The perils and pitfalls of mobile HRMS

Mobile HRMS can be an extremely useful tool, but can have its drawbacks. It delivers a number of benefits to users but requires additional steps and activities to reach a state of readiness. If you are considering a mobile HRMS implementation, here are key activities to include in your selection plan.

Complexity of design

Were the mobile features included in the original HRMS design or was it a later bolt-on effort? In the case of a mobile retrofit, you may find that there are different ways of doing things in the core HRMS versus the mobile alternative. Where the two options differ greatly it may cause additional design efforts to ensure that you are able to implement, maintain and support different ways of doing things.

As you are selecting vendors for your shortlist and you are viewing their products, ask to see the setup and configuration items in each to determine how much of an impact may be hiding in the background.

Recommended reading: find mobile HRMS vendors to suit your needs with our completely up-to-date HRMS vendor directory.

Cost and time of additional implementation

Following on the point about complexity, cost and time are also key considerations. In some cases mobile functionality is licensed together with the core application while others license it separately. Does the vendor recommend including it in an initial implementation or should it be a standalone launch? Mobile HRMS usually has simple transactions but the need to test on a variety of devices adds time to your test plan.  


Security should be addressed on multiple levels by your selection team. Log in details are the first point of contact to mobile HRMS. Are passwords stored on a device and if so are they securely stored? Opening your HRMS to be accessible to mobile devices will require you to provide avenues into a system that was previously blocked. Are controls in place to be sure that only employees are entering the HRMS? Ask your vendors for a count of customers using their mobile HRMS to get an idea about how robust the system is and how often they invest in outside testing to ensure that it is not an easy target for hackers.

A user-friendly experience

Mobile HRMS is growing in popularity and many HRMS vendors are delivering an increasing number of transactions. How much of the end to end employee lifecycle is available via mobile HRMS? Can an employee who is moving change all related HRMS data via the app or is it a back and forth with a computer as only certain transactions are mobile enabled? When a manager can do a number of transactions in a variety of functions on a mobile device they will find any outliers in HR will be a disappointment. Be sure to run through the transaction lists thoroughly to understand the user experience.

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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