For the overworked HR professional, an HRMS (Human Resource Management System) can be a godsend, consolidating reams of data into a single, easy-to-access system. These days, companies can choose from ERP software vendors, HR business outsourcers or standalone HR solution providers for HRMS applications.
Brad Everett, executive director of EquaTerra's human resources advisory services, recommends sticking with "a single vendor, because then an HRMS is all bundled into a global license and the integration is already in place." But no matter what route you take, most of today's HRMS tools offer a standardized feature set.
1. Self-Service with a Portal and Reporting/Analytics: According to Everett, "Self-service has become more important as time goes on." That's because self-service allows employees to perform activities from making time-off requests to updating their benefits information, all without phone calls or emails to HR personnel. No wonder Forrester Research once dubbed self-service HR "an essential core application" for businesses.
2. Applicant Tracking and Recruiting: Rather than rely on several vendors for recruitment needs, this module helps HR professionals effectively source, select and hire the best candidates with increased speed and efficiency.
3. Learning Management: Whether you're looking to track employee development or roll out Web-based training modules, learning management is a critical component of any HRMS. What's more, learning management is "a prime candidate for a point solution," according to Everett. "However, if you're looking for training administration, training development and delivery, you may want to look for a provider that specializes in this area."
4. Payroll Administration: A satisfied work force is one that gets paid accurately and on time. The payroll module makes this possible by consolidating data on employee time and attendance and automatically generating paychecks and employee tax reports. Although there's no shortage of standalone payroll products today, Everett notes that most outsourcers include this popular module within their product portfolios.
5. Health and Wellness Benefits Administration: This module helps an HR department administer and track employee participation in benefits programs. Activities range from insurance purchases to retirement planning.
6. Compensation Management: Manually crunching numbers can rob HR professionals of precious time better spent on core competencies. With a compensation management application, companies can automatically calculate the compensation provided for employees, as well as administer salary, grade-related pay, absences, and award schedules and payments.
7. 401(k) Administration: Most modules feature record-keeping functions, compliance testing and the ability to automatically calculate various employer contributions for 401(k) and other defined contributions for plans.
9. Time and Labor Management: For companies that have moved beyond having employees punch time clocks, a time and labor management module can help efficiently manage labor resources in real time. An organization can monitor labor activities as they happen and better control labor costs with up-to-the-minute tracking of labor data.
10. Employee Performance Management: Forget about paper-based scorecards. With employee performance management, a company can create high-value performance appraisals for all employees that are aligned with an organization's unique goals and priorities.