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HR SOP: What it is, Types, Benefits & Templates

Category: Standard Operating Procedures

Last updated on May 23, 2024

Want to align your HR team members with all the processes at the organization without regularly training them?

If the answer is YES, create HR SOPs.

What Are HR SOPs?

HR SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) instruct human resource team members about their roles and responsibilities regarding employee recruitment, onboarding, training, performance management, and exit process.

They act as guidelines that help HRs perform their roles proactively during an employee lifecycle. An HR SOP can also help you avoid labor violations, reduce errors, and ensure employees are satisfied with the organizational process.

5 Crucial Types of HR SOPs

One can create various HR SOPs for their organization to ensure a smooth transition for employees at various life cycle stages. Some of them include the following:

1. Recruitment process 

This HR SOP helps human resource team members identify the right measures they must take when hiring new employees. They must:

  • Send an email to department heads to understand the number of vacant positions in their team
  • Ask the managers to cooperate with HR to create vacancy ads for social media or job-seeking platforms
  • Create and confirm the “about the company” section before publishing the ad
  • Set a deadline for applicants to submit their applications
  • Select an HR platform that allows them to screen the resumes
  • Shortlist the candidates that have the most number of skills as per the job vacancy
  • Reach out to the candidates and inform them of the entire interview process
  • Understand their salary expectations and accordingly proceed in the recruitment process
  • Create a test for the applicants with the help of existing employees and managers, and share a deadline for completion
  • Share the test with managers once completed by the candidates and ask them to share the results by a certain date so the HR team can close the position faster
  • Share the test results with the candidates and proceed further if selected by the team internally

Recruitment SOP also allows HRs to qualify the candidates based on their behavior and see if they are a cultural fit.

2. Employee onboarding

This employee onboarding documentation lays out instructions to assist HRs in creating effective training modules that:

  • Introduces new employees to their roles and responsibilities
  • Shows their growth trajectory in the company
  • Introduces them to their managers and co-workers
  • Offers a structure that they must follow in the initial days of hiring

The list goes on. However, with onboarding documentation, HR teams can ensure that new employees integrate well into the company structure and become accustomed to the existing culture.

3. Training & development

Did you know that 94% of employees consider training and development an essential policy to convince them to stay in the company?

Creating an SOP for training and development becomes crucial to retain employees as it helps HRs identify the right circumstances when these programs must be introduced. With training and development SOP, they can:

  • Create a solid program that is customized as per the growing skill set needs
  • Train employees every time a new update in the product takes place
  • Update the existing training material to avoid being outdated
  • Identify the right trainers in the industry
  • Figure ways to measure the success of training modules
  • Create training schedules that match employee needs

4. Performance management & appraisals

Performance reviews are also critical for any organization today. Like employees, companies wish to acknowledge the performance of those who contribute astonishingly to the organization. However, to make that happen, it is crucial to set the right steps to acknowledge the right employees in the company. That is why companies must create performance management and appraisal SOPs.

This SOP can help HRs:

  • Create a company-wide process that helps the administration identify top performers in the company
  • Identify the right metrics that help a company measure employee performance
  • Adopt the necessary tools that help them capture feedback from managers and peers
  • Align promotion requirements to make the employees feel acknowledged for their work

5. Exit process

According to a study by FactorHR, 44% of employees leave their jobs due to a lack of recognition and engagement in their organization.

Such problems never surface in front of the management and go unaddressed, therefore prompting employees to leave bad reviews online when they leave the company. To avoid such repercussions, create a complete exit process SOP that helps you:

  • Take necessary actions to take over employee transition
  • Identify the best ways for knowledge transfer
  • Capture employee feedback in exit forms to upgrade office culture
  • Identify possible roadblocks in the system that encourage employees to leave the organization
  • Help employees get access to documents such as experience letters, pay slips, and tax documents that will prepare them for their next role.

Now that we know the types of HR SOPs, it is time to examine all the steps involved in creating them. Below is a checklist that will allow you to create your HR SOPs from scratch.

Benefits of Using HR SOPs

We know what HR SOPs are and their types, and we also explored a detailed checklist for all the types above. But now, let’s explore some of the crucial benefits one can gain from using them. These include the following:

Promote consistency in HR practices:

To avoid conflicts in the future, ensure that your actions are consistent for all employees across all procedures.

Improve efficiency and productivity:

An HR SOP will enable you to work more efficiently. You will know what steps to take in a certain situation and how to deal with its impact later. This will also result in improved productivity that will surely leave the management happy.

Promote company values:

With HR SOPs, you can also ensure that all employees are aligned with company values and make decisions while always adhering to them.

Ensure compliance:

SOPs for HR also help companies follow through with all labor compliances and avoid getting penalized by the law.

Reduce errors:

When you create clear instructions and rules for employees to follow, there are hardly any instances where employees make mistakes. They know what procedures to follow and when to approach your HR team to avoid errors.

Checklist to Create HR SOP

1. Recruitment & Onboarding

When creating recruitment and onboarding SOPs, you must take into account that there are different processes under this procedure which include:

  • Application screening and interview process
  • Offer letter creation
  • Background checks
  • Onboarding procedure

To ensure that HRs follow through each stage of the recruitment and onboarding process, here’s a checklist to help you create the SOP efficiently.

  • Onboard the right HR tool to help you screen hundreds of candidate applications
  • Shortlist resumes that match the existing job opening requirements
  • Share the profiles with the team managers to see if the shortlisted resumes are a good fit
  • Set up an introduction call
  • Send out tests
  • Discuss the results with the candidate at the end of the interview process via email or call
  • Connect with the selected candidate to discuss the next steps
  • Understand the candidate’s compensation expectations and negotiate as per the existing hiring budget
  • Update the offer letter as per the discussed salary expectations and send it to the candidate
  • Check out referrals provided by candidates to conduct background checks
  • Create a customized onboarding process for each job role

2. Training & Development

When creating an SOP for employee training and development, we must consider the various methods to impart knowledge, ways to collect training materials, performance management and appraisal procedures, and improvement plans. To ensure all these elements are added to your SOP, follow the following checklist.

  • Identify the problem areas that hamper employee productivity
  • Discuss with managers to create a training module for employees
  • Use the right LMS solution to execute the training program for the team
  • Schedule workshops that upgrade employee skills
  • Identify what skill sets are not included in the training module
  • Connect with team members to identify improvements in the existing modules
  • Get the suggestions approved by the necessary managers involved
  • Update the changes to the learning management system
  • Scheduling feedback sessions for employees with their managers
  • Create goals and objectives for employees to assess their performance
  • Identify areas where negotiation can take place with the employees
  • Identify the right metrics that help you measure employee performance
  • Capture constructive feedback and share it with employees
  • Identifying the best ways to enhance internal communication within teams and across teams
  • Finding the best methods to boost team building for better output
  • Inculcating leadership skills among employees through regular workshops

3. Compensation & Employee Relations

In this type of SOP, you must include payroll processing procedures, performance-based compensation plans, disciplinary procedures, grievance procedures, absence management, and conflict resolution. There is a good chance that you may end up missing out on either of these processes, given the number of topics it entails. However, the checklist below will help you avoid missing any of them during creation.

  • Decide on a date every month when you will start assessing leaves and salary estimates
  • Update the right employee information in the system for timely disbursement
  • Choose a payroll software that sends out payslips to employees once the salaries get disbursed
  • Record payroll updates for future reference
  • Set up goals and objectives based on their job role
  • Measure their performance based on the outcomes
  • Set up compensation plans based on the results they achieved in percentage
  • Evaluate the market to understand the current trends for employee compensation before sending increment letters
  • Conduct disciplinary hearings in case there are allegations against the managers about misbehavior during office hours
  • Offer formal grievance options to employees if they are not satisfied with the results or decisions made by the management
  • Give the option to employees to choose someone from the team who can accompany them during the hearing
  • Maintain records for all the disciplinary actions to ensure the same situations don’t happen in the future
  • Create a leave policy summary that explains to employees the various leave application processes
  • Share links for leave application forms that they must fill out before their leaves
  • Ask employees to give advance notice to avoid work delays
  • Create a summary that informs employees about their duties on the day they take a leave
  • Perform active listening and remain calm while both parties express their complains
  • Offers solutions to both the parties involved that work in their favor
  • Find ways to arrive at a compromise and ensure they agree to work in harmony going forward
  • Encourage both parties to apologize for their behavior to avoid future conflicts

4. Recordkeeping & Security:

Recordkeeping and data security are other important topics on which your company should create an SOP for HR team members. That’s because it will help them:

  • Understand how to manage employee data as per security protocols
  • Identify the regulations their team must follow during the employee life cycle
  • List out reporting procedures for both managers and employees

To ensure you capture all the elements of this SOP, here’s a checklist to get you through the creation process:

  • Schedule email awareness training
  • Add firewalls so that no malware attacks employee systems
  • Recommend employees change their passwords every quarter
  • Encourage them to use communication platforms that encrypt the data
  • Implement access control to avoid losing essential data accidentally
  • Collecting employee records from start to finish
  • Capture all the recruitment and hiring process data in one place
  • List training resources that employees can refer to at any time
  • List data privacy and security procedures
  • Identify and list management training programs
  • List possible situations where employee termination and separation can take place
  • Identifying the right POC who needs to be involved in the process
  • Understanding the type of report you’d like to create on an annual basis
  • Keeping employees looped in during the reporting process
  • Choosing the right software that allows recording all the reports from both manager’s and employee’s perspective

How Does Document360 Help You Create HR SOPs?

Once you learn the benefits of HR SOPs, you can hardly resist the idea of creating yours immediately. But we recommend you choose SOP software that enables you to create them swiftly.

If you’ve been searching for HR SOP software but haven’t arrived at many solutions, we suggest you explore Document360.

Schedule a demo with one of our experts to take a deeper dive into Document360

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This SOP software will allow you to:

1. Provide a central hub for knowledge sharing

If you plan to create HR SOPs that the HR team and employees can access, you must create an internal knowledge hub. Now that is something Document360 specializes in. It can help you create internal knowledge repositories and take them live on the intranet.


Employees and HRs can use the SSO feature to open and access the HR SOP repository. This allows you to centralize all the required information and create a trustworthy internal source of information for all.

2. Structured Documentation

Most SOPs are a heavy read for HRs and employees as they seem content-heavy and contain all the information in one place. However, Document360 allows you to create structured documentation articles that encourage readers never to get bored with company policies.

Here’s how you can structure documentation content with Document360.

  • Where possible, you can add images or training videos. These will help you visually represent the context of the SOP content.
  • Rather than adding every aspect of the hiring process in one article, Document360 allows you to create categories and sub-categories in the sidebar navigation. This way, each article doesn’t look content-heavy, and you can offer the necessary information regarding one standard procedure at a time.

3. AI features to ease content creation

Document360 also offers an AI writer feature, which is supposed to aid the companies’ writing process. This AI writer feature allows its users to:

  • Create outlines
  • Create shorter or longer summaries of the existing articles
  • Get article recommendations based on search history


Read More: How AI Writer Works

4. Easy navigation and customization options

Like customers, employees also wish to find answers to their urgent questions faster. You can help your HR team members avoid reaching out to the management if they have minor questions about various processes by making it easier for them to find all the answers via easy navigation in their SOP documentation.

Easy navigation in SOP

Document360 offers three easy navigation options to their users, which include:

  • Ask Eddy feature summarizes the article information for faster resolution
  • Detailed sidebar navigation to help HR team members find their answers from the right article
  • And, let’s not forget the simple search bar option

They make navigation easier. But that’s not all.

You even get customization options that help you create a unified module for HRs and help them find all the relevant information hassle-free. To help them get updated information, you can block access and direct them to more suitable articles per their search.

5. Granular access control

Create team accounts to control documentation access. This is especially true for HR SOPs. You will make this live on the intranet, but that doesn’t mean that all employees must have access to it. Only administration and HR team members must have access to it.

In that case, create log in credentials for those accessing the SOP documentation to manage content access.

Check out: How to Share Content Access

6. Utmost Data Security & Compliance

Finally, Document360 is also known for its data security and compliance features. As a GDPR-compliant solution, this SOP software allows you to secure all the data via features like:

  • Backup functionality
  • Private documentation
  • User access only
  • SOC2 and SOC3 compliant
  • IP restrictions

These aren’t just basic features but a necessity you must seek in any SOP software before onboarding it. However, Document360 offers these and many more, which you can explore during our free demo or signup process.

What do our Customer’s say?

Document360 has helped us achieve much operational efficiency simply because people know where to find specific information or document,

– Vijayakumar J, Manager of Product Management, Sophi, a Mather Economics Company

Read the full story here.

HR SOPs Template Example

We have probably covered all the HR SOP items, but let’s explore one example that allows you to create your own from scratch.

Here’s what your HR SOP template must contain:

Name: (Give a name to the HR SOP like Performance Appraisal or Compensation)

Purpose: (Explain the purpose of the SOP and how it aids the HR team members in the specific HR process)

Applies When: (Explain the various situations when the steps under this SOP will apply to employees)

Step-by-Step Procedure: (Explain each step or stage of this process using relevant content, images, and videos to avoid confusion later)

Frequently Asked Questions: (Identify and add possible questions related to a process to reduce the possibilities of HR members reaching out to admin every time they have doubts)

Links to Relevant Articles:

Feedback: (Check if the article helped them resolve that particular situation in the office)

With this simple and easy-to-follow template, you can create HR SOPs faster.


Training HRs and resolving their questions about the multiple processes they must manage can be hectic. That is why it is crucial to create HR SOPs that help them learn what roles and responsibilities they must undertake in different situations to avoid errors and remain compliant with labor laws.

And while you create one, make sure to onboard the best SOP software for your business. We hope our guide helps you create yours easily.

An intuitive SOP software to easily add your content and integrate it with any application. Give Document360 a try!


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