These days, many organizations are investing in software systems to turn HR
and payroll data into useable information. Commonly referred to as human resources
information systems (HRIS) or human resources management systems
(HRMS), these powerful tools are built to facilitate the better handling of HR
information via information technology.
Regardless of the specific tool, implementing and using these systems provide organizational
advantages by enabling data information needs through maintaining all HR
information within a common database. This allows an organization to pull information
from multiple areas for detailed reporting and analytics. Added benefits include the ability
to implement employee self-service, which lets employees view and update personal information
at any time on their own. Recruiting efforts can be better managed and even feed
information gathered during the recruiting process directly into the onboarding process,
eliminating duplication of effort.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT SYSTEM
Implementing a HRIS/HRMS system requires
a lot of planning and preparation.
The appropriate amount of time must be
allocated, and it’s important to understand
that decisions need to be made by, and not
for, an organization before starting down
HRIS/HRMS systems may be hosted
either internal or external to an organization.
Having data remain internal comes
with a home court advantage. The data
belongs to you and you maintain the flexibility
to customize and capitalize on the
data as you see fit. In addition, it can be
built to suit the needs specific to an organization
with no obligation to conform
to a system built to meet the needs of the
many. However, building and hosting an
internal system comes with certain challenges.
The cost to build and maintain the
system will be high. In addition, consideration
must be given to the ability of the
organization to obtain and maintain the
subject matter expertise required to create,
manage and maintain this system.
While software-as-a-service (SaaS)
vendors build systems to meet the needs
of many organizations, most have enough
flexibility to allow for configuration
that is specific to your company’s needs.
It’s important to consider how crucial
organization-specific customizations really
are; SaaS vendors can usually offer
implementation and operational costs substantially
lower than building something
specific to one organization. In addition,
the hardware and software is maintained
by the vendor.
The requirement for cross-border payrolls
will mean consideration for information
crossing borders. The regulatory compliance
for data that resides outside of
Canada can be much different than for
data that resides inside Canadian borders
– this is something that needs to be
researched to make an educated decision
that delivers what your company needs.
The appropriate person to champion
the project within the organization must
also be carefully chosen. This individual
will become the project sponsor, and
they must be educated in what it takes
to fill that role. In addition, they require
an in-depth understanding of the strategic
importance of the project. Moving to
an integrated HR system requires change
management – and the number one rule
of change management is that strategic
messages must come from the top down.
The project sponsor must be able and willing
to communicate why this change is
important to the organization.
Functional expertise needs to exist
within your organization. A system implementation
is not the time to train new
employees. Expertise must be immediately
HRPATODAY.CA ❚ SEPTEMBER 2015 ❚ 17