While the pressure remains high to replace aging core software and secure an advanced solution that can track and analyze these KPIs, it’s critical that you take the time to assess and choose the right HR software solution for your particular needs. So where do you start?
Before diving into HR providers directories or reading the latest “Best solutions..” and “Top 10 products..” articles, make sure you go into an in-depth analysis of what type of solution would fit your business strategy and your talent needs.
Selecting an HR vendor
Cloud solutions are leading the industry right now, delivering nearly twice the return on investment than on-premise services. In fact, the 2015 HCM buying intentions study from Nucleus revealed that more than 7 out of 10 deals involving the purchase of new technology for HCM/HR are in the cloud.
Recent Sierra-Cedar research also showed that, on average, cloud HR technology takes nine months to implement compared with 15 months for on-premise technology.
When looking at HR software providers, it’s important that you have a list of critical functionality and solution attributes that can guide your decision and help you evaluate the potential candidate.
For example, you’ll probably want to look at:
- Product capabilities
- Additional services
- Implementation methodology and assistance
- User experience
- Data storage management
- Analytics and reporting
- Customer support
- Customer satisfaction – Referrals
- Geographic presence
There might be other key aspects that you might be interested in, such as their business model, their financial stability or who’s on their board. It all depends on how you envision the collaboration between your two enterprises.
Integrating your HR solution with existing systems
As organizations join the big data revolution, everything has already become tracked, measured and analyzed – from high-level financial data to sales, marketing or operational efficiency.
HR departments are creating their own analytics and KPIs for better management, but it is the relationship to other areas that can show management how HR is performing. This is why integration should be a key focus when choosing the right HR software solution.
Integrating HR KPIs with business objectives
We recently talked about how to bridge the gap between HR and business outcomes, because we believe it’s imperative for HR data to reach the boardroom.
A management meeting can use people analytics solely within the HR context, or it can integrate them within the overall business context. The relevance of each scenario is determined by the information you use to match. When choosing a software system, make sure you can link HR KPIs with business KPIs. This will allow you to track ROI and put the data you’ve collected to good use.
Integrating data collection
It’s important to keep in mind that a critical factor in collecting employee data is the disturbance that the collection process itself creates throughout the organization. You’ll also want to look into how the data collection process can be connected to the core business activities.
Introducing new systems is always a challenge, especially if the process is added on top of a pre-existing daily routine. The accuracy and performance of a data collection system, be it employee engagement, feedback or other KPis, increases with the degree of integration within the current way of working.
Take employee surveys for example. Their response rates range from 30% to 90%, depending on how complex the survey is, and what incentive it provides. Creating a simplified survey that links to pre-existing hidden data and is part of the daily work could improve response rates and increase participation. Asking an employee to rate their engagement level when completing certain important tasks could be just a 5-seconds action for the employee, while, in the backend, the response can be linked to the type of task, time of day, location of submission etc.
Organizations have multiple tools that are used on a daily basis by their employees, from intranet portals, to task management tools, phone applications, email, timesheet apps. Collection of human resource data can be more efficient if designed and integrated inside an existing work routine.
What should companies consider integrating with?
When considering people analytics, we need to understand HR is no longer disconnected and the information already flowing throughout the organization can be valuable if accessible. Here are some of the basic systems to keep in mind when it comes to integration:
- CRM systems: They can be used to collect people analytics together with customer analytics, but also to track sales force engagement during the sales process. This can help uncover exactly how engagement affects sales cycles and it would also simplify data collection for the sales department.
- Customer Satisfaction: Measuring the impact that employee engagement has on customer satisfaction levels and business revenue.
- Enterprise Resource Planning: Integration with ERP systems can help to collect data much easier from employees using the ERP, as well as match HR data with operational performance indicators.
- Task management systems: Integrating with task management apps can create a valuable link between the tasks being performed and real-time engagement levels associated with those tasks.
- Intranet software integration: Organizations use intranets as virtual meeting, storage and announcement rooms. Employees regularly revert to their organization’s intranet in order to complete their tasks, or stay on top of company updates, which makes these portals a good medium to collect engagement data.
- Business KPIs integration: Integrating people analytics inside the company KPI dashboard can bring revenue and profitability, and people analytics together.
- Account Management: Integrate with the credential management system, so that employees can reuse existing credentials.
The takeaway for this exercise is to make sure you do your due diligence before you sign on with one HR software provider or another. It’s important that you understand your needs beforehand, and that you translate them into the features that the right solution has to offer.
Integration is key in the workplace of the future, that relies on technology and collaboration to drive productivity. Make sure that your selected product or service will fit well into your way of working, enabling maximum ROI and a healthy partnership.