Transcription Services

How to Ensure Your Disciplinary Hearings Go Smoothly: Transcription Services for HR Teams

By Thomas Carter on April, 30 2019
Thomas Carter

Working in HR means dealing with sensitive matters comes with the job. Occasionally, disciplinary hearings will occur, and it’s essential that they go well.

Discussing a problem with an employee can have a variety of outcomes. The legal risk inherent in disciplinary actions means that controlling the surrounding environment is essential. Avoiding problems means making sure that meetings go smoothly.

Recording all disciplinary hearings ensures that there is a ‘matter of fact’ answer to any disputes about what occurred. Transcripts help businesses keep those records, and using transcription services deliver the credibility of third-party neutrality. Transcription services are a vital part of your company’s legal risk mitigation strategy.

But, what if your use of transcription services could go even further and help defuse volatile situations before they occur?

Here, we will discuss how transcription services help HR teams, what kinds of transcription services are best for your disciplinary hearings and what you need to know to get the outcome you need.

Protect your HR team’s reputation with an accurate account: Why transcription services are a must!

Disciplinary hearings can be tense affairs, and an unhappy employee can create a more volatile situation. If an incident does happen, you need to be legally protected. A transcript delivers a record that does just that. But, only if that transcript is accurate.

A lot of businesses have been enticed by the low price points of speech-to-text software. Automatic speech recognition (ASR) is an ever-improving technology, but can’t yet deliver real accuracy. Maxing out at rates of 80% accuracy, that number rapidly deteriorates in the face of poor audio quality, cross talk or slurred speech — all things that are likely to occur in a heated exchange.

If you need a transcript for legal purposes, you need human transcriptionists who can accurately identify speakers, proofread the results and deliver 99%+ accuracy guarantees.   

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Make it clear the meeting is being recorded

By simply stating that the meeting is being recorded, people tend to be on their best behaviour. Instantly, by recording the session, everything feels more official and serious. People understand that there will be an ‘official’ record, and will act accordingly.

It is also important from a legal standpoint to make people aware that they are being recorded. By declaring that everything is being recorded and transcribed, there can be no complaints from employees afterwards. You made it very clear what was happening, so they can’t turn around and say you recorded them without consent.  

Ultimately, the mere presence of recording equipment and the promise of a full transcription is enough to make a disciplinary hearing go smoothly. With verbatim transcripts for HR teams, you get a document that will stand up in court.  

Make sure your security is a priority

Data leaks from internal disciplinary hearings could cost your company’s reputation. It’s crucial that the transcription service you use takes data protection as seriously as possible.

There are a few main things to look out for, with the first one being an NDA. It’s vital that your transcription provider signs a non-disclosure agreement to ensure all your information remains private and isn’t shared with anyone else.

Next, look for encryption policies. This starts with an HTTPS web address. Following on from this, you want a transcription service that uses secure log-in portals with SSL or TLS encryption. This adds a layer of security that keeps your private information private.

Finally, make sure the company has ISO 27001 & 9001 accreditations to be sure that they’re trustworthy and take customer security very seriously.

If you want the most secure service, look for those that keep their transcriptions in-house and don’t engage with an offshore workforce. This guarantees that they are actually capable of enforcing their privacy and security policies.

Use a live notetaker

With everyone’s smartphone doubling as a recording device, sending in recorded audio has become the standard method of liaisoning with transcription services. But, the old ways are sometimes the best ways.

Transcription services that specialise in catering to the needs of HR teams still deliver live notetaker services. This is a professional who can type 100+ words per minute, delivered to your door to transcribe your meeting as it occurs. The pricing is generally competitive with comparable recorded services. What you get is a service ideal for disciplinary hearings.

The presence of a transcriptionist takes the added seriousness that recording a meeting delivers and multiplies it by ten. They make the hearing feel more official, and everything that gets said is being noted down. When it comes to using transcription services as a means to proactively deescalate volatile situations, this is your best choice.

Live notetakers also deliver added legal protections. You not only have a transcript, you also have a neutral, third-party witness to everything that occurred who you can call on to testify if necessary.

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Lastly, live notetakers take security to another level. Rather than having to send your data off-site, everything stays within your control, delivering almost as much control as having your transcript made in-house, but without potential claims of ‘bias’ or ‘contamination’. If you want to be extra sure of the security measures, you could even provide them with an air-gapped computer that’s physically isolated from any unsecured networks.

The right transcription service will provide legal protections and prevent volatile escalation before they occur

If concerned about disciplinary hearings, transcription services will deliver smoother outcomes and legal protections. You just need to make sure that you choose a service that provides accurate transcripts and security guarantees.

With a lot of the industry moving towards inaccurate machine learning led ASR solutions for turning audio into a transcript, the best solution for HR teams is actually the traditional one — live notetakers. Having a transcriptionist onsite will put everyone on their best behaviour, maximise your control over your data and provide you with a third-party witness to events.

Recording disciplinary hearings will also deescalate the situation. If you don’t have time to plan ahead and get a notetaker onsite, recording the hearing and getting that transcribed is your next best bet. Just make sure that any transcription service you send your recording to takes security seriously and respects your data. Striking partnerships with trustworthy transcription service firms is a great way to build up trust and know that what you are getting is a quality service.


You have been reading about the ideal transcription services for HR disciplinary hearings. If you have more questions about how to choose the right transcript, get a good deal and ensure security, we have written an Ultimate Guide to Transcription Services just for you!   

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