Hiring and engaging high potential employees has never been more challenging for organizations, yet it is one of the most critical components of a competitive business strategy. Staying competitive and growing in the midst of business, social and technology turmoil presents Human Resources departments with a broad range of challenges to accomplish even the most tactical activities.
Doing what’s required and contributing to the overall business strategy within a resource-constrained climate is an issue that most HR professionals know all too well. Meeting those challenges and actively contributing to the business’ success requires focus, planning, and technology that aligns and supports the HR strategy.
Today’s workforce has different expectations about the way they want to work and the tools they want to use to accomplish their work. Building collaborative processes and using technology that enables information flow can create an experience that leads to a more engaged workforce. But, creating positive and engaging employee experiences is directly linked to HR’s technology choices.
Meeting the Challenge of HR Technology
HR organizations are experienced users of technology. That technology, though, has evolved and changed quite a bit over the past decade. HR technology, or a set of products (or services) that automate HR processes, are often referred to as a suite.
You can use the term suite in a few ways that vary from single-sourced products that are integrated with other products by the same company to groups of products from multiple vendors that are used together to automate a functional business area.
So today, suite might mean a set of pre-integrated products provided by a single vendor, or it might also refer to a group of software services that enable the functions required to operate an HR organization regardless of origin or vendor.
The reasons for using an HR software suite have also evolved quite a bit, but the basics are still important today. It’s important that the solution:
- automates as many tasks as possible,
- provides a reduced error rate,
- supports deep data analysis, and
- offers self-service options to employees.
Automation and better process optimization allow HR to become more strategic and focus on their more important tasks like talent recruiting, management, retention, and employee experience.
Core Processes and Interoperable Systems
Finding a solution that can enable positive employee experiences and facilitate strategic HR goals while automating daily tactical operations is a tall order. An overwhelming number of choices exist for technology systems and providers, but employers should make strategic alignment a key selection criterion.
The HR organization must align with the business strategy and choose a supportive system. When evaluating HR suites, HR managers should ask questions such as these to ensure the solution meets the needs of their business. Key questions include:
- Can the system automate all core HR processes, facilitate a modern way of working including embedded collaboration inside all processes, and execute those tactical operations in an acceptable manner? In short, does the system meet core HR business requirements?
- Does the HR suite optimize critical functions and contribute to the company’s business goals? These critical functions must include modern ways to find and attract talented employees, develop employees’ skills and provide contingencies for managing talent gaps.
- Does the HR suite provide a way to create end-to-end HR processes and full data integration that provides a single data model? Businesses need to aggregate and access a complete data picture, no matter which function is involved. This is essential for the HR organization that is trying to execute end-to-end HR processes while maximizing the positive employee experience.
Talent, Strategic Direction, and Change
HR has moved beyond the old personnel department paradigm and is in a position to add significant strategic value to your business. The change is tied to the move to information-driven businesses, which has elevated the value of talent and the realization that it’s a critical resource.
The technology choices an organization makes must automate and enable the core functions of HR, but also support the strategic mission of HR today in organizations. It's a tough challenge, but the right suite of products will enable the accomplishment of all three business needs.