If you are in the process of evaluating a number of different HR Information Systems (HRIS) then it may seem to you that many of the products on offer are rather similar. So how do you make a choice?
It is important to look beyond the aesthetics to two fundamental factors which will have a huge impact on the long term efficiencies that your HR software will be able to deliver. One is the level of integration it offers with other systems (for example your payroll software) and the other is whether it is a person or establishment-based solution.
Every organisation has a structure or "establishment" of sorts and the larger the organisation the more complex that becomes. There may be many different companies, at different locations, with different departments and within them, or even across them, different teams of people in different posts doing different jobs.
Every employee's job description, the skills that they require, their contractual terms, the remuneration and benefits that they receive and who they report to is defined ultimately by the post that they are in. If they change post or job then these things will likely change also. And here lies the benefit of an establishment-based HR system over a person-based HRIS: all these key details are held against the post so you don't have to re-enter them for every employee that holds that post, or change employees' details every time they change job. This doesn't mean that you lose the flexibility to deal with exceptions - simply that processes run a lot more smoothly with a lot less input from you.
1) Easier administration
No continual recreation of standard terms for starters/leavers i.e. entering job name, cost centre, department, manager, benefits, training etc. It is also easy to clone a post if you need to increase headcount.
2) Simplified recruitment
When there is a leaver the details of the post or job form the basis of the vacancy. Not only does this mean that HR don't have to manually create vacancies everytime a post is empty, but that it is easier to match candidates to the required attributes for the role.
3) Automatic workflows
With posts linked together you don’t need to rebuild workflows constantly to take account of new starters/ leavers i.e. workflows are sent to posts rather than individuals.
4) Improved security
When employees move from one position to another the data they can view may change given their different role with in the organisation i.e. someone moving from an IT manager to Sales Manager role will no longer be able to see the IT department employees. This is achieved with no rebuilding of authorisation profiles.
5) Organisational charts
Org charts become much easier to produce and to keep up to date with a post-based HRIS. This is because you are able to take them directly from the HR system rather than update them manually in PowerPoint etc.
6) Employees holding multiple posts
If you work for an organisation that has employees holding multiple posts then you should definitely give increased consideration to how any human resources software that you are evaluating will cope with this. With a post-based solution you gain the ability to hold multiple contracts for employees based on their FTE, to assign different schemes to those posts for example Absence, Pensions, benefits etc and to report against them.
7) Reporting and analytics
Post-based HR systems give you the tools to keep an eye on important HR metrics - particularly those around equal opportunities such as disparities in pay.