3 aspects of selecting an HRMS for a high growth business

All businesses grow. Or at least they intend to. And that has to be a factor when selecting your HRMS. A common selection consideration is to picture your organization in five years’ time and choose the system that will be able to cope with those projected needs.

But what if your business is ‘high growth’? What if your company is a ‘gazelle’?

The original arbitrary definition of high growth was a 20% annual growth in turnover for four consecutive years, which effectively doubles the revenue during that period. Interestingly, the definition tends to change depending on the state of the global economy. Everything is relative.

However, while high growth looks good in the financial reports, it does provide a number of challenges on the people front, and your HRMS has to be robust and flexible enough to keep pace.

HRMS for high growth 1: Increasing workforce

A growth in business is almost always accompanied by a growth in number of employees. In fact, according to researchers at Columbia University, such organizations often rapidly double and triple in size. This is more than hiring the occasional extra body for the sales department and this kind of growth benefits from an HRMS recruitment module that is able to automate much of the process. Applicant tracking, pre-sift candidate testing, online psychometrics, they can all streamline an overworked hiring process. Onboarding automation to get new hires up and running as soon as possible is also desirable.

HRMS for high growth 2: Volatile culture

Any firm growing its workforce at a rate of around 50% per year may find it difficult to define its culture. No matter how strongly stated the company mission and values, the reality of ‘how things work around here’ is going to be in a state of flux with new people arriving all the time. In terms of the classic forming-storming-norming-performing model, it can be difficult to get to stage four.

Ideally, the HRMS will not only be linked to efficient communications functionality (consistent with corporate messaging) but also contain enablers for social and collaborative working – after all, for a single (or at least broadly consistent) culture, first you have to bring the workforce together.

Recommended Reading: HRMS Vendor Guide - Find HRMS vendors capable of keeping up with your high growth business

Another strong influence on culture is the organization’s approach to learning and development. Having a degree of automation in how staff access their training opportunities can help handle both the flow of new people and in building and maintaining a talent pipeline.

HRMS for high growth 3: Reward management

A diverse and growing workforce in which rapid advancement is the norm usually needs to offer attractive rewards – both to attract the right talent in the first place and then to retain it. A strong rewards and benefits management module which can handle detailed and flexible packages can take a lot of administrative weight off the HR department.

Finally, as a bonus feature… it’s worth noting that with many high growth companies, because they are extremely successful in terms of outward indicators – such as profit and turnover and increasing size – tend to a sense of their own infallibility: ‘we can do no wrong’.

An HRMS with good HCM analytics capability can provide some hard, data-based facts to back that up… or not.

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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