HRMS self-service: how to engage without compromising security

HRMS self-service has revolutionized how HR is able to connect with employees, providing transparency to the data being stored in the HRMS as well as the power to act upon it. However, the more doors there are into any IT system, the higher the likelihood of a data breach. How can organizations tread the fine line between employee engagement and data security?

Consider data classification in system design

All HR or employee data is not created equal. As you design and configure your HRMS self-service transactions, it is helpful to consider how the data will be used and viewed. Highly sensitive data such as a social security numbers should be classified as restricted so that it goes through additional review or governance before being visible by the employee, and even then perhaps only in a part masked display. Less sensitive data activities such as allowing an employee to change a home telephone number does not require the same level of governance.

Recommended reading: make sure your employees are engaging with your HR technology with our guide to HRMS self-service success.

Ensure that adequate technology standards are in place

Many HRMSs deliver value-added mobile features that help employees to perform tasks in an efficient manner. The underlying technology must be robust enough to protect employee details in the event of a hacker attack or if an employee loses a device. Your company may choose some extra security precautions such as the reentry of a password to submit a transaction. Other security options may be to limit mobile features completely or to offer a hybrid model: sensitive data transactions such as viewing a pay slip online are only available when connected to a pc or tablet, while mobile-enabled transactions do not involve such sensitive data.

Perform risk/benefit analysis

As you look to implement and enhance your employee self-service offerings, it is recommended to identify the risks and benefits of each self-service transaction from a functional standpoint. If you enable self-service for employees to enter and update bank account details you can estimate the time and cost savings for your HR or payroll employees in addition to the satisfaction of the employee who can make the changes on demand.

There can be a risk if your HRMS functionality is not robust enough, that an employee can enter incomplete data or could accidently mistype a number. What is the cost if there is a mistake and how often could that occur? Is there a high cost to doing a separate bank transfer? This error could then be compounded into a compliance issue if you are in a state like California where an employee who quits is entitled to receive a paycheck within 72 hours.

After you have done the risk/benefit analysis the answer may be to enable the direct deposit transaction but to add in a process step, such as a payroll team member receiving and reviewing a regular report of the new and updated data prior to it being used in a payroll run.

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Heather Batyski

About the author…

Heather is an experienced HRMS analyst, consultant and manager. Having worked for companies such as Deloitte, Franklin Templeton and Oracle, Heather has first-hand experience of many HRMS solutions including Peoplesoft and Workday.

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Heather Batyski