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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   January 2013

5 Tips for Stronger HR

Don’t let tight budgets stifle personnel management

Start-up companies face a number of tall tasks at their onset, and ensuring high-quality human-resources (HR) services can be a difficult task. At a time when many mortgage banks and brokerages are operating with tight budgets and limited resources, how can you ensure that your workforce will not only succeed but thrive?

This can be a challenge for any company working to build an HR department. Even in the face of limited resources and shoe-string budgets, however, mortgage managers still can deliver high-level HR services to their employees. Keep the following five points in mind:

  1. Develop strategic partnerships. At times, outsourcing key services to the right business partners can be key to building successful HR functions. In these cases, be sure to find vendors who specialize in working with businesses that are the size of your own. You may consider using strategic partnerships to provide your organization with a comprehensive HR management platform, which may include employee self-service features, online benefits enrollment, applicant-tracking systems and other HR services. Other partnerships can provide learning-management systems for your online learning needs.
  2. Leverage technology and cloud computing. It used to be the case that the HR world was mired in paperwork. Today, almost everything can be done online, from applying for a position to selecting benefits to requesting time off. In the recruiting process, the right technology can allow you to communicate with potential employees through applicant-tracking systems, aka candidate-management systems. Training also can be delivered online, with modules that are housed in the cloud or through webinars. Cloud applications can make it easy for employees to engage in real-time collaboration and sharing of information, allowing team members to access their files from any device with Internet access.
  3. Create a culture of self-service. This is vitally important, especially for smaller organizations that don’t have the staff to field constant calls and questions from their employees. Instead, create a self-service culture by providing accessible resources and encouraging your employees to be self-reliant. This can start on the first day of an employee’s job, when a new team member receives a comprehensive checklist of orientation information, links to training, quick reference guides, etc. This will enable employees to work at their own pace.
  4. Use rapid e-learning applications to deploy training quickly. New, rapid e-learning applications make the development and deployment of online training fast and easy. By working with an instructional design consultant — another strategic partnership — you can quickly develop and deploy online learning, quick reference guides and other training resources. With a few simple steps, content can be uploaded to online learning sites and employees can be enrolled in courseware within minutes.
  5. Use social networking to recruit talent. With the right approach, full-time recruiters are no longer a necessity. Instead, small banks and brokerages can rely on social networking sites like LinkedIn and Facebook to find recruits. This also can relate back to encouraging a culture of self-service in your organization. Recruiting should be perceived as everyone’s job, and as such, all employees should receive training on how to use social networking sites to actively promote your company and recruit for key positions.


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