Associate director of product marketing EMEA Cornerstone OnDemand
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5 ways to avoid the Core HR nightmare

31st Mar 2016
Associate director of product marketing EMEA Cornerstone OnDemand
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As an HR or HRIS professional, you want to remain at the cutting edge of innovation to ensure that your organisation uses the most efficient tools to manage employees. On the other hand, you know that administrative features have a low business impact compared to recruiting or talent development. So how can you modernise your HR platform, optimise business impact and avoid a long and costly project?

1. Identify your issues

First things first – you need to identify the specific issues and difficulties being caused by your current Core HR tool.  Typical reasons for dissatisfaction include:

  • Do you struggle to obtain a clear view of your employee base?
  • Do you feel like you keep paying for consulting fees to get more features and gain proper insights from your own data?
  • Do you have many subsidiaries with a wide variety of HR systems, but fear the huge costs and time required  to replace each and every one of them, not to mention the business risks attached?
  • Do you think you spend too much time managing admin stuff instead of focusing on strategic HR issues such as talent development, performance management, and workforce planning?

Consider an alternative solution.  Without ditching your payroll systems (especially if they work properly), you can unify your employee data and foster people management with a single system of record.  This system will gather the information from your back-office systems, and use workflow and form management to streamline the relationship between employees and HR.

2. Identify your business priorities

This is absolutely strategic and very often overlooked. The question is as follows:  What does your CEO, management team and other stakeholders expect from HR?   What short and long term processes and initiatives do they consider as falling within the remit of HR to manage and own?

How do they measure your HR’s efficiency?

The answer is very often that:

  • When looking at short term operational requirements, management and employees in general expect HR to fulfil their role, but consider this to be an administrative function.  There are some exceptions to this – recruitment, in order to fill in urgent needs; and talent development with targeted training, in order to solve skills gaps – are all seen as important by the wider organisation.
  • Yet when looking at the longer term strategy of an organisation, HR’s key is more broadly seen as key. HR is expected to work closely with the management team as well as product and business development to anticipate future talent needs, manifesting in workforce planning, development plans, succession plan, and engagement strategies.

Therefore, you need to align HR with both the short term operational needs and the long term company strategy.

3. Put users first

Talent management is now moving towards people management. An employee or a contractor is a person, not just part of a process  (candidate, then new hire, then ID number in the HRIS system, then delegate, then candidate to mobility …). Having a unified vision of your employees will help at all levels of HR. If you are using a single platform to manage employee data with effective dating, you can offer easy admin elements such as employee self-service features, employee document management, and simple form management to streamline requests coming from employees to HR. In addition, this unified view of employees based on a competency matrix will enable continuous talent development: performance reviews will be linked to targeted training, succession planning will beneficiate from development plans, onboarding will speed up time to competency etc.

At the end of the day, your people management system will be a powerful tool to foster engagement and increase retention.

4. Use the power of data

As an HR professional, you are used to analysing employee data.. But do you really get the most from your data? Industry leading data analytics tools now allow HR to obtain real insight and intelligence from their data, including features such as:

  • Standard and personalised reports that help you track  your daily activities: which employee data need to be updated, what training needs to be completed, which department is late in reviewing performance etc.
  • Consolidated dashboards with company-wide visibility that provide a visual representation of your data for better understanding of company-wide situations, in turn fostering dialog between HR and the C-Suite
  • Predictive analytics dashboards based on big data algorithms that  enable true data-driven decision making. You’ll be able to anticipate trends and act to impact positively on the business.  For example, through identifying and tackling compliance risks, dealing with the causes of attrition, and identifying new and potentially counterintuitive sources for succession planning.

Yet remember that analytics is only as good as the data it can use. Therefore, unifying your system of record and including the talent management data will enable the best of both worlds. By empowering your talent development strategy with powerful analytics, you’ll both manage company-wide administrative data, and have real positive impact on the business.

5. Keep it simple

“Simple” is not the word usually associated with core HR projects. You know they last more than a year, cost a huge amount of money and bring (potential) payback only when everything is perfectly functioning. You already have functioning payroll systems and keeping your existing solution is often the most simple answer. Yet you do need to have a unified system of record, global talent development, an international mobility programme, and an ambitious succession and workforce planning strategy. There is an alternative HR architecture that will help you get quick benefits from true business-driven talent management and at the same time serve as the central repository of all employee records across the organisation, in any country or subsidiary. This system will then be able to exchange data with your local back-office or payroll system.  And as you’ll be able to keep these existing systems, project cost and length will therefore be significantly reduced.

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