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What HR teams should consider when looking for a people management solution.

What HR teams should consider when looking for a people management solution.

by Nick Gallimore, Managing Director - People Management

It’s hard to ignore the increasing importance of new technology and systems in helping business get to grips with identifying their core strengths from a people experience perspective and to help them gather the metrics and data they need in order to enact meaningful change.

We believe that the systems that your HR teams use should allow them to leverage their experience to become truly influential driving forces in your business but unfortunately, understanding the need for a comprehensive and robust HR solution is only one piece of the puzzle. Reconciling your digital transformation goals with the immediate requirements of your organisation and what you actually need from a new people management solution can mean going to market for a new solution becomes a needlessly painful chore- one which becomes all too easy to get lost with and deprioritise.

Ultimately this leaves organisations languishing with outdated solutions which simply don’t offer the functionality required to empower HR and leadership teams to action meaningful transformation. In the worst circumstances, being hamstrung by your systems and technology can actively lead to businesses side-lining people-focused strategies.

At Advanced, we don’t believe you have to choose between policy and procedure which puts your people first and sustained levels of operational excellence. In fact, we think that with the right systems and technology to support you, the very same strategies you wish to put in place to push for further success, can play a key role in also looking after the wellbeing of your people.

So what should your HR professionals be considering when starting the search for a new people management solution? We understand that the search for a new HR solution is daunting which is why in this article, we outline some of the key areas of focus you should prioritise when going to potential providers.

HR software that’s ready to meet the future

HR software has been evolving in complexity over the past few years, moving in lockstep with an increased demand from organisations for a greater degree of oversight, data and granular detail about their people experience. A shift to flexible working has also created a heightened awareness around issues of data security and compliance, with more organisations turning towards cloud-based solutions in order to gain a measure of confidence in the security of their business-critical data.

One of the greatest shifts in the wider world of workforce management has been the increased uptake in remote clocking solutions and other similar employee self service functions. These are a freeing element for many HR teams who find that by allowing their people a degree of independence in managing absence requests and scheduling, they are able to focus on the more business critical elements of their role. HR systems have needed to evolve to meet this shift in technology, ensuring that even as responsibility is ceded to employees in many respects, that organisations still have the oversight required.

We appreciate that the scope of HR is broad and the requirements for a HR system will change to suit the needs of each end user. A successful system will not only help empower employees and free HR professionals but will also impact the function of exec level talent, systems and finance teams. All will have different requirements and different expectations of what an effective system might look like, so when searching for a new solution, it is worth taking a consultative approach and considering some of the key go-forward priorities for all interested parties.

Your key priorities

Integration- Do you need any new solutions to integrate with existing systems? It’s all too easy to become wowed by the complexity and functionality of a system, but the integration and set-up of any new system will ultimately determine how effective it will be for your organisation. When looking for a new solution, make sure you are asking questions around the installation and integration of the solution, determine what the supplier is able to provide you in terms of training and what they can do to help you hit the ground running with a new system. 

Future-proofed- Will the system future-proof your core HR processes? We’ve all experienced the pain of discovering that an existing system or piece of hardware has become end of life and no longer supported by the supplier. When engaging with suppliers, make sure to ask them how supported the system is, and what advancements or plans they have in mind to continue to hone and develop the software.

Support- What support and training does the provider offer? Purchasing a solution is merely the first step in a user’s journey. People want to feel supported every step of the way and therefore it’s important to understand how effective a supplier will be in terms of the customer support they can offer.

Existing customers/feedback- What do existing customers think of the system? Your organisation isn’t cookie-cutter and neither are your requirements, however, it is still useful to understand which organisations of a similar size or set up already use the same system. Encourage suppliers to share customer testimonials, particularly from equivalent organisations.

Scalability- Do you need your system to be scalable to support any future growth without massive implementation costs? Any systems you bring into your organisation need to demonstrate the ability to be agile and to scale along with your requirements. Put these questions to a supplier in order to avoid heading down a technological cul-de-sac.


The key features your new HR system should have

With the function of HR fulfilling a broad range of requirements across your business, it’s probably a good idea to have a clear understanding of how it all relates in terms of functionality. We’ve gathered together a few of the key points you should be looking for your new HR system to achieve in order to support people across all aspects of your business:

  • Comprehensive core HR processes- It sounds simplistic but HR systems exist to make your life easier. In an operational sense this means ensuring that any new systems integrate and work sympathetically alongside any existing processes. Your new HR solution should help you get the foundations right, and effective solutions should be providing organisations with a complete overview of an employee’s journey from onboarding to exiting.
  • Adaptable- The best HR systems are flexible and adaptable enough to suit your organisation’s needs. When going to market, assess the customisation scope of any solutions and ensure they are able to put the information and resources you need at the forefront. Make sure the system fits the way you work, for instance, the ability to tailor workflows or reports to suit your needs and strategy.
  • Employee self-service capability- Are you stuck being a task robot, rather than a people experience pioneer? Introducing an element of self-service functionality into your organisation will be critical in freeing your HR teams to focus on the more strategic elements of their role. Allowing employees to take charge of their schedules also demonstrates your trust in their commitment to the organisation and any effective HR solutions should offer you the oversight needed to lean into this way of working without damaging course corrections.
  • On-demand reporting- Allowing your people to gain access to up to date, management level information in order to enable them to drive forward productivity will be crucial to guaranteeing success. Ensure that the system you are looking for offers the bespoke reporting you need in order to enact your business strategy.
  • Security- Every organisation will have different requirements regarding their security. We have seen an increasing trend towards cloud-based solutions as they offer more comprehensively secure hosting when compared with most on premise solutions.


What’s next?

At Advanced, we understand that the modern working world is an ever-evolving space, and your HR solution should be ever-evolving too. We believe whole heartedly that technology has a huge role to play in helping business meet the demands of today’s workforce and this is a philosophy which constantly guides and influences how we see our solutions.

We believe that your HR teams have a key role to play as standard bearers in helping your organisation align with the needs of today’s workforce. We also know that without the proper levels of support, those same influential individuals can all too often find themselves losing precious hours to admin heavy tasks, leaving precious little time to leverage their talents in more meaningful ways.

Sourcing a new HR solution can be so daunting specifically because organisations have to balance a various technical requirements alongside these ongoing aspirations to create a more people experienced approach to HR.

We’ve created Advanced HR with the goal of freeing HR professionals from the burden of admin tasks and helping them focus on what truly matters for their business. We also believe that one of the key factors in determining success is having the visibility of key metrics and data which businesses need to help inform ongoing strategy. Advanced HR has been designed to allow businesses to gain a comprehensive overview of their organisation and its strengths, as well as identifying any gaps or potential roadblocks.

Want to discover more about how Advanced HR can help create a more people focused approach to HR within your business? Get in touch with one of our friendly team today.

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Nick Gallimore

Nick Gallimore


Managing Director - People Management

Nick is a Talent Management specialist, who has spent his entire career working with organisations looking to transform the way they hire, develop and manage their people. He works with our HR software customers, providing specialist consulting and advice around all aspects of the Talent Management lifecycle, helping them to deliver their strategic people aims.

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