How can HR teams properly use QR codes?

By Andrew Davies

Here are a few best practices so HR teams can make the most out of QR codes.

We’ve talked about how valuable QR codes are to HR communications, as well as the 2 main mistakes we keep seeing our HR partners making when implementing them. Now let’s cover a few best practices so you can make the most out of them.

Create a Custom URL to Track Traffic From QR Codes

The easiest way to include some kind of tracking is to create a custom URL from which your static QR code is generated. This URL would need to have a tracking cookie on it so that whichever analytics service you’re using (probably Google) can tell which traffic is coming from the QR code. This is probably enough for one-off initiatives like a training event or limited-run benefits promotion. Just look out for typos when entering the URL you’re using to create the QR code since you can’t edit static URLs after the fact.

Use Dynamic QR Codes

Whether you generate them for free on a site like bitly or a paid service dynamic QR codes hold several benefits. Not the least of which is that they allow you to track scan performance. For HR teams that manage ongoing programs, or just like the flexibility, paid services offer the additional benefit of allowing you to change where the Qr code points without needing to change the actual QR code image itself.

Know What They’re Doing with Your Link & Employees’ Data

Another benefit of using a paid QR code service is that they have terms of service you can hold them accountable to. There’s an expectation that they can be held responsible if something malicious is being done with the data you’re trusting with them. According to Phil, Paragon’s chief technical officer, 

“In general, you’d want to understand what is tracked, how it is tracked, and who has access to it. Is it shared with 3rd parties, sold as bulk data, etc.? A good rule of thumb is “if the product is free, you (and your data) are the product”

Use Shorter Links for a Cleaner-Looking QR Code

Even though mobile devices are much better at scanning QR codes now, it’s still good practice to make the QR code image as easy to recognize as possible. Because of how QR codes are created, longer strings of characters yield really complex, tightly packed squares, making them harder and slower to process. Using a service to reduce the length of the URL means employees spend less time adjusting their phones and more time with your content.