One of the newest and freshest ideas to hit the HR scene is blockchain. The technology is still in its infancy as it relates to HR, but is quickly gaining momentum. HRIS leaders such as Kronos have already started to work on integrating blockchain technology into their HR software solutions.
What Is Blockchain?
Blockchain is technology that was originally developed as a ledger for cryptocurrency. “Blocks” of information are created when one party initiates a transaction and another party agrees to or validates the transaction. As blocks are added, it creates a chain, which is where the name “blockchain” comes from.
Blockchain and Security
One of the most appealing aspects of blockchain is that that anyone with internet access can view and make changes to blockchains that have been created and can start blockchains. Though it seems counterintuitive, this decentralized structure is actually more secure than the centralized databases that we currently rely on.
Every single block of information that’s created is encrypted. In order to view the information, users have to be given a digital key.
Minimizing Falsification in Work History
The use of blockchain in recruitment could help to minimize falsification in work history reporting. At the present time, candidates can lie about education and previous employment. It’s tough for employers to verify information, there’s a lot of leeway for candidates to get creative about the details.
With blockchain, every block of information that’s added to a person’s work history must be validated by the other party (i.e. the school or employer). When the information has been verified, it will have a green checkmark or other indication. If information isn’t validated in time, it will be eliminated from the blockchain.
Benefits of Blockchain
Hiring managers and recruiters can verify a person’s qualifications without ever contacting the organizations. This saves time and also protects candidates that don’t want to let their current employer know they are looking for another job. Additionally, letters of recommendation and certifications can be stored and viewed alongside key points of the work history report.
Money can change hands without the need for a banking system, eliminating wait times and fees. This can speed up payroll and save employers’ money. Since it’s not necessary to store employees’ bank account numbers and information, using blockchain for payroll may also be more secure.
Tracking performance using blockchain can assist with optimizing performance management and merit based raise systems. Since blockchain automatically creates a running log of information, it is a common sense solution for 360 degree performance tracking. Peer feedback and self assessments can also be added to the performance blockchains, if desired.
Many HR professionals predict that blockchain stands poised to be the next big transformation for HR. Finding a HRIS that is already set up to work well with blockchain can help get your organization ready for this change. By adapting to this up and coming technology, you may find your competitive edge and drive your organization into the future.
Managing time off can be tricky and time consuming. HR professionals and managers are expected to handle time off requests, pay employees accurately based on policies, show consistency in holding employees accountable for absences, and comply with laws. While software shouldn’t be a substitute for training, a HRIS can be helpful in managing a company’s time off needs.
Managing Paid Time Off
Paid time off (PTO) often contains many moving parts. Employees may accumulate PTO week by week, or may become eligible for a certain amount of PTO at the beginning of a new year. As employees use PTO, it may come from different categories (such as sick or vacation time) or it may be deducted from a single balance.
In addition to managing the debits and credits to PTO balances, HR professionals and managers are often charged with managing employee time off requests. This can be messy if a system isn’t organized and employees may become disheartened if their time off requests are lost, forgotten, or otherwise not honored.
A HRIS can be used to automate the management of PTO. The system can be set to automatically add time to PTO balances and to send alerts to management when there is a request for time off or a question about which type of PTO is being used. A HRIS can also set reminders for time off requests in scheduling modules to minimize the potential for errors or forgotten time off requests.
Holidays and Scheduled Time Off
Remembering to factor in paid holidays and other scheduled time off can be tough with all of the other obligations that often accompany these periods. An HRIS can be easily set up to automatically pay employees for scheduled days off, while also recording those paid days off appropriately.
Absences due to illness and personal needs must be managed at every organization. Managers and HR professionals should show compassion for employees requiring time off for these needs, but should also act according to policies. If a doctor’s note or other documentation is required, it’s important that consistency is maintained and each employee is held to the same accountability standards.
A library of policies and procedures housed within a HRIS can help both employees and managers to keep track of existing guidelines. If an absence doesn’t meet the standards for an excused absence, a HRIS can be instrumental in docking the employee’s pay and/or communicating applicable disciplinary action. If an employee habitually accumulates unexcused absences, a HRIS will also be helpful in tracking absences to spot patterns and provide documentation.
If an employee needs to take an extended period of leave due to an injury or life change, a HRIS can help an employer stay in compliance with laws and track the leave. A HRIS may be set up to record the time differently than time worked if the leave is paid, or to send alerts when a leave period has gone beyond time allowances. This could help an employer to avoid penalties while also setting precedence for how to manage future occurrences.
Managing various types of time off can be made easier with a HRIS. If you feel that a HRIS could help you with time off management, we can assist you with finding the perfect software. Call 866-629-1227 to speak with one of our professionals.
Some of the most sensitive information in any company is contained within its HR files. Much of the information detailed in employee files is helpful or necessary for operations, ensuring that employees are compensated in a timely manner and that all reporting is completed according to legal requirements. However, this same information is valuable and tempting for hackers and thieves.
Security breaches can be devastating to a company’s employees and can sully a company’s reputation. Additionally, new privacy laws under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe are enforceable as of May, which may result in hefty penalties for non-compliance for any company doing business in Europe (even if headquarters is located elsewhere).
Unfortunately, hackers continue to find new ways around security measures as they are created. It’s important to stay vigilant when it comes to protecting data so that your company is always one step ahead. The following are a few ways that you can work to establish the highest standards for data security and privacy.
Roughly 63 percent of data breaches can be traced back to weak, default, or stolen passwords according to a Verizon 2016 Data Breach Investigation Report. Passwords can be guessed by coworkers, phished by scammers, or even given away by the managers or employees themselves in the interest of efficiency. Once a thief has infiltrated the system, it can be difficult to re-establish control.
Creating strong passwords and using them properly can prevent data breaches. Forming guidelines that assist employees with setting up strong passwords and guarding them can make a big difference. Outlining policies that prohibit password sharing and enforcing them can also discourage poor practices.
Data Security Training
HR managers, IT professionals, and front line managers should all undergo some type of security training. These individuals all have access to sensitive employee data, so it’s critical to make sure they understand the importance of keeping this data secure. Vendor representatives may be helpful when it comes to teaching employees the best ways to use the features of an HRIS to improve security.
One of the main elements of the GDPR is an emphasis on minimizing the amount of data collected to just what is necessary to conduct business with the individual. Minimizing the amount of information collected and stored limits the amount of information available in the system, thereby limiting what hackers and thieves can potentially access in the event of a breach. Even if your business doesn’t operate in Europe, information minimization can assist with improving data security.
When a breach does occur, it’s essential that HR managers understand how to handle the breach. Employees’ whose information has been breached must be notified and proper authorities must be contacted to investigate and report the breach. Having a plan in place can make it quicker and easier to recover from a breach, helping to secure information before further damage can be done and resolving issues stemming from the breach.
Every company must be proactive in order to keep employee data safe and secure. While an HRIS already comes with certain security measures in place, following best practices can help to optimize the effectiveness of those tools.
If you’re in the market for an HRIS that can help you keep your information safer, we can help! Visit our vendor listing page to research your options or visit our vendor match page if you’d like some selection assistance from HRIS experts.
When done properly, goal setting can help to increase productivity while simultaneously making employees feel more engaged. Human resources information systems (HRIS) can assist with goal setting in several ways, making it easier to set goals and also sometimes offering tools that will aid employees in accomplishing set goals.
If you have an HRIS with goal setting capabilities and want to put this functionality to work, the following are a few tips that may help you get the most from your solution.
Work with Employees to Set Goals
Dictating goals to employees is a mistake that may compromise effectiveness. Working with employees to set goals will help employees to feel more involved and valued, while also allowing them to voice their concerns, thoughts, and strategies for achieving goals. Working with employees to set goals using the HRIS can help to forge stronger bonds between managers and employees while making goals seem more achievable.
Additionally, working with employees to set goals using an HR software solution may help employees understand more about how to use the goal setting feature. Making sure that employees are comfortable with the feature is imperative to using it for effective goal setting and tracking.
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Goal setting tools assist with tracking employee progress, but it can still be difficult for managers and employers to find the time to review this information. Alerts and notifications can help managers to keep up on progress without wasting time looking through goal tracking charts that haven’t changed significantly. Every time an employee meets a goal or hits a benchmark, an alert can bring management up to speed.
Use the System to Provide Immediate Feedback
Timely feedback can be instrumental in fostering productivity. Employees will feel more excited about meeting benchmarks if they know that management is invested in the outcomes of achieved goals. Managers can also take the opportunity to provide instruction about how outcomes could have been improved or to congratulate employees on tasks that were done well.
Using an HRIS to communicate feedback provides flexibility and may make it easier to be specific. Managers can provide feedback quickly and conveniently through the system, rather than waiting for office hours. Managers may also be able to include screenshots that back up suggestions or recognition, or use exact wording taken from goals or linked projects.
Tie Goals to Larger Achievements
Tying goals into larger organizational accomplishments or showing how goals that have been set will have an impact on the outside world may encourage employees to “buy-in” to these larger achievements. Setting up a chart that shows how each individual will contribute to a large goal that helps the company to be more environmentally friendly, for example, may help employees to feel a sense of pride and to work harder towards their goals.
Take Advantage of System Updates
HR technology is evolving at a rapid pace, so there are bound to be changes that can help you improve the way you set and track goals with your employees as time passes. Some systems have already begun to use artificial intelligence to translate emoticons from feedback, improving communications. Establishing goal setting within an HRIS shouldn’t be seen as a one-time task, but rather an opportunity to continuously improve the way the company operates.
Job seeking and recruitment have changed in major ways in recent years. With a recession behind us driving hiring and more employees leaving the workforce than entering it, the recruiting dynamic is shifting in favor of the employee. With this in mind, it’s imperative for employers to adapt a more employee-centric recruiting strategy.
At the heart of the modern recruiting strategy is the sourcing report. With this valuable tool in hand, employers can use their HR software to figure out how to attract top talent, move the best candidates quickly through the hiring process, and hire recruits that are likely to stay with the company longer. Sourcing reports can be used in a few ways to accomplish these goals.
Identify Effective Sourcing Channels
The first step to hiring great candidates is to connect to those candidates. Savvy companies use several different sources, such as job boards and social media sites, in order to advertise open positions and search for qualified candidates.
Sourcing reports help to identify which sourcing avenues are most effective by providing information like:
How many candidates applied from each source
Which sources supplied the most qualified candidates
The percentage of candidates hired from each source
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A long hiring process can cause candidates to move on to other companies, while also costing the company resources as vacancies go unfilled and hiring team staff spends labor hours on recruitment activities. Reducing time to hire can be tricky, as it’s still important to keep hiring standards high.
Sourcing reports can calculate time to hire, which can then be used to strategically speed up time to hire without compromising quality. Hiring managers can regularly review reports to see how changes have impacted time to hire, while also monitoring acceptance rates and retention rates to ensure that corners aren’t being cut.
Calculate Cost per Hire
Recruiter fees, labor hours, advertisement fees, careers page management costs, and onboarding costs should all factor into cost per hire. These costs may not be tracked as a standard part of sourcing reports, but it may be possible to calculate costs based on other information included in the reports. You may also be able to add the information and formulas so that fields will be automatically populated in future reports.
Review Acceptance Rates
It can be frustrating to move all the way through the hiring process and offer a great candidate a position, only to have that candidate turn the position down. Sourcing reports can help you to see how often this happens so that you can evaluate potential problems that may be dissuading candidates from applying. You can then work to figure out whether the issue is with your salary and benefits, or if it’s something more subtle like company culture.
Analyze Retention Rates
Retention rates are a measure of sourcing and recruitment effectiveness, so these should be considered within sourcing reports. It may be hard to use overall retention rates for sourcing optimization, but new hire retention can be a little easier to correlate. While you can never anticipate all of the reasons that employees will turnover, viewing retention rates from a sourcing perspective may help you to reduce new hire turnover.
Compare to Other Companies
Sourcing reports can be helpful in optimizing company recruitment, but they can also help companies to see how they stack up to the competition. By viewing sourcing reports side by side with other companies’ sourcing reports, employers may spot patterns that can help to stay competitive within the industry.
Most employers hope to see their business grow and prosper. When a steady trend of growth has been established, it’s easy to grow complacent and assume that the business is doing things right. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?
Not necessarily. While a record of steady growth shows that an organization is on the right track, it’s possible for that growth to stagnate or even for a decline in business to develop if steps aren’t taken to continue to cultivate growth. A HRIS can help a business to manage their human resources in different ways that contribute to future growth.
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As a company grows, its workforce generally grows to accommodate the increased labor demands. A HRIS can be used to maintain the employee database as it grows, keeping all records organized and easy to access. Employees can be added to and terminated from the system as needed and employee records can be updated as information changes, with just a few clicks.
Strategic hiring is necessary to keep businesses thriving and growing. Technology continues to change nearly every industry at a rapid pace, so it’s necessary to bring in new talent that has the skills and knowledge to help your business adapt. A HRIS can be used to source talent in the most modern ways and filter candidates to ensure only the most qualified individuals are hired.
Succession Planning and Internal Promotions
As a business gets larger, it will be necessary to not only replace employees that leave to go to a new job, but to fill positions that have opened because of the increased amount of work that is required. It helps to have a succession plan in place so that existing employees are constantly being prepared to fill positions that open up. Investing in current employees in this way will help to protect against vacancies while creating a loyal workforce.
Goal Setting and Tracking
A HRIS can be used to set and track day-to-day, short-term, and long-term goals on an individual basis. This can save managers time while simultaneously empowering employees. By keeping employees on track and consistently managing expectations, a business will be more likely to maintain steady productivity and growth.
Training and Development
Employees that feel that they are adequately challenged and equipped with the right tools to manage their own growth and development will be more likely to stick around and to dedicate themselves to bettering the company. Making training and development opportunities available also helps to ensure that current employees will continue to update their skill set.
A HRIS can be linked to a learning management system and can be configured to track training. This will allow employees to access training modules on their own time and to participate as required by the company or as desired in order to further their own careers.
While these are a few ways in which a HRIS can be used by a business to maintain stable growth, there are many more ways that individual companies may use systems based on their unique characteristics. By improving the efficiency with which its workforce is handled, a business can lock in its advantage and prepare to adapt to future needs.
HRIS reporting functionality can help any business get a better handle on their data, making it possible to use that data to see the big picture and add value to the organization. However, the vast number of reports available can become overwhelming for those that don’t know exactly what they’re looking at. To add even more complexity and pressure, reports can be custom crafted in a multitude of ways.
The following are a few reports that can be used to improve people management in very straightforward ways.
Vacancies leave a hole in an organization that can affect customer service, employee morale, and productivity. Having fast access to vacancy reports allows managers to quickly figure out which positions are open, which departments are understaffed, and how long positions have been vacant. This information can help managers to fill vacancies more efficiently, but it can also provide insights like problems with filling a certain position that cause it to be vacant longer and more often.
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Labor is generally the largest expense in a workplace. Being able to identify labor costs and ratios at a glance can help managers to better manage labor, which can in turn drive dollars to the bottom line. When real-time reporting is available, managers can even make on-the-spot decisions to save labor dollars.
Compliance reports can be instrumental in determining whether employees are eligible for benefits, identifying which employees have benefits, and reporting the right information to the appropriate party. Compliance reports can help you to take better care of your employees, while also adhering to existing laws and avoiding penalties. Taking advantage of HR software compliance reporting capabilities can save a tremendous amount of time and potentially a lot of money, as well.
Employee turnover can become costly and vacancies resulting from turnover can hamper productivity. Turnover reports produce a ratio that can be used to compare a company’s turnover with similar companies in the industry to determine whether there is a problem with higher than average turnover.
Since decreasing turnover should be a goal regardless, turnover reports can also be helpful in identifying certain factors that may be causing employees to leave. Certain positions or departments may see greater turnover, which would allow you to investigate further and find out whether the problem is a particular manager, wage disparity, lack of consistency, or another issue. You may also be able to determine whether turnover is high at certain times of year or if there are other factors at play.
Finding and hiring great candidates can improve a workforce quickly and effectively. Sourcing reports can relay exactly which sources are producing the best candidates, the greatest number of candidates that turn into new hires, and more. Since sourcing information can change quickly with trends, having access to sourcing reports can help HR professionals and recruiters continue to source strategically and improve the workforce.
These reports are basic ones that can be used by just about any workplace, regardless of size or industry. As managers get used to using reports, it will become clear which reports could be used to further improve a particular place of business based on unique characteristics. Customized reporting may also become invaluable as managers and HR professionals get more comfortable with the HRIS.
Most savvy companies have already implemented an HRIS, but of course the world of HR software is ever-evolving. With a new year on the horizon, we can expect to see some shifting trends in the way that HR software is used and the functionality that’s offered. While we’re not fortune tellers, the following are a few things that we predict for 2018 based on emerging trends and new technology.
Virtual Reality Training Programs
Virtual reality is making waves in the gaming realm, but we may see it start to creep into HR in 2018. Many companies and employees could benefit from virtual reality training programs that simulate actual on the job experiences. Some of the industries that are expected to be first on the list in implementing virtual reality training programs include healthcare and architecture.
Increased Integration of Systems
There are benefits to being able to cross reference company financials with labor and overtime data, attendance information with productivity numbers, and so forth. While many vendors are offering all-in-one HRIS solutions that handle all HR functions and systems that integrate disparate software, we will likely see an increasingly holistic focus that drives further integration through 2018.
Continuous Performance Management
Annual performance appraisals are getting more flack than ever before and many companies are moving away from them entirely in favor of more consistent and frequent feedback schedules. A popular approach is continuous performance management, in which goals are set, performance is tracked, and projects are evaluated by management on a continuous basis.
Since feedback and performance management are extremely important no matter what company or industry you operate in, there is a high probability that HR software vendors will begin offering continuous performance management and other types of creative feedback functionality. We may see some interesting options gracing the new systems in the year ahead.
Even More Automation
Automating repetitive HR tasks like payroll, benefits management, and onboarding makes sense, and that’s why many companies have moved in that direction. 2018 may introduce us to more advanced HR software automation, however. Some vendors have integrated artificial intelligence into their offerings, like chatbots that conduct interviews and smart programs that review resumes for organizational fit after the filtering programs are finished.
While these are the newest ways in which we can expect to see HR add more automation, there will likely be more options introduced as the year goes on. Who knows, one day we may even have an algorithm that assists with fair workplace conflict resolution.
Creative Approaches to Wellness
Benefits management is a standard HRIS offering these days, but many employers have begun to think outside the box when it comes to wellness. Since work/life balance is an important aspect of wellness and the lines between work and home life have become increasingly blurred, some employers have implemented programs that limit what employees can access while they are off the clock or enjoying PTO.
Other employers have started to work financial management and mental health programs into their HRIS functionality in order to help mitigate employee stress and offer a hand in these areas. By truly focusing on wellness instead of just health insurance benefits, employers may see fewer absences and higher productivity. That’s future we can all look forward to.
For companies that have operated successfully without HR software, obtaining and implementing the software may seem an unnecessary burden. Nearly every business may benefit from HR software, however. The following are a few less than obvious ways that HR software may benefit your business, even if everything seems to be humming along without it.
Nurture the Human Element of HR
When manual tracking and documentation is the norm, the majority of HR labor hours are spent entering and updating employee personal information, working with time and attendance, issuing reviews, researching and reporting according to compliance requirements, and performing other repetitive tasks.
HR software automates many mundane HR tasks. This frees up HR hours, allowing HR professionals to focus on the human element of HR. Without so many burdens, HR professionals can work to resolve employee issues, create incentive programs, and otherwise reach out to employees in ways that enhance the company culture.
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Hiring the right employees can make all of the difference to a business. Great employees push more dollars to the bottom line. Stringent hiring practices can help to weed out less than stellar candidates.
It’s possible to have stringent hiring practices without HR software, but the tech makes it easier. ATS functionality can be used for background checks, resume parsing, and screening that can help to raise hiring standards. All applicant information can be filed and found in one place, so notes about references, interviews, and qualifications can be viewed and compared with ease.
Improve Security of Sensitive Information
Information breaches can be costly for a business in many ways. Customers and employees may lose faith in the company’s ability to protect their information, so they may shy away from working with or for the company. Businesses will also have to resolve any issues that breaches cause and implement new systems to protect against future breaches.
HR software generally comes with encryption to protect against outside invasions and role access restrictions to safeguard against internal threats. This can prevent breaches and keep information even more secure than manual organization systems.
Boost Employee Performance and Engagement
Self service portals can work to foster communications, providing employees with feedback and a way to connect with peers and supervisors from mobile devices. Some HR software also comes with goal setting and tracking options. Using these features may help to boost employee performance and engagement, which will make it worth the time and money spent on obtaining and implementing the software.
Provide Actionable Insights
Analytics and reporting provide smart ways to use company data to make timely and future decisions. By reviewing previous years and months labor statistics, turnover information, and hiring data, your company may be able to improve HR operations. Improving HR operations can make your company a more attractive place to work, while also saving costs and boosting efficiency.
Minimize Compliance Risks
Complying with laws can preserve a company’s credibility and prevent costly penalties from being levied. HR software compiles information pertinent to regulations automatically and provides insights on how to file required reports. Most HR software is updated regularly, so HR professionals can stay up to date easily and manage compliance requirements effortlessly.
Employee turnover is detrimental and costly for all types of organizations. Every single time an employee leaves, it becomes necessary to put resources forth to hire another employee to fill the vacancy and to train that new employee. There is often a costly lag in production as a new employee is brought up to speed, and there is no guarantee that the new employee will stay or provide the same quality of insights or labor as the former employee.
While there will always be some turnover, there are many things that can be done to reduce turnover rates. An HRIS can be used strategically to assist with reducing turnover in the following ways.
Raise Hiring Standards
Hiring the right people from the start is a great approach for reducing turnover. Employees with the right qualifications that fit well with the company culture are much more likely to stay on. HR software that assists with recruitment makes it easier to raise hiring standards without devoting a ton of money or time.
Gauge Employee Satisfaction
An HRIS can assist with gauging employee satisfaction directly through the use of employee surveys. Some solutions offer social feeds and messaging options that can be used for feedback and connection. These tools can help employers to communicate with employees and get a less biased view of the way that employees interact with one another and how involved in the company they are.
Assist with Development
One major reason that employees cite for leaving jobs is a lack of opportunity for advancement. HR software can be integrated with learning management systems that allow employees to take development into their own hands and work on advancement at their own pace. Of course, it’s imperative for companies to pair succession planning with these tools and track employees’ progress to be used for raises and promotions in order for this to be a successful strategy.
Set Goals and Expectations
Micromanagement is another big reason that many employees seek new employment. Some HRIS solutions can be used for goal setting and as a library for company and position information. By giving employees access to resources and empowering them to view and update their own goal and task information, it’s possible to avoid micromanagement while setting high expectations for employees.
Improve Work-Life Balance
Full-time employees generally schedule their lives around their work schedules. HR software solutions can be used to communicate schedules ahead of time, making it easier for employees to plan events and appointments around work. Self service portals can also be used by employees to request time off, view paychecks, and change information in real-time, which can all save employees time while improving their satisfaction with the company.
Analyze and Identify Turnover Patterns
Reporting functions offered through most HRIS solutions can be used to analyze turnover information and potentially identify patterns. Noticing that employees tend to quit at higher rates in August when children go back to school or when they are scheduled mostly for shifts with a certain manager can assist you with making decisions that will effectively reduce turnover.
The right HRIS can help you to reduce turnover rates if you use the features in certain ways. Figuring out which features could help you may be instrumental in narrowing down your options if you are in the market for a new HRIS, or you may find that you have some features available and simply need to use them differently.