Connecting your HR Software with the Business – Part One

Connecting your HR Software with the Business – Part One


Imagine for a moment that you have been parachuted into a situation where HR software (HRIS) has been installed (in the cloud, on your server, hosted, whatever) but although data is slavishly being recorded on the system, there is no engagement between the software and the organisational environment it is supposed to support.

Unlikely?  Well no, not as far-fetched as you might have thought. There are too many installations where the usage of the system capability is so minimal it might as well not be there!

There are two really important connection points for the HR software with the organisation: Reporting and Triggered Actions (also known as Notifications).

Reporting is the life blood of an enterprise – although it’s easy to overdose on it! – and a useful suite of standard reports configured for parts of the business should include:

  • Headcount
  • Employee turnover & stability
  • Departmental or other activity group salaries
  • Absence costs by section.
  • Objectives Met and Outstanding – Individually, within Department
  • Training Needs Met and Outstanding – Individually, within Department

Remember, the reports are only as good as the quality of the information within them. All too often reporting from the HR department is found to be strewn with errors or outdated entries caused by failure to cleanse data on a regular basis; once the integrity is questioned, it is very difficult to get confidence restored in the succeeding output.

HR departments will claim that they are under pressure but reporting availability and integrity should be a primary product of HR and data cannot be dealt with in a haphazard fashion.

Let’s remember too, that HR must not act as gatekeepers for this information; running a standard report via the self service module by authorised persons should be facilitated as a matter of course .

Oh, and one more thing: don’t skimp on system training; I dare not tell you stories of organisations where the knowledge and ability to run reports had been so diluted due to staff departures that HR departments were no longer capable of running reports for themselves, and were using spreadsheet work-arounds. If you get new staff using your system, then pay or make resource available to ensure that they are properly trained.

Triggered Actions are not only an invaluable “admin-killer” for HR, but they are very useful in helping busy managers to ensure that nothing falls down between the cracks.

Typical support for management and administrators alike can come from the following reminders:

  • Impending probation period reviews
  • Due appraisal dates
  • Unfulfilled training needs from previous appraisals
  • Enhance service entitlements, e.g. extra holiday days after a given amount of continuous service
  • Holiday conflicts: rules can be set so that certain key employees cannot be away at the same time
  • Sickness absence trends
  • Company Property – laptops, mobile telephones, security cards – issue on joining and return on leaving.

Did we say “admin-killer” for HR? Not only can you set up email alerts within your organisation, but you can generate messages to outside bodies, for instance Starters and Leavers to the following providers

  • Life assurance, permanent health and medical insurance, pension scheme and other benefit providers
  • Company vehicle providers, driven by grade level or business use data
  • Sports or other club subscriptions.

The great thing about using these triggers is that they are activated by changes in data, so if you receive an acceptance back from your new recruit with confirmation that they’ll be starting in a month’s time, then their details can be input straight away.

Although that data will remain “dormant” for all reporting purposes until the “live” date, the triggered actions programmes will work away in background, ensuring that all the relevant parts both inside and outside of the organisation are aware beforehand. This will ensure that the new starter will have on day one: an IT security log-in, an internal telephone number already on the list, any equipment such as laptop, mobile phone, and a date for induction. All essential for the on-boarding experience.

What if they don’t start? Yes, a little inconvenient, but for the few occasions that this may happen this is nothing to compare with those first impressions that can drive away a new hire after the first three months. Have you ever waited for 2 days, helpless, while you wait for IT to grant you a system access ID? I rest my case!





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I am a consultant specializing in the selection of HR & payroll software for a range of clients in many sectors in various countries, primarily UK, Europe and the USA. I came into HR for a background in Finance, and this analytical training has stood me in good stead. A few years after, I was asked to computerize the payroll, which was manual at the time, which, having successfully been accomplished, the next step was to find an HR system for the personnel records. The rest is history, as ever since then people have asked me to do things because I “knew about that stuff” and the whole arena of HR & payroll systems was an area of considerable trepidation for HR & payroll professionals, and Information Technology had very much occupied that space by default at the time. My philosophy has always been to act as an enabler with clients, lighting the way for them to arrive at the most suitable conclusions; that way, the client has ownership, and the knowledge stays with them rather than passing through the door after the project. After co-founding the niche HRmeansbusiness consultancy in 2000, I went on to build and launch the HRcomparison website (for comparison of HR, Payroll and Time & Attendance software), that was the first of its kind in the UK and currently features over 60 vendors. Currently I am working on a series of webinars and seminars for 2015 on HRIS topics and a book is already under way. Sharing Our Expertise and Making Worldwide Connections

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