Picking HR technology hasn’t always been an easy process, but it was indeed simpler in the past. System admins and other stakeholders would take a look at a system, see if it met their needs, and make a decision based on that alone. However, that didn’t always lead to positive results. Today we have this concept of the employee experience and companies are starting to factor in the opinions and needs of not only the employees and the admins, but also the executives as well.
Supporting Executive, Worker and Admin Needs
When I run a research study, one of the first things I like to do is break out responses by job role. It helps me to understand what matters most to executives, managers, and individual contributors. That is the same approach we need to take with this discussion, because something specific matters most to each of these groups, and it’s not always the same thing.
Each of these stakeholder groups has unique needs from a system, from reporting and analytics to ease of use and configurability. Consider the following:
Workers: This is a high volume, transactional user population. These employees use the system regularly to perform a part of their job, whether it be tracking attendance, managing benefit elections, or discussing performance. This group also includes candidates applying for positions, since they only see the front end of the system.
Admins: This is a low volume population tasked with managing and supporting the technology and its users. Admins for HR software typically fall into the human resources department, but there are instances where other groups might have administrative rights, such as operations or IT. This group sets the system rules, manages the user population and permissions, and needs to ensure the system can meet the needs for compliance and reporting purposes.
Executives: This is a low volume group that can vacillate between transactional (dashboards, reports) and highly engaged. For instance, if sales figures are poor and turnover is high for a region, the executive team will be very focused on understanding the underlying data to correct the issue. If everything is operating normally, then involvement is typically less intense.
The Best [HR] Technology Selection Technique
Selecting HR technology is easier to do with a plan, a set of organized processes, and an understanding of the needs of your various users. The following table can be used as a tool to help guide you as you evaluate technology, pointing you to the right questions to ask to make sure the system meets the needs of your entire population of users, not just a narrow subset.
|Population||Priorities||Sample Questions to Ask|
|Employees and candidates||Ease of use, intuitive design, quick access to common features||How many steps does it take to get to the most commonly used features, such as clocking in?
How much training does it take the typical user to be able to operate the system without support?
|Admins||Configurability, branding, system rules||How much control do I have over the look and feel of the system?
What permissions are available?
How can I adjust system rules to align with process changes?
|Executives||Reporting, dashboards, business insights||What stock reports are available for regular/recurring needs?
How can I create custom reports to pull information as required?
Selection is just one example of how we can use a broader definition of the employee experience to encompass the needs of your workforce. In the coming weeks we will explore more specific use cases, such as benefits administration and payroll, talent acquisition, and more.
Written by: Ben Eubanks, Principal Analyst, Lighthouse Research & Advisory