that you can include in a solid benefits/perks package, which should also guide you in the competitive landscape of talent acquisition.