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How HR operations can drive company-wide success in an uncertain market

The satisfaction of candidates and employees is a key indicator of customer satisfaction and company growth. Empower your HR team to deliver.

Today’s heightened competition and market volatility—compounded by the added stress of the COVID-19 pandemic—has significantly elevated the HR function at most organizations. All eyes are on HR leaders as they navigate changing talent needs, both from a hiring perspective and in terms of how employees work and are managed. As a result, HR’s success has never before been so closely tied to the overall health of an organization. 

What does HR success look like in today’s unstable corporate environment? Operational efficiency and workforce agility top the list. Yet achieving those goals requires a stable foundation of people operations that utilize both technology and talent to their fullest potential.


What are the key responsibilities of HR operations?

In many ways, the HR department’s “customers” are employees and candidates. HR is responsible for attracting and retaining the best possible talent and creating and maintaining a strong company culture and employer brand. Operational HR responsibilities include areas like recruiting, performance management, benefits administration, and employee data management. 

All of these areas come together to create the environment in which your employees function. The experience that HR creates for your people is what makes or breaks your business. This is especially true in times of crisis, when employees need stability and support. 


What are the biggest struggles for HR operations?

There are a few common issues that can hold HR operations back. These same issues have a domino effect on your business, too, as your people operations touch every corner of your organization.


Inefficient processes.

The pandemic exposed many of the operational shortcomings of businesses, especially within the realm of HR. The move to remote operations was devastating to companies without a strong technology backbone. From employee communication and management, to ensuring compliance and productivity, many processes were tested with mixed results.

But this isn’t the first time a crisis has forced companies to re-examine its processes. During the most recent years-long talent shortage, companies had to step up their game when it came to recruiting and employee engagement. Not responding to candidates quickly enough led to missing out on great talent, and not engaging and recognizing top performers created retention issues.

The cost of HR operational inefficiency can be incredibly high. Gallup estimates that employee disengagement costs U.S. businesses as much as $350 billion every year. Not only that, but a PeopleMetrics study found that profitable companies have 50% more engaged employees than unprofitable companies, and teams with high engagement outsell those with low engagement by 20%.


Few development opportunities.

When we think about the work done by operational HR employees, it can be very task- and process-oriented. After a particular strategy is developed, be it for performance management or recruiting, employees simply play their role in the process. 

While this is a great way for entry-level employees to learn the ropes, it doesn’t offer them an opportunity—or the time—to grow their skillsets. For today’s employees, that’s the ultimate engagement killer. A study by the Harris Poll for Infrastructure found that 34% of respondents had left a job due to a lack of development options, and 70% said they’d consider leaving their current role for one with more opportunities for growth.


Lack of flexible technology.

Like all departments, HR has adopted many technology solutions over the years in an attempt to improve business processes and perform at a higher level. Today, the global HR technology space is worth an estimated $148 billion, according to CB Insights’ market sizing tool. 

While there’s no shortage of technology in use, what most companies lack is an organized, strategic approach to adding new tools to their HR tech stacks. When choosing a solution, the promise of benefits and bells and whistles can win out over its ability to integrate seamlessly. What happens down the road is that maintenance of the tool within the context of your entire HR tech ecosystem can wreak havoc on your operations.


How can technology solve problems and streamline HR operations?

The answer to many of the current issues plaguing HR is to increase agility. In fact, a Gartner survey found that 63% of HR leaders are taking steps to be more agile. One of the ways they’re doing this is by using intelligent automation technology.

A no-code, smart workflow platform like Catalytic can bring together all of your people, data, and systems. Catalytic can not only manage operational tasks, but also orchestrate entire end-to-end processes. This allows companies to achieve three important benefits:

  1. It streamlines people operations to elevate the employee—and therefore, customer— experience.
  2. It frees up HR employees to take on strategic work that drives more business value as well as help develop new skills.
  3. It seamlessly integrates across your HR tech stack to bridge tools together without heavy IT involvement.




It’s possible for singular departments to undertake their own journey toward digital transformation, which can then serve as a model for a company-wide digital shift. 

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Written by Catalytic