Just as in many aspects of business operations, human resource management is quickly moving into the digital age. Nowadays, it’s not just enough for HR professionals to be good with people. They also need to be knowledgeable about technologies and software that help make HR activities more efficient.
One tool that HR managers and staff must start using more in the coming years is appointment scheduling tools. With a predicted compounding annual growth rate of 13.1% from 2019 to 2026, appointment scheduling software will continue to penetrate all parts of business operations, from marketing, customer service, operations, public relations, and even human resources.
What does an appointment scheduling tool do?
The productivity system helps a person or team automate the appointment setting process by creating a booking widget (which will be explained a bit later) without having to go back and forth via email on when an HR professional will be available. These tools then sync with a calendar like Google Calendar so that teams can organize times and schedules accordingly.
Here are some important features that every appointment scheduling tool must-have for better human resources application.
- Booking widget — The primary part of any appointment scheduling tool is the booking widget, which is a page where people can see a person or group’s available time and book a meeting, appointment, or schedule. The booking widgets page has two main parts: A booking page where appointment setters can select overlapping times for meetings and then a form to add appropriate details such as name, contact details, the purpose of a meeting, and other relevant information.
- Calendar integration — A booking platform must also have a calendar integration to an adjacent service like Apple Calendars, Google Calendars, Outlook, or any other service. These integrations automatically add appointments to a staff member’s calendar so they can keep tabs. The integration also blocks out booked times to avoid double bookings.
- Email notification and reminders — Appointment scheduling tools also automatically send out notifications and reminders both before and after a meeting occurs.
Benefits of Using Appointment Scheduling Tools
So why should human resource professionals and departments even consider appointment scheduling tools? There are many impactful benefits to using booking and scheduling tools in HR operations. Here are just three of the many.
More efficient HR Operations
Companies are always looking for ways on how to improve HR effectiveness. We’re finding more efficient ways to run the people side of the practice, but there has also been much progress on the technology front to help build more efficiency in HR too. Human resource staff and leaders can use tools like appointment booking tools to save time and resources by eliminating the endless back and forth of preparing and syncing schedules across the board with company personnel.
One of the most important aspects of HR is to give employees their time so that they can air out grievances and concerns. Any human resource professional will know how many times employee appointments with HR get postponed or canceled, leading to employee dissatisfaction. By using an automated appointment setting tool, HR can improve appointment setting rates and staff happiness consequently.
Better company evaluation
Sometimes, it’s not employees that need to set a time with HR but the other way around, as in the case of employee evaluations. These activities easily fall through the cracks and setting another appointment can be a hassle, usually leading to no-shows or deferred evaluations. This, in effect, keeps the company blind on individual and even team health. Automating the scheduling process will help companies evaluate staff and the whole organization better.
Use-case Scenarios of Appointment Scheduling in HR
Let’s talk about some specific use-case scenarios where appointment scheduling tools can help boost HR performance.
Hiring and Recruitment
When scheduling applicant interviews, recruitment teams can waste anywhere between a few hours to a few days in delays of recruitment because of schedule conflicts. One of the recommendations for HR improvement is to use an appointment scheduling tool when setting interviews with applicants.
24% of HR professionals say that they would most likely start using artificial intelligence applications in the next two years, including appointment scheduling tools. Using an appointment scheduling tool, recruiters can simply send appointment setting links and have applicants select the time that best suits their schedules.
Employee evaluations can be a great time to get insights into how company personnel is doing on the job. It’s also an opportunity to get suggestions to improve HR practices and company policies to better serve employees. But sometimes, these meetings never happen because they fall through the cracks a lot. With an appointment setting tool, employees can easily schedule these evaluations ahead of time and get automatic notifications once the meeting is closed.
Work Schedule Creation
Creating schedules can be tedious and time-consuming, but appointment schedulers help alleviate the headache by allowing staff to inform companies of times they won’t be available for work for personal and non-emergency reasons. HR staff can also use these schedulers to set working hours for shift-based personnel and automatically sync them with their calendar so they are aware of their upcoming work schedules.
HR Events and Programs Scheduling
Human resource departments come up with all sorts of people development programs like training programs, events, lunch and learns, and so on. But information dissemination can be a tedious matter. Using a scheduling and appointment booking app, HR professionals can book these times using a team booking feature on an appointment scheduling app.
Studies show that 71% of employees who go through an onboarding process feel more empowered and informed of their role and responsibilities, leading to more efficiency at work. HR professionals can also use appointment scheduling tools to set appointments online for onboarding, orientation, and company integration.
Roll Out for Employee Use
Lastly, HR teams or managers can also roll out appointment scheduling tools to the whole company and empower everyone to start using appointment schedulers to help them with their individual day-to-day tasks. Here are just some ways that some staff might be able to use the tool in their tactical work.
- Customer service and sales staff can book demos with clients.
- Employees can book ad hoc meetings with one another.
- Use automated calendar appointments for recurring meetings.
Best Practices for Employee Use
When implementing appointment scheduling systems into the company’s HR activities and operations, take note of these important best practices to integrate the technology into the company’s muscle more efficiently.
- Sync calendars — as you set calendar integrations, sync your calendars internally so that relevant staff will be informed of upcoming schedules, meetings, and work priorities.
- Maximize automations — Other HR improvement ideas are to maximize automatic systems and add computer learning processes within the tool, such as sending out email notifications and post-meeting notes and reminders. Many systems also have the added feature of automatically setting appointments on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, or other customized periodical bases.
- Allow for personalization — Some automation tools allow companies to further personalize their appointment scheduling tools to improve the experience, such as adding a custom domain to booking widgets, more control on the look and feel of certain pages, and customizing notification emails.
The requirements for HR have changed. It’s important for HR professionals to get a management or communications degree, but they must also start applying IT practices to improve the way human resources departments work. As human resource managers start implementing tools like appointment scheduling apps, they will be able to better lead and steward the people of their organizations and help improve overall operations.