HR Management & Compliance

Top 10 Best Practices in HR Management for 2013

Every year, BLR’s HR editors select ten key topics we think will be at the forefront in the following year, and we offer best practices for each topic. This year, we will feature free best practice reports under each category. Simply click on the links below to download the featured reports. More reports will be added throughout the year. The topics for 2013 are:

top 10 image
  1. HRIS
  2. Talent acquistion
  3. Healthcare benefits
  4. Recruitment and applicant tracking
  5. Retirement benefits
  6. Health and wellness
  7. Background checks
  8. Preemployment and employee testing
  9. Recognition, rewards, and incentives
  10. Performance appraisals


Sponsored by BambooHR


In a 2012 BLR® customer survey, we asked HR professionals who currently use an HRIS in their workplaces which tasks they perform via the HRIS. Data reporting was the top result, with 78 percent of surveyed HRIS users noting that they use their system to generate reports of strategic and demographic employee data.

Unsurprisingly, payroll management was also a top response, with 68 percent of surveyed HRIS users reporting that their system is used to process payroll in their businesses.

Other popular functions of leading HRISs include:

  • Benefits management and enrollment
  • PTO and leave tracking
  • Compliance filings
  • Applicant tracking
  • Performance management
  • Training

#2 Talent Acquisition

Sponsored by iCIMS


What some employers do not know is that the U.S. labor market is only at the beginning of what some human resources (HR) experts are calling the “workforce meltdown”—the clash between a diminishing supply of qualified workers and the explosive increase in need for those workers.

Statistics show that the meltdown is unquestionably coming, and soon. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that:

  • Between 2010 and 2020, 70 million Americans will retire, while only 40 million will enter the workforce.
  • By 2020, the key age group of employees (aged 25 to 44) will shrink by 3 percent, while those aged 55 to 64 will grow by 73 percent, and those aged 65 and older will grow by 54 percent.
  • The aging workforce is a global issue—by 2050, China will have more people over the age of 65 than all of the rest of the world combined.
  • By 2010, the predicted labor shortages in the United States will be concentrated in nursing (1million), math/science/special education teachers (1 million), computer engineers and support (1 million), clinical pathologists (50,000), and auto mechanics (50,000).

Not surprisingly, the resulting competition for highly skilled “knowledge workers” will result in fierce competition in pay, benefits, flexible work arrangements, and workplace amenities. Employers will need to rethink the workplace environment, nontraditional work arrangements, new recruiting resources, and how to lure employees who have left the workforce back to work.

#3 Healthcare Benefits

Sponsored by Aflac


There are many ways to take the pulse of your organization and competitors. Here are a few ways to start:

  • Keep your eyes and ears open.
  • Read your organization’s financial reports.
  • Talk to your colleagues, both inside your organization and elsewhere.
  • Be aware of your organization’s culture and values.

How do your benefits stack up? To attract and keep good employees, you probably need to offer benefits that are at least comparable to those of your competitors. To find out what others offer, chat up your colleagues or join a local employer health coalition or a professional group.

How about the employees? Of course, you need to consider your employees in any insurance plan decisions. It is important to know the insurance plan features that mean the most to them—and one way to find out is by conducting an employee survey.

BONUS ACA Compliance Update

Sponsored by Kronos


In March 2010, after lengthy debate among lawmakers and U.S. citizens, the 111th Congress passed the Affordable Care Act (ACA), legislation that makes sweeping changes to the U.S. healthcare system. And despite delays announced in June 2013, now is the time for organizations to develop a strategy to manage these changes.

The ACA is aimed at reducing the uninsured population and decreasing healthcare costs by:

  • Increasing access to health insurance coverage
  • Expanding federal private health insurance market requirements
  • Requiring the creation of health insurance exchanges to provide individuals and small employers with access to insurance

As you prepare for ACA changes, the first step is figuring out exactly how healthcare reform will impact your organization.

#4 Recruitment and Applicant Tracking

Sponsored by iCIMS


There are innumerable sources that can be used for locating qualified applicants. When hiring for a particular job, it is important to match the hiring tools to the job being filled.

This chart sets forth some of the benefits and drawbacks of various hiring tools.

Method Benefits Drawbacks
Referrals from other employees, usually with a bonus to the referring employee if the referral results in a hire Even with a bonus, the costs of this method are low. The bonus is a morale booster, and the method seems to locate good employees. Employees may be disgruntled if another applicant is chosen over a friend or relative. If the employee population is not diverse, sole reliance on this method can be viewed as discriminatory.
The Internet Can reach a very large audience at little or no cost. Not a good hiring tool for reaching jobseekers who are not likely to be computer literate or who do not have access to a computer. Can be difficult to efficiently screen applications because of potential volume.
Search agencies. Can access a large audience of jobseekers and can rapidly fill open positions. Can be extremely costly.
Campus recruiting Good PR for the company; can be a good source of talented and ambitious entry-level people. Can be costly and time-consuming.
Job fairs Rapid access to a pool of applicants looking for immediate employment in a particular field. Can be very costly.
Employer open house Good PR for the company; a good method for filling a large number of positions at once. Can be costly and time-consuming. Requires a sizeable staff of interviewers.
Outplacement/temp agencies Can fill positions quickly. Can be costly to bring such people on as regular employees.
Former military (through career placement services newsletters for exiting servicemembers) Excellent source of highly skilled and disciplined applicants, especially who interact with the military. Applicants are sometimes deficient in a knowledge of procedures in the private sector.
Banners and signs outside worksite Cost-effective—can be good PR. Requires heavy applicant screening; only works if you are in a high-visibility location.

#5 Retirement Benefits

Phased retirement is a concept that may help employers meet the challenges of changing workforce demographics. Many experts had predicted that as the Baby Boom generation approached its retirement years, there would be a shortage of workers. However, because of the economy, many Boomers may not be financially ready for traditional retirement. Phased retirement is a process for bridging the gap between full-time employment and full-time retirement. There are many potential forms of phased retirement, including:

  • Rehiring retirees as consultants for discrete projects or on a part-time, seasonal, or temporary basis
  • Gradually reducing an employee’s working hours
  • Taking a leave of absence to try out retirement
  • Job-sharing arrangement between older workers
  • Older workers moving to less stressful or less demanding jobs

Click here to continue reading Best Practices #6 through #10.

12 thoughts on “Top 10 Best Practices in HR Management for 2013”

  1. I just hope that more people in the C-suite begin to grasp the obvious connections between #3 (healthcare benefits) and #6 (health and wellness), and stop seeing wellness initiatives as a waste of money.

  2. Employees would be delighted in these practices because obviously it benefits them. Companies can use this as a motivation for their employees to work harder and to be more productive.

    Motivating your team is the next big thing.

  3. This site taught me very effective and easy to implement tactics of HR and recruitment department.

    I will be thankful if you add some more points about the HR personnel who works in BPO(Domestic) industry. Because the work culture is very different from other industry.

    Many thanks,
    Narender Singh Rawat

  4. Thank you so much for providing such valuable information, You always come up with best practices in HR which really help us improve our organization’s best practices..

  5. thank you so much for providing me such kind of information… you always come up with so valuable knowledge…..

  6. A company provides these above mentioned benefits to its employees for improving their motivational level so that they can do better work for making their company successful.

  7. I found it very interesting how there will be an ongoing “workforce meltdown” in the future. The fact that there is a steady decline in qualified workers while there is a corresponding increase in need for said workers is an interesting and dire predicament. Employers will face stiff competition from other firms in battling for over top talent. This provides more incentive for me to become “top talent” since there will be such a great demand in the future.

  8. These are not best practices. these are all obvious trends but said nothing about the actual implementation / strategy of addressing them.

  9. Thank you for this well written article. I really like point number two, Talent Acquisition. “Between 2010 and 2020, 70 million Americans will retire, while only 40 million will enter the workforce.” This sums up the situation nicely. Now that we know there are a lot of jobs available, I hope more people start to discuss what can be done to cultivate a qualified workforce.

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