.. processes. For new technology and software applications to be embraced by your users and accepted throughout the organization, you need a plan. In developing your plan, consider communication, organizational and job design, leadership, training and support issues. Planning Contingencies – When considering your overall time horizons for implementation, remember to build in contingencies.

For example, printing might seem like an insignificant topic but it is often overlooked in both technology and implementation planning of HR projects. Ensure that any plans you develop allow significant elapsed time for testing (at least 6 weeks) and consultation with your internal departments and the bank before you need to print that first cheque! Your Vendor – Your relationship with your vendor of choice is a long term one. Vendor selection should be based on both the product and the company. Is the vendor company financially sound? Does the company invest in research and development? What do they see as the direction of their product? You may be faced with a replacement implementation if the vendor does not survive. Outline of the Selection Process Software procurement can be complex.

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While the steps outlined below may seem cumbersome, they are the result of other companies experiences and can adapted to fit your organization. Request for Proposal – Once you have developed and prioritized your requirements, the next step is usually to issue a Request for Proposal/Quotation (RFP/RFQ) or Request for Interest (RFI). To easily compare responses, your request for information from every vendor should be in a consistent, standardized format. Vendor List – Determine which vendors will be sent your RFQ. To limit time-consuming analysis, avoid sending your request to a multitude of vendors.

Through some initial research (for example, discussions with HR colleagues, browsing vendor web sites, obtaining annual reports) you can narrow your list. Consider the vendors growth rate, its investment in research and development, its customer base, and the industries using its product. Many software packages and vendors will purport to meet your requirements. Take the time to question these vendors in detail. Understand how the vendor package addresses the functions that you identified earlier as key.

While the software may handle x activity, it may not be at the depth you require. Site Visits – Optimally, visit organizations in your industry that have already implemented some of the products under consideration. Remember, however, that the organization you visit may not want or have time to communicate less than pleasant experiences. Try to ensure that the benefits will outweigh the costs. Short List – Once initial responses are analyzed, develop a short list to consider further.

Based on your case studies, request at least one scripted demonstration of the system. This is your chance to see the software and delve further into areas of concern or interest. Subsequent Information Gathering – Based on your analysis to this point, you may request additional demonstrations from potential vendors. This provides you with an opportunity to ask additional questions regarding functionality, and will enable you to examine in greater depth questions regarding vendor support, future versions, etc. In addition, interviews with the sales team, technical support staff, and vendor executives may give you valuable insight to determine whether your company should embark on a long term relationship with a particular vendor. Contracting – Prior to signing any agreements, make sure a lawyer, knowledgeable in software and ideally HR systems, reviews the contract. Consider incidental costs that may not be included in the initial costing, for example, training, support, or additional resources.

Finally, remember that HRMS are complex systems. To derive the greatest value, implementation will take time, planning and energy. Set realistic goals. Your organizations ability to absorb change will directly drive and impact the overall implementation schedule. By taking the time to assess your organization, you can feel confident in answering the key question posed at the outset of this article: Does your organization really need an HRMS and is it ready to step up to the implementation? Recruiting and Staffing: The entire recruiting function is undergoing a virtual revolution.

Self-service systems are being installed on both the supply side for applicants and the demand side for hiring managers, using the Internet not only to help provide the match, but also to help handle the hurdles along the way, such as applicant testing and background screening. Companies can search thousands of resumes, internationally, either through proprietary databases or those of vendors such as The Career Connect, CareerMosaic, CareerWeb, The Monster Board, or SkillsScape. Most resumes still come to companies on paper but whatever the media, paper, e-mail, the Web or fax, they can be scanned and re-formatted according to corporate specifications, and then made available to the hiring manager or HR manager anywhere in a company, anywhere in the world. Improvements in optical character recognition have played an important part in this new capability, as have improvements in expert systems that provide categorizations and recognition of terms and rules. Systems can make inferences about skills and potential based on the words and phrases used in a resume.

New technology not only helps with the review of a large number of resumes, but it also gets them to the right people quickly, using a variety of media and vendors. The next generation of recruiting software is incorporating skill-based questions enabling the hiring company to pre-screen applicants. In Conclusion The HR function, being one of the most data-intensive in any organization, is one of the leading beneficiaries and exploiters of these new achievements in technology. Now, HR professionals are more computer literate. They know how to use the technology to their advantage and to the overall benefit to the company.

Utilizing the power of new computers and software applications, notably the web, coupled with the reengineering process, many organizations have started capturing self-service data for all personnel actions, such as new hires, salary changes and transfers, enrollment for training, as well as recruiting and staffing. All of this means more time for employees to do their job and it has meant valuable information for line management.