Five Ways to Save Money by Increasing HR Efficiencies

by Lauren Girardin on October 05, 2018

Local government budgets are often stretched to their limits and can be inflexible. These budgetary constraints, coupled with an ever-growing demand for efficiency and thoroughness, require local government leaders to give organizations new ways to do more with less.

Directing staff members to make human resources processes and systems more efficient does more than reduce direct HR expenses. HR efficiencies save money at all levels of an organization, and a significant return on investment can be achieved through such efforts as centralized information, automated tasks, and modernized technology.

Here are five ways your organization can save money once you’ve given human resources the tools it needs to be more efficient.

1. Save money by reducing staff time.

One of your organization’s most important, limited, and expensive resources is the staff’s time. Every step in the employee lifecycle is a potential drain on this precious resource. The faster human resources staff members can identify qualified job applicants and turn them into engaged employees, the less staff time is wasted. Take too long to process job candidates and the most talented and qualified people will get snapped up by another organization.

An integrated talent management system is, by design, a time-saving system. Much of the system’s efficiency comes from automation, which enables everything from minimizing slow-paced, manual data entry to swiftly routing people through new hire trainings. The software can also let you pinpoint which parts of the HR processes are causing bottlenecks through reliable metrics and meaningful data points.

Los Angeles County, California, moved from a fragmented grab bag of software to a unified system that handles recruitment, applications, testing, and hiring. The move has saved the county days of staff time for every position it needs to fill and has also increased data integrity.

2. Save money by reducing risk of litigation.

Human resource lawsuits are expensive. One way to reduce the cost is to resolve lawsuits quickly. But the best way to save money is by preventing lawsuits in the first place.

To reduce the risk of employee-initiated litigation, your organization needs to do more than follow the letter of the law. Proactively prevent behavior that may open it up to lawsuits by making sure every employee receives required trainings and understands workplace policies. Detect and stop the problematic behavior by continuously monitoring employee performance. Avoid lawsuits due to human error mistakes by automating more of the data entry and processes.

If a lawsuit happens, the integrity of human resources data and your team’s ability to quickly access it is essential. Lose track of key documentation, and you can lose the case. According to predictions from research company Gartner, 60 percent of organizations that implement appropriate cloud solutions will experience one-third fewer security failures. A talent management system creates an auditable and defensible record of all applicant information, hiring process, and employee management data.

3. Save money on printing, mailing, and storage.

Comprehensive, easy-to-use public sector HR systems can’t be run on paper. Modern software that stores information in the cloud minimizes the purchasing, operating, and IT costs associated with consumable physical resources. Your organization saves on paper, envelopes, ink, postage, photocopying, physical storage space, and digital servers.

Allowing staff to keep important data and documents in filing cabinets and on local computers also does your organization a disservice. Maintaining an archaic system is unnecessarily complicated, risky, and expensive.

The human resources office in Santa Clara County, California, was held back by its old paper-based processes and hard pressed to trim its budget. With approximately 1,000 positions to fill every year, a comprehensive talent management system was the right solution for making the most out of valuable tax dollars.

4. Save money on advertising.

Getting job descriptions in front of more candidates is key to giving your organization a greater talent pool to choose from. The drawback, however, is that advertising each open position on dozens of career sites is expensive and time-consuming.

Providing team members with access to the ICMA Job Center offers a direct market to over 12,000 ICMA members, the largest audience of dedicated local government professionals across the United States and internationally, and countless nonmember local government professionals who visit the job board every day. The Job Center offers a wide variety of job postings sortable by topic area, location, salary, job type and population, as well as by date posted. This makes it easy to find the exact job you want or to target the employee you need.

You can also consider a subscription to This site lets your team members easily and affordably put job descriptions in front of millions of people who are interested in public sector careers. Candidates can fill out online profiles about the kind of job they want, and they can use a talent management system to automatically receive a notification when your organization adds a position matching their interests.

Modern HR software can also lower advertising costs by making it easy for human resources to proactively look for qualified candidates within the pool of people who previously applied for positions at your organization.

5. Save money by increasing retention.

Government hiring is a slow process, taking an average of 53.8 days in 2017, more than twice the average of other U.S. industries. Strategic leaders know it costs less to hold on to quality employees than it does to find and hire new ones. Employees often leave because the job doesn’t match their expectations, they receive few opportunities for professional growth, or they have no outlet for sharing feedback.

A comprehensive talent management system helps employees start off right on their first day on the job, and it continues to support them every day thereafter.

Once the human resources team members have been given the resources they need to succeed, they can set up a smooth onboarding process, engaging new employees in everything they’ll need to do and letting them know how they’ll need to grow. With learning management features, your organization can streamline how employees are provided with the training they need to meet organizational expectations. And with performance management software, your public sector organization can increase productivity and keep employees happy.

Lauren Girardin

Lauren Girardin is a marketing and communications consultant, writer, and speaker based in San Francisco. She helps organizations engage their communities and tell their stories. Her website is and you can connect with her on Twitter at @girardinl.

Related Articles