June 28, 2017

When you think of a kiosk, you may think of a shopping mall stand, bank ATM, newsstand or stamp vending machine.

But how often do you think of a kiosk on a factory floor that allows the overnight shift to access their work records, or a kiosk in a retail establishment that accepts and categorizes job applications?

The use of kiosk technology for human resource purposes is growing. A kiosk with the right software can do many tasks, such as training employees, handling schedules, providing important information and printing out employee benefit forms.

And it can accomplish all that while saving companies money. Depending on the software used, a single kiosk can cost between $7,000 and $8,000 — far less than the cost of hiring an HR employee. And some kiosks are multi-purpose, A retail kiosk, for example, can be used by customers for some purposes and by employees for training, inventory information or accessing their records.

The decision to implement HR kiosk technology might make good business sense for your company. Here’s a list of some ways it can be used:

Recruiting – At a kiosk in the lobby or other area accessible to the public, job seekers can submit resumes and take initial tests. An HR manager can view the process in real time and arrange for a spot interview if desired. The technology can sort information given by applicants and compile a short list of candidates. People applying can be given a number to check future openings, receive feedback and update their resumes.

Narrowing the digital gap – Some employees, such as sales staff, manufacturing employees or warehouse managers, may not have desks and can feel disconnected with the rest of the company. Setting up easy-to-use kiosks can allow them to reconnect, collaborate, share ideas, and quickly respond to e-mail messages and customer needs.

Accessing records – A compact kiosk can provide employees access to their benefits and other information without having to drop by the HR department or make appointments. Overnight staff and employees without computers can view internal job openings, submit applications, monitor vacation time, enter time-off requests, make changes to their contact information, check stock options and manage their health-care benefits. At the same time, the company frees up people in the HR department to focus on more critical issues.

Training – Kiosks can provide training and give employees access to information such as general health and job safety tips, methods for handling hazardous materials, and ways to cope with shift work.

A self-service environment – As the population becomes more computer-savvy, people like the anonymity of getting data directly from a machine. They can use a kiosk quickly without having to make an appointment.

Kiosk Housekeeping Tips

The value of a kiosk – just like the value of real estate – depends a great deal on location and maintenance. Kiosks are a waste of money if they’re poorly placed, aren’t used, or don’t work.

Here are some tips to get the most out of the technology.

A kiosk should be located in a high-traffic, easily accessible area. In some cases, they are placed in break rooms or on factory floors. This keeps the kiosks in view of employees and makes them less attractive to vandals and thieves.

Kiosk placement shouldn’t interrupt workflow. The machines can be compact and mounted in several ways, including tabletop, shelf, poll, wall or pedestal. This keeps them visible but out of the way.

Place cameras and alarms near kiosks and publicize these security features with signs such as “This machine has an alarm.”

If kiosks are located in a factory or warehouse setting, they should be “weatherproofed” to withstand dirt, dust, and cold. And the machines should be kept well maintained. A kiosk that fails to do what employees need will be used less and will minimize the return on its investment.

© 2017