HR portals deliver information and services to employees and keep them engaged at the same time.
In the mid-1990s, talent leaders were captivated by the number of ways the Internet could help them collect and analyze information about their employees and engage with them through an online HR portal.
In organizations around the globe, the fossilized remains of a once-painstaking effort by human resources to improve service delivery by creating a single online destination — an intranet, where all employees could have their needs met — litter corporate Web servers.
The problem wasn’t that creating one place for users to find everything HR-related was a bad idea; it was that HR didn’t understand how to create a valuable user experience. In the early days of corporate intranets, the goal was to make things easier for the content provider — in this case HR — not the consumer.
The objective was to centrally manage information and content with the hope that users visited and consumed it. What resulted was outdated information, stale links and redundant or confusing processes.
Some intranet users say they continue down that path because it’s the only way they know how to access certain talent management functions such as opening a job requisition or accessing the performance review system. Others abandon the intranet altogether in favor of direct contact with the HR department. This perpetuates HR’s role in administration, however, and limits opportunities to offer more strategic value.
HR portals offer a way to expand on the idea of delivering HR information to employees with a set of tools designed to deliver services more successfully and keep employees engaged. When used well, HR portals enable the function to be more strategic, improve productivity and increase employee satisfaction.
With the dozens of disparate talent management applications, vendors and processes used, creating an effective HR portal that meets the needs of a global, mobile and social workforce is not a step organizations should take without a solid strategy and plan in place.
The strategy should clearly identify both business and HR objectives. It should develop content management standards and blend each component to create a compelling user experience. An effective user experience draws users back to the portal because it offers refreshed content, experiences, talent management modules and business-level metrics that matter.