Three routes to HR digitalisation
User experience, customer experience, employee experience, candidate experience, onboarding experience – the thing that these key words all have in common is the people-centric philosophy geared to offering them a positive experience. What does this have to do with HR software? Employees and line managers also want to get excited about HR tools, not just each tool individually but also their seamless interaction, in other words an HR suite! All HR tools (such as recruitment, payroll and time management tools) should be connected and also accessible from a central website. No duplicate data entry or multiple logins. Is there such a thing as the perfect HR suite?
The software market is making a number of attempts to combine the various HR tools. But none of the solutions cover all HR functionalities at present. Of course, what constitutes "all HR functionalities" can be disputed. Here at HR Campus, we have defined this as follows:
But let's retrace our steps a moment: what are the options when an HR department has the foresight to become fully digital and offer employees a memorable user experience? We talk about three strategies on this route to digitalisation: best of breed, suite, or a combination of both.
Meaning the best of its kind. When applied to digitalisation strategy, it indicates that a business uses the most suitable tool for every HR application. This means a tool from supplier A for payroll, from supplier B for time management, and from supplier C for recruitment. The advantage is that the functionalities are a perfect match for the business's needs and the user experience in the individual field is excellent. At first glance, this can often seem to be the most cost-efficient option. A company has a modern, reasonably priced solution for every field. Isn't that great? Unfortunately not. Because the different tools are isolated solutions, they don't communicate with each other. If this is necessary, the company has to establish an interface, requiring additional clarification and costs.
Take the example of an onboarding process. During the recruitment process, a candidate has already recorded lots of key data and submitted essential documents. If the recruitment tool doesn't talk to the master data tool, the data has to be input again. The documents also have to be manually moved from the recruitment tool to the digital employee file. In addition, HR has different contacts and support departments for each tool, which is very time consuming and can lead to frayed nerves.
Candidates and employees have a good user experience with the individual tool and are unaware of the underlying additional work required. What they are lacking, though, is a central access portal. Which tool should be used to input the change of address? And where is the form to apply for unpaid leave? An employer can counteract this with Wiki platforms and links, but again it requires extra effort and investment. Best of breed therefore means excellent individual solutions at the expense of additional costs for HR, IT and other departments.
«The suite always wins» was once said by Bill McDermott (former SAP CEO). A suite means that all the HR tools come from one supplier (which is important) and that these tools are interlinked. There are also concepts in which all the HR tools come from the same supplier, but they don't communicate with each other. This would not correspond to the suite approach. For HR, a suite means automated processes and seamless transitions between the tools.
Let's take the onboarding example again: a candidate's details are to be automatically imported from the recruitment process into the master data tool. From there, they are incorporated into the onboarding tool and HR just presses a button to start the entire onboarding process. All the information that new employees provide as part of this process is easily included in the personnel file. If HR wants, or has to, it can off course incorporate checks before data is automatically adopted.
Employees have a central location for all HR matters. This portal provides them with answers to any questions, they can submit applications and amend their details, etc. It's an absolute dream of a user experience. The suite approach therefore means a fully integrated, optimised one-stop HR software landscape that is fun for employees. But that's the way with dreams – they are often too good to be true. The same is true of the all-encompassing HR suite. Here at HR Campus, we currently do not know of a software solution that covers all the relevant fields and requirements in our diagram in one suite. If you know of one, please let us know.
What remains is a combination of the best of breed and suite approaches. As a business, you choose a suitable, comprehensive suite and supplement it with the best tools. Unlike the best-of-breed approach, there are few interfaces that simultaneously head off integration gaps. Also, suites often provide a central HR portal from which jumps to the other tools can be established. Change of tool is made easier for employees by single sign on. To HR and employees, everything seems like a single, continuous solution. In this way, a business can put together its own customised suite. This offers the advantage of being able to select the most suitable software supplier. The disadvantage of this strategy is that there is still a cost associated with interface configuration and maintenance, as well as the various points of contact and support departments for the individual tools.
Here at HR Campus, we thought the fact that there wasn't a dream HR suite on the market was an unsatisfactory situation for our customers. This is why we developed our own – the HR Campus Suite. In the HR Campus Suite, we combine HR systems that are the best to us with standardised interfaces to form a universal HR system landscape. As this all comes from one source, there is just one point of contact and one support service for HR departments. Practically a "totally carefree package".
Ask yourself, what is the best strategic approach for you? We always advise our customers – as much suite as possible!
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Published: 28. April 2022