The field of Human Resources these days is managed by software/web based service providers/cloud based software. I am sure there are folks out there who are still using server based system, but most of the innovation and leading edge development is taking place on the world wide web. This is a two edged sword if you will. The HR World is getting some great innovation and development, but it seems to me that small to very small companies are getting squeezed out of the market.
One of the reasons for the squeeze is the integration of all things HR under one roof. These days most providers offer all of these things under one application
- Human Resource Information System (HRIS)
- Payroll Systems
- Timekeeping Systems
- Applicant Tracking System (ATS)
- Performance Management Systems
- Benefits Administration Tracking and Integration
- Learning Management System (LMS)
It truly is fabulous that all of these things are integrated into one system, but there are down sides.
- Vendor Dependency
In terms of scalability, what I have learned is that many smaller companies are priced out of the market and simply cannot afford to purchase these fancy, robust systems. I am speaking of the 50 and under market segments. Many of these businesses could use all of these components, but they are unable to justify the expense of doing so, as so many of the platforms are designed for 100+ employee operations.
The next four items are tied together. Having been through several implementations, I can tell you REGARDLESS OF WHAT ANY SALES REP TELLS YOU, this is complicated stuff! There is seemingly an infinite amount on detail. Everything is connected, and all of your employees expect it to work perfectly each time they have a touch point. This also means your staff has to be trained to use the platform and to know what they don’t know. Lastly, the point of what I call vendor dependency is this. As you move towards a full implementation on any system, you continue to lock your organization into that platform because you are so invested in making it work. It must be truly awful to get to the point of where you say we are just going to leave this provider. So you stay and feel like you couldn’t leave, even if you must.
As a disclaimer, I should tell you that all of the implementations I have been involved with center around a 24/7 operation, in a unionized environment. If you are trying to manage and pay office worker who work set hours Monday through Friday and don’t have any unusual work rule, perhaps your implementation and operations might be easier that what I have experienced.
I have made learning and knowing about these system an ongoing quest. I want to know that I am using a solid system, that is a good value for my organization. So when presented with the opportunities I like to learn what is out there and what the customer experiences have been with these platforms.
Over the course of the year I am going to be talking with and writing about many of the major platforms that are out here in the HR/Pay space. My plans are to do a piece about each of these vendors, over the next several months.
- Intuit Quick Books
If you have had an experience with one of these platforms and would like to share that with me I would love to hear from you. You can contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can follow-up from there. (Please put PIC-Payroll in the subject which will help my tired feeble mind to open that email.)
AND… if you are with a payroll vendor and I have not listed you, and you would like me to take a look you too may contact me via email.