Scaling with HR Information Systems

February 2, 2016

Scaling with HR Information Systems

We started this blog series a few weeks ago with a focus on your overall IT capability in your organization.  The perspective that you are growing and in order for that to continue, you have some key areas to address.  If your organization has the IT capability your business will require, then hopefully you learned a lot from our second installment, Supercharging Your Sales and Marketing.  Maybe sales and marketing is not part of your focus in 2016, what about HR?  Is your business ready to take the next step?  This week we will explore the value of increasing your capability with HR.

The technology and/or processes that worked for you as a startup or a smaller team may not be able to deliver the capabilities you now require.  There are a lot of options with Human Resource Management Information Systems, but when is your organization ready for that type of upgrade over Excel?

How to know if you are ready

First things first – is your business and HR team ready?  In order to know this, get HR involved right from the start.  Understand their current processes around hiring, maintaining compliance records, tracking performance and compensation, policy management, and benefit enrollment.   Do all these manual processes scale for what your organization will need this year?  Before you answer, consider where you want your HR team focused.  Is it processing paperwork and handling all the administrative responsibilities?  Is your team better served if they are focused on people development and hiring top talent?

If your current processes and system (yes, you can refer to Excel as your current system) will not scale to what you will need, or even if you think it will be close, don’t take a chance.  You need new processes and a system that will not only allow you to scale, but also allow your HR team to focus on what you need them to anyway – people development and talent acquisition.

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Value you should expect

An HRIS can help address many areas of HR, from recruiting and onboarding to benefit enrollment.  Selecting any system can be a daunting task.  Consider your “must haves” and “nice to haves” in a list to get started with your requirements.  For a small-medium business, a cloud solution will likely make the most sense.  For many organizations, the most value will come from recruiting and onboarding processes being connected and automated with the new system.  This is typically where the most manual and administrative tasks live.  Just having your team focus on automating many of these tasks, including collecting information from new hires, will free-up a lot of administrative burden.  Here are some key benefits you can expect just from implementing recruiting/onboarding HRIS component:

  • Automate key hiring aspects – ability to collect more information from potential candidates, including answers to key questions your HR team always has to know
  • Automate onboarding and collection of data required from the new hire, and report on compliance requirements
  • Automate collection of benefit selections from new hires to improve accuracy and provide an audit trail of selections

Wherever you start, the best approach – don’t take it all on at once.  Determine where your greatest need may be, map out your processes, and connect those to that part of the system.

What you will need and should expect from IT

Address Security Requirements

Regardless of how your business is meeting the IT demands today, whether it is from internal IT resources, an outsourced vendor, or non-IT resources, it will be a critical component for any system implementation.  HRIS is no different, and in some ways more critical.  HRIS will contain a lot of sensitive information.  How is the cloud system secured?  Do they have a SOC 2 Report?  Is the HRIS data encrypted, if yes, how?  How will your end-users access the system?  Is it integrated with your Active Directory?  If not, are you okay adding another location for adding/removing users for key systems?  How can you be sure that will happen?  Can the system be accessed from any location or just within your office? Should you consider multi-factor authentication for HR Administrators?  These are just some basic security questions that should be addressed before you select any new system, make sure your IT group is up for the challenge of addressing all these appropriately for your business.

Design and Implement Integration

Once you have the security sorted out to protect your sensitive HR data, IT should be involved in how the HRIS may connect to other systems.  This could be a different recruiting module or payroll system, if you are using something different than your new HRIS.  Long-term, it may make sense to migrate to a single system, but this will depend on the cost and complexity of integrating the data vs. maintaining two systems.  Either way, IT needs to have a plan to address the short-term or long-term integration requirements.  They should be able to work closely with the HRIS vendor to develop and implement a plan.  Finally, make sure you have an identified system administrator.  Yes, even with the cloud, you need to manage system configuration and access.

What’s Next?

With the right IT strategy, you will have resources that will be able to transform technology from a problem you are always talking about to a key part of your business, and your ability to achieve key business goals. If improved HR delivery and a new HRIS is on the horizon, IT resources will be critical to the successful implementation.  A good system with key processes appropriately mapped to the new system will help automate so many core HR processes and functions, it will free the team up for higher value activities around people development.  In addition, HR can engage at a strategic level to ensure your business has the people talent to achieve the overall strategic plan.

More to follow on our series around IT capability and how it can help transform your business.  Check back soon for the next piece in the series or subscribe to our blog for a weekly digest of great business focused technology content.

 

David Townsend

President and COO - David is a Business and technology leader who drives innovative change, and has an exceptional talent for connecting people, process, and technology to meet the demands of the business. Above all else he is committed to the success of the team, helping Awecomm optimize performance and deliver exceptional results.

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