The modernisation of Human Resources (HR) systems and processes is high on the agenda right now for many organisations and government agencies. Directors are demanding more from HR, including the streamlining of functions such as recruitment and onboarding. New HR systems and processes need to deliver better quality data and analytics to enable better decision-making and provide a clearer understanding of how HR is contributing to overall business objectives.
The stakes are high with the implementation of any new system, so HR Managers should be prepared to answer a number of questions from their director as they move through the process. In my experience, here are the main questions that executives will ask before they sign-off on a new HR system.
1. Why does our current system not work for us? How does the new system address the current issues we are facing?
The motivation to invest in a new HR system is often driven by issues and bottlenecks within the current system. Whether the issue is overly manual processes or duplicated work efforts, HR Managers must be able to identify and explain to their director how the new system will overcome this. In my experience, HR leaders should start by talking to current system providers to understand what may be causing these bottlenecks and if there is an option to resolve it prior to going to market for another system. For example, if an organisation is not fully utilising the current systems capability, is this because the organisation has not invested in the current HR system? Or is it because the current system does not have the functionality required?
2. Will the new system improve HR productivity through streamlining of manual processes?
Investment in the right technology has the ability to dramatically improve productivity through the automation of previously manual tasks. There are some estimates that indicate up to 93 per cent of HR tasks have the potential to be automated . Simple tasks such as:
- Posting job ads to commonly used job boards
- Managing approval processes
- Trigger-based emails to notify business areas
- Completing selection reports
- Capture candidate onboarding information
- Ensuring induction training is complete
- Transferring new employee Bank/TFN details to the payroll team
- Transferring staff between positions
Directors will be seeking to understand the cost savings generated through these productivity gains in the new system.
3. What are the business objectives that the new HR system helps us achieve?
It is important for HR to align any new system with the achievement of business goals and KPI’s. A director will be keen to understand what sort of data will be collected through the system, and how analytics will be used to measure performance. Common metrics can include time to fill a position, tracking diversity targets, and also quality of candidate experience during the recruitment process. These questions commonly remain unanswered, and I believe it is best to define outcomes the business wants to achieve first. Then the organisation can work backwards to identify the data that needs to be captured and analysed to achieve and track those outcomes.
4. Does the new system support the unique requirements of our organisation?
No two businesses are the same, so a director will need to feel comfortable that the new HR system will support the specific requirements of the organisation today and into the future. Some example unique requirements could be:
- An organisation that recruits high volumes of casual employees on a daily/weekly basis
- An organisation that is seeking to recruit a more diverse workforce and needs to measure recruitment goals across diverse groups of people
- An organisation that adheres to merit-based recruitment, and must demonstrate that new employees are hired based purely on their merit and ability to perform the role
5. Does the new HR system have buy-in from our IT and security teams?
Collaboration and input from in-house IT and security teams is crucial to the success of any new or existing HR system. The IT team can ensure that any new system has the ability to integrate as required with current technology platforms, particularly into an existing core HR or Payroll system. Security teams are also crucial, as they ensure sensitive data contained in such systems while capturing Onboarding information is protected and secure. Integrations between two or more systems will require involvement from IT and Security teams, so it is best to gain approvals prior to project commencement.