Effective HR management involves much more than just recruiting new talent. HR professionals must also be prepared to handle a variety of processes including onboarding, training, compensation and benefits, employee relations, and performance evaluation. 

Successful HR managers recognize and understand the key processes of human resource management, and how these processes contribute to employee satisfaction and business growth. In this article, we explore the 8 critical HR processes and offer some insight into how those processes might be improved for the benefit of your team, your employees, and your company.

What is the HR process?

A human resources process is a way of bringing consistency and visibility to a common function of the HR department. This consistency makes it easier for employees to interact with their HR teams and helps HR managers respond to employees with timeliness and accuracy.  (It also makes life easier for those HR professionals, who might be used to receiving requests via email.)

Improving these processes is usually the responsibility of the HR specialist or manager. This improvement requires adapting the process in order to:

  • Reduce errors

  • Increase response times

  • Add accountability

  • Make the processes more user-friendly

  • To improve their human resources processes, HR managers may leverage common tools such as forms, visualizations (flow charts or support documents), or software that automates some or all of the process. Connecting processes and integrating tools is essential to achieve all goals previously mentioned.

    Why is HR process management important?

    HR processes are wide-ranging and touch many different segments of your business. Without a system to manage these processes, your HR team can become overwhelmed by a sense of disorder, repetition, and a lack of consistency. While there are many benefits to effectively managing your human resources processes, three are most common: 

    ● More efficient and effective processes. This is the primary goal of BPM. Improving the time to complete processes impacts many aspects of the business. Whether it’s getting a product out the door faster or getting valuable employees in the door faster, BPM facilitates the achievement of business goals and leads to improved organizational performance.

    ● Improved customer satisfaction and service. Today’s consumer expects to buy and receive the right product with reliable, fast delivery. BPM can improve the business processes that meet and exceed customer expectations.

    ● Higher employee morale. Automating processes is a key part of BPM that can relieve employees of mundane, repetitive tasks that nobody finds to be rewarding. Forms and process flows can be automated so that minimal input is required from workers. Automating the routing of forms, requests, and approvals can free up employees to do more productive work.

    11 Key processes in human resources

    There are many human resources processes that your team will manage, and they will change in response to your company’s growth, government regulations, and trends in the industry competition. But there are 8 key human resources processes that every HR team must manage well for the health of your employees, and the success of your business. 

    1. Human resources planning

    Human resources planning (HRP) is the identification and management of all of an organization’s hiring needs. It involves accounting for an organization’s HR supply, future demands, forecasting, strategy, and implementation. To be effective, HR must balance long and short term staffing needs with business goals and the realities of the business climate. 

    2. Recruitment

    Recruitment is the process of attracting qualified candidates to interview with (and potentially work for)  your company. Your HR specialists own all the necessary steps to recruit talent. This includes posting jobs on sites such as Monster or Indeed and developing compensation packages that are likely to attract and retain the most talented candidates. 

     It’s essential that these steps be tracked through a centralized platform that can standardize a process in which a lot of information is gathered, and can potentially be lost.

    3. Onboarding

    During onboarding, employees are introduced to the abundance of resources they’ll need to succeed, e.g., role descriptions, performance expectations, and required training. These logistics are always handled by HR personnel. 

    The amount of variation required in the onboarding process (different roles, requirements, security clearances, etc.) necessitates managing it in an organized fashion. Employee onboarding templates can be leveraged to standardize steps within the process and ensure everyone is on the same page about the schedule and responsibilities.

    The onboarding process is necessary for empowering employees with the capability to contribute to organizations. In fact, at one company, employees who went through a structured onboarding process were 69% more likely to stay for up to 3 years.

    4. Employee relations

    Healthy employee relations is critical for decreasing the employee turnover rate. Ideally, HR teams use quantitative and qualitative means of measuring employee engagement and its effect on retention. These methods are different forms of creating bi-lateral interactions between employees and their employers to ensure they’re engaged, which is one of the main aspects of employee relations. 

    These different approaches, which may involve issuing various forms of surveys with quantitative responses or simply requiring employees to sign off on policies after reading them, need a uniform means of implementing and studying their effects, which HR process management software provides. 

    5. Compensation and benefits

    It also involves annual evaluations of employee performances which becomes the basis for increasing salary and benefits packages or possibly augmenting them with bonuses. In fact, the wide array of different benefits alone requires a comprehensive means of managing this HR process; various salaries and bonuses only add to its overall complexity.

    6. Vacation and leave requests

    These requests become much easier to resolve and track when they’re managed in a uniform manner, such as through detailed forms or an employee portal. An organization’s ability to accommodate those requests for life events, such as childbirth, illnesses, bereavement, and more, is critical to maintaining employee satisfaction. 

    7. Performance management

    At a minimum, this task requires getting approval to initiate performance management programs, issuing evaluation forms, managing organization progress on evaluations, and implementing the results into salaries, benefits, and bonuses. Because there are so many highly differentiated steps involved in this process, it needs formal management measures that are replicable and able to scale throughout an organization. 

    8. Regulatory compliance

    HR departments are responsible for promulgating the specific activities that need to take place across business units for ensuring organizations remain compliant. The broad scope of these regulations, the ever-expanding number of regulatory entities and their mandates, and increasingly severe penalties for non-compliance necessitate managing compliance processes extremely carefully.

    Why you should consider automating some HR processes

    Effective HR departments drive organizational objectives by managing HR processes but can compromise growth by using manual methods. Repetitive, multi-step tasks and manual interactions among tools are highly prone to human errors and inefficiencies that delay time to action.

    Automation and integration can eliminate those risks, giving HR teams more time to focus on other priorities. The result is an HR team that can visualize all processes in a single place, prioritize important demands and manage its responsibilities while putting employees first.

    9. Focus on people, not paperwork

    Successful HR managers know that it’s their job to take care of people, not just paperwork. After all, employees are your business’ most valuable asset. Their happiness and well being have a direct impact on customer satisfaction, company efficiency, and business profitability. HR process automation and integration allows you to shift your focus away from the minutiae of forms, emails, and spreadsheets and toward making a meaningful impact for the people in your organization.

    10. Improve visibility and control

    To enhance visibility and control, it’s essential to integrate tools and automate manual and repetitive tasks.


    Integrations allow you to centralize all employee documents and history in a single place. Gaining end-to-end HR operations improve the team’s efficiency and reduce the chance of errors.


    Automation allows organizations to create KPIs around important metrics—such as turnover rates—and offer different choices for creating reports around this data to automate information delivery processes for HR planning. By using tools that automatically send and reply to emails, organizations can standardize and speed up aspects of leave requests, vacation requests, employee onboarding, and employee relations. 


    They can also pipeline processes related to recruitment—such as sending feedback to candidates when business cards are received—to spend more time on choosing the best candidate instead of just trying not to miss potential opportunities.

    11. Better HR processes for everyone

    HR plays a critical role in ensuring business success. Giving your HR team the tools they need to be effective and efficient is one way you can make a direct and visible impact in your company. 


    By making improvements to the 8 key HR processes, you’ll be eliminating waste and redundancy, improving response speeds, and creating a more productive work environment. Most importantly, you’ll be refocusing time and energy so that your team can take care of the people that make your company a success. 


    Pipefy makes it easy to streamline and organize your HR processes. Standardize forms, integrate tools, and enable end-to-end visibility. Get started today.

    HR processes are wide-ranging and touch many different segments of your business. Without a system to manage these processes, your HR team can become overwhelmed by a sense of disorder, repetition, and a lack of consistency.