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Microsoft Teams for HR Professionals: A How-To Guide

Virtual meeting with many participants

Written by Laura Schomaker

June 11, 2020

As we did for finance professionals, I want to discuss some best practices for using Microsoft Teams for HR. As a human resource pro, you have a lot on your plate. You have a variety of recruitment and onboarding activities to manage. You must keep track of information about job candidates, collaborate on and communicate with others hiring decisions and more. And often much of this work occurs during face-to-face interactions. So, switching to remote work can be a tough transition for some.

This is where Microsoft Teams can help. It can connect you with your team, and make you feel almost like you’re in the same room again, delivering a more personal experience than a simple phone call, email or text ever could. So, if you’re new to Teams, I want to help you start strongly. Or maybe you’re an established user who isn’t sure you set things up correctly? Either way, this post is for you, keep reading.

Microsoft Teams for HR Professionals: Best Practices

In the list that follows, we share 7 Microsoft Teams for HR best practices. With each, we’ve included a video that explains more about the task and how to accomplish it.

Create a fresh team, just for HR and anyone else who takes part in hiring decisions

First things first, if your company already has Microsoft Teams set up, with a large team that includes the entire organization, that’s great. But since HR teams handle sensitive information, you’ll want to start by creating a smaller team just for HR and those involved in hiring decisions.

If you want to include anyone who isn’t an employee of your company, you can do so easily. All you need is the person’s email address. Note: if you try to type in an email address to invite someone, but Teams won’t allow it, contact your IT department. They will need to adjust your settings to enable this feature.

Watch to learn how to create a new team

Add channels to your HR team

As I mentioned earlier, most HR teams are busy juggling multiple initiatives, like hiring, onboarding and employee engagement. If that sounds familiar, you probably don’t want to conduct all your work in a single place. It will quickly become overwhelming and difficult to find the specific item or conversation you’re looking for. To keep things more organized, it’s a best practice to create individual channels for each major project you’re working on.

To help get your creative juices flowing, here are a few examples of the channels HR teams often create in Microsoft Teams.

  • Recruitment
  • Onboarding
  • Events
  • Training
  • Annual Reviews

Don’t want to give the entire HR team access to every channel? No problem. When you set up the channel, you can pick and choose which team members should be a part of each one. So, keeping sensitive data safe from prying eyes couldn’t be easier.

Watch to learn how to create channels within your HR team

Schedule meetings or chat on the fly with Microsoft Teams

When you run or work in a busy HR department, communication is key to keeping things moving. And when you’re suddenly taken away from the office, it’s easy to feel disconnected. But Teams has a variety of tools to help you bridge the geographical divides.

You can hold scheduled meetings with voice and video, create impromptu meetings with voice and video, send quick chat messages to an individual or group, or post information for the entire channel/team to read and respond to later. So, no matter what your communication style, Microsoft Teams has your HR department covered.

Watch to explore the different communication options available in Microsoft Teams

Upload files for simple viewing and sharing

HR teams have a lot of paperwork to keep track of. There are your organization wide HR policies, all the information you’ve collected on your current job candidates, offers made to recent hires, training content, feedback forms and more. Without some way to manage it, things can quickly get out of hand. Do you ever wonder whether the version of a file you’re looking at is the most up-to-date? Do you waste time searching through endless email strings for a needle in a haystack? Microsoft Teams solves both problems.

With Microsoft Teams, you can upload files to a team or channel with just a couple clicks.

Watch to learn more on managing files in Microsoft Teams

Pro tip: for files that everyone in your HR department needs access to, save those to the HR team. For files that only certain people need access to, choose a channel in which to save the file. That will not only help keep you more organized, but it will also protect sensitive information.

Use a shared OneNote notebook to collect candidate feedback

OneNote easily connects to Teams and is available to anyone with an Office subscription. So, it’s a brilliant place for everyone to take and share notes during candidate interviews. This keeps everyone on the same page, without passing multiple files back and forth.

Watch to learn how to work with Microsoft OneNote in Teams

Host training sessions virtually

The immersive voice, video and screen sharing capabilities of Microsoft Teams are the next best thing to holding classroom training. Especially, in times like these, when it’s unsafe for sizeable groups of people to gather in the same space. Besides using voice and video to communicate your message to your training audience, Microsoft Teams’ filesharing capability also makes it easy to keep everyone on the same page with agendas, presentations and other content. Also, plug and play connections to survey platforms, like Survey Monkey give you a quick and convenient way to collect participant feedback.

Watch to learn more about hosting and managing online meetings with Microsoft Teams

Keep your most important tools a mouse click away

Does your HR team count on apps like Excel or Power BI to analyze and report on hiring, recruiting and employee engagement data? If so, you’ll want to add custom tabs to your HR channels. This way, you and your team have one click access to the most important information. Just like working with any other file in Teams, collaborating on these items a breeze. No one must wonder whether the version of the file they are looking at is the most recent and you can collect all feedback in one place.

Watch to discover how to create custom tabs in Microsoft Teams

We hope these Microsoft Teams for HR tips and tricks help you bring your remote team closer together. So, you can get back to focusing on your company’s most important asset, your employees, both present and future. For more Microsoft Teams training like this, visit our past blogs. And join us again next week when will look at how Microsoft Teams can help IT teams get their job done.

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