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HR Executives Still Not Making the Most of HR Tech
Human Resources » Technology

Chrm Message From: CHRM Total Posts: 209 Join Date:
Rank: Coach Post Date: 15/07/2006 05:50:41 Points: 1045 Location: India

With response to the posting of Rahul on eHR, the concept though sounds to be impressive and sort of to be implemented in the systems pertaining to HR functions & processes, it seems it is not been utilised well by today's human resource executives. Probably they lack the requisite IT talents or they're just refraining to making the most use of the same. I guess, we'll have to wait for few more years to observe a technology centric HR being replaced from a people centric HR. To cite few briefings..

HR self-service offers many advantages in terms of cost and efficiency but many human resource executives are still concentrating on routine transactions and are not reaping the benefits of available technology, according to the findings of the HR Service Delivery survey by Towers Perrin, a global professional services firm.

"With increased technological efficiencies and options in recent years, HR professionals have an opportunity to make greater gains and realize better results than they have in the past," said Tom Keebler, principal and author of the study. "But it takes more than good technology to optimize service delivery as a strategic management tool as opposed to simply a basic HR transaction. Other requirements include effective long- and short-term planning, updated processes and a focus on the larger workforce needs of the organization. Simply stated, implementing 'out of the box' HR technologies just isn't enough."

HR technologies have developed beyond payroll and staffing rotas to the point where they can now support workforce effectiveness in new and increasingly efficient ways. Most growth areas in HR technology fall under the umbrella of talent management. Organizations can expand applications that help attract and hire employees, for example:

- recruiting
- job posting and 'onboarding' solutions
- employee retention
- career development and online learning
- rewarding staff via online performance management and reward portals
- engagement with recognition programs and online training opportunities

HR Systems
90% of the 244 large and midsize organizations surveyed in 2005 used a vendor-purchased human resource system with Oracle/PeopleSoft continuing to be dominant. Just over a half (51%) of organizations reported equal spending of HR technology in 2005 compared with 2004, while almost a quarter (24%) had higher levels of spending and an additional 10% said they had much higher spending on HR technology. The survey found that enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications most likely to be implemented in 2006 included:

- both employee and manager self-service in reward and compensation management
- learning applications (in SAP), and
- recruiting applications (in PeopleSoft)

Employee Self-Service
Employee self-service (ESS) is now a widely used and successful method of HR service delivery. At least 80% of companies surveyed will use self-service in 2006 to help employees enroll in annual benefits, view benefit plans and policies, access wellness information, view 401(k) balances, change personal data, view pay stubs and view job postings. Most of the larger companies had these features in place in 2004 but smaller organizations have lagged behind although they are now catching up quickly.

Having reached the limit of benefits from simple transaction-based ESS, a number of organizations reported that they had moved on to the implementation of new, and largely unprecedented, ESS-based processes. They said these were are complex and dealt with tasks previously handled by HR generalists with specific subject matter knowledge.

ESS promises to free up time that can be devoted to strategic, business objective-aligned pursuits. While employees gained an average of nearly 2% less work, ESS reduced the workloads of HR generalist/specialists by an average of 15%.

"These results demonstrate the clear need for organizations to identify new roles, responsibilities and tasks for the HR function if they want to reap the rewards of HR technology," added Keebler. "But equally important, the HR team has to be ready, willing and able to take on these new roles."

Manager Self-Service
Manager self-service (MSS) has not taken off so quickly, but the momentum is accelerating. Three-fifths (60%) of respondents said that their organizations will provide self-service to managers in 2006, covering:

- planning annual merit and base salary changes
- viewing employee data history
- initiating and approving job requisitions
- posting jobs
- viewing applicant resumes

Managers have found ESS relatively easy to use but they have had some difficulties in the areas of MSS. However, when MSSs are properly used, they can reduce the HR generalist/specialist workload for these activities by over 21%.

Managers were more concerned with factors such as level of data edits and validations required, usability of tools, improved processing time, and the level of change management and communication at rollout than with any reduction in their own workload. Basically, according to Tower Perrin's media release, 'the better the tools given to manager and the more an organization helps them to embrace the tools, the more receptive they will be to them -- regardless of the impact on their workload.'

"It's not enough to 'plug and play,'" said Keebler. "HR leadership needs to carefully examine how employees and managers will use the system, what additional information will be needed, what checks and balances should be created and installed, and the role that HR itself will play in the new world of self-service - from running the system to leading users through the change."



"To must stay in the game" - Claude Bristol

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