Human resources is evolving at a quick pace. Technology is, no doubt, the biggest disruptor in the industry. The cloud, big data, artificial intelligence—advances in technology are changing the way HR professionals work and changing their role in the organization. While some erroneously believe automation will take their jobs, the truth is technology will only improve the HR department while transforming it from a service provider to a strategic partner in the organization.
Companies are spending 10% of their HR budgets on new technology.
(Bersin by Deloitte)
A whopping 45% of companies are still only in the early stages of basic automation.
Fewer than 20% of organizations provide employees access to mobile HR apps.
(Deloitte University Press)
Businesses that upgrade their HR systems see cost savings of 22% per employee.
(Bersin by Deloitte)
47% of companies are using HR software that is at least seven years old.
(Bersin by Deloitte)
Industry leaders are investing in human resource information systems to effectively manage their HR information, better manage employees, gain insights, and improve business outcomes. With the right HR technology, companies big and small can see significant positive impacts in all aspects of their organizations.
A human resource information system (HRIS) is an HR software solution that enables you to replace your company’s HR spreadsheets. Using a single cloud-based platform, all your HR data can be inputted, stored, managed, tracked, and analyzed in one place. Once an HRIS is implemented, HR professionals no longer have to manage HR data manually or juggle hundreds of different spreadsheets. The information is always up to date and accurate, as well as easy to find.
However, an HRIS isn’t just a storage space. This technology is also used to enhance business functions, cut costs, increase efficiency and accuracy, and save time, allowing HR leaders to focus on strategy, not administrative tasks.
By automating core HR tasks, leave management, onboarding activities, benefits administration, and even compliance, performance management,
An HRIS improves productivity in the HR department, improves the effectiveness of HR strategies across the organization, and helps ensure quality decision making. It provides powerful analytics capabilities and reporting functions, and it offers all the features required to effectively and efficiently manage a workforce from hire to retire.
“An HRIS improves productivity in the HR department, improves the effectiveness of HR strategies across the organization, and helps ensure quality decision making.”
Over time, these HR systems have become increasingly sophisticated, offering more capabilities and helping improve more HR processes. Most systems are configurable to meet your organization’s exact needs, and the large majority of systems are now on the cloud, enabling anywhere, anytime access as well.
No doubt, HR technology enables HR leaders to cut costs and save time, but there are many more wide-ranging benefits to implementing an HRIS. From HR leaders to employees to the organization as a whole, everyone wins when a company uses an HRIS.
The most obvious benefits can be seen in the HR department.
So much falls under HR’s umbrella: hiring, recruiting, benefits, insurance, pension, payroll, and all other elements of an employee’s total compensation. The role that oversees and manages a company’s most valuable asset will be caught up doing administrative tasks instead of strategic planning and may not be able to demonstrate their own ROI. There’s no doubt that the sheer magnitude and variety of administrative tasks might be weighing down human resources, especially in small businesses. Whether you have 50 employees or 250 employees, the HR department needs to leverage a powerful and efficient solution that can alleviate the burden of having to manually do all the administrative heavy lifting.
At its core, HR is about people. With an HRIS, HR professionals can become HR leaders. Rather than spending all their time on administrative, monotonous tasks, they can get back to the work that truly makes a difference. With admin work out of the way, the human connection can be renewed. HR professionals will be able to grow meaningful relationships with employees and executives.
“With an HRIS, HR professionals can become HR leaders.”
What’s more, they’ll have the time and the data to make more informed decisions, enabling them to create HR strategies that make an impact at a high level. HR technology is not replacing HR professionals but empowering them to become more strategic and, in turn, provide more value to the organization.
Running a successful business means making the well-being of your team a priority. If your employees are appreciated, challenged, and satisfied, your entire business is likely to prosper and reap the positive benefits. Recruiting and retention will be a painless process as well. Unfortunately, mismanaging HR administration can send a negative message to employees, influence their perceptions, and affect their employee experience and performance. If any aspect of an employee’s total compensation—from salary to benefits to paid sick days—is incorrectly administered, the effects could be detrimental to the entire team’s morale. It’s also hard to achieve a healthy work-life balance if employees are stressed about their jobs, their benefits, their compensation, or other aspects of their roles, and HR is scrambling to play catch-up.
Further, an HRIS gives HR leaders access to a wealth of data on employees, which can help identify opportunities for employee training and advancement, succession planning for top employees, the creation of unique development plans, and more. With the right data in hand, human resource professionals can gain insights into their workforce to find ways to improve motivation, reward top employees, help struggling employees, and ensure morale is high. Their strategic efforts in these areas will enable employees to work more effectively and be more satisfied with their jobs.
There are so many ways an organization benefits from the implementation of a human resource information system that it’s difficult to name them all.
All the benefits the HR department realizes translate into positive effects for the business. When employees can save time, overall productivity and efficiency increase. When less time is spent on administrative tasks, overall company costs can be reduced.
“All the benefits the HR department realizes translate into positive effects for the business.”
Most importantly, however, when HR has the ability to be more strategic, the business can become more competitive and drive growth.
“When HR has the ability to be more strategic, the business can become more competitive and drive growth.”
Implementing an HRIS is a win-win-win situation for HR leaders, employees, and the organization alike.
There are more HR tools and technologies on the market today than ever before. The sheer number of options available can be paralyzing. With hopes held so high about what an HRIS can do to improve business outcomes, HR leaders want to ensure they’re choosing the right HRIS with all the features, functions, and capabilities they require to save time, cut costs, boost
Core HR can be considered your digital library of all employee information. Rather than having separate spreadsheets, sticky notes, email threads, and filing cabinets filled with paper documents, you can store all your data in one central hub, making it easy to locate the files you’re looking for at any given time, from anywhere. The platform should be searchable and secure to improve access and security of your employees’ important and confidential information.
Core HR is a basic must-have feature that helps HR reduce data entry, increase accuracy, and eliminate human error through the automation of time-consuming HR processes and busywork. In turn, it empowers HR professionals to do more.
Not only a storage hub,
Many organizations struggle with disjointed and inconsistent onboarding processes, while others do not have a defined process
"An effective onboarding module will streamline the onboarding workflow, assure consistency, and empower new hires."
An effective onboarding module will streamline the onboarding workflow, assure consistency, and empower new hires. It will also be configurable to your company’s unique requirements, enabling you to add all your own onboarding tasks, as well as keep all onboarding documents, files, and even handbooks and training videos in one place. What’s more, it should help you track and measure new employees’ progress while monitoring the completion of all onboarding steps.
Offering group benefits can be overwhelming. In fact, some companies simply don’t offer a benefits program due to worries and fears about administration and compliance. Many business owners don’t believe they have the expertise, resources, or time to take on such a time-intensive and compliance-heavy responsibility. But the advantages a company gains from offering group benefits far outweigh these concerns.
A benefits administration module can help make the management of employee benefits simple and easy. The right HRIS will offer carrier connectivity to a significant percentage of the market, so you can easily share files and updates with your carrier, or seamlessly switch insurance companies as you see fit. It will also enable you to manage all types of plans, from health and dental to health spending accounts, stock options, retirement plans, and life and disability insurance. It should track details, such as enrolment, beneficiaries, and dependents. The module should also automate the remittance process and generate real-time total rewards statements for maximum results.
"The right HRIS will offer carrier connectivity to a significant percentage of the market."
An HRIS with a benefits administration feature will enable you to stay compliant, save time and resources, and cut administrative costs, as well as the risk of errors.
Similarly to benefits administration, leave management can be complex, time intensive, and
The ideal human resource information system will also integrate with your preferred payroll platform. Rather than using two separate systems, you’ll be able to enter data once and be done. Whether an employee gets a raise or an employee status changes, you can make the updates in your HRIS and the changes will be reflected in your payroll management system. This ensures your information is always up to date and accurate while you save time on manual entry.
Employees love self-service, which is why most HR leaders prefer an HRIS that offers this feature. An HRIS with a self-service portal empowers employees to make changes to their personal information, access the documents they need, review their files, and even make requests. In essence, employees can become their own managers.
HR, too, loves self-service because it saves them time. They don’t have to spend half their days fielding requests and questions from employees about vacation or benefits.
While core HR, onboarding, leave management, benefits
Your HRIS should transform the way you run HR, saving you time and effort and helping you become more strategic. The features you choose should enable you to meet your goals.
"The features you choose should enable you to meet your goals."
Leading HR professionals today understand how automation in HR can enable their businesses to succeed. With the right HR management software, they can keep up with the company’s evolving needs and become more strategic. Here are some of the many benefits HR leaders using an HRIS realize.
Managing HR functions manually leads to wasted time. Too much valuable time is spent on locating paper documents, filling them in manually, and sending them where they need to go. HR is also inundated by requests and questions from managers and employees alike. Plus, using a variety of different tools can also translate into more time spent on the same tasks, such as inputting the same data into various systems.
Using HR technology can transform the way HR managers spend 85% of their time. How? Here are just a few ways an HRIS helps HR leaders get their time back:
No matter how talented HR professionals are, human error will occur when technology isn’t used. This is especially true when HR is pressed for time and rushing through the tasks on their endless to-do lists. These errors can be costly, result in more rework, and consume more time. When administrative tasks are automated, manual dependency is eliminated and the risk of human error is significantly reduced.
With automation, all tasks and workflows can be simplified, enabling HR to become more efficient. HR automation makes processes more transparent and also removes bottlenecks. HR leaders won’t have to spend their time on menial, repetitive tasks. Rather, they will be able to put their true skills to work. At the same time, they’ll be able to get more work done in a day, in a week, and in a year. This enhanced productivity can translate into significant cost and time
Many businesses do not have established and defined HR processes. This is true of recruiting and onboarding, of performance reviews and goal setting, and of training or development. Manual workflows are rarely, if ever, consistent in nature. Each HR employee does things a little differently. With HR automation, you can be sure all tasks are carried out in a consistent, uniform way, regardless of how complex the workflow is. This can prevent output variations.
"With HR automation, you can be sure all tasks are carried out in a consistent, uniform way, regardless of how complex the workflow is."
Using an HRIS will no doubt improve data security. Your important and confidential business and employee data will be encrypted and backed up on the cloud, protecting you from losing files due to fires, computer failures, or other catastrophic events.
Everyone benefits when
When you have all the information you need in one place, when you’re confident all your data is accurate, and when you can track a wide variety of
"Thanks to analytics and reporting, an HRIS can give you the valuable insights you need for better and more informed decision making."
There are many ways in which an HRIS will help an organization cut costs. The time saved in HR, as well as the increased efficiency and productivity, can reduce
Perhaps most importantly, HR automation can transform the HR department from transactional to strategic. HR leaders’ time will be freed up from administrative tasks, so they can have more time to change policies, improve the corporate culture, enhance the employee experience, and put the human back in human resources. With an HRIS, they will also have the data they need to make real, impactful changes. They can do the work technology will never be able to do.
As human resources
Traditionally, HR played a supporting role in the organization. Today, HR can and should influence the company’s direction, contribute to decisions regarding products, strategy, and customers, and participate in executive meetings. Managers should seek out HR leaders’ opinions. HR should initiate people processes and programs.
Using HRIS data analytics, HR leaders can answer a variety of questions about the organization’s future regarding hiring, training, outsourcing, cost management, succession planning, and more. They can see how things are trending and manage the business proactively.
With the right data, HR can earn that seat at the executive table and start taking a more proactive, strategic role in the organization.
It can be tough for some HR leaders to do, but if you want to use HRIS data to influence business strategy, you must start thinking more strategically rather than tactically.
"Shift from being a doer to a leader."
A human resource information system will free up your time to enable you to create new value-added processes and strategies. It will also track, monitor, and analyze a variety of metrics. You can generate reports on attendance, clocking, or benefits use. You can get salary reports for the entire organization. You can quickly find and report on retention and turnover figures. You can track how well a training or development program is going.
Data is your most important asset in HR. You will have all the numbers you need at your fingertips to learn in-depth information about your workforce and the organization as a whole. That
To earn the right to influence strategy, you must be able to offer intelligent and substantial opinions on the business direction. To do so, you must understand the numbers. This will help you form opinions based on real data. It’s simply not enough to say certain actions,
"Nothing you say will matter until you can prove it."
You need executives and stakeholders to care about your new people strategies. How do you do that? These executives care about improving operations and saving money, so tie your strategies to these types of company goals. The company’s goals should be your goals, too.
How will your strategies reduce waste, improve engagement, or increase retention? How will your people programs reduce absenteeism or help increase productivity? Your programs or changes should be based on measurable objectives that ultimately help the business improve.
If your programs are based on measurable objectives, then you should be tracking and measuring their results to evaluate their success and prove their ROI. This will help cement your seat at the leadership table.
The metrics management cares about are related to objectives and outcomes, not work processes. They want you to measure outcomes and goal achievements, such as the value added per employee, the ROI of human capital, returns on training, and training costs. These types of results measurements are crucial to demonstrating the success of human resources in an organization.
Your HRIS can track and measure a variety of different useful metrics, but having these numbers isn’t enough. Metrics may tell you what’s going on, but you need to become an analyst to determine what the numbers are telling you, to find answers in the data, and to identify which steps need to be taken to improve outcomes. For example, you might learn from your numbers that your turnover is too high, but that doesn’t tell you why it’s too high or what you need to do to curb it. That’s where analytics come in.
"Metrics may tell you what’s going on, but you need to become an analyst to determine what the numbers are telling you."
Incorporating HR data into the organization’s strategy requires a cultural shift. HR leaders must break away from HR’s operational mode, change the paradigm, transform executives’ mindsets, and show leaders how their work, their initiatives, and their programs provide value to the organization as a whole. Data is key to showing ROI.
Once you adopt an HRIS, you’ll have a wealth of metrics to measure how effective, efficient, or impactful your programs and initiatives are. These metrics enable HR leaders to calculate the return on investment of their department and prove their value and worth to the organization and the bottom line.
Metrics can be used to track and measure a wide variety of business functions, such as workforce productivity, recruiting, training, employee engagement, job satisfaction, and more. But with so many functions to track, HR professionals can quickly become overwhelmed by the numbers and what they might mean. Which metrics should you track? If you want to become more strategic and earn your spot at the leadership table, then the best metrics to track are those that management cares about—the metrics that show how your efforts are improving business functions and positively impacting the bottom line.
"With so many functions to track, HR professionals can quickly become overwhelmed by the numbers and what they might mean."
Executives understand that high productivity is key to boosting the bottom line. Revenue can be increased and costs decreased when productivity is at its highest.
Workforce productivity is also an excellent measure of human resources success. However, productivity is difficult to improve, as well as quantify. Boosting productivity requires a wide variety of new initiatives that target employee engagement, motivation, and job satisfaction, as well as effective hiring, onboarding, training, and more.
By taking proactive measures to improve these functions and by keeping a close eye on the gap between people costs and company revenue, however, you can take steps to both improve productivity and show your success in doing so. You may also consider tracking revenue per employee, absenteeism rates, salary raise vs revenue increase, and profit per employee to determine your workforce productivity levels.
Engagement is important to measure because executives know happy employees equate to a more successful business.
Engagement counterbalances productivity. You don’t want to overwork and burnout your workforce in an effort to increase productivity. This will create negative effects, such as reduced retention and higher turnover. The key is to increase productivity while also keeping employee engagement high.
"Happy employees equate to a more successful business."
To measure employee engagement, keep track of the percentage of workers who say they look forward to coming to work every day, the percentage of employees who believe they are given the right resources and tools to perform their work well, and the percentage of employees who enjoy working under their managers.
You may also consider complaints filed, employees’ commitment levels, their level of empowerment, and their satisfaction with compensation, promotion rates, opportunities for advancement, and learning and development to measure employee engagement.
Management understands that hiring the right people for the right roles can offer the business a competitive advantage, as well as reduce hiring, turnover, and training costs over time.
To measure recruiting success, track a position’s time to fill, the average performance of a new worker in the role compared to the performance of the same role a year ago, how quickly the new hire was onboarded, the manager’s satisfaction with the new hires compared to a year ago, turnover, and the monetary impact of a bad hire.
Also consider measuring the cost per hire, fill rate, offer acceptance ratio, and costs of attrition.
Turnover costs money and reduces productivity, which is why management cares about it. However, it’s important to note that simply looking at turnover isn’t enough. It doesn’t tell the whole story. That’s why retention needs to be looked at as well. You need to determine which retention strategies are working and which aren’t to determine how you can curb turnover.
"Turnover costs money and reduces productivity, which is why management cares about it."
To measure turnover, track turnover in key roles, preventable turnover, the insights from exit surveys, the average retention period, voluntary and involuntary termination rates, overall cost of turnover in critical roles, and management’s satisfaction with retention efforts and their impact.
HR is often considered a cost centre since it does not directly generate income. By measuring HR’s monetary impact on the organization, you can show that the department is, in fact, a valuable profit centre.
"By measuring HR’s monetary impact on the organization, you can show that the department is, in fact, a valuable profit centre."
To measure HR’s impact on the bottom line, track the dollars spent on HR compared to revenue, year over year, and the monetary impact of your initiatives, including your recruiting, retention, and productivity efforts.
While management is more likely to care about these metrics, it’s important to note that HR leaders must choose the metrics they measure and analyze carefully and thoughtfully. The metrics should relate to the business’s overall goals and strategy for maximum impact.
Automating HR processes can result in significant benefits to the organization, but implementing an HRIS must be done thoughtfully and carefully to ensure success. On your journey to automation, there will be pitfalls, challenges, and obstacles to overcome. These tips can help ensure HRIS implementation success.
Do you know what type of technology your competitors are adopting? Stay ahead of the latest trends and innovations in your industry and do your research to find out what types of human resource information systems are out there. Look for vendors in the market that address your company’s specific pain points and business needs.
Getting buy-in at the executive level will ensure the entire organization is behind the change and will put its full weight into supporting the new technology. This can reduce the number of obstacles you need to overcome.
Change isn’t easy or straightforward. Many people will have a natural “fear of the unknown,” so the best way to make a change in an organization is to be empathetic and understand the reasons for resistance—dig deeper into any pushback and make sure you fully understand the ramifications of your proposed change.
"Change isn’t easy or straightforward."
Successful implementation won’t happen overnight. Consider how much time and effort will be required to convert processes, train employees, and more, and set a realistic timeline and budget for this change management project.
"Successful implementation won’t happen overnight."
Consider which HR processes are costing you the most time and money, leading to the most errors, and slowing down your HR department. What areas of your current process are simple, repeatable tasks that can be easily automated? Most businesses benefit from automating processes like core HR, onboarding, leave management, and benefits.
What specific issues are you hoping HR technologies will solve? Which business goals are you hoping to achieve? Outline your business challenges and objectives to map out a sustainable HRIS adoption plan. Without specific goals in mind, you won’t be able to track the technology’s value in your organization.
"Outline your business challenges and objectives to map out a sustainable HRIS adoption plan."
When automating HR processes, start with small, digestible changes that immediately save time and then scale up from there.
To ensure your employees are on board with your automation plans, make sure to communicate the changes early. Transparency is key to any change process. Employees want to know where they are in the process and where they are headed. Tell your team exactly how you plan on automating processes and the many ways they’ll benefit. Communication and transparency can help you automate your HR processes more successfully, with less confusion, less stress, and less resistance.
All HR employees should understand how to manage every aspect of human resources with your new platform. Taking the time to train your staff on the technology can ensure a smoother transition. Many companies mistakenly allocate their entire budget to a new HR technology without considering employee training. This training is crucial as it will help ensure your employees will actually start using the new platform and benefit from all its features. Provide training resources in various formats that cater to your employees’ different learning styles.
Consider your unique company policies, procedures, and workflows associated with common HR tasks. Consider how your new platform needs to work, then ensure the system can accommodate the way your company runs. You shouldn’t have to change how you manage your company to fit the structure of your HRIS.
"You shouldn’t have to change how you manage your company to fit the structure of your HRIS."
Link your platform with your existing systems in order to convert your company’s historical data. Do your due diligence and ensure all data is up to date before it enters the system. This will ensure you’re working with the latest employee information and other critical data.
Getting help from industry experts will ensure you and your employees get the most out of the new technology. HR experts can help you not only integrate automation within your company but also empower you to make better-informed decisions. Whether it’s about group benefits and insurance, HR strategy, or employee engagement, they’ll offer you the expert guidance you need.
Adopting HR technology doesn’t mean you don’t need humans anymore. In fact, the opposite is true. The human element is crucial now more than ever. HR is ultimately about focusing your business’s strategy with your people strategy, so fully removing human interaction would be impossible. Balance modern technology with the human touch. Don’t forget what the “H” in HR stands for.
"The human element is crucial now more than ever."
Once you have
We’ve already discussed the importance of investing in HR technology that has the capabilities, features, and functions you need. When researching providers, compare and contrast their HRIS offerings. Do they offer the features you need or are they lacking in core functions, such as recruiting ATS, payroll integration, or benefit carrier connectivity? If a provider doesn’t offer the technology you need, it’s a good idea to look elsewhere. You’ll likely find yourself disappointed if you cannot automate all the processes and workflows you had hoped to streamline and improve.
"If a provider doesn’t offer the technology you need, it’s a good idea to look elsewhere."
An all-in-one HRIS will save you time and simplify HR. When you use separate databases for benefits administration, core HR, onboarding, and
Today, more organizations are choosing cloud technology over on-premise HR tools that are installed on the company’s servers. Cloud-based technology is easier to set up, costs less in maintenance and upgrade expenses, and makes access more convenient.
"Cloud-based technology is easier to set up, costs less in maintenance and upgrade expenses, and makes access more convenient."
You don’t want to spend time, money, and resources implementing an HRIS that you will outgrow in a year or five years down the road. Choose a provider that offers scalability to ensure your platform can meet both your current and future needs.
It’s not all about the technology. One of the most important factors to consider when comparing HRIS providers is expertise. You don’t want to partner with a technology company. Rather, you want a provider you can turn to for HR advice—a provider with experts on staff who understand the complexities and intricacies of human resources, benefits administration, compensation, change management, the employee experience, and more. You want a partner you can rely on to offer advisory services to help transform the HR role from transactional to strategic and create value for the organization.
"You don’t want to partner with a technology company."
No one will know the HRIS better than the provider, which is why you should ensure the company you partner with offers implementation support, configuration services, troubleshooting, ongoing training, and resources to help with HRIS adoption. Make sure to ask various providers what kind of after-sales support they offer.
When comparing providers, it should soon be obvious which are in the industry for the money and which partners are truly passionate about helping businesses improve their people management and enable their employees to live their best lives.
Both the HR landscape and technology are constantly evolving. It’s critical to ensure your company continues to adapt and grow to remain relevant. The right HRIS provider will stay ahead of trends and adapt their platform to meet changing technology preferences.
Finally, before making your final decision, make sure to ask for a demo from various providers. This will enable you to see the HRIS in action to determine whether it meets your unique needs, is