When I think of all the companies I have worked for regarding technology decisions, it’s always the CFO who has to sign off on the purchase. This is also the reason that solution providers have historically bypassed the HR leader on purchasing HR technologies.

It’s no secret that the HR department is often thought of as the softer side, maybe even the weaker side, when it comes to making strategic business decisions. That has changed over the last 10-15 years, but there are still many senior executives who look at HR as the administrative, compliance-focused part of the organization.  HR often doesn’t have hard numbers to show how its work impacts the business. But all that is changing.

As more HR leaders become educated in technology, specifically HR systems, they are able to show how the actions tied to the people in the organization directly impact the bottom line. This is an exciting change to the profession, but it also means that HR leaders need to demonstrate that their HR system decisions are not based on a gut reaction or philosophical data. Brandon Hall Group’s research in 2014 will come into play and help you as you need to convince your C-suite that you need a new HR system.

So, how DO you know when you need an HR system? Here are just a few reasons that provide a positive, measurable impact on business results:

  • Workforce mobilization. 2014 will be the year to focus on not only having the “right” people with the right skills, but also being able to deploy them on the right assignments for your clients or customers.  Do you have a tool to do this?  Many organizations have a myriad of spreadsheets or homegrown internal tools to do this. As the executive level focuses on the productivity and revenue that a smaller workforce provides, the ability to mobilize becomes even more critical.
  • Less time spent on administrative tasks. Manager self-service is one of the hot buttons that many of the HR systems provide. Many organizations still manage their workforces using Word docs and Excel.  As organizations realize that their leaders’ time is truly money, there will be an increased need for technologies that can reduce time spent on administration and increase client-facing activities.
  • Reporting that encompasses data from disparate systems. There are many best-in-breed technology solutions that can help tie your existing systems together. As someone who has purchased this type of technology for an organization, I can tell you it’s one of the best feelings the first time you have all your data coming into one point that can then be easily turned into usable reports. It’s even better when you can show that the money for the technology and implementation is worth it when those reports impact your business strategy and decisions.
  • Better user experience. You want your employees to spend their time focused on the work at hand. Having HR technology in place to give them the data they need in an easily usable and searchable format will make them more efficient.
  • Reduced internal costs. Let’s face it, there are times a leader needs to evaluate headcount and determine if it is more cost-effective to use technology to accomplish some of the tasks. Fact of life. By moving to some of the solutions, HR leaders can either reduce headcount, or at a minimum, re-deploy those HR employees onto more strategic projects.

The main takeaway for you is to be able to use resources, like we have at Brandon Hall Group, to help support your decision for a new or upgraded HR system that will ultimately impact your revenue goals and overall organizational strategy.

For more information, contact me at Trish.McFarlane@brandonhall.com or on Twitter @TrishMcFarlane.

Trish McFarlane

VP Human Resources Practices, Principal Analyst Seasoned HR executive focused on alignment of strategic business objectives and HR competencies. Incorporates social media, marketing, internal communications, and innovation into the strategic objectives of the company. Goal is to expand the business scope of the HR professional as human resources evolves. Specialties: Trish McFarlane,Social media, communications, employee relations, leadership development, talent management, Trish McFarlane, jobs, Perficient, HRringleader, HRevolution, healthcare, Women of HR, Perficient, Fleishman Hillard, PricewaterhouseCoopers, St. Louis Children's Hospital, March of Dimes, The Conference Board, HR, human resources, technology, HR Technology, conferences, speaking, Benefits, recruiting, digital

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