Due to a consulting engagement, I have recently spent a considerable amount of time speaking to various companies about their HR system needs and desires. The conversations have been great and generated a number of thoughts and ideas. I thought it would be good to get all of the thoughts and ideas down on paper while they are still fresh in my mind. My hope is to turn this into a series of articles to be published over the next few weeks.
Before I get to the needs and desires, one of the most fascinating themes I have come across over the past few months is the universality of the dissatisfaction HR people have with the systems they are currently using. This is from Payroll/HRIS to Applicant Tracking Systems to Performance Management Systems and everything in between. No one is happy. In the literally dozens of conversations I have had, I can count on one hand the number of times I have heard, “I love this system”. I am not sure why there is such a significant gap between what clients are looking for and what HR software companies are producing, but clearly it is there.
Needs and Desires
So what is everyone looking for in their HR systems? Here is the primary list I have put together:
- Data and Dashboards: Everyone wants data and they want it to be easy to access and clear. The data conversation used to be primarily with large companies, but now small and mid-size companies are looking for lots of the same data points around their people. Salesforce has set the standard for dashboards and HR people want their dashboards to be easy to set up and look like Salesforce’s does.
- Configurability: Every system claims customizability, but in a meeting I had yesterday with a head of HR, he stated, “I want configurability not customizability”. I couldn’t agree more. The difference being that companies can customize their system for you, but that typically means that for you to make any changes to the customization they will need to have engineers redesign it for you. Configurability means I can make those changes myself.
Part II of this list coming tomorrow.