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Blog : 21st Century HR (no. nine): What software do you really need?

Blog

21st Century HR (no. nine): What software do you really need?


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Jane Sunley, best-selling business author and Chairman + Founder of Purple Cubed 

If you put ‘HR Software’ into a search engine, you’ll get over 8m hits. So where do you start?  Everyone needs functional HR software such as payroll, database and so on, though it’s the strategic side of HR software where the real value-add comes. A few schools of thought:

The Conventionalists:

This group go with ‘the norm’; large functional systems that are well-established, high profile and come from well-known providers (who have mostly all acquired one another by now), systems they know others to use.

PROS: Lower risk, does the job
CONS: Unsexy, high cost, long and time-consuming implementation, lack of flexibility, can be less user-friendly

The Hipsters:

This group are always on the look out for funky, new stuff coming out of California, drawn to cool branding and functionality they are sometimes seduced by the product rather than their own business priorities.

PROS: Cool, user-friendly, lower cost, easy to implement

CONS: Usually provide one function, flash in the pan – users get bored unless they see the longer-term benefit to them

The Strategists:

This group set out to identify key business priorities (e.g. The #1 world business issue according to Deloitte is employee engagement) and look for a suite of products that will support them and will ‘talk’ to each other in real time.

PROS: Business needs met, employees see real business outcomes, systems can grow and flex as the business does, affordable and user-friendly

CONS: May need multiple supplier partners

Some killer questions to ask:

  • Purpose – how will this product contribute to the bottom line / your business growth and success? (Look for proven results)
  • User-friendliness – what will make people use this frequently and continuously?
  • Flexibility – can you the solution start simple and grow and flex as your organisation does?
  • Suppliers – are they selling a product or advising on a solution?
  • Longevity – can you imagine using this in five years time?
  • Expertise – do the people behind the solution have credibility and awareness of latest HR thinking?
  • Implementation – how is this going to live and breathe in your business?
  • Responsiveness – is it a ‘mobile first’ design? (It won’t be too long before we are always connected)

Most of all, do your homework. People are still investing heavily in products that are fast becoming obsolete (such as eLearning which has already been usurped by just in time bite sized approaches) – if in doubt, ask an expert…

Find out more about our intuitive, people-centric digital platform, Talent Toolbox™, and our other business solutions here.

In response to this blog, Gail Kenny posted an article. Here are my thoughts:

According to LinkedIn, 43% of quality hires in 2015 were via online social networks. Research from Career Builder found that 68% of candidates would accept lower pay if the hiring process was impressive. Put these together and it makes a strong case for HR's dependency on social media for its hiring. When it comes to engaging and developing employees, social media can play an important part here too. Social media in HR is here to stay and the 21st Century HR person needs to be on board. 

Bored with the traditional job ad? Design a jobographic, post it onto online social networks and watch the response compared with traditional methods.

And with the rise, and rise, of the importance of the employer brand, a new breed of services has sprung up. You'll probably already be aware of Glassdoor, the employer ratings website. Though how about Social Chorus, Bullhorn Reach, Dynamic Signal? These are just a few examples of the many platforms that are springing up for employee advocacy, social recognition, sharing content and so forth. 

Want to find out more?

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