HR Help Desk: Definition, Benefits, and Best Practices

hr helpdesk

Human resources teams work tirelessly in their efforts to advocate for employees, offer guidance, and find solutions. The vast amount of manual work these professionals must complete each day means that, on occasion, requests and questions slip through the cracks. Issues that fall by the wayside can result in frustration on the part of employees, who don’t feel heard or valued. 

Encouraging news is on the horizon. The use of HR help desk platforms is on the rise, ushering in a new system by which employees get the help they need, every issue gets addressed on time, and HR teams are given back several hours per week to solve problems of greater impact and urgency. 

What is an HR help desk?

A human resources help desk is an internal software platform that manages and resolves the issues employees encounter each day at their place of work. 

HR help desks often employ self-service portals to automatically direct HR requests to the appropriate team member. AI chatbots are also used to answer frequently asked questions and resolve common issues among an organization’s workforce without the need for human involvement. 

HR help desk vs. HR ticketing system

Many businesses use the terms “HR help desk” and “HR ticketing system” interchangeably, but there are a few key differences between the two platforms. The biggest difference lies in the way, or ways, they intake requests. 

HR ticketing systems are fairly rigid in their ability to receive requests; they’re often limited to email intake only. Employees are given a special email address for HR requests. The resulting emails are converted to tickets and added to HR’s request queue.

HR help desk platforms provide far more versatility than ticketing systems on several fronts, including:

  • Submission. Employees can submit requests via several types of communication such as emails, SMS text messages, portal links, and automated AI chatbots.
  • Response. Those automated chatbots (and AI-driven automated bots in general) can respond to simple queries and common issues with no human intervention.
  • Analytics. Help desk systems give HR teams the ability to analyze large amounts of data in a short time. For example, managers interested in employee satisfaction drivers can instantly retrieve data revealing the topics on which employees ask the most questions and express the strongest opinions.

HR help desk benefits

As more organizations adopt HR help desk tools, some business leaders may find themselves scratching their heads, wondering, “Are automated HR help desks really more effective than manual HR tasks?” The answer is a resounding yes. HR help desk systems offer huge benefits for HR teams and company employees alike. What follows is a brief overview of the top benefits businesses reap by adopting HR help desk solutions.

Employee satisfaction

Improving employee satisfaction appears high on the wishlist of just about every business searching for HR help desk software. Portal features empower employees to find the best solutions — instantly — by offering an organized repository of information and hyperlinks to essential forms and documents.

AI-powered chatbots are another convenient, time-saving tool for employees looking for immediate answers to common questions. Users simply tell the chatbot what they need and the solution appears. A new employee might ask the chatbot, “Where are tax forms?” and receive a hyperlink to those documents to save or download for future use.


Increased HR productivity is among the top benefits companies seek from HR help desk software. With chatbots and portals removing frequently asked questions from the work queue, HR specialists can focus on resolving underlying issues that cause common problems to begin with, like complex policies and conflict resolution.


Growth is a positive result of an organization’s success, but scaling for unexpected rapid growth can be an ordeal for unprepared businesses. Hiring the best possible workforce is critical to success, and no organization can afford to get it wrong.

HR help desk systems leverage automation to lift the manual tasks involved in recruiting and onboarding from an already busy HR team’s collective shoulders. Rule-based automated actions perform tasks such as resume intake and organization, document approval circulation, and alerting the right internal staff or teams (e.g. IT, payroll, or management) when a new employee is hired.

Data insights

None of the benefits we’ve discussed can be confirmed until they are measured and empirically proven to improve HR processes. The analytical insights HR help desk software offers are the means by which businesses measure this data.

Robotic process automation (RPA) bots are programmed to rapidly analyze huge amounts of data; they can be combined with the machine learning capabilities of AI to sift through data, learn from it, identify discrepancies, and recognize patterns. The result of this high-powered, fast-paced number crunching? Machine-generated insights regarding the data and recommendations based upon those insights.

By simply running a report or consulting an organized, user-friendly dashboard, HR specialists and company leadership can retrieve just about any kind of information they need regarding HR operations. Most businesses set key performance indicators (KPIs) when they implement help desk tools to track the most important metrics. 

These include, but are certainly not limited to:

  • Overall employee happiness
  • Employee feedback scores
  • Average resolution time
  • Response time
  • Help desk utilization rate
  • Requests logged per day  

Policy compliance

When an organization’s HR department fails to adhere to company policies, industry standards, or local, state, or federal laws, the repercussions can be catastrophic. 

Discriminatory hiring practices, inappropriate interview questions, and harassment make businesses vulnerable to lawsuits. Discrepancies like tax inaccuracies and unpaid wages can incur huge fines or shut an organization’s doors permanently.

HR help desk systems are designed to resolve such issues before they snowball into problems. They ensure that company policies are readily available to employees at all times. Pre-set automations prevent workflows from moving forward when required documentation is missing, awaiting approval, or rejected during the approval process. Overdue and past-due alerts keep all stakeholders informed when bottlenecks occur.

In addition, HR help desk software eliminates manual tasks, granting HR specialists the time to open lines of communication with employees in one-on-one meetings and phone calls. 

Key functions of HR help desks

The beauty of HR help desk software is that its functions are directly analogous to those of HR teams in general. Few HR processes exist that help desk software can’t improve upon in some way. 

Let’s consider a few of the most important functions of HR departments and the ways HR help desk software optimizes them. 

Employee recruiting

When recruiting and hiring, HR teams must find candidates who not only fit the qualifications of the open position but also share the company’s values, display initiative, and integrate well with their teams.

Help desk software automates manual recruiting actions like screening candidates and scheduling interviews, saving HR specialists time spent on repetitive tasks, and decreasing the possibility of mix-ups in what is already a fraught process for people seeking jobs.

What’s more, the best HR help desk platforms integrate with legacy systems and applications like ERPs, Docusign, and LinkedIn. Once a new hire accepts their offer, they can receive processing paperwork immediately, sign it, and get rotated into payroll within minutes. 

Employee onboarding

How do I adjust tax withholdings?” “How much sick time do we accrue each month?” 

Employees in the onboarding process have lots of questions, and it’s likely that many employees may have the same questions in mind. This doesn’t diminish their importance, but it does make them ideal for automated responses via chatbot functions included in many HR help desk tools. New hires receive speedy, thorough answers; HR specialists are spared from manually typing replies to what can amount to dozens of daily emails.

Additionally, HR help desk systems use automations to circulate paperwork for easier, faster approval signatures and seamless document submission. IT and compliance checklists can be automatically generated for new hires the moment they are added to the employee directory.

Benefits management

Selecting and adjusting benefit options should be simple for both the workforce and HR specialists. The days before and after major life events are chaotic ones in which employees rely on HR for empathy and answers, not long waits and confusion. 

Self-service HR portals give employees one place where they can find essential forms, documents, and hyperlinks to providers’ sites for quick solutions. Chatbots are another convenient service for workers who need information quickly. What’s more, HR help desk platforms operate via cloud computing, allowing users the convenience of accessing their benefits data from mobile devices with a minimum security risk.

Performance management 

We can’t place enough emphasis on the value of the data analytics included with many automated HR help desk platforms. One of the best illustrations of their usefulness can be observed in employee performance management.

Feedback surveys are a reliable, direct source of performance data. Managers and team members can rate an employee by providing clear results for any number of metrics, including work output, attitude, initiative, and flexibility. Once recorded, those results can be converted to structured data and analyzed for discrepancies and consistencies among reviewers. A score can be rendered from the results revealing an accurate  

Optimizing performance management via automation can turn a dreaded obligation into a quick, effective process through which workers feel seen and heard.

Automatic email reminders keep everyone aware of performance cycle deadlines, while pre-set templates can be customized to pose compelling questions that best assess your employees and get to the heart of your organization’s core values. Make boilerplate questionnaires that waste your workforce’s time with multiple pages of irrelevant questions a thing of the past.

Employee offboarding

Many would argue that good offboarding practices are every bit as essential as those of onboarding. Stakeholders on all sides can feel sad, hostile, or awkward when an employee offboards, and coworkers can be left in confusion and drastically increased workloads when no plan is in place to mitigate the upheaval.  

Enter HR help desk tools. Leverage their features to:

  • Build workflows that issue offboarding paperwork and automated reminders to prevent departing employees from experiencing lapses in benefits. 
  • Create a process that mitigates the departmental turmoil of an offboarding team member by ensuring smooth transitions of responsibilities and knowledge.  
  • Ensure the security of company data and intellectual property by customizing templates with lists of equipment for collection and accounts for deactivation.
  • Establish integrations with IT and finance teams to quickly address payroll updates and outstanding company property issues.
  • Build forms containing comprehensive exit interview questions and opportunities for departing employees to describe their company experiences, should they choose to do so (this information is almost always valuable, especially when the crux of the departure involves an internal conflict).

HR chatbots for improved employee engagement

As multiple urgent projects arise for teams across an organization, it can be easy to lose sight of employees’ thoughts about HR policies and their work lives in general. AI-powered chatbots are an enormous help when searching for solutions to declining morale and communication lapses.

Chatbots give priority to the employee HR experience. “But chatbots are machines,” you may be thinking. “How is that possible?” Ironically, their machine components make them incredibly helpful to employees because they can provide answers and solutions almost instantly. Even the most well-organized, dedicated HR professionals can’t promise that rapidity of service.  

Chatbots are great vehicles for leadership to issue regular business-wide pulse checks to uncover exactly what employees are thinking and concerned about, as well as new policies and benefits. Corporate emails can sit unread for days; messages from chatbots get results.

Choose the right HR help desk software

Pipefy’s no-code business process automation (BPA) solution is a user-friendly HR service desk platform that simultaneously places value-added work back into the hands of HR professionals and conserves IT resources.

Your employees can now experience enhanced, personalized HR assistance with the addition of Pipefy AI for HR service delivery. The first step is the only step: they tell Pipefy AI what they need, and the answers they seek appear in seconds.

HR teams gain the tools they can rely on for great experiences, every time, leading to results like faster results, better employee experiences, successful risk and error mitigation, and a more positive impact on business investments.

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