Glossary of Human Resources Management and Employee Benefit Terms
Virtual HR is the process of connecting employees to a range of technologies and HR services when they need them. This allows employees to go straight to resources through a self-service platform, rather than always going through an HR representative.
The main difference between in-house and virtual HR management is where your HR team resides. In in-house departments, HR professionals usually have their own office space. Virtual HR teams telecommute to their companies.
As such, communication with HR departments changes depending on where they are located. Both can be emailed, but in-house teams allow employees to come to them directly with questions.
In-house HR resources are only available during their operating hours, which can fluctuate. Meanwhile, virtual HR resources are available 24/7 through HR software—although the actual HR workers will likely have specific office hours as well.
It is possible for HR professionals to work remotely or telecommute. In these cases, employees can email or instant message the HR department to ask questions and schedule times to call or have a video conference.
Telecommuting recruiters can still help onboard new recruits with regular video conferences, email chains, and check-ins on instant messaging platforms. Remote recruiters can also use HR software and social media accounts to stay connected with their department and the company’s leadership.
Technology is crucial for HR departments. Using new software and systems allows HR professionals to:
More easily contact employees
Store, organize, and sort through thousands of documents and files
Better manage data for critical analysis
Recruit more candidates for job openings
Conduct data-driven performance reviews
Without technology, HR professionals would have to rely on older manual processes for sorting through employee documents and insurance policies. Technology eases that burden, making for fewer errors and improved efficiency.
When managed properly, virtual HR services offer more advantages than disadvantages.
Easier access to HR departments. Employees no longer have to walk over to the HR office to ask a question or schedule an appointment to talk about their benefits. With virtual HR teams, HR professionals are available to answer questions.
Updated technology. When HR teams primarily work in virtual environments, they are more likely to prioritize new HR technologies. As a result, virtual HR professionals will be up to date on all of the latest technologies, trends, and software.
Improved employee satisfaction. When employees can talk about benefits, time-off, and other HR-related issues at a moment’s notice, they can feel more satisfied with their jobs.
Better productivity. Satisfied employees usually lead to improved productivity in the office. Additionally, HR teams that rely on virtual technologies can be more productive since their processes are more efficient.
Impersonal practices. Some employees prefer that certain HR tasks, like terminations or performance reviews, are performed in face-to-face environments. When everything is done virtually, even through video conferencing, employees may feel disconnected from the company.
Security problems. When employee documents are stored on a virtual platform, there is always the risk of data breaches. While most HR software has safeguards to prevent this, your employees’ sensitive information could still be accessed by unwanted third parties.
Companies using virtual HR can still enjoy the same services and features of an in-house HR team. This includes:
Keeping employee records
Reporting performance analytics
Tracking new applicants
Keeping time records
Managing performance reviews
Maintaining employee satisfaction
Updating company policies