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Hi Folks, Please send me articles on E- Hr, with it’s nature, scope, present trend and future prospects. I’m plan to implement in my current company. Thanks :) Regards Anuraadhaa
The rise and rise of e-HR

by Kevin McCormick

E-commerce and Internet technology is changing the face of HR in Hong Kong and the way companies do business. New technologies are being developed every day, with each new innovation promising increased employee efficiency and greater and greater interactivity. The impact of these new technologies on the human resources professional is both profound as well as challenging. The challenge is to define what the new HR role is and determine how it can best be aligned with evolving business strategies. But the challenge is also whether HR professionals are willing to embrace technology as a competitive weapon and integrate its potential power into the development of solutions-based strategies that increase business value.

The changing world we work and live in

"Blur - The speed of change in the connected economy" "An economy is the way people use resources to fulfil their desires. The specific ways they do this have changed several times through history and are shifting yet again - this time driven by three forces - Connectivity, Speed and the growth of Intangible Value. Because we are so caught up in the whirlwind of this transition we are experiencing it as a BLUR." Davis & Meyer - 1998

Take a look at the context of the current market and how it directly affects the role of HR. Right now, the previously well-defined boundaries, objectives, issues and opportunities within organisations have all become "blurred" – overlapping responsibilities, cross-market initiatives, performance imperatives reliant on new skills and experience – and all of these shifts in paradigm are happening at an ever-increasing pace.

Connectivity Everything is becoming electronically connected to everything else: products, people, companies, countries, everything

Speed Every aspect of business and the connected organisation operates and changes in real time

Intangibles Every offer has both tangible and intangible economic value. The intangible is growing faster

The most dramatic aspect of the "Blur" is this last point. The growth of intangible value and the drive to increase this value has not left HR unaffected. The most striking change in the new economy is the realisation of the intangible economic value of Human Capital, and how that translates into fundamental business imperatives to attract, retain and develop that Human Capital.

HR in the virtual world

Responding to the increasing business imperatives above, HR has had to move with the times in order to cope. And in a world becoming more and more comfortable with access to real-time answers and solutions, HR has only one way to go – the transformation of systems, processes and outputs towards real-time delivery. HR professionals who have embraced the challenge have been able, in recent times, to adopt and (in some cases) innovate interactive HR transaction and delivery systems that meet flexible and highly fluid human capital needs.The have found the means to:

Utilize technology as a strategic business tool

Organize a fluid company that embraces a culture and a desire to continually learn, innovate and advance

Challenge and outperform conventional recruiting

Improve and integrate hiring, appraisal, training & development, and succession planning

Investments in self-service at varying levels of complexity and value

Manage knowledge, learning and development, rewards administration and multi-directional organizational communication via personal portals

Integrate products and services of different vendors into one seamless system

Taking a closer look

As a first step, many organisations developed HR Intranets as a means of delivering information, with varying degrees of complexity, that have been proven to be effective in:
  • improving service to internal customers,

    helping HR interact with employees more effectively, and reduce many routine administrative costs.

    switching from paper to electronic forms to request anything from vacation days to annual benefits enrollment.

    Providing a seamless and intuitive medium for employees to interact with the company and amongst themselves in a comfortable, relevant and logical way.

Different stages of e-HR

The usual scenario though, is not one where the HR department makes the quantum leap from traditional HR functionality to becoming the ‘driving force behind corporate interactivity and knowledge management’. Rather, the HR department is far more likely to have evolved its e-solutions over a period of growth stages, such as:
  • Information publishing

    Database enquiry

    Simple HR transactions

    Complex HR transactions

    HR workflow via the web

Information publishing reflects the first evolutionary stage of the e-HR revolution. At this stage, applications provide one-way communication of general company information to employees. Typical applications in this category include:

policies and procedures,

explanations of benefits,

company histories,

executive who’s-who listings,

directories of services, and

notices of current events.

Database enquiry applications provide one-way communication to employees, who can access a back-end database that provides employee-specific data in response to user inquiries. Examples include:

inquiries about paid-time-off accruals and balances,

current benefit coverages,

personal demographic data,

work schedules,

retirement plan balances, and

electronic pay stubs

Simple HR transactions - applications replace paperwork with transactions using electronic input. They combine the inquiry functions of Database enquiry with employee updates of personal information on HR databases. Such applications include:
  • update of personal information,

    dependent and beneficiary designations,

    direct deposit setup

Complex HR Transactions - applications involve:
  • application branching based on user input or employee file data,

    calculations or other internal processing of data, and

    multiple-output transactions

Fully-fledged HR Workflow applications walk users through all of the steps necessary to complete whole processes rather than just discrete transactions:
  • Gives employees and managers a way to administer their own HR data and processes without paperwork or administrative support

    a mix of capabilities including information publishing, HR transaction processing and extranet access

    ESS (Employee Self-Service) applications

e-HR applications in action

So what are the key HR deliverables that are migrating towards interactive real-time delivery? Some of the answers might surprise you:
  • e-Recruiting & Selection


    e-Learning, Development and Assessment

    e-Performance Management Systems


    e-Comp and Benefits Administration

    e-Job & Competency Profiling

    e-Career Coaching

    e-Career Path Planning


This is by no means an exhaustive list – organisations who have embraced the e-initiative have continued to expand their horizons towards loftier goals, such as integrated e-HR systems, transacted via personal portals within the broader context of ESS. And it won’t stop there. As the old saying goes, change is the only constant, and the imperative for HR is to proactively identify and develop solutions for present and future business needs, without sacrificing the fundamentals of good HR professionalism.

How will you know what you need?

Here’s some key questions to ask of your company and of the HR function:

Excerpt from "Measuring Up: HR Keeps Score", Society of Human Resources Magazine, January 200

Strategic perspective
  • Do we have the talent we need to be successful in the future?

    Do we have the leadership bench strength we need to be successful?

    How is HR helping the company position itself to meet the needs of our external customers?

    Is HR creating an environment that encourages integration and shared vision?

    Are we investing in growing our HR capabilities?

Customer perspective

Is the company viewed as a great place to work?

Is the company creating an environment that engages people?

Is HR viewed as an enabler to attracting and retaining top talent?

Is HR viewed as providing effective support systems to employees?

Operational perspective
  • Are our staffing support systems fostering better recruiting and selection?

    Are our other HR processes/ transactions efficient and effective?

    Are we using technology to improve HR efficiency?

Financial perspective
  • Are we managing the cost of turnover/churn?

    Are the company’s HR plans and programs competitive?

    Is our HR service delivery cost effective?

    Are we managing financial risk?

    What is the company’s return on investment in people?

If this list of questions raises issues in your mind about the ability of your organisation to attract, retain and build human capital, then the chances are that you will need to invest in appropriate e-solutions and start the process of organisational transition. As always, your own internal culture is the key to the success of such initiatives, which translates to mean: "Don’t rely on technology to change who you are, organisationally – rather, develop the culture to embrace such change and the means by which change will be delivered." When should you start all of this? Yesterday – your internal customers are waiting.

source : <link updated to site home>

About the organisation

House of Fraser, founded in 1849, is a leading high-street retailer, employing more than 157,000 people across 46 stores.

The aim

To implement an HR management system, designed to be the frontline platform for all HR systems within House of Fraser. The overriding objective was to provide accurate and timely management information, including key performance measures, across the organisation.

System supplier

House of Fraser has a long-standing relationship with Oracle, which previously installed a data warehousing service.

The approach

A phased approach was taken. The initial implementation of the HRMS involved the transfer of core personnel data for more than 157,000 staff.

"We didn't carry out business process re-engineering, but took the system and fitted it to how the business worked," says Ian Waller, finance and HR systems manager at House of Fraser.

The system had to be able to facilitate the move to self-service in the future, integrate with the House of Fraser website so that job applications could be handled seamlessly, and become the front end for other employee systems.

The solution

Deployed in all 46 UK stores, the HRMS system went live in 2001 - on time, and under budget. Phases two and three saw the addition of payroll and recruitment functions. Phase three included a self-service pilot.

The integrated system gave House of Fraser a comprehensive repository of data, and using Oracle's business intelligence tool, Discoverer, the organisation is able to generate extensive management reports.

"It [the data] can be defined exactly as we want it for the purposes of management reporting," explains Waller. "You can add new business rules and custom configure the system. Time and attendance information is also entered into it. Data is standard and consistent, enabling managers to report more effectively and accurately on what is happening in the business."

In August 2004, House of Fraser went live with the Oracle iRecruitment module and quickly gained more than 600 registered users.

"What's important about the system is that it provides us with a seamless process from recruitment through to hire," says Waller. "This allows us to reduce administration and shorten our recruitment cycle times."

The bottom line

Oracle HR has reduced the administration cost of running the HR function, which has allowed it to focus on providing higher value, strategic services. The retailer's 2001-2002 annual report after phase one credited HR with having run more training programmes and completed more training hours than ever before, resulting in a record number of internal promotions, a 5% reduction in staff turnover and improved customer service ratings.

The management reporting facility is widely used by HR, says Waller. "The HR department is now better placed to offer business-critical advice that benefits the entire organisation," he says.


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