6 Steps to Build an HR Help Desk

Kimberly Yánez December 28, 2023
- 17 min read

In the realm of organizational evolution, the integration of an HR help desk stands as a beacon of efficiency and enterprise modernization. Such an initiative liberates HR professionals from the shackles of administrative tasks, and empowers them to focus on strategic initiatives that nurture talent and foster organizational growth. 

As for employees, it paves the way for a more satisfying and streamlined interaction with HR services, underpinned by the latest in automation technology and self-service capabilities that a tool like InvGate Service Desk has to offer.

So, if you're considering expanding your IT service desk to include HR support, this article will outline six steps to help you build an effective HR help desk. From defining your objectives to choosing the right technology and training your team, we'll guide you through creating a seamless and efficient HR help desk. 

Let’s get into it!



What is an HR help desk?

An HR help desk acts as a centralized platform to manage inquiries, requests, and concerns directed at the human resources department.

An HR help desk acts as a centralized platform to manage the multitude of inquiries, requests, and concerns directed at the Human Resources department. It provides a single touchpoint for employees seeking HR-related assistance, offering an organized way to address their needs.

This tool isn't just a hub of information, but also a platform for guidance on various topics, including benefits, policies, onboarding, offboarding, paid time off, sickness days, performance reviews, and more. It's a place where employees can find clarity, resolution, and support on matters that influence their professional lives.

But also, and more than just a data repository, HR automation is an active facilitator. It helps in logging, tracking, and resolving inquiries, ensuring that each employee's concerns are recognized, addressed, and resolved promptly and proficiently.

Incorporating an HR service desk is key to building a comprehensive Enterprise Service Management (ESM) strategy, enabling you to provide centralized and high quality service delivery across your organization. In this sense, it’s important to find an Enterprise Service Management tool in order to provide a smooth experience for employees and avoid extra costs.

Why do you need an HR-shared service center?

An HR-shared service center is like the beating heart of an organization's human resource function, pumping out services and support efficiently and uniformly. It's a one-stop shop where all HR activities are centralized, providing a streamlined experience not just for the HR team, but for every employee in the company.

In the broader scope of shared services, it’s a pillar of support. It equips employees with the guidance they need to navigate workplace complexities, while also enabling the HR team to manage the diverse requests they receive efficiently.

And let's not forget about scale. As the company grows, a shared service center can flex and expand to meet the increasing demand without breaking a sweat. It's about being agile and ready for whatever the business world throws your way.

In the end, it's all about the employee experience. With this platform, employees get access to slick, self-service options and technology that make their interactions with HR as smooth as possible. It's a modern approach that not only meets the expectations of a contemporary workforce but also positions the company as a forward-thinking place to work.



"True Enterprise Service Management means that everybody offers the same experience. When you use that portal – regardless of whether it's HR, IT, Facilities, or a print room – you should get the same level of experience from all of them."

Phyllis Drucker
Author, keynote speaker, and ESM guru
Episode 31 of Ticket Volume


7 benefits of a help desk for HR professionals

Building an HR shared-service will bring a range of advantages, not only for the HR team, but for the whole enterprise.

Among the main benefits of an HR help desk, you will find:

  1. Streamlined processes: A unified approach to HR reduces process duplication, saving time and resources while ensuring a consistent application of department policies.

  2. Better resource allocation: HR teams can allocate their time and resources more effectively, focusing on strategic initiatives rather than administrative duties.

  3. Enhanced employee services: Employees benefit from a one-stop shop for their HR needs, which can lead to a more engaged and satisfied workforce.

  4. Data-driven decisions: Centralized data facilitates better analytics and reporting, helping organizations make informed decisions based on accurate HR metrics.

  5. Stronger Risk Management: A central help desk ensures that HR practices comply with legal standards, mitigating the risk of non-compliance.

  6. Cost savings: Your organization saves money because you help them reduce redundancies and improve process efficiencies.

  7. Improved internal communication: A centralized help desk can serve as a communication hub for HR-related announcements, policy updates, and other important information, ensuring that all employees are kept in the loop.

Needless to say, choosing a service desk tool like InvGate Service Desk that can be smoothly scaled and implemented across different departments is what you need to boost your HR help desk's performance. Its user-friendly design and advanced ticketing system makes handling HR requests a breeze, ensuring adoption of the tool and quick responses to employees. 

Plus, with its automation features, detailed reporting, and knowledge base, InvGate empowers your HR team to offer fast and reliable support, leading to a more efficient workplace and happier employees.

6 keys to pick your HR help desk software

When selecting HR help desk software, it's important to choose a solution that provides ease of use and efficiency while meeting the specific needs of your organization. It should be noted that many service desk tools were originally designed to suit the needs of the IT department. So, to be able to expand its capabilities to the rest of the organization, it should be flexible enough to incorporate different departments smoothly. 

Taking this into account, here are some key considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Low-Code/No-Code customization: Opt for HR help desk software that offers low-code or no-code customization options. This feature enables HR teams (who are not necessarily tech savvy) to tailor the software to their specific processes without the need for extensive technical expertise. It allows for quick adjustments and adaptability as your HR needs evolve.

  2. User-friendly interface: The tool should have an intuitive, user-friendly interface that requires minimal training. This ensures that HR staff can quickly become proficient in using the software, reducing downtime and increasing productivity. And, the entire organization will contact the department through it, simplicity will help encourage user adoption and avoid them going back to informal communication channels.

  3. Scalability: The software should be scalable to accommodate the growth of your organization. It should be able to handle an increasing number of tickets and users without a drop in performance.

  4. Vendor support and training: Consider the level of support and training provided by the software vendor. Good vendor support can significantly ease the implementation process and ensure any issues are quickly resolved.

  5. Data security and compliance: Ensure that the software complies with relevant data protection regulations and standards. It should offer robust security features to safeguard sensitive employee data.

  6. Cost-effectiveness: Evaluate the Total Cost of Ownership, including licensing fees, implementation costs, and any additional charges for support or updates. The software should fit within your budget while still meeting all your requirements. As we mentioned, ideally the solution should be able to cover cross-department service delivery to support your ESM and avoid having to purchase a new tool for each one.

8 features to look for on an HR help desk ticketing system 

Now that we’ve seen the main aspects to consider before choosing an solution, let’s dig a little deeper and take a look at which features your HR help desk ticketing system must include to be a good fit:

  1. A ticketing system with customizable forms: In order to adapt to HR service delivery, you need a robust system to organize incoming requests, and the ability to create custom ticket forms tailored to the department’s processes, such as onboarding, benefits enrollment, and performance reviews.

  2. Employee self-service portal: This allows employees to submit HR requests, track the status of their tickets, and access the knowledge base and relevant HR resources. It will help filter the most common requests, freeing up your HR team.

  3. Knowledge base: Related to the previous point, a repository of HR-related knowledge base articles, FAQs, and resources to help employees find answers to common queries and reduce the volume of incoming tickets. 

  4. Workflow automation and AI features: Tools for automating HR processes, such as routing tickets to the appropriate HR staff, setting up approval workflows, and triggering notifications for specific events. Also, AI-powered ITSM features can assist team members with their ticket resolution by providing suggestions.

  5. Reporting and analytics: Robust reporting and analytics features to track help desk metrics such as HR Ticket Volume and Time to Resolution, identify trends, and gain insights into HR service performance.

  6. Integration with HR systems: The ability to integrate with other communication channels (for example, with email if you had a previous HR account where people would send their requests) is key to centralize data and ensure consistency. Also, integrations via Zapier can enable you to incorporate any other HR systems you might be using to your service desk operations.

How to build an HR help desk in 6 steps

As we mentioned, InvGate Service Desk offers a comprehensive solution with key features and functionalities that make it simple to adapt to the needs of different departments across organizations, including HR.

Now, we’ll show you how to establish an effective HR help desk within the tool providing employees with a streamlined experience for their needs and enabling HR teams to work more efficiently.

Step 1: Create the HR help desk 

Help desk level configuration on InvGate Service Desk.

The first step is to create your HR help desk within the instance. InvGate Service Desk allows you to integrate multiple help desks into the solution, each one oriented to different functions, without the need to acquire a new tool for each one. 

Here it’s important to customize the help desk to cater to HR-specific needs, assigning the team members that will participate and the different levels of support needed to ensure employees have a one-stop shop for their HR-related queries and requests.

Step 2: Build the service catalog

InvGate Service Desk service catalog example.

Then you have to set the requests that are specific to HR, through the service catalog. Tailoring this catalog with InvGate Service Desk is simple, by creating custom request forms (called service categories within the instance) that can be customized to the requirements of the department. 

They are designed to capture all the necessary information for various HR-related processes, such as leave applications, remote work, payroll inquiries, and more, ensuring that your staff has all the details they need to process requests efficiently.

Step 3: Integrate with other tools 

Our ITSM tool supports integrations with third-party tools and software (you can find them all in this InvGate Service Desk integration cheat sheet), which is crucial for HR operations that may use different systems for payroll, recruitment, employee performance management, etc. 

Examples of other HR Management systems are email platforms, or communication tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams. This step is crucial for automating workflows and ensuring data consistency across different systems.

Step 4: Build HR workflows 

Screenshot of InvGate Service Desk's no-code workflow builder.The next step is to automate HR-related tasks within the solution. InvGate Service Desk’s workflow automation builder is highly adaptable, allowing you to define and automate the steps that each request should go through once submitted. 

This is excellent for tasks that have specific guidelines to follow each time, such as onboarding and offboarding processes. This includes assigning tasks, setting up approval processes, and automating notifications, ensuring that HR operations are streamlined and consistent.

Also, the tool’s user-friendly graphical editor incorporates drag-and-drop features, meaning that you don’t need extensive technical knowledge to design these HR workflows. This can be particularly useful for the HR team.

Step 5: Build a knowledge base


Then it’s time to build and populate your external and internal knowledge base. This will provide a useful guide for both your HR team internally and other employees externally (through the self-service portal) to solve their requests or issues.

InvGate Service Desk allows the creation of articles, FAQs, and documentation that users can access to find information, reducing the amount of incoming requests and supporting HR staff with extra knowledge to solve the ones that do. 

Step 6: Report on HR performance 

Customizable dashboards on InvGate Service Desk.

Finally, the reporting and analytics features of InvGate Service Desk can be utilized to monitor and evaluate the performance of the teams. For this, you can generate reports on various metrics, such as ticket resolution times and volume, employee satisfaction levels, and request trends, which can help in making data-driven decisions to improve HR services.

Best practices to handle an HR shared service center

Implementing a shared service center, which is a unit within an organization that provides services to multiple departments or business units, requires significant effort. It's a complex process that involves more than superficial changes. 

That’s why the ultimate goal of expanding ITSM practices is to ensure that a certain level of service quality is consistently provided. This means that services should meet specific standards and deliver value to the users or customers. 

These HR help desk best practices can help you with the task:

  1. Standardize processes -  Develop and implement standardized procedures for all HR functions to ensure consistency and efficiency across the organization.

  2. Leverage technology - Utilize technology platforms (such as a help desk solution) to automate routine tasks, manage workflows, and provide self-service options for employees, which can increase accessibility and reduce the workload on HR staff.

  3. Focus on employee experience - Treat employees as internal customers, and prioritize their experience by providing timely, accurate, and helpful responses to inquiries and requests.

  4. Invest in training - Ensure that HR staff are well-trained in both the use of technology and customer service skills to provide the best possible support to employees.

  5. Measure performance - Regularly track and analyze key performance indicators (KPIs) to monitor the effectiveness of the service center and identify areas for improvement.

  6. Foster a culture of continuous improvement - Encourage feedback from both HR staff and employees using the services, and use this input to make iterative improvements to processes and service delivery.

  7. Ensure clear communication - Maintain open lines of communication with all stakeholders to keep them informed about changes, updates, and new services offered by the HR service center.

  8. Develop a scalable model - Design the service center to be scalable so that it can adapt to the changing needs of the organization as it grows and evolves.

In short

Establishing an HR help desk is not just about keeping pace with the times; it's about setting the stage for the future of work, where efficiency, strategic insight, and employee satisfaction converge to drive your company forward. 

An HR-shared service system will help you manage your day-to-day operations more effectively and at the same time elevate the entire organization by aligning it with current industry trends, which includes ESM practices. 

For this, you need a comprehensive ITSM tool that is able to expand its features seamlessly to your HR department. And, as we’ve seen, InvGate Service Desk is fit for purpose. If you want to see for yourself, access the 30 day free trial and navigate the features in your own times! 

Read other articles like this : ITSM, ESM, InvGate Service Desk, Product tutorials

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