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Infinity time.

By Miranda Nicholson

Today’s human resources professionals are the multi-tasking masters of most corporations. From hiring and onboarding to employee disputes to operational procedures to payroll, a variety of tasks can end up on an HR professional’s desk.

With that level of responsibility, human resource management is often among the most important aspects of a business, and those who work in HR can have a vital impact on a company’s success.

But that also means HR professionals can find themselves buried in the administrative tasks and paperwork of the department. The need for streamlining is critical, but trying to find the best place to start can be overwhelming. Below are four easy hacks to save time and boost productivity within the human resources function.

Hack 1: Refine Hiring

Nearly 100% of recruiting practices are already digital. Moving job applications to an online form can mean keeping information accessible and uniform across the board. Plus, with online forms, HR teams can easily include pre-screening questions on the application, which allows them to gather comparable information from all applicants. This can make the applicant review process more efficient by allowing HR professionals to better differentiate between serious and casual applicants.

Hack 2: Reduce Email Traffic

Nothing takes up more time than email. In fact, a recent poll indicates that U.S. workers spend 6.3 hours a day checking email, with over half that time devoted solely to work emails. While it seems overwhelming, reducing email traffic can be done. For example, a cleaning service was able to use an online form builder to create a hiring request form. That simple step eliminated nearly 2,000 hard-to-manage, back-and-forth email threads. Think about all the time that would free up!

Hack 3: Consider Outsourcing

For many small and mid-sized businesses, a full-time HR team may not make sense. More and more SMBs are moving to outsourcing the majority of their HR function. Remember, a one-size culture fits no one. Outsourcing HR can mean freeing up employees to work on other core business goals. It can also mean saving money, as a truly effective HR team requires a great investment. Also, HR outsourcing companies often have greater access to cutting-edge human resources technology and improved compliance. The regulations of HR change, it seems, month-to-month. It is the job of an HR company to stay one step ahead of those changes, which means that burden is taken off management’s plate.

Hack 4: Implement Automation

By using online forms, HR departments can streamline the amount of paperwork that often comes with managing a workforce. Moving forms such as employee onboarding tasks, PTO requests, annual reviews, and employee surveys online can save valuable time as well as eliminate repetitive tasks. Data from these forms can automatically be collected and housed in easily accessible databases, reducing the annoyance of sifting through an absurd amount of information. Workflow approval can also be automated, alerting HR teams when approval or attention is needed.

Implementing even one of these solutions can save both time and money—allowing HR professionals to spend time on larger company goals. And with the level of insight HR has into nearly every part of an organization, that’s definitely something to work toward.

Miranda Nicholson is the director of HR at Formstack.  @Formstack.