Breaking down organizational silos and integrating teams should be on every organization’s to-do list, however bringing together Human Resources and IT operations may not always be the first priority. It is, however, critical for businesses to maintain smooth business operations and serve employees throughout their employment lifecycle.
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In order to carry out employee onboarding and offboarding logistics, HR relies heavily on IT. Let’s dive deeper into why a direct and automated relationship between HR and IT teams is necessary for success.
Common Communication Challenges
Usually it’s the HR team that does most of the heavy lifting when it comes to recruiting, onboarding and off-boarding. But, when a new member joins the team, they will need required equipment and IT tools assigned by the IT department. Whether it’s software credentials, computer equipment, access and security–all of this is configured by IT as part of the onboarding journey.
Oftentimes organizations don’t have a clear or direct line of communication with HR and IT which results in delays in the onboarding process. Latencies in your processes means money wasted and a negative experience for your new employees.
Ditto when it comes to offboarding an employee and the reverse process needs to be executed. IT must jump in to collect company IT property, deprovision user accounts, etc. when an employee leaves an organization. There needs to be a clear line of communication to execute on this requirement.
Potential IT Security Risks
What we tend to hear from IT departments is that requests are made by HR with very little lead time to carry out particular operations. IT resources are then under pressure to order equipment, request licenses or configure tools and software with little to no notice. Furthermore, these requests often are made in an email or using a chat tool, which are at risk of getting lost in the shuffle of day to day work and shifting priorities.
We hear the same frustrations describing an offboarding scenario. In this case, security is paramount and IT is under great pressure to protect important, private or proprietary information. Having tight alignment with HR is critical to collecting company equipment to reduce or eliminate the possibility of sensitive information getting into the wrong hands.
Five ways to improve communication between HR and IT Ops
As you can see, optimizing communication between HR and IT is essential to keep both teams aligned and avoid human error. Here are five tips to improve communication between these to departments:
1. Keep track of your lead time to predict next steps
Manage hire-to-retire HR processes on a single platform and evaluate data to improve your SLAs. Measure and report on how many days you usually spend in a particular phase of your process to learn how you can optimize or make improvements.
For example, when you open a new position for your team, how long does it usually take for you to hire someone? If your average recruiting time is two weeks, then you should communicate your onboarding needs to IT within that same timeframe.
2. Automate the information handoff
The best-laid processes often fail because of human error or a lack of communication. Automating hand-offs is an excellent solution to this common issue. Consider the recruiting example again. By leveraging automation for your communications, the HR team can trigger an automated email to IT when a new employee is hired.
This email can be customized to fit your company’s needs and be configured to include any pertinent information. This way, the IT department will have enough time to purchase, prepare and configure any required equipment to complete the onboarding process.
3. Connect Employee Offboarding to IT Requests
After HR, the IT department needs to be one of the first teams notified of an employee’s departure from your company. This way, they can turn off access to proprietary information and collect company equipment
The best way to ensure optimal and timely communication is by connecting processes. Running your employee offboarding processes in a single place allows you to notify the IT team automatically. This means you’ll have an error-proof process to make sure equipment and information remain secure.
4. Create Service Level Agreements (SLAs) between teams
When connecting teams and processes, we recommend establishing SLAs (Service Level Agreements). This sets goals and expectations for each team in a process. For example, you can create SLAs to control the time it takes for the IT team to process each type of request from the HR team. This simple change will improve the communication flow between departments and ensure accountability for timelines and standards.
Once the SLA’s are set, the HR manager can rely on their standardized process instead of sending emails or messages to the IT team about a request. All requests are centralized on a single platform where the HR team can check the status in real-time or receive automatic updates.
5. Measure in order to improve
What’s not measured, cannot be improved. If you have created SLAs for each type of request, you can measure and improve your processes. Identify which requests are going beyond the SLA requirements? Which team member is the most efficient? How can you improve your workflow?
To answer any of these questions you need to collect data. Creating dashboards to track and measure these indicators and identify bottlenecks is essential, especially if you want to show good results. Measuring and improving processes needs to be a cycle.
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These are just a few best practices for accelerating your digital transformation and upping your game when it comes to providing a better employee experience, and achieving success as a more secure, efficient organization. Adopting these five steps will get you well on your way to bringing the HR and IT teams closer together and eliminating headaches, information silos and slow or error-prone communication along the way.