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Keeping track of human resources (HR) workflow got a lot harder when the recession hit, leaving HR departments flooded with applications for jobs — sometimes as many as one thousand applicants for one position. Even if you didn’t quite experience this flood, you probably had at least a few times when the waters got just to the banks but didn’t quite make it over. When your department is on the verge of being overwhelmed with tasks, it’s important to seek out smart ways to manage workflow. Get the job done and do it well.

Streamlining the applicant screening process

Screening and communicating with applicants is one of the most time-consuming tasks HR professionals face. Rather than doing performing these processes one by one, turn to digital solutions. When resumes are submitted online, search them for specific keywords and phrases to help make your initial hiring decisions for you. Be sure to skim resumes that didn’t match the searches, just in case the system didn’t happen to flag a skill you were looking for. For additional streamlining, set up automated emails to request interviews or let applicants know they are no longer being considered for a position. Utilizing email rather than phone calls is a great way to expedite the early stages of the screening process.

Implementing a powerful Human Resources Information System (HRIS)

Creating and updating employee records, especially for new hires in a large company, can eat up a huge chunk of your time. Instead of doing the work yourself, set up a system to manage the workload for you. Keep track of where each applicant is in the process with checklists. When you have new hires, fill out personnel records and automatically transfer them to the payroll and benefits systems so you don’t have to perform redundant tasks. In addition, manage requests for paid time off and related inquiries within the system to cut down on your paperwork and emails. Utilizing digital solutions leaves you with more time to actually interact with your new hires.

Automate employee referral processes

Often, the best people to fill your open slots are your employees or people they already know. Rather than having to manually create job listings to send out to your employees and have them drop off resumes at your desk, use an automated system that notifies current employees about open positions and encourages them to submit or update their resumes online. You will stay more organized and ideally get more employee referrals. After all, the people currently working for you know best what the company culture is and who of their contacts may fit in.

In the midst of a seemingly impossible workload, remember that people are at the heart of HR. It’s your job to select candidates who will be a good personal fit for your office and to manage relationships once they’re onboard, not to be bogged down under piles of paperwork. The more digital HR services you seamlessly incorporate into your processes, the less time you’ll spend on tasks that a variety of digital systems could be doing for you.