There’s a lot that goes into the process of seeking out and hiring new talent. It can sometimes be a long, complex and drawn-out process that can take more time than necessary, and more time than the hiring managers and the new hires want. Simplifying and centralizing the different components involved in the hiring process can turn a complex operation into a much more streamlined and efficient one. Making things move along faster does not necessarily mean it’s being rushed or done in a sloppy manner. On the contrary, a faster, well-oiled machine can make things run more efficiently and can add functionality to a well-managed business.
There are always improvements that can be made, no matter how well a process is working. From small tweaks to giant overhauls, changes implemented should work to improve things that are being done. A more efficient hiring process can have a number of benefits for a company besides the obvious benefit of an expedited process.
However, change needs to happen so these benefits can start being enjoyed. One of the most effective is by implementing a centralized HR department.
What is a Centralized HR Department?
In short, a centralized HR department is where all your HR functions and tasks are carried out from one geographical location, such as your head office. Even if you have multiple outlets, say you’re a retail chain, all the payroll queries, and payments, all the employee information, and even the recruitment budgets and organization are all completed from one office.
Alternatively, using the same retail example, a decentralized HR department will be where all the individual retail stores have their own HR departments that operate only for their stores. Some people may believe that this is a better option since each ‘outlet’ or office, whichever yours may be, can look after themselves and have much more control over what they can do as a business, granted, these departments may have a lot more knowledge in how that individual outlet operates.
However, not all HR departments will be run the same and this can cause huge problems, especially when you’re trying to deal with HR-related issues.
For example, if somebody has a payment problem, one office may deal with it using solution A. However, another office uses solution B and when these offices talk to one another, then you’re raising the issue of treating all employees fairly and everybody following the same rules.
By using a centralized HR department, which, as of 2016, around 70.7% of businesses do, you’re completely eliminating the risks of this being a problem, helping you to set up the best future for your business.
HR departments are the heart of a business and you’ll need to staff it with the most qualified and competent people available. They hold a lot of responsibility in finding the individuals who will continue moving the business forward, and for that reason, they need to be able to do their job effectively and efficiently. By improving all the HR processes, you’ll be giving your teams everything they need when hiring staff, not only making their job easier but can also helping them find and get the best of the best.
There are some of the other benefits that your business can enjoy by implementing a centralized HR department.
Lowering Operating Costs
When an HR team is centralized, they are able to keep their costs down, while working together to achieve their goal of hiring the best candidates.
Not only are they able to keep hiring costs down, but all costs involved in payroll and benefits processing and administration can be substantially lower when an HR division is centralized. This is because there are a dedicated physical office and a dedicated team of staff all working to achieve the same goal.
The Michigan Civil Service (MCSC), based in the state of Michigan, began to transform its HR department way back in 2001 and by 2007, it had reduced its HR employee headcount by 138 full-time employees and had made an incredible saving of just over $28 million.
“Recruiting costs in searching for candidates are lessened because recruiters within a single territory can help one another in their searches” – comments Michael Hester, a Corporate Recruiter at Boomessays and Essayroo.
The concentration of HR Skills
Accessibility is increased when a centralized HR staff is more readily available and accessible to line executives and senior management.
They will be able to provide speedier service and response time because they can draw on one another’s skills to help provide an adequate response to a query. Working from a single location, HR team members would be able to work together to more quickly respond to data-driven services.
In the same study as above, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania began centralizing their departments in December 2012. This was known as the ‘onboarding process’ where the training processes that the departments used where condensed by leading HR team leaders to organize the most effective training methods for new employees.
Over 10,000 employees have completed this program and 75% of supervisors and 81% of the new employees said that these new processes had allowed them to integrate into the system a lot faster and more effectively. In all, the process change saved around $1 million.
When a group works together in one central location, they are able to combine their knowledge and brain power to speedily solve problems, answer questions and respond to the organization’s needs.
Each HR member will quickly and effectively be able to receive their set of duties directly, with less of a chance for miscommunication because there is direct face-to-face contact. And each member can contribute their unique skills and strengths towards completing tasks.
An important business process can be quickly and effectively optimized with a centralized HR unit. When all HR professionals are working together from one location, they can all contribute to the bigger picture by more easily making and coordinating consistent methods for achieving and managing the goals they have set out.
Rachel Walton, a Recruiting Manager at Stateofwriting shares her opinion: “Each member comes to the table with their own strengths, so by having access to all of those different skills, the HR team as a whole will be able to work together to optimize their processes by having all team members provide their input on improvements.”
When it comes to providing better organizational support within a single region, centralized HR groups are much more effective.
Centralized HR teams can also support one another in the accomplishment of their shared goals while devising strategies and techniques to achieve those goals.
Working together, HR members can help direct candidates towards other more suitable positions and can help point out qualified candidates to their HR teammates looking.
This is because HR specialists working together can share their experience from the industry, which has a much more collaborative effect on the levels of productivity within your department.
Continuous process improvement
An HR team that works from a central location have the opportunity to provide each member of the team a chance to see every single angle of the hiring process. “When they are able to see and understand each component of the hiring method, it’s easier to see how each component in the process impacts the process as a whole. Each part, from attracting applicants to the time it takes to hire and fill a position will influence the process in some way” – says Dave Beeman, an HR Specialist at Paper Fellows and Eliteassignmenthelp.
When considering the applicants and candidates as ‘customers’, you want to ensure that they are having a good experience throughout the hiring process. With a simplified hiring process, they are ideally dealing with a single person throughout each step, making it easy to know who to go to for questions or concerns. The HR professional is also empowered with the ability to control the end of the hiring process, interacting with candidates directly. A more positive experience happens when candidates are easily able to move through the hiring process, interact quickly and efficiently with a single HR rep and build a relationship with that rep that they can later rely upon should they be hired to work for that company. When there is already an established relationship between an HR rep and a team member, it’s much easier for that team member to call upon their HR rep when they have a concern or question.
There are a great number of advantages to simplifying and centralizing an HR department that can enormously impact the expediency and effectiveness of their hiring process. Working with a centralized HR team is one of the biggest steps towards simplifying the hiring process as a whole.
Nora Mork is a business and marketing journalist at UK Writings. She helps businesses achieve better marketing and communications results by speaking at niche events and contributing posts to online magazines and blogs, such as Big assignments and Oxessays.
the computer at her desk