Evaluating an enterprise HRIS (human resource information system) is an important component to the overall success of the solution, as well as user adoption. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your existing solution, or perhaps looking to implement a new HRIS technology all together, here are some important things to consider.
Providing self-service to employees for simple changes to address, contact information, time off requests, changing their payroll method, etc., alleviates your HR team of the burden of administrative duties, but also allows the employees to feel the sense of empowerment and engagement. Having all of these functionalities available electronically, not only frees up your HR team’s time, but also helps to keep your employee records up-to-date.
Your HRIS plays an important role in the day-to-day role of an HR professional. Beyond the employee records, you should consider what the HRIS can do from a strategic standpoint. How can the data the system provides via reporting or analytics be useful in your planning efforts? Is there a talent component that can help the company achieve growth, or increase performance? You should also consider if the HRIS has the capability to support your overall organizational structure, as it may feed or integrate to other systems for financials, travel, time clocks, etc.
We often hear orgazniations say that their HRIS works well in the U.S., but it is hard to adapt if they have a global footprint. Your HRIS should not only support data requirements for your organization, but also keep you compliant. Whether it be the data center it is housed on, the ability to control access to data, and even the data that is collected – these are all very important factors to countries outside of the US. If the HRIS is “compliant," the next question to ask is how is that compliance maintained? Are you responsible for regulatory updates as new legislation or laws are set by each country or state, or does the HRIS solution maintain these compliance standards universally, with no responsibility to you?
Depending on the HRIS, it may not include a payroll solution, instead offering the choice to adopt a new solution, or integrate with an existing solution. Evaluate the effort to maintain a separate HRIS from payroll, and have a full understanding of how the systems can integrate, the process for integration (is it real time vs. updated on a set frequency), and the effort for the integration. Often when organizations are implementing a new HRIS, they will find the time and budget spent on building the integration, testing the data transfer from system to system, and maintaining two environments may have been better spent on implementing an HRIS solution that includes payroll.
HRIS analysts want a system that can house data, and IT may want a solution that integrates seamlessly with the rest of the organization's technology. While these are very important factors, the HR team (and employees!) use many other tools in the way of recruiting, onboarding, performance reviews, learning activities and others. Having an integrated HRIS that not only offers the ability to store core employee and foundational data, but also to give the users the same platform to apply for jobs, take courses and discuss performance reviews is vital for user adoption. Look to give employees and your HR team a solution that will fit all of their needs and meet your organization's objectives. A single integrated solution vs. a hodge-podge of various solutions will reduce the number of required integrations.
The recommendations above should serve as a baseline to help you evaluate an enterprise HRIS. In addition, we always recommend that you see a live demo with a varying audience to get feedback from different end-users. Don't be scared to ask questions, point out challenges you think you may encounter, and ask how they can be handled. And as one last step for evaluation, we recommend that you get feedback from multiple customers who are using the HRIS you are considering. Ask them what is and is not working for them, and compare those successes and challenges to help you evaluate the best solution for your organization.
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AltaFlux Corporation is a global HCM cloud consulting partner based in Troy, Michigan. We empower organizations by streamlining, transforming, and optimizing key human capital management (HCM) processes with industry-leading HCM cloud solutions like SAP SuccessFactors, Benefitfocus, WorkForce Software and Dell Boomi.