Chapter 5: Information Technology for HR Planning

Information Technology (IT)all of the hardware and software, including networking and communication technologies
IT can help project correct demand and supply levels based on realistic scenarios. IT can also support succession planning and career development plans.

5 applications that receive the highest IT suuport:
1. storing important data (wages, vacation, and sick time)
2. transfering employee data between HR and outside payroll systems
3. generating organizational charts
4. posting job openings within the organization
5. tracking labour costs

5 applications that receive the lowest IT support:
1. providing employees with self assessment and career development guidance
2. providing employees with ergonomics assessment assitance
3. measuring the needs and results of diversity initiatives
4. letting employees make their own benefits records
5. online service delivery of employee assistance programs

Information Typically Contained in a HRIS in a large Organization
  • Wage and salary data (pay structure, raises received by employees, wage histories of employees)
  • Benefits (types, choices, used/accumulated by employees, choices by employee group)
  • Staff profile (minorities, women, people with physical disabilities, managerial vs. nonmanagerial)
  • Grievances (types, frequency, decisions by adjudicator)
  • Training and development (types, dates offered, training records of employees, training needs of personnel, training costs)
  • Health and safety (accidents, costs, tolerance limits for various dangerous substances)
  • Succession plans (skills, specialties, work experience, performance record, promotion capabilities of employees)
  • Job families (jobs, number, training needs, salary)
  • Employee information (all relevant data including those for tax and pension plan purposes)
  • Organizational data (structure, levels, reporting pattern, major policies)
  • Demograhics (staff proffiles including education, age, etc.)
  • Environmental and census data ( population trends, economic indices)
  • Productivity data
(Canadian Human Resource Management: A Strategic Approach, 6'th Edition-Schwind, Das, Wagar)
Outsourcing- a contractual arrangement that has an outside company manage some functions that were previously handled in-house.

Human Resources Information System (HRIS) includes software, hardware, support functions and system policies and procedures that are used to gather, store and report human resources data. The system collects, stores, maintains data and retrieves information about employees and their jobs.

Web-Based HR
  • Web-based HR allows service delivery that pushes employees and managers into making transactions
  • e-recruiting and e-learning are highly visible applications
    • e-learning - the process of learning contents distributed in digital format via computers over the Internet or other network

Enterprise portals
Enterprise portals – are knowledge communities that allow employees from a single or multiple companies to access and benefit from specialized knowledge associated with tasks
See HR Planning Today 5.1 on page 119 for an example

"Portals help human resources organizations deliver the services employees need. When integrated with collaboration and workflow, portals equip human
resources to train, motivate, educate and retain employees with a much richer menu of services. Research shows that companies that invest in human capital
develop a powerful and sustainable competitive advantage." - IBM Corporation.
Having this ability to train and educate employees at a fraction of previous costs is a definite advantage of enterprise portals.

Steps to selecting a IT solution for HRM
1)Conduct a needs analysis involving questions such as: is our system obselete?, Are we able to keep up with company growth? Are we managing out human capital efficiently?
2) Exploring the marketplace: Look for what meets our needs as a corporation.
3)Issue a request for proposal - Set up sales calls to see demos.
4) Evaluate Vendors and Products - Consider references- technical and functional.

Self-Servicea technology platform that enables employees and managers to access and modify their data via a web browser from a desktop or centralized kiosk
  • ESS – employee self-service application
  • MSS – manager self-service application

IT for HR Planning
Some technology applications are highly responsive to the particular requirements of HR planning:

Workforce Analytics
Workforce analytics applications address the challenge of getting business intelligence for strategic decision making.
business intelligence: the applications and technologies for gathering, storing, analyzing, and providing access to data to help users make better business decisions.
Best applications provide:
  • on-demand access to workforce performance
  • dashboards that place information at the manager's fingertips
  • enabling root cause analysis
  • comparisons
  • trending

Workforce Management and Scheduling
Workforce scheduling and optimization software provides applications for deploying employees most effectively. For example, the software application could create schedules that take various things into account, such as call volumes and meeting times.

Skills Inventories
Skills inventories represent a valuable source of information for assessing the internal supply of talen. These applications would typically contain a personal record or skills profile of each member of the workforce. Included in the inventory are items such as employee name, senority, classification, part- or full-time work status, work history and record of jobs held in the organization, education, training, skill competencies, areas of expertise, talents, history of performance appraisals, and future jobs desired by or recommended for the individual, as well as hobbies and interests that may be useful for organizational planning.

Replacement Charts
Designates the process of finding replacement employees for key managerial positions. Replacement charts include:
  • Employee performance appraisal data
  • Information about how ready possible successors are to fill key managerial positions

Replacement planning software can allow managers to:
  • Track incumbents and candidates
  • Obtain specific information from resumes
  • Track historical pay
  • Track performance details

Succession Management
Is focused on preparing employees for future jobs within the organization. The process is information intensive as it requires information on:
  • Competencies
  • Talent pools
  • Development plans
  • Performance assessments from different sources (including 360 degree feedback, allowing employees to assess their own skills)
  • Development opportunities

SAP's Human Capital Management System:
-SAP ERP HCM is a complete and integrated human capital management solution that delivers unmatched global capability
-It allows HR professionals to hire the best talent and to train and cultivate its workforce

Other Considerations When Selecting/Designing a HRIS
  1. Relational vs. Non-Relational System-A relational system requires the employee information to be entered once, making it available for all HR purposes. With a non-relational system, employee information (ie. name age, address, job title, compensation) would need to be entered into each system such as payroll, benefits, performance appraisal, etc.
  2. Referential Integrity-A data base with built-in systems to prevent errors and inconsistencies.
  3. Breadth and Size of HRIS-What is the type, size, breadth of coverage needed by the HRIS?
  4. Type of Outputs-Routine reports and/or the ability to produce special reports.
  5. Developing Internal Software vs Buying-Should the organization develop their own software using internal experts, or buy and use "off-the-shelf" softwares. Determined by type and size of HRIS needed.
  6. Access to HRIS Information-Who should have access to the the information? This should be weighed aganst the need for confientiality and employee's privacy.
  7. Security-System needs to take into consideration that employees pose the greatest threat to unauthorized disclosure of confiential information.
(Canadian human Resource Management: A Strategic Approach, 6'th Edition-Schwind, Das, Wagar)

Steps to Select HRM Technology Solutions:
1. Conduct a Needs Analysis
2. Explore the Marketplace
3. Request for Proposal
4. Evaluate Vendors and Products

HRIS (human resource information system)
- includes software, hardware, support functions and system policies and procedures that are used to gather, store, and report human resource date
- systems collects, stores, maintains data and retrieves information about employees and their jobs

Speciality Products
- software solutions for specific/specialized applications that may or may not interface with the main database
ERP (Enterprise resource planning)
-commercial software systems that automate and integrate many or most of a firm's business processes
- promotes the use of a single shared database that can share information acrosmill tipple tables or files. Referred to as a Relational Database: A database that can share information across multiple tables or files, which allows the same information to exist in multiple files simultaneously.

Great many orgaizations even those that are highly profitable entities have reduced their complement. This change over requires a greater need for HR to ensure their job analysis is up to date. Most employees are doing more (combining positions) thus the jobs keep changing. This up to date information can be a stress on HR and when posting a job.

Needs Analysis Questions:
Is the HR department bogged down with manual processing?
Does manual processing allow for increased possible data security risks?
Is the current system obsolete?
Can we follow-up on health and safety incidents?
Does our current system allow us to be responsive to current business strategies and keep up with future growth?
Are we having problems fulfilling requests for information and/or maintaining redundant or outdated information?
Can we integrate our various systems into a single database to streamline operations?
Are we able to manage our human capital as the strategic asset it is?

IT Implementation Difficulties
Some problems happen right from the beginning such as lack of user involvement (no feedback from the people who will use the software), the vendor is not aware of the needs or goals of the organization, or the needs have changed.
If management does not support the change or the resources (money, training time) are not available the plan may fail.
The technology selected may have become redundant (it changes so quickly) and the company selected may have underestimated the size of the project or not have the technical knowledge to implement a complex system change.
Perhaps changes in the organization means the project will not go forward (no longer necessary)
If not prepared or informed, the organization may have unrealistic expectations of the IT solution or expect the project to be completed yesterday.