Almost every aspect of daily living now involves QR code technology. You can hardly make a purchase, access public transport, or even order food without interacting with a QR code in some way. With this new technology becoming so commonplace, more and more businesses are beginning to explore how they can use QR codes to enhance their workplace operations.
The human resources function, in particular, stands to gain a lot from the benefits of QR codes. A well-crafted and implemented QR code strategy can help HR teams turn chaotic processes into streamlined and efficient ones.
So, if you’re interested in exploring the possibilities of QR codes for your HR team, then you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’ll take a look at some of the ways in which HR teams can leverage QR codes to improve their operations and get the most out of their workforce.
But before we jump to the meat of the matter, let’s get a quick refresher on what QR codes are all about.
What are QR Codes?
Essentially, QR codes are square-shaped barcodes capable of packing a lot of data into a small space. The “QR” in the name stands for “Quick Response,” which is precisely what QR codes aim to do – provide a quick way to access data.
All you have to do is scan the code using a QR code software (which most smartphones come pre-installed with), and the encoded data will show up almost instantly.
You can categorize QR codes into two main types:
- Static QR codes. These are your standard QR codes programmed with a single set of data or instructions. You cannot change the data associated with a static QR code unless you create a new one to replace it.
- Dynamic QR codes. Dynamic codes are much more versatile and can be updated or tweaked on the fly. You can use them when you want to grant your team access to a constantly-evolving source of information.
Benefits of QR Codes
QR codes offer many advantages for HR teams, from simplifying mundane processes to improving employee engagement. Here are a few of the key reasons why you should consider using QR codes in your HR operations:
- Easy to use. Employees don’t need any extra training or instructions to use QR codes; all they need is a smartphone with a camera and an internet connection. As a result, employers can quickly deploy QR codes without worrying about training their employees.
- Cost-effective. Contactless tech often requires expensive hardware investments, but QR codes are incredibly cost-effective and require no extra equipment. This quality makes them the perfect choice for businesses operating on tight budgets.
- Trackable. Most QR code applications come with powerful analytics and tracking capabilities, allowing you to gain insight into how and when a user interacted with your code. This feature can be immensely helpful for tracking employee engagement and performance.
These are some of the many benefits QR codes can bring to your HR department. From here, you can start exploring the numerous ways they can simplify, streamline, or improve your processes.
Ways to Use QR Codes in HR
We’ve looked at the what and the why of QR codes, now let’s focus on the how. Here are a few ways you can use QR codes in your HR operations:
Describe a job opening in detail
A well-thought-out and well-written job description can mean the difference between a successful hire and a regrettable one. And while most HR professionals have a good handle on crafting such documents, the process of condensing this info into small cards or flyers can be quite challenging.
On top of that, these descriptions also become outdated quickly, making them a burden to revise and reprint. That’s where QR codes come in. You can use them to provide job seekers with an exhaustive and accurate look at the position they’re applying for.
Case in point:
Let’s say you’re hiring a product manager. Now, if you were to print out a traditional job description, you’d be limited to the amount of info you can squeeze into it. But when using a QR code, you have no such restrictions.
You can include a whole slew of information like job duties and responsibilities, technical skills required, work environment details, and so on. You can also link to other resources, such as videos or podcasts to provide applicants with a more tangible look at the job. Doing so can help ensure you’re attracting the right kinds of candidates for your open position.
This way, you’ll offer complete and current details about the position, which can, ultimately, save you a lot of time during the recruitment process. Plus, job seekers won’t have to worry about misplacing or forgetting the information since they can access it anywhere and anytime once the QR code is scanned.
Reduce physical clutter
Maintaining a tidy and organized desk is essential for any team’s efficiency. But for HR professionals, who are usually swimming in a sea of paperwork, this is often easier said than done. Fortunately, QR codes can offer you one way out of this mess.
When introducing new training materials, instead of heaping stacks of paper pamphlets in front of your team, you can attach a QR code to each module and provide learners instant access to the course material. This keeps things organized, reduces clutter, and minimizes printing costs.
Case in point:
QR codes, for instance, can help to eliminate unnecessary clutter in signature coaching programs. These are reusable training modules that compile a trainer’s main lessons, resources, and tips in one place, which can be a lifesaver for new hires looking to get up to speed quickly.
Rather than having trainees rifle through piles of notes and paperwork, you can digitize the process and provide them access to the same material via a QR code.
You can extend this concept to other workplace documents, such as HR policies and procedures or safety protocols. Essentially, by digitizing certain parts of your HR operations through QR codes, you can keep physical clutter at bay and develop more efficient workflows.
Contact-less attendance tracking
As offices reopen after the lockdown, many HR teams are reevaluating their processes and protocols for office and work hygiene. One area that’s coming under scrutiny is the use of biometric attendance systems, which have been linked to the spread of germs in common areas.
These systems require physical contact like fingerprint scanning, which could potentially put employees at risk of infection. And that’s why a contactless tracking solution like QR codes is the ideal alternative.
Case in point:
You can set up QR codes in strategic areas of the office and have employees scan them upon arrival. Or, affix a unique QR code to each employee’s badge or work ID and have them scan it every time they enter or exit the premises. This will provide you with an automatic attendance log of the people present at the office and when.
Even better, you can use this QR tech to track employee movements in other parts of the organization, such as designated break areas or meeting rooms. All of this info can be stored in a single database for easy reference and tracking purposes.
QR codes also offer a convenient way to give employees access to restricted areas. So, if you need to grant access to a particular part of the building to employees with the right security clearance, supply them with the authorized QR codes. This method may not be suitable for all businesses, but it can be particularly useful in industries or companies where unauthorized entry needs to be carefully monitored. For instance, it can be beneficial in the data security and finance industries, which make it paramount to keep the public out of certain areas.
Steps to Create a QR code for your HR Use Case
Creating a QR code is relatively straightforward. All you need to do is follow these five simple steps:
#1: Decide on the use case
Going in blind is never a good idea. Before you begin the process of generating a QR code, you need to decide what your HR team wants to use it for and if using the QR code even makes sense in the context of your use case.
#2: Choose a QR code generator
The internet is jam-packed with QR code generators, so you should know what to look for before you make your decision. The best QR code generators will usually offer features like custom designs and tracking capabilities. Research the available options and pick the one that best suits your needs and budget.
#3: Select your code type
Depending on your use case, opt for either a static or dynamic QR code. As mentioned earlier, static codes are best for sharing data that doesn’t fluctuate much, while dynamic codes work better if you need to update the information regularly.
#4: Input the required info
Once you’ve chosen your QR code type, you’ll need to input the required information into the generator. You’ll usually need to enter a URL or any other data specific to your use case. If you’re customizing the code’s design, this is the step where you’ll upload your desired logo or graphics.
#5: Generate your QR code
Click on the “generate” button and, presto! You have yourself a fully-functional QR code. You can now download the code and use it to streamline your HR operations in whatever way you see fit.
QR Code Mistakes to Avoid
QR codes offer an efficient and contactless way for HR teams to navigate the complexities of the modern workplace. However, there are a few potential pitfalls to be aware of before you begin implementing them in your organization.
Inadequate code testing
This is one of the most common mistakes people make with QR codes. Yes, you might have tested the code before you implemented it, but the QR code might still malfunction down the line because of changes in the underlying information or if the code is exposed to the elements.
Regular testing is always a good idea and helps ensure your employees don’t encounter any glitches or unexpected errors. And if you’re using dynamic codes, make sure to test them after every update. You don’t want to accidentally give users the wrong information or disrupt any of their existing processes.
A lack of resource planning
QR codes are relatively resource-light, but they can still put a strain on your resource capacity if you aren’t careful. Before rolling out QR codes in your organization, plan out what resources are needed and how much time it will take to deploy them.
Taking a proactive approach and assessing your existing resource capacity can help you weigh the trade-offs between which QR code initiative you should focus on and what projects you can postpone. This step will help you prioritize your efforts to make the best use of your resources.
Leaving instructions unexplained
Not all of your employees may be tech-savvy enough to understand how QR codes work, let alone scan them.
And while decoding these codes doesn’t require advanced tech skills, having instructions accompanying the QR code (at least during the initial rollout) can go a long way in guaranteeing everyone gets it.
Post things like “how to scan a QR code” and general troubleshooting tips near the code. This will help new users get the hang of the technology more quickly and avoid confusion.
Make HR more efficient with QR codes
QR codes may not seem like much, but they can be a surprisingly powerful tool for HR teams. If you take the time to plan and implement QR codes strategically, you can drastically streamline your HR operations. So, give them a try and see how they elevate the HR experience in your organization.
HR Future Staff Writer