Five reasons not to delay your HRMS project

Sometimes, it takes a crisis for us to truly focus on what matters. In the midst of global uncertainty, many people have been slowing down and taking comfort in little things; the changing seasons, a video call with family or friends, or in endless animal videos on YouTube. 

There’s been a refocusing in the business world, too; organizations are concentrating on how best to support their clients and employees through this difficult time, with many HR teams working hard to ensure the mental wellbeing of their staff.

But it’s time for HR teams to look beyond the immediate difficulties that uncertainty presents, and turn their attention back to the HR challenges that still loom large on their radar; engagement, productivity, talent management, and succession planning, and training and development are all activities that become more – not less – important during times of disruption. But even the most dedicated HR professional can’t address these challenges – and any others that might get thrown their way – without the solid foundation of reliable, modern, cloud-based HR software. although it might feel like an unusual time to dive into an HRMS project, here are five reasons why you can’t afford to delay your investment any longer. 

1. Your organization could be left behind by the competition 

With the threat of a global recession looming, every organization wants to do all it can to stay at least one step ahead of its closest competitors. Those without reliable HR software will find themselves left behind the market; their senior leaders will lack the necessary people data to make smart talent decisions, their HR teams will spend their time on repetitive, tedious administrative tasks, and employees will be frustrated at the poor user experience. Make sure your organization at least keeps pace with its closest competitors (or, preferably, stands out from the crowd) by choosing to move ahead with your HR systems project. 

2. HR software will enable your people to work remotely more effectively 

The proportion of UK adults who work from home has surged in recent weeks – a trend that’s set to continue for much of 2020 and possibly even into 2021. Those organizations that already have robust cloud software – including HRMS and payroll software – at their disposal will have found it more simple and straightforward to make the switch than those who rely on outdated on-premise systems. If your organization’s HR software isn’t cloud-based and doesn’t support remote access for all employees – including vital HR and payroll managers – then don’t delay: it’s time to make the switch to a system that’s accessible anywhere, on any internet-enabled device, to not only save you time and effort, but also guarantee that your organization can maintain its operations in the event of any disruption. 

3. An HRMS project is a valuable opportunity to rethink and streamline HR processes

Implementing new HR software is a great opportunity to check, validate, and rethink your existing HR processes based on the capabilities and potential of your chosen new system. Working closely with your vendor’s expert consultants – or, if you prefer, experienced third-party consultants – will help you get the most out of your system and realign your HR practices so your team is operating in the most efficient way possible. At a time when your HR function will likely be juggling multiple competing priorities from across the organization, and may even be facing the prospect of downsizing its own team, it’s critical that you are operating at maximum efficiency and not wasting time on duplicated effort or unnecessary administration. Sense-checking and optimizing your processes to take advantage of new technology will set you up for future success. 

4. HR software helps with legal requirements and mitigates the risk of data security breaches 

Although the UK government has deferred some items of legislation that were due to take effect in 2020 – IR35 (or off-payroll working) being a case in point – is unlikely that the regulatory landscape will stay still for too long. The FCA, for example, still expects financial services firms to comply with the comprehensive (and complex) Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SMCR) by 9 December 2020 – a suite of regulations which affect the entire employee lifecycle and therefore are near-impossible to manage with a specialist HRMS in place. 

Some organizations are also still grappling with the implications of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which took effect back in May 2018, and set out clear expectations for how all organizations – including employers – store and handle personal data. If you’re still storing data and about employees and candidates in a mix of insecure spreadsheets, emails, and paper files, you’re putting yourself at significant risk of data breaches that could be costly, both financially and in terms of company reputation. 

Even if you’re comfortable that your current system complies with the GDPR, there’s probably still room for improvement. Do you have a single source of people data, or is being data stored in multiple systems – such as an applicant tracking system (ATS), people management system, and learning management system (LMS)? Is data securely transferred between your HRMS and payroll software – or is your transfer method less than optimal? Do your employees enjoy the benefits of integrated systems and single sign-on? It might be time to look for a new HRMS that can help you better secure your people data. 

5. It’ll put your HR team in the best possible position to work strategically 

As the famous saying goes, “what doesn’t get measured, doesn’t get done”. So if you don’t have an HRMS in place – or have an entry-level system that provides only basic, standard reports – then your organization won’t have the data it needs at its fingertips to enable future growth. Few HR professionals relish the prospect of spending a couple of days a month compiling data from various spreadsheets into management reports – many more would jump at the chance to be able to say in a meeting, when asked by a senior leader from another part of the organization if a specific set of HR data was available: “yes, I can run that report for you in a few minutes – no problem.” If you want your HR team to be respected as a strategic business enabler, you need to have that data and insight ready to go whenever it’s needed – and that’s only possible if you have a sophisticated HRMS with built-in reporting capabilities. 

While the prospect of reviewing and benchmarking HR software – let alone completing an implementation project – might seem daunting, there’s never going to be an ‘ideal’ time to begin your system journey. So if you’ve been considering in a new HRMS, don’t delay your project and risk encountering the problems outlined above: start your search for a new system as soon as possible.

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Cathryn Newbery

About the author…

Cathryn Newbery is a business journalist and former People Management deputy editor now working as head of content and community at UK HR software provider CIPHR.

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Cathryn Newbery

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