The Future of HRM Software is Now: 3 Features to Watch For

I took a stroll down memory lane to the time when I got the first generation iPhone. This was during the fall of 2007, which was the first semester of my senior year in college. Ah, good times. I remember sitting in the dining commons, showing anyone that would let me, how I could call any restaurant by searching from the Google maps app. Now, anytime there was an argument it would be settled through me hopping onto the internet via my new iPhone. It is crazy to look back and think about how my first generation iPhone was just the beginning of what is now an integral part of our daily lives. I was holding the future in my hands even though there were many people that thought it was more of a novelty than necessity. Smart Phones have completely revolutionized not only how we live our lives on a daily basis but how we connect to others in this world.

Similarly to the iPhone, in a much smaller way, HRM software revolutionized how companies manage their people on a daily basis. HRM software started primarily enabling businesses to become more efficient through digitizing many of their processes. Now HRM software has given businesses the ability to involve their employees in all the different processes. This has dramatically changed the workflow to become not only more automated but also engaging. There are now some new specific features of HRM software that are going to help your business to both scale at a lower cost while growing a company culture that embraces innovation.

Here are the 3 features to watch for that can help your business:

1. Employee Benefits Automation Feature

Year after year, the whole employee benefits process has become more complicated while affecting more and more businesses. How do you feel about your current process? How do your employees? It has become quite a headache for most businesses and quite confusing for their employees. If you stop and think about the whole process, it first involves the company being able to present all the different benefit options available to each employee clearly. Second, the employee has to be able to select and tell the company what specific benefits they want. Last, the company has to turn around and communicate all that information accurately to the insurance carriers. Now, take that process and apply it to your new hires and employees with life events and it can be quite a hassle.

Imagine if there was a way for your employees to be able to pick the benefits they want based on their specific situations:

  • Levels of medical insurance (single, married, dependents)
  • Levels of dental insurance
  • Vision
  • Prescriptions
  • FSA
  • 401k
  • Other Company Specific Ones

Employees would be able to log on to their ESS where they will be able to choose from all the benefits that are available to them as if they were shopping online. Once they have finished picking what they want, all the information can be automatically updated to the various carriers. No need for paper that can be misplaced, inaccurate, or insecure. This can be done for the employees during the company’s open enrollment, new hires, and employee life events. This feature in an HRM system can really help your employees be engaged and feel empowered throughout the whole process.

2. Onboarding Automation Feature

People are the most valuable part of a company, so being able to find the right people to fill your specific roles is an essential part of your job. The process of recruiting, hiring, and training your new employees is very time consuming. You are constantly trying to stay organized due to dealing with multiple job postings on multiple sites. Then you have to keep track of all the different candidates who have applied to all the different jobs; while each candidate is potentially in different stages in the application process: phone screen, 1st Interview, 2ndinterview. Once you have picked the candidate that you are going to hire, then you have to integrate them into the organization with all the proper paperwork and training. What is your process for recruiting, hiring, and training new people? Do you know what it is truly costing you? Think about if for minute, the cost of the onboarding process of a new hire with an average salary of 50,000 or less is about 20% of their gross salary.[1] That’s really expensive! Therefore getting it right the first time is a must. Having the proper tool cannot only save you money, but can also help with hiring the best person the first time, thus delivering the greatest ROI.

Picture if you had a way to efficiently recruit, hire and train your new employees. Then be able to optimize that whole process. An Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) is a feature that will enable businesses to be able to collect and organize all the candidates that have applied to their job postings on all the different sites that have been chosen strategically (company website, Linkedin, Careerbuilder, Monster, or Industry specific sites). What if your candidates were able to apply not only via resume, but with a questionnaire, or maybe create a company specific test (personality, company culture, critical)? What if you had job description templates at your disposal or were able to repost previous job posting? Maybe you could even schedule the interviews or conduct them via video all while taking notes that could be saved to each specific candidate that was being interviewed. The icing on the cake is upon hiring the individual you can seamlessly change the candidate’s status to employee, which triggers all the information to kick over. Now they can be paid, sign up for benefits, keep track of their time, and engage with the rest of their coworkers. The capabilities of ATS in the future are incredible. You can tailor the whole experience, making it better for the candidate and the company.

3. Employee Engagement Feature

One of the most overlooked problems within companies is that their employees are disengaged.[2] How many employees of yours do you think are engaged vs. disengaged? How are you helping with those employees become engaged? This problem is very complex and there is no simple answer that you can plug in to make everything better. The first step however, is to address the lack of employee engagement by shifting your human resource management paradigm. Moving your company away from the human capital management model and toward an employee-centric human resource management model is a must. Your employees are not a commodity; they are people that desire to be successful just as much as the business wants to be successful. Businesses must strive to provide an environment that highlights every employee’s strengths and help them to overcome their weaknesses. Knowing how to help your employee succeed will create a greater ROI per employee, thus growing your bottom line.

HRM software features are being developed to help businesses make the move to an employee centric model. Employee logins will mimic social networking profiles that many of your employees are already familiar with. They will be able to upload a picture and enter in company specific info that will help facilitate engagement within the organization. This will create a more social and team-oriented environment where people feel a part of something that is bigger than just them. They can get to know their coworkers better and it will be easier to assimilate your new employees. The employee profile will act also as their employee file, which can create transparency now around performance reviews. Can you imagine being able to recognize your employees in creative ways similar to Facebook, Foursquare and Yelp. Maybe even create company specific employee rewards and recognition that are made viewable by the whole company. Your company now becomes more fluid and dynamic, which will really lay the groundwork for engaging your employees.

So these features are cool, but…

What good are the features if you can’t build metrics around them? As a company using HRM software, what kind of data or metrics do you care about? How are you using data to aid your decisions? All these features mentioned above will exponentially help your business grow because there are now analytics in place for all those core business processes. What is even better is that those business processes can be optimized. You will be able to report on all your employee data, which will give you great insight to your true cost per employee. From there you can accurately determine the desirable ROI per employee and how to drive that upward.

HRM software is heading in the direction of allowing your company to have completely integrated employee-centric HRM model with one software provider. HRM software is being developed to automate your processes as whole or integrate seamlessly with other software via APIs. Just like the iPhone I had 6 years ago; current features of HRM software are providing us a window into where the industry as a whole is going. Most of these features are available to you in some capacity but certain functionality might not be there yet. However working with a HRM software provider that is in the process and planning on the development of these features is paramount for you to be able to get the best ROI possible. Be an early adopter and don’t wait until it becomes mainstream.