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5 Processes HR Should Document

5 Processes HR Should Document

HR parties of one already have an abundance of tasks to keep up with. From hiring to managing performance to maintaining compliance, being an HR leader is no easy feat. 

But there’s no need to recreate the wheel every time. Having a well documented set of processes can help you identify areas of improvement, streamline your responsibilities, and replicate them with ease. Additionally, when you’re ready to become an HR party of two or if you leave the organization, having well-documented processes can make HR department transitions more seamless. 



5 Processes HR Should Document

1. Recruitment/ Hiring 

Perfecting your hiring process and documenting it can help ensure you remain fair, consistent, and compliant. The hiring process begins from the moment a new role opens or an old role becomes vacant at your organization. 

Documentation of hiring processes should include: 

  • Job Analysis Methods
  • Job description writing routine/ company template 
  • Recruitment platforms, efforts, and costs.
  • Interview methods: screenings, structured, unstructured, panel interviews, etc. 
  • Applicant tracking system used 
  • Average cost-to-hire and time-to-hire metrics
  • A statement of your organization’s hiring budget 


2. Onboarding/Offboarding 

The way you onboard employees sets the tone for their career at your organization. 

Documentation of the onboarding process should include:

  • Outline of orientation schedule 
  • 30/60/90 day expectations for new hires (managers can create, but HR should document and retain) 
  • Plan to encourage employees to enroll in company benefits  
  • Culture Guide or Employee Handbook (consider walking through this with new hires) 
  • Applicant tracking system: How are you keeping track of onboarding paperwork like I-9s and W-4s? An effective applicant tracking system will enable HR to store all information and documentation from applicants including interview notes, personality assessment results, and more. 

Offboarding involves every step in the process of formalizing the permanent separation of an employee from your organization, from the resignation or termination announcement to after the employee’s last day. You will likely want to include the following steps in your offboarding process or checklist: 

  • A notice of separation template
  • Your process for collecting company equipment 
  • Your process for transferring work responsibilities
  • A plan for the employee’s farewell (if applicable)
  • Your process for revoking access to secure accounts/ information
  • Post last-day housekeeping: terminating the employee in your HRIS, deleting the employee from payroll, etc. 

Check out our Offboarding Checklist Template for more details on the offboarding process. 


3. Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable  

Accounts payable (AP) is the money your organization owes to external vendors or suppliers. You may have accounts payable organized into subscriptions, utility bills, contracted work, and more. Accounts receivable (AR) is just the opposite of accounts payable. It refers to the money that is owed to you, which has not yet been paid.  

Having a strong accounts payable and accounts receivable process is essential to the financial success of your business. Especially when you’re an SMB, knowing the exact dollar amount you have access to matters. If you don’t have an accurate and efficient method of keeping track of where the money is going and where it’s coming from, it will be hard to plan for your organization’s growth.  

Documentation of AP and AR will likely include: 

  • Information on the system of data organization: Do you use traditional methods like pen and paper, or digital software?
  • Detailed communication pathways you use to keep in touch with customers, vendors, and suppliers.
  • A timeline for invoicing clients including consequences of late payments.
  • A standard schedule for when you do AR or AP: How many times per quarter do you do AR or AP? Is there a certain day of the week?
  • Contact information for your organization’s accountant for AR and AP (if you have one).
  • The contract you have between your organization and its clients. 



4. Open Enrollment 

Open Enrollment can be a stressful time for HR. Guiding employees through making health coverage elections is not your responsibility, but you do have a lot of work to do in preparation for open enrollment. 

Your open enrollment process should include the following elements: 

  • Timeline and goals for communication with employees: The sooner you reach out to staff with information, the better. This also includes sending reminders to employees during the open enrollment period.
  • Your timeline for working alongside your trusted broker. Plan ahead with your broker so employees can receive their ID cards before the effective date.
  • A plan to reevaluate your benefits: How have your employees’ needs changed since last year? Consider tracking your workforce’s benefits participation rate. Think about the average ages, lifestyles, and interests of your workforce, and plan your benefits accordingly. If no one is using a certain benefit that doesn’t apply to major healthcare needs, then you may consider speaking to your broker about dropping that coverage for the year.
  • An established system for administering Summary Plan Descriptions and getting employees enrolled. 

An HRIS can help the HR administrator automate the open enrollment process. For example, using BerniePortal’s Benefits Administration feature, HR administrators can set an enrollment window where the portal alerts employees to the beginning of the open enrollment period. BerniePortal can also send reminders/notices for you and host plan documents, including summary plan descriptions, so employees can review the information of each plan offering. Tracking benefits trends and analytics for your workforce.

Check out our 10-Step Timeline for a Smooth Open Enrollment for more insight on the open enrollment process. 



5. Payroll Process

There are many moving pieces when it comes to payroll. Running payroll can be complex and time consuming, but it doesn’t have to be. 

Many organizations are moving their payroll onto HRIS platforms for a more seamless process, making spreadsheets a thing of the past. When it’s time for your organization to pay your employees, it’s essential to ensure everything on the back end of the payroll software is set up correctly. A strong payroll process will likely include the following items: 

  • Establishing pay periods and employee subgroups

  • Ensuring accurate time and PTO counts are reflected each pay period

  • Regularly removing employees who have left the organization from the payroll system

  • Setting up any custom earning and deduction types for your organization

Check out our Payroll Processing Checklist for a more in-depth look at the payroll process!

Keep in mind that processes are meant to change! The more time you spend running through a process– whether it’s accounts payable, payroll, or open enrollment– the more you will recognize areas of improvement. Practice makes perfect, and developing efficient and accurate HR processes is all about trial and error. 


Additional Resources

You can stay informed, educated, and up to date with important HR topics using BerniePortal’s comprehensive resources:

  • BernieU—free online HR courses, approved for SHRM and HRCI recertification credit
  • BerniePortal Blog—a one-stop shop for HR industry news
  • HR Glossary—featuring the most common HR terms, acronyms, and compliance
  • Resource Library—essential guides covering a comprehensive list of HR topics
  • HR Party of One—our popular YouTube series and podcast, covering emerging HR trends and enduring HR topics
  • Community—the HR Party of One Community forum, a place devoted to HR professionals to ask questions, learn more, and help others


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