Human Resources

Transforming the role of HR

As HR departments are called on to provide a more influential role in the business, how can a digital HR management platform help to reduce routine workloads, asks EASY Software’s Marcus Küppers

Human Resources teams today have responsibility for everything from recruitment to staff wellbeing and motivation, flexible-working initiatives, compliance and data protection, and strategic planning. 

But this expanded role isn’t always reflected in its IT systems, which means HR departments are often left juggling with more than they can cope with.

Here’s how digital transformation can help, and what to look for in a supporting software platform.

  1. Connecting HR with the broader business

Today’s smart, standards-based content management platforms make it possible to link modern HR systems with payroll, finance systems and more – cementing HR’s position as a critical central hub for the business.

Rather than trying to identify a single software platform that can do everything, it can be more effective and sustainable to find an over-arching platform that supports the broadest range of content types, applications and future use cases.R

2. Recruitment: addressing skills gaps

Growing skills gaps put pressure on HR teams to be fast-acting and lateral in their approaches to recruitment.

Connecting disparate information sources and marketing and communication channels can make it faster and more automatic to target job opportunities – eg publish opportunities to job web sites or LinkedIn, with links straight back into the HR department as applications are submitted.

3. Employee self-service

Employee self-service portals can alleviate busy HR teams from routine administration (accessing payslips, booking time off, requesting training, etc), while giving staff members an increased sense of control. They’re also an easy way for busy managers to stay connected with their wider teams.

For these channels to be most effective, they must be integrated with central content stores, secured, and have strong workflow to ensure actions are automatically logged across departmental systems.

4. Security & compliance

Enhanced personal data rights under GDPR have proved another driver for updating HR capabilities, and a good modern platform should be able to cater for the latest data protection parameters – eg providing automated prompts of what needs to happen if someone leaves the business.

People’s increased rights to request access to any data kept about them must also be managed. Again, a sufficiently well controlled self-service facility could help to manage security checks.

5. Mobility

Employees today expect to be able to work flexible hours, from home, and on the move.

Even if ‘mobilising’ HR feels a leap too far, it’s worth allowing for the future possibility of an employee ‘app’, allowing staff members to interact with their personal files at home or on the go.

Similarly, it is worth remaining open to cloud hosting which can be a major facilitator of secure ‘anywhere access’.

6. Management reporting & analytics

Organisations’ hunger for big data has shifted to turning diverse data sources into timely actions. So look for the ability to construct a range of value-added reports, and display these in different formats and dashboards. Linking a modern HR platform to adjacent systems like payroll will allow even broader reporting.

Formulating a plan of action

Organisations should think laterally about how far digital transformation could take them, rather than focus solely on the immediate priority. Encouraging, modernisation needn’t involve a complete overhaul of legacy systems. Where there’s potential for easy integration, it should be possible to blend the old and the new to deliver a step change in HR productivity and efficiency.

Marcus Küppers, EASY Software AG

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