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What Role Does Your HR System Play?

Updated: Oct 5, 2018

It’s very easy to implement an HR system as a stand-alone tool, but it’s much harder when your HR system is the organisational ‘hub’ and needs to communicate with your other systems on a regular basis.  Once you’ve started the implementation it’s not easy to backtrack, so make sure you know what role your new HR system will play at the start.

HR: The hub of hubs

Many companies see their HR system as the ‘hub’ of all other systems, the heartbeat. In other words, an employee must be entered onto the HR system in order for their details to be fed to any other system within the IT landscape.

CIOs and HRDs tend to like this approach as it provides one single source of the truth for all employee data, as well as the assurance that people are not logging onto other corporate systems without being a valid or current member of staff.

However, in order to make your system a true ‘hub’, you need to be thinking about your business needs before you begin your HR technology implementation.

Often times companies start their HR project with the intention of only holding permanent, salaried employees in the system, but then decide a couple of months into their project that in addition to that they want to hold contractors and even sub-contractors. In order to make this work, all the decision requirements need to be included in the software subscription contract at the very beginning.

Data & System Interfacing

When implementing a new HR system, you need to pay special attention to the time and resources required for data and system interfacing. Cloud HR projects are typically deployed with a prototype approach, whereby HR and organisational data are required 6-8 weeks after the project start date. Prototypes can be delivered with generic ‘demo’ data, but there is no better way to test a new system than with meaningful data.

However, cleaning HR and organisational-&-job-catalogue data is a long and detailed task; not one you want to begin after your Cloud HR project starts. Employee data needs to be kept 100% up-to-date, especially when other corporate systems start talking to the HR system.  If the organisation structures are not correct in the HRIS, you may not hear about it. However, if they start feeding that incorrect data to the expenses system or to a different performance management system, you will definitely be hearing about it from your frustrated business colleagues!

Similarly, defining interfaces into and out of the new HR system takes time. Interfaces often get second rate consideration as they are not seen as strategic or exciting in the same way that designing new functionality is, yet they often cause the biggest risk and noise to a project go-live, especially when payroll is involved.

It’s easy to predict the internal work involved in building interfaces, but as soon as you have any external or 3rd party dependencies, your timelines can go array! The ideal preparation for your new HR system begins 6 months in advance of project start.

So…what role does your HR system play?

By Helen Thiel. For more information about reporting, insight, or implementing Cloud HR technology, please get touch.


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