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Software Automates Standard HR Processes

November 1, 1996
Related Topics: Human Resources Management Systems (HRMS/HRIS), Featured Article
With automation comes paperlessness—if not immediately, then down the road. And fortunately for us, there are a good number of software vendors developing products to help with this transition. Types of HR applications that either already incorporate paperless options or that likely soon will include the following:

Benefits Plan Administration:
Benefits plan administration software automates benefits administration for flexible, nonflexible and welfare programs. It can include demographic and enrollment history data, eligibility and premiums reporting and a customizable report engine. Retirement planning software also can be included. The retirement segment can estimate income and expenses through benefit plans and personal savings. Also, some software can provide administration for group health insurance plans.

Career Development:
Career development software brings together career planning, succession planning, management development, organizational charting, competency tracking, needs gap analysis, annual reviews, self-assessment, goal-setting and action plan creation. Some products link individual and team development to the organization's business challenges.

Compensation Administration:
Compensation administration software integrates compensation management, job evaluation, pay structure, salary surveys, salary planning, electronic market pricing, incentive compensation, single or tiered performance measures, team and individual recognition, and job description and job evaluation modules. Standard and user-customizable reports are often available.

Document Management and Retrieval:
This can be an unattended fax-back system that allows employees to retrieve required forms via telephone. Also, document scanning and retrieval, automated document capture and PC forms entry are often optional features. This software makes it a snap to store, organize and access vital information once it's scanned into the system.

Human Resources Management System (HRMS):
A comprehensive HRMS keeps tabs on almost everything and automatically puts valuable HR material on any manager's desktop. Features may include applicant tracking, time-clock interfaces and payroll links. Compensation planning, third-party interfaces and payroll processing also may be options. Information relating to compliance, education, medical, performance or personal skills is sometimes included. This software reduces paperwork—tracking everything from the job application through post-retirement.

Interactive Voice Response (IVR):
IVR refers to a voice response system that enables employees to perform transactions and enrollments and to confidentially request information from any touch-tone phone. IVR can be used by employees to access their own benefits information. Some applications include employment verification, flexible benefits enrollment and defined contribution 401(k) inquiry.

Payroll applications can handle out-of-cycle processing, online reconciliations and third-party checks. These include time reporting, payroll calculation, tax computation, check/ advice preparation, payroll reporting and tax reporting.

Performance Management:
Performance management software helps managers write effective evaluations more quickly while improving the appraisal management process. Using your company's standard evaluation form, you can add best practices memos. And from giving regular feedback to setting goals to writing reviews, this software automates the review process.

Recruitment software upgrades the employee selection process with summary reports and probe questions for live interviews. Skills and resume tracking, job posting, performance management and employee information define the broad range of additional features. Unlimited reports include adverse impact, EEO and cost to hire.

Testing software gauges your comprehensive assessments of skills and behaviors critical to effective job performance. Automated office-skills testing measures skills in language arts, keyboarding, filing, basic arithmetic, word processing, spreadsheets and databases. This software produces demographic and organizational reports with comment summaries on an individual basis. Immediate on-screen viewing or printing is often an option.

Training Administration Management:
Training software often automates performance management, scheduling and enrollments, skills-gap analysis, course development and delivery notifications. It can incorporate career development assessment and tracking. It often automates correspondence, cost tracking, reporting and logistics.


Personnel Journal, November 1996, Vol. 75, No. 11, p. 72.

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