HR 101: How to Know When Your HR Team Is Struggling

Your HR team is the first line of offense when it comes to building a high performing workforce; they’re also caretakers of company morale. It’s vital to uplift your HR team by giving them the tools they need to manage recruitment efficiently, keep track of important documents, and create new opportunities for advancement. An HR team that struggles may not always raise the white flag to ask for help. Sometimes, a team doesn’t realize that problems are cropping up in other departments and other times HR staff simply don’t want to call attention to their challenges for fear of looking inept.

How do you know if your HR team is sending out a silent SOS? Here are six non-verbal signs that your HR team is overwhelmed or undertrained and could use some help.

1. They’re sending managers unqualified candidates

Do your managers frequently complain about being sent candidates who are underqualified to fill the roles they applied for? This could mean your HR team is ill-equipped to find appropriate candidates, or they are not being given a thorough list of what to look for.

When managers tire of interviewing unqualified candidates, it’s easy to get frustrated with HR. Instead, sit down and brainstorm some new resources that can help your team find more qualified matches. Insist your recruiters have the hiring manager describe the specific tasks to be performed in greater detail and provide a list of the minimum requirements, explaining any the team might not be familiar with. In short: set up more communication.

2. Paperwork is often missing

Missing documents are not just annoying, they could spell legal trouble. Do you have to ask employees to sign things twice, or struggle to track down existing contracts? Your document storage system is likely outdated. Digital documents are easier to track and more transparent across the company; when you go totally digital, managers and employees can more easily access documents often without needing HR to intervene. Keep in mind that not all documentation that HR needs to be compliant with regulations and laws can be stored digitally. Support your HR team by keeping an up-to-date list outlining which documents are required and how they can be collected and stored.

3.  Employee turnover is on the rise

Employees often leave companies not because they don’t like what they do, but rather because they believe management has let them down or the company morale is low. The job of HR isn’t just to hire the right candidates, but also to keep your top talent at the company. When your best workers start heading for the door, it’s a signal HR has dropped the ball in assessing employee engagement and managing the employee experience.

4. Your workers are out of compliance

In many fields, such as construction and manufacturing, maintaining certification is vital. When your workers are out of compliance, they don’t know about the latest safety standards and your company could lose its standing within accrediting bodies. In a perfect world HR tracks compliance standards and sets up testing and training for employees when updates are made or when required in order to maintain their certification.

If your workers are falling out of compliance, HR may be struggling to keep track of the latest requirements. Automating compliance testing makes the life of your HR team a lot easier and takes the stress out of tracking which employees are currently compliant.

5. There is no mobile recruitment strategy

Most job applicants search for jobs using mobile devices, and maintenance and construction industries top the list with a whopping 80% of applicants turning to mobile when they seek out a new position. If your HR team isn’t targeting users who are seeking ads on mobile apps, they need some help updating their recruitment efforts. How will you know if they’re appealing to mobile users? Ask to see the metrics on job leads and what percentage of applicants are being driven from mobile apps. If you don’t bring your recruitment into the 21st century, you’ll miss out on the majority of qualified candidates and your positions could remain open for far too long.

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6. Hiring takes more than 30 days

Depending on the role, it’s normal to take your time hiring the right person. Particularly if you’re hiring a manager or team lead. Indeed reported in 2015 that 44% of jobs are filled within 30 days.  DHI reported the average time to fill nationally was 31.1 business days.

When you notice it’s taking your team longer and longer to find the right fit for a position, it’s time to review the process. Is the issue that they aren’t using the appropriate terms in the job description? Could the job title use some reworking? Is the pipeline from job ad to onboarding convoluted and off-putting to prospects? Start brainstorming ways to improve the candidate experience and optimize the ad to attract the right people.

What to do next

When your HR team is sending you signals that it needs help, it’s time to change the way you do things. An HR team that is more efficient and digital will bring in better candidates and reduce turnover. If you’re ready to be a part of modern HR, there is no better time to join the future of hiring and employee management than today.

Chris Lennon

Chris Lennon is Vice President of Product Management at BirdDogHR. Chris is an active participant in the talent management community bringing over 18 years of experience to BirdDogHR. He has presented at numerous industry events and has been quoted as an industry expert in leading publications like Talent Management magazine, CLO magazine, New Talent Times, TLNT and HR Bartender.