Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Virtual HRM - an old article

1. Introduction
Electronic Human Resource Management (Virtual HRM) is a web-based tool to automate and support HR processes. The implementation of Virtual HRM is an opportunity to delegate the data entry to the employees. Virtual HRM facilitates the usage of HR market places (e-Recruitment) and offers more self-service to the employees. Virtual HRM is a collection of many different technologies. At the first the growing attention of companies on the factor knowledge is mainly driven by the evolution of information technology. Information systems like Virtual HRM solutions that network information enables companies to get a consistent concept for their knowledge management. Virtual HRM will improve HRM quality in organizations by freeing staff from administrative burdens and allowing them to undertake critical people-management activities
1.1. Significance of Virtual HRM
To undertake such an analysis, first define the role that HR can play in supporting the company’s primary objectives (in this case, cost cutting, but it could also be improved services or productivity). Second, determine how the company can use Virtual HR to help support the objective. For example, when our business needs to expand into new markets, your HR team must develop a relocation plan for existing employees, a recruiting plan to staff up in the new market, or both. In this example, Virtual HR can help by easing relocation with online tools that allow employees to model the cost of living in the new area, or through Internet recruiting to help identify candidates at the new location. In both cases, Virtual HR approaches can save costs over traditional methods even as they speed and improve your outcomes.
            As demonstrated in the range of potential solutions, Virtual HR’s biggest savings potential comes through reducing the operating costs of HR itself — through curtailing labor costs, outside services and printing and distribution. Access to HR services over the Internet and other Virtual HR delivery channels now allow HR functions to distribute these savings over a large population while reaching even a widely dispersed work-force. Today’s technology is more than just faster than before. It is qualitatively different in its global reach; features attractive, easy-to-use content; and provides transactional power to handle sophisticated HR processes with speed and accuracy.   

1.2 Importance of Virtual-HRM
New research indicates that companies with the most high-performing HR function behave differently when it comes to the use of HR technology, and this may be the most convincing reason for HR professionals to improve their knowledge and skills in this competency domain. A recent study from a global business process advisory firm, the Hackett Group, found that "a significant cost gap exists between world-class and typical companies, with world-class companies now spending 25% less than their peers." The high-performing companies examined for this study, which were defined as companies ranking in the top 25% in efficiency and effectiveness metrics, also operated with 16% fewer HR staff. More efficient use of IT was considered a major factor behind the ability of these companies to operate with lower costs and fewer HR employees. Self-service technology appeared to play a role in these higher levels of efficiency and productivity, but another key factor was that the HR leaders in these companies had a deep understanding of technology and made a strong effort to derive as much value as possible from the technologies they implemented-often through simplifying systems. Another finding from the research was that HR leaders from the companies performing in the world-class category were more likely to report directly to their CEOs. This could mean that HR leaders with direct access to their CEOs may be in a better position to ask for the resources needed to implement highly effective HR technology systems. Although economies of scale could play a role in bringing costs down, given that these world-class organizations actually showed less technology expenditures per head, another possibility could be that demonstrating HR's value through cost reductions and improved productivity through the effective use of HR technology helps HR leaders prove their strategic value to the top leadership of their organizations.
Cost reduction without loss of effectiveness or decline in customer service also seemed to be the main benefit of the use of HR technology in an empirical study of five large companies using Web-based human resource management. The researchers use the term e-HRM, which they define as "a way of implementing HR strategies, policies and practices in organizations through a conscious and directed support of and/or with the full use of Web-technology-based channels." The findings indicate that the most significant way that the use of e-HRM brings down HR costs is through the elimination of administrative HR positions and by enabling HR professionals to spend more time on strategic decision-making that ultimately leads to more efficient HR practices that further save costs. This is in line with the two most commonly stated goals the five organizations reported in relation to the use of e-HRM: to achieve cost reduction and to improve administrative productivity rates. Standardizing HR practices across operations and borders was another key goal. This was particularly relevant to organizations that had operations in many different countries, especially in the case of widely varying employment legislation. With the pace of globalization continuing to accelerate, it seems likely that the goal of HR practice standardization will become more important.

1.3 Objectives of study
According to the study authors, there appears to be a gap between the Virtual HRM that is made available and the actual adoption of it by employees and line managers. This makes it more difficult to measure the actual impact Web-based HR applications have had on easing the administrative burden. If these tools have simply pushed HR tasks out onto an unwilling employee and management population that do not make full use of them, the adoption of these technologies as a way to improve efficiency may be less successful than it may at first appear. In spite of these caveats, the organizations studied continued to invest in these technologies due to their overall perception that they had met their primary goals of cost reduction and the easing of the administrative burden.
Web-based technologies are fundamentally changing the way human resource management is being conducted. Virtual HRM refers to the data, transactions and tools that organizations use to help manage and provide services for their applicants, employees and retirees. These services can impact every area of human resources including:

  • Recruiting
  • Selection
  • Performance Management
  • Compensation
  • Benefits
  • Training and Development
  • Surveying and human resource research
  • Employee and manager Self-service
  • To study the origin and growth of Virtual HRM.
  • To study the functional area of Virtual HRM.
  • To evaluate the Virtual HRM practices in the current scenario.
  • To analyze the various software packages available in Virtual-HRM.
We probably have heard the phrases, B2B (business to business and B2C (business to consumer), but a relatively new player on the e-commence block is to B2E (business to employee). The B2E market for e-hr related services is growing at an astounding rate.
2. Elements of Virtual HRM
2.1 Greater Access to HR Technology by Non-HR Professionals
As great as the impact of technology is on HR professionals themselves, one of its most important outcomes may be that it allows non-HR professionals to get involved in some tasks that have traditionally been concentrated in the HR department. The development of self-service technologies for managers and employees to manage their benefits is one obvious example, but there are also other ways this is occurring.
2.2.Workforce Analytics and HR as a Decision Science
Not only does the development of workforce analytics such as cost per hire, time to fill, absence rates, benefit costs per employee and other metrics change the way human capital issues are viewed outside of the HR function, it is also helping to transform HR into what is known as a "decision science." HR as a decision science means that as a function it has analytical rigor and empirical precision with a measurable impact on business results. The use of workforce analytics supports this by helping to define what is to be measured in order to better understand the return on investment of HR programs and processes and using the data derived from these measurements to make further improvements and drive change as it relates to human capital and talent. As Boudreau and Ramstad write in their work on a decision science for human capital talent, "the marketing decision science enhances decisions about customers, and the finance decision science enhances decisions about money, so a talent decision science should enhance decisions about talent, both within and outside the HR function."
2.3. New Roles and Competencies
In addition to creating new HR technology specialist roles, the interface between HR and IT processes and the growing complexity of managing HR technology systems could also influence the types of competencies required within existing HR specialist areas discussed below.
2.4. Metrics and Measurement
The SHRM Human Capital Measurement/Metrics Special Expertise Panel listed workforce optimization and productivity as one of the key trends in its 2006 trends update and explained that "the measurement of workforce productivity will become a critical issue for the HR function. Over the short term, the focus will be on the skills of the workforce, but over the long term, the focus will be on talent management and will involve technical tools to facilitate workforce optimization." Technology has been viewed by economists as a major contributor to the productivity leaps over the past decade, but with the growing emphasis on human capital as a driver of productivity in the knowledge economy, understanding the way these two factors interact with one another to boost productivity rates will be crucial to organizational success. This will require HR professionals to have an in-depth understanding of technology in two crucial ways: as a driver of employee productivity and as a way to assist in measuring the effectiveness of human capital interventions.
Workforce analytics can track a wide variety of metrics, such as revenue and expense per employee, compensation, benefits, workers' compensation as a percentage of expense, cost of hire, time to fill, absence rates and more. Clearly, the more rigorously human capital factors can be measured, the better the impact of HR initiatives can be understood. The drive for simplicity will make finding ways to integrate data an ongoing objective. For organizations that use a number of different applications from a single ERP vendor, this task will be very different from those companies that have data housed in a number of different systems. In this case, reporting on various different metrics will be via a data warehouse rather than an ERP. For many organizations this will present an ongoing challenge and will be further motivation to find ways to link systems so that they truly work together to create meaningful, usable data.
In addition to in-house data and information gathered either via ERPs or the company data warehouse, general labor market information is also growing richer. Some of this is due to the development of a wider array of employment indicators, and much of that data is gathered from HR and recruitment professionals themselves. New indicators such as the Leading Indicator of National Employment™ (LINE), developed through a partnership between SHRM and Rutgers University, and employment indicators developed through online job brokers are creating new sources of data on total employment, total vacancies, recruiting difficulty, new-hire compensation and hiring expectations at the industry and regional levels. This wider array of more detailed employment indicators may help HR professionals better forecast labor trends and hiring needs. Developments in technology and data collection are also making it easier for HR professionals to benchmark themselves against similar organizations at a lower cost than was previously possible. For example, in 2005 SHRM developed a Customized Human Capital Benchmarking Service comprised of critical data from more than 1,500 organizations. The data enable organizations to create an organizational profile based on revenue, industry, staff size, geographic region and other categories and create customized reports on issues such as cost per hire, time to fill, HR-to-employee ratios, health care expenses per all or covered employees, annual salary increases, turnover rates, etc.
With the cost of storing and comparing data going down, more HR professionals-even those working for small and medium-sized organizations-will be able to use human capital metrics to make a case, make decisions and show return on investment. A broader range of data sources and improved ease of use may also enable workforce analytics to empower employees further down the chain of command to make decisions based on shared data. In some cases, this may require changing organizational culture to one that better supports virtual collaboration. It almost always requires a strong effort to better educate managers and other employees on how to understand and use workforce analytics.
3. Approaches to Virtual HR
1. Understand and leverage the link from virtual HR to the business strategy.
           You and your company’s decision-makers must view HR services and systems in the context of helping to achieve business objectives.
2. Quantify the current cost of delivering HR services.
           You must know where you are today before you can identify opportunities for cost control and project expected cost savings.
3. Define how virtual HR will change the delivery of HR services.
           Establish a vision and articulate what that vision will mean in terms of people, process and technology.
4. Work closely with your finance organization to develop the required analysis.
           Typically, this includes a business case containing a combination of measures, such as net present value, rate of return and payback period.
5. Establish measures/targets to maintain focus and assess progress.
           As the saying goes, "What gets measured gets done." You want to guarantee that you can demonstrate results down the road.
6. Pre-sell your business case to members of the executive team.
           Educate key decision-makers along the way so they can more quickly evaluate initiatives when it comes time to ask for funding.

4. Functional areas
HR Programs and activities Supported by HR Technology Systems
Along with improving efficiency and user-friendliness, simplifying IT systems is primarily viewed as a cost-saving measure. In a study of 250 companies, the Hackett Group found that companies that did not reduce the complexity of their IT systems spent around 30% more on finance operations and 18% more on human resource functions. Overhead costs at companies that had 10 or more finance applications or did not have a global standard for HR applications were found to be much higher. The findings suggest that customization or a large number of applications may be less cost-effective than less complicated systems, since those companies that spent less were able to bring their projects in on time even with fewer staff.
Service Applications via the Internet
One important way that HR technology is opening up the HR space is through accessing standard business applications on the Internet via the use of the application service provider model, which involves using a third party to manage and distribute software-based services. This type of "software-as-a-service" was one of the top trends identified by the SHRM Technology and HR Management Special Expertise Panel in 2006. Many technology experts point to this as a significant trend because it has lower upfront costs than licensing software and because it concentrates responsibility for the management and upgrade of computer systems in the hands of the service provider rather than the buyer. This is particularly important in an environment where the speed of technology development is getting faster every day. Instead of organizations investing in licensed software and adding their own customized features and upgrades, which can take a long time to test and implement, the service provider uses the continuous developments in technology to enhance service on an ongoing basis and make updates immediately available to its customers. Advocates of this model say that this encourages faster innovation from service providers and also helps keep costs down in a competitive market.
             Until now, only the largest companies were able to afford the costs of a major investment in licensed HR software. In addition to the initial license fee, companies pay annual technical support and upgrade fees that frequently amount to millions of dollars for the largest companies. According to Forrester Research, maintenance fees will account for more than 40% of company spending on enterprise resource planning (ERP) software in 2006. At the moment, the licensed ERP software market is relatively competitive, so larger organizations will potentially be able to benefit from cost savings on software and on maintenance fees in the short to medium term. But even though their emphasis will continue to be on licensing standardized platforms to their largest customers, now some of the biggest HR licensed software providers are also experimenting with different types of Internet-based services. Here, some of the most important developments may occur in on-demand software aimed at small and medium-sized businesses.
One reason that small businesses may hesitate to use some types of on-demand software is because the prices are often based on the number of expected users. For this reason, rather than small businesses interfacing directly with on-demand HR software service providers, they may instead benefit from the shift to on-demand HR software mainly through the companies they outsource their HR tasks to. On-demand HR software providers may increasingly work together with HR outsourcing companies to enhance their services.
It could take some time to see how the on-demand or software-as-a-service HR software market will influence the management of human resources in small and medium-sized businesses. If on-demand HR software reaches a point where it is easily bundled into on-demand software packages aimed at small businesses or through low-cost outsourcing services that use on-demand software to keep costs down, many small businesses may benefit from more efficient HR processes than they ever had access to before.
As cost barriers come down and familiarity with the technology grows, the small and medium-sized business consumer of HR technology may grow more sophisticated and use a wider array of HR technologies. This could, in turn, free up small businesses from the administrative side of HR and, by improving the decision-making tools available to them, such as workforce analytics, encourage them to consider the more strategic possibilities of successful human resource management.
Even while the demand for simplicity grows, managing HR technology systems on a large scale is likely to remain sufficiently complex, and HR and IT specialists that can translate data into actionable steps that bring results will be in strong demand. This could create further levels of specialization within the HR profession. As the use of ERPs becomes more embedded into company operations, finding a way to bridge the gap between IT and HR specialists is resulting in the creation of jobs that straddle both functions. Organizations using this approach believe that it encourages a more collaborative way of working between the two groups, which ultimately results in more efficient human resource and technology management. A growing consensus that the interface between human capital and technology is the point where the biggest productivity gains can be made-especially in a technology-driven knowledge economy-is making it clear that specialists who understand both sides of this equation are needed.
The need for professionals who have an in-depth understanding of IT and human capital issues is a real concern in situations where the drive for simplicity threatens to remove workforce management as a top priority in ERP systems. This may be occurring as companies move to systems created through the consolidation of ERP applications and tools provided by a single vendor-something that is happening more and more due to vendor consolidation in general. Because human capital applications may be more complex and involve data that is more difficult to capture, there may be a temptation to use ERP systems that disregard the underlying processes that determine the value of organizational and human capital, especially when the implementation of such systems is led by the finance and IT departments with little input from HR. HR specialists who understand not only the use of existing ERP software but also the workforce management potential of new upgrades will be in a better position to ensure that human capital strategies are not overlooked in the push to simplify.
The need for HR information system (HRIS) specialists could also be encouraging the continuous growth of the HR outsourcing trend. Watson Wyatt estimates that HR outsourcing is growing at around 30% per year and many of the organizations that are outsourcing HR processes are doing so in order to improve their HR technology systems. Outsourcing advisory firm TPI recently reported that HR outsourcing was the fastest growing and largest segment of the business process outsourcing market. By tapping into the ongoing technology advances of their external HR business process providers rather than keeping things in-house, companies are seeking to avoid some of the problems associated with system upgrades and system integration while still having access to high-quality reporting and analysis.
World-class talent management organizations often rely on multiple software applications to manage business processes. Assessment, employment verification, payroll, HRIS, benefits systems: your talent data very likely moves through a variety of systems.
We know the value of sharing this data between applications - and the cost of not doing so. Integration ensures that you have data to make decisions and improves the experience for all end users: recruiters, HR staff, candidates, and employees alike.
         The use of technology to speed up and streamline the recruitment process is likely to be a key area of focus in the war for talent, and the Internet will continue to be the main tech driver related to recruitment in the years to come. According to the Conference Board, three out of five job seekers now use the Internet for job hunting. Eighty-eight percent of the job seekers read help-wanted ads posted online, 60% submitted a resume or application online, nearly half used the Internet to research potential employers and over 40% used online job boards to post their resumes. A survey by Career roads and found that over 90% of job seekers said that they were likely or very likely to view an organization's Web site in order to obtain more information and look for job postings. The trend toward online applications seems to be growing even for non-college graduates in the service sector. A handful of companies hiring primarily service employees in the retail and the hospitality industries are moving exclusively to online recruitment strategies. Some feature computer kiosks in retail locations as a way of tapping into this group even if applicants do not have access to the Internet at home.
Better data mining software is also making it easier for employers to sort through the large numbers of applications to hone in on the candidates with the right skills needed for a particular job. Tech analysts believe that these types of technologies are steadily growing much more sophisticated and search technology that goes beyond key words and looks for underlying patterns and comparisons continues to advance. These developments may make it easier for recruiters to decrease the amount of time it takes between creating a new vacancy and hiring. Workforce analytics are also making it easier to forecast where potential recruitment difficulties could occur based on region, industry, skills or job role, as well as keep better track of applicant demographics.
In 2000 the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act was signed. It allows electronic signatures to be used in place of hand-signed documents in certain situations. The law, known as E-sign, is now helping a growing number of employers that need to process a large number of applications, job offers and acceptances over a short period of time to speed up this process. Though the number of companies using this technology is currently fairly small, several trends could increase its use. First, the relative ease with which job seekers can now fill out online applications may be driving up the number of applications recruiters must deal with. In addition, an increasing number of jobs are filled on a contract or just-in-time basis. This could also add exponentially to the number of applications and job offers that recruiters must deal with. In both cases, electronic signatures could help recruiters move faster. Differences in state laws regarding e-signatures could be one reason this technology has not moved forward as quickly as some tech market analysts expected. However, it is possible that over time there will be a standardizing of laws, at least at the state level, and this could encourage the use of e-signatures, at least for larger organizations.
Tactical recruitment issues
  • The effectiveness of your current recruitment process
  • The role of recruitment technology within your organization
  • A clear workforce planning strategy
  •  Change management planning to support new recruitment initiatives and programs
Benefits of VIRTUAL HRM on recruting
  • Comprehensive project planning
  • Thorough process analysis and reengineering
  • Change management planning and execution
  • On-site recruitment support (as needed)
  • Process training, rollout, and ongoing management
  • Tailored recruitment programs (referral, diversity, and more)
  • Talent pool creation for future hiring needs
  • Applicant relationship management
  • Metrics tracking and key performance indicators
  • Optional full outsourcing of your recruitment process
  • Manage recruitment agency contract details including referral rights, fees, and contact information
  • Receive candidate submissions from approved agencies via your Enterprise system
  • Automatically reject and flag agency submissions for candidates already in your database
  • Eliminate duplicate referrals with automatic submission logic technology
  • Limit agency access to only those requisitions they've been approved to source
  • Reduce unsolicited agency submissions with restricted access to Agency Manager
  • Reduce communications with real-time candidate status viewable by agencies
  • Maintain a record of e-mails sent between recruiters, agencies, and candidates
  • Evaluate agency performance and increase ROI with Agency Score Card
  • Share notes on top- or under-performing agencies with your HR team
  • Provide agency policy and terms information to recruiters while they are establishing their sourcing strategy
  • Search jobs and submit candidates to requisitions
  • Confirm the status for active candidates for each requisition
  • Check on candidate submissions in progress
  • Receive quick notification of rejected submissions
  • View their rejected submissions
  • Review your organization's agency policies
  • Access answers to frequently asked questions
  • View information about your organization's benefits, locations, and culture
  • Track candidates to confirm they have completed job questions
  • Receive messages on the welcome screen and access help
  • Submit a request to retract submissions should candidate availability change
  • Receive candidate resume/CV submissions in many formats
  • Configure job-specific screening questions to solicit critical data from candidates and score applicant responses based on your desired scale
  • Automate candidate profile creation and ensure data accuracy via our proprietary extraction technology
  • Maintain contact with candidates who have access to a Web connection and browser is available
  • Your global online recruitment presence
  • Reduces the data entry burden on your staff
  • Eliminates the cost of erroneous data due to data entry mistakes
  • Maximizes the value of all of your HR systems by enabling them to work together
  • Creates a fluid, cohesive experience for applicants and employees

Selection process

With Enterprise, every individual in your talent database has a Talent Record that centralizes information from many sources, including:
  • Resume/CV data
  • Profile information
  • Work samples
  • Background check results
  • Assessment scores
  • Training information
  • Certifications
  • Performance reviews
  • References
  • Communications
  • Application history and notes
Talent Records are automatically generated from submissions to your Enterprise Gateways, capturing data from forms, questions, and other options. Our Talent Data Center can also create them from your paper and email resumes, offering you fast access to quality data. Data collected online in a disconnected system can be imported to create or update Talent Records.
Our proprietary extraction technology analyzes the data submitted via email and sends it back to the candidate in the associated database fields. Candidates are asked to verify the data in an easy online step so they, and your recruiters, can have confidence in the quality of their data.
With full search capabilities on Talent Records, you will be able to:
  • Consistently and more quickly create candidate matches
  • Identify top performers in any talent pool
  • Mine your own talent database before placing new job ads
  • Manage, track and report on your candidate activity



Mining your Enterprise data as part of your Workforce Selection process

Searches are a key part of locating candidates from every possible source and maximizing your return on your recruitment investment by looking first at candidates already in your system. With our robust, state-of-the-art search technology, you can pinpoint the best candidates in your Enterprise database by searching on:
  • Enterprise Gateway fields
  • Extracted fields (candidate contact, employment, education information)
  • Skills and keywords
  • Custom questions and form fields
  • Candidate types
  • Codes (job requisition, source, and custom)
  • Ideal or sample candidates to match
Enterprise FocusPoint allows full text, wildcard, rank, Boolean and date range searching. It's the industry's first search technology that combines literal and conceptual search capabilities. FocusPoint analyzes your search criteria to match and rank your query results with unprecedented speed and accuracy. With so many options, results can be refined to better target that perfect candidate. Search criteria can be saved, shared with other team members or scheduled to run overnight.
Training and Knowledge Management
Knowledge management systems may be increasingly concerned with stemming the tide of knowledge loss due to the loss of key individuals through layoffs and retirement. A recent report from IBM Consulting Services listed the different ways that knowledge elicitation could be used to "increase both the visibility and retention of an individual's knowledge by preserving it in some form of repository." These include things like expert systems, subject matter expert interviews, after-action reviews and knowledge mapping. According to the report, though knowledge elicitation techniques focus on "transforming tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge, knowledge exchange efforts focus on helping individuals make connections with subject matter experts" and include techniques such as orientation, training, communities of practice, expertise location, mentoring/peer assist and alternative work arrangements. Tech-based knowledge management systems will continue to be a cornerstone of these strategies, but HR professionals will need to monitor whether this technology is really successful in managing information and knowledge in a way that is useful on the ground.
Dealing with human capital issues as they relate to global intellectual property is likely to also be an ongoing concern for HR professionals. Along with government programs aimed at cracking down on intellectual property infringement overseas, businesses are coming together in consortia to try to find ways to deal with the problem. Most of these infringements are either technology-enabled or involve the theft of some form of technology itself. In other cases, businesses may worry that employees are more likely to endanger company intellectual property as well as the company brand through Internet-enabled communications such as blogs. HR will continue to need to focus on human capital strategies that help protect competitive knowledge and intellectual property from infringement.
E-learning technology continues to develop and become better integrated into overall tech-based human capital management systems. Another tech-related area in the training field that appears to be undergoing strong growth is the use of simulations. Improved technology is helping e-learning programs that use simulation as a learning tool become more realistic. These learning simulations help assuage the need to use the actual application environment and in this way save costs. Depending on the industry and training need, the improvement in technology that supports learning simulations could eventually be a major training cost saver. Along with lowering training costs, saving time-or at least helping employees in training better manage their time-may also is an important factor. Perhaps for this reason, more employers are making use of online education. Some higher education analysts believe that one of the main reasons behind the growing popularity of online education is the support it receives from employers. As workforce skills and education become even more critical to business success in a global market, more employers may look to online education to help employees improve their education levels while remaining on the job, and according to the American Society for Training and Development, many organizations see offering online education as a way to boost employee job satisfaction and retention.
Compensation and Benefits
HR legal experts may increasingly make use of technology to help ensure compliance with a complex network of state, national and regional employment legislation that relates to benefits. For example, when the IRS announced a new policy aimed at boosting the use of flexible spending accounts (FSAs), many HR technology providers attempted to capitalize on it by upgrading their software offerings to reflect the changes and to help employers manage them. Other changes in rules relating to benefits are likely to encourage a similar response from software providers. Employers may be slower to pick up on these new products than vendors are in creating them, but it seems likely that the growing complexity in legal compliance will continue to inspire tech vendors to create products aimed at easing this burden. Once again, this could lead to a trend of more widely available tools to help ensure compliance, and these tools could eventually become accessible to smaller organizations on a fairly wide-scale basis. Additionally, the growing complexity of creating and managing these systems will create the need for professionals with highly developed legal, HR and technology skills.
HR technology, especially in relation to workforce analytics, may also be encouraging HR professionals to begin to speak the same language of business as the C-suite, particularly in the area of compensation and benefits as calculations of health care cost per employee or pay and/or benefits as a percentage of operating expense become key measures impacting the bottom line. The improved use of portals to administer benefits will continue to support the shift to self-service benefits administration by helping employees view and manage their benefits in one place that is truly integrated and supports the company employee brand, rather than just a series of links on the company intranet. This will be more important if both health and retirement benefits move toward employee-managed accounts such as FSAs and HSAs.
Employee Relations
Use of technology to communicate with employees without causing information overload continues to be a challenge for HR professionals. The growth in the use of mobile technology will continue to have an impact on the way organizations communicate to employees and the way employees communicate and collaborate with each other. According the SHRM Technology and HR Management Special Expertise Panel, this is the number one HR tech trend for 2006. As the cost of handheld devices that receive wireless e-mail anytime anywhere goes down, more employees will use them and functionality will increase. Constant connectivity could make employees feel as though they are never able to fully disengage from work and could lead to frustration as more employees feel constantly "on call." According to the panel, "HR professionals will need to be proactive and progressive in establishing and communicating policies regarding handheld devices, consider equity issues if the company supplies devices to selected employees and determine any requirements to track imputed income."
HR professionals will also have to pay attention to the way that employee data is stored and protected. Security is becoming an increasingly important job satisfaction factor, and with identity theft as one of the fastest growing crimes, companies are at real risk of liability if they are in any way negligent when it comes to employee data security. HR professionals will need to stay up to date on the technologies being developed to protect employee details from theft.
In all electronic communications and tools available for employee use, communicating the company brand will be of growing importance. Not only will the message itself matter-how it is communicated as a way of reinforcing the employer brand will be critical.
Enterprise reporting
Enterprise gives you the ability to create accurate reports on key performance metrics, such as time to fill and cost per hire, as well as create customized ad hoc reports.
Enterprise reporting features allow you to:
  • Use configurable displays and filters to customize your data view
  • Run report agents in the background and deliver reports via email
  • Suppress duplicate results that would cause erroneous data
  • The TRM Dashboard displays key system metrics in graphical format
  • Determine a report output format from a variety of options (PDF, MS Excel, etc.)
With Enterprise report scheduling, you can:
  • Schedule recurring standard reports to run automatically
  • Establish a schedule frequency, such as daily, weekly, or monthly
  • Establish a schedule Range of Recurrence (duration)
  • Establish a distribution list of users who will receive the report results
  • Establish a library of frequencies (per-user) for future scheduling

Standard Enterprise reports include:
  • Resumes/CVs loaded
  • Open requisition activity
  • Requisition status summary
  • Requisition history
  • New hire reports
  • Cost per hire (per requisition)
  • EEO/Diversity hires
  • Source yield - Talent pipeline
  • eLink responsiveness
  • Time to fill
  • Requisition aging
  • Gateway site activity
  • Search agents
  • Candidate referring URL
If your organization is multi-national or multi-divisional Enterprise now allows you to display localized Location/Division and Department fields on Standard reports, using these two filters, as well as in report results, on the following standard report types:
  • HR action activity report
  • New hire report
  • Open requisition activity report
  • Requisition status summary report
  • Requisition history report
  • Cost per hire report
  • Diversity hires report
  • Talent pipeline report
  • Time to fill report
  • Requisition aging report
  • Agency scorecard report
Improved reporting will better enable your company to track its return on investment, identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies in the workflow process and improve overall recruiting performance. Reports can be run ad hoc, prioritized, or processed in the background.

The power of eLink for Hiring and Onboarding

With eLink, our patented email-based collaboration tool, users can send and receive feedback, information requests, job requisitions, Talent Records, and candidate notes to anyone on the Web - regardless of whether they use Enterprise or not.
The collaboration tools in Enterprise will:
  • Foster a highly efficient collaborative hiring team
  • Allow all users in the recruitment process to interact
  • Engage remote users
  • Bridge communication gaps
  • Enhance collaborative workflow
  • Enrich Talent Record data
  • Include and capture all information in Enterprise
Time is precious throughout the hiring process. eLink can help you stay on top of your requisitions and engage valuable candidates as soon as they apply. You can customize eLink to notify you when a candidate applies to a position or when an applicant ranks highly on screening questions.

Email and Paper Mail Communications

The Communications Module enables you to communicate with candidates via:
  • E-mail - Create template messages that can be used repeatedly and can be sent on demand or according to automated rules to one or multiple candidates, with or without embedded eLink forms.
  • Letters - Create standard form letters in Microsoft Word that merge data fields from Enterprise. Letters can be sent on demand or stored for batch mail merge processing.
The Scheduling Module will assist you in communicating with hiring managers and facilitating candidate interview schedules. The module integrates with Microsoft Outlook 97 (or higher) giving the recipients the ability to download the interview details into their Microsoft Outlook Calendar.


Understanding and effectively using HR technology is now an integral part of the success of all HR professionals and will only increase in importance. Based on the use of HR technologies in high-performing organizations, it seems likely that the main drivers in the use of HR technology will continue to be reducing costs and the administrative burden, and this, over time, could reshape the HR profession and create the need for new kinds of HR specialists. In its recent report, 2015: Scenarios for the Future of Human Resource Management, SHRM developed four potential scenarios on the future of the profession based on interviews and surveys of HR leaders and stakeholders. Though one of the scenarios examined how the profession might look if technology became the central force in the workplace and in HR administration and strategy, all four scenarios had technology playing some role in the future of human resource management. In the tech-based future, reengineering, creativity and new competency models are all considered necessary for HR professionals to succeed, so it is clear that HR professionals must closely monitor developments in HR technology and develop their competencies in this domain accordingly. Regardless of which future lies ahead, a good understanding of the role technology plays in supporting human capital management is likely to be a key factor in determining the success of both the HR function and HR professionals.