Thursday, 6 December 2012

Know Your HR Automation

The Human Resource Information System (HRIS) is a software or Electronic solution data entry, data tracking, and data information needs of the Human Resources, Payroll and other people related functions within a business. The increasing complexity of the Human Resources function in today’s scenario makes it imperative for even small to mid-sized organization to automate their HR data and transactions so as to reduce manual workload, at the same time speed up transactions and minimize errors. There are hundreds of ‘off the shelf’ and customized products available in the market today, each with different capabilities. Typically, the better Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) provide overall:

1.     Payroll
2.     Time and Attendance
3.     Performance Appraisal
4.     Recruitment
5.     Learning Management
6.     Absence Management
7.     Statutory Benefits and Management etc.

What are the Different types of the HRIS available in the Market?  

There are 3 different types of HRIS systems available in the market.

1.                  Client–Server: - The client/server model is a computing model that acts as a distributed application which partitions tasks or workloads between the providers of a resource or service, called servers, and service requesters called clients. These types of software’s come for a pretty low cost, but you would have to shell out on having a good server. They might lack flexibility/modifications of the software in the future. It is a one time investment for the software, where in you may pay a huge amount of money initially for the installation of the software, the later part of the costs is paid off during the process of setting up of the software and some amount of it is paid off after the installation of the software.   

2.                  Application Service Provider: - The application software resides on the vendor's system and is accessed by users through a web browser using HTML or by special purpose client software provided by the vendor.  An application service provider (ASP) is a business that provides computer-based services to customers over a network. This is also a onetime investment, but in this case, the software’s having these types of technology would be expensive.

3.                  Software as a Service (SaaS): - Software as a service is referred to as "on-demand software” is a software delivery model in which software and associated data are centrally hosted on the cloud. SaaS is typically accessed by users using a thin client via a web browser. These are software’s which are having a periodical cost for the services that are provided by the vendor to the clients. They might not have an initial cost which the other software’s have, but they do an AMC.  
It is up to the customer to choose which type of a system they would want to have in their organization.

What factors are to be in mind when you’re opting to buy a new HRIS Software?

Here are some key factors as such that you’ll have to lookout for when choosing one for your organization.

Vendor Background: - First priority is to research about the vendor and product. One of the major issues faced by organizations purchasing software products is the reliability and stability of the organization that has created the software. While there may be good bargains available from smaller vendors. Then look at the experience of the vendor with the product in the market, number of clients with the vendor, after which you check out for the reviews of the product by the customers who have used the product.

Product Demo: - This is one area where in the customer gets to know more about the product and its methodology of working. The customer should look out for vendors who provide a free trial of their software before installation or, ask for the product demo from a vendor to understand the positives and negatives of the software. By having the demo, the customer can get to know the feel of working with the software. The customer should try out as many features he can work on, on the software during the trial period.

Product Features & Flexibility: - After all the above analyses are made, analyze if the product that you are looking out for is the one you actually want, does it satisfy your needs? Does the software all features you may need even in the future? If the customer is buying the software because he found what he was looking for that particular time period/need, then it’s a waste of investment. Always keep in mind of your new future requirements. How good is the after sales support of the vendor? For having any HRIS installed in an organization, the time and cost involved is high. Make efficient use of the customer support and make the process of installation the fastest. The other factor a customer should look out for is the flexibility of the product by the vendor; if it allows any customization after installation or additions of new modules of the software after installation etc.

Training and Support 24/7: - When buying the software, we should check the validity of the license, whether it is having a period as such for it to be renewed or its validity. There are types of licenses which are valid for a life time. These types of license can vary in costs. It is up to the customer to choose which type of a license they would want to have for the organization. There are software’s which you get for the full price, or for the module that you may require, or sometimes even for an AMC may be between 10-15%, where in the first 1yr or 6months of the usage of the software can be free. After the installation of the software, the customer should ask for the vendor to provide training for the software as the customer is new to the setup of the software. The customer should make the maximum use of the vendors support to learn the software’s functionality, database management and its transfer to the software and managing the reports from it etc. and should ask the vendor to provide training for the software to the people concerned of the organization. The customer should check out if the vendor has a 24/7 support team who can help the organization if any support as such is needed at any point of time while using the software.

What can happen to the organization during the installation of the HRIS?

One of the most important things to be done when the process of installation of the HRIS happens is to keep aside time by the HR department and also the top management. This would be for discussions on the policies of the organization, or the organizational structure etc. For having to setup the software in the shortest time, it is good to assign a dedicated person working towards the completion of the software without disrupting the regular work of the organization. The organization should try to get the software fully operational in the shortest time possible. After each tasks completed, send the report to the vendor and take feedbacks and make modifications in the first two months before the vendor is fully paid off.