Jul 23 2021

Taking Gradual Steps in Adopting HR Technologies

“A desktop system usually includes a manual set-up, access only from your office desk, and manual installation of updates. An HR SaaS, on the other hand, is the complete opposite of that. ”

by  Gordon Ng, Jolly Good CEO, Talenox


Source: Unsplash

Human Resources (HR) Technology - a term that is usually linked to software (cloud or desktop) for different functions in the HR life cycle, but it can also be linked to hardware that can improve the productivity of your talents. For this article, we will focus on the software aspects of HR.

“The HR life cycle is pretty long, from employer branding, talent scouting, hiring, onboarding or induction, monthly HR compliance and operations (payroll, leave, scheduling, time tracking), performance management, goals setting, career progression to offboarding and resignation."

On top of that, we have a growing emphasis on building a positive workplace culture. When it comes to HR, what and where should you begin with? In addition, should you consider automating it?

It’s important to be clear with your objectives - ask yourself what you’d like to achieve. If implementing more technology into your entire organisation is crucial, perhaps adopting HR technology is one way to go about doing that. If you’re concerned about initial time and manpower costs, you may want to consider holding back as HR technology adoption is a “short-term pain, long-term gain” process. Manage your team’s expectations on how they can benefit from this. I’ll be sharing based on my experiences and there is no hard and fast rule on what works the best for different industries and company types.

HR technology adoption is a “short-term pain, long-term gain” process.

1. How and Which HR Tech to Adopt First?

As you may know, switching your mobile phone from Apple to Samsung takes some work. It’s the same thing if you were to switch your HR processes to another method, or to a whole different system even. My point is - if you want to adopt HR technology, prepare ample time. Do not revamp all your processes overnight. This may create adoption issues within your team, cause technical difficulties, or sometimes, the new technology you are committing to may not be the right “product-human fit”. You’d still need somebody to operate the online processes, wouldn’t you?

The new technology you are committing to may not be the right “product-human fit”.

Since the HR life cycle is pretty long, you should focus on picking what’s the most important to automate first. HR tasks that are more manual and tedious can be easily automated through technology. Usually, this would pertain to HR operations and compliance such as payroll and leave. For certain industries, it may be scheduling and time-tracking.



 Source: Unsplash

My experience tells me that most teams choose to automate payroll and leave management first due to the nature of the processes being repeatable, tedious, administrative and prone to human error.

The next question that will come to your mind will be to find out if an HR desktop system is the same as an HR SaaS (Software as a Service) platform. The short answer is - it’s not the same. A desktop system usually includes a manual set-up, access only from your office desk, and manual installation of updates. A HR SaaS, on the other hand, is the complete opposite of that.

If you’re planning to adopt a HR SaaS, it might be worth reading up on past user reviews. I would also recommend signing up for free trials of shortlisted platforms, so that you can experience them and make objective comparisons based on your needs and preferences.

Based on feedback from many business owners/HR managers, a “decent” HR software should provide the following:

  • Easy signup process without the need to demo
  • A free trial, or even better, a free version with basic features
  • Allows you to ask for a demo when there is a need to
  • Comprehensive set of DIY resources for you to refer to at your own pace
  • Understanding customer support team that treats you like a human being
  • Ongoing webinars and workshops, updated resources such as the company’s blog or Knowledge Centre (shows effort in keeping up with new legislation, etc)

2. Integrated Platforms or Full Suite?

Now that you have a rough idea on what makes a good HR SaaS, you may also want to consider if you’d prefer to use one that focuses on certain aspects (e.g. Payroll and Leave), or one that offers a full-suite (e.g. Payroll, Leave, Attendance, Benefits, Claims, etc).

Note that Integrated Platform means that they are an HR SaaS with limited features, but their limitations are made up for by their integrations to other popular platforms (e.g. Accounting, Benefits, Claims, Attendance, etc). Integrated Platforms allow you to subscribe to any of their integration partners (or not), depending on what you need (or don’t). On the other hand, when you go for a Full Suite platform, you’re paying a full price for an extensive number of features.

To make a decision between the two, let’s head back to set clear objectives for your team as it depends on the stage of maturity for your team. The good news is that you have plenty of choices. The bad news is that the more choices are presented, the more you’d have to think about narrowing them down to a consideration set.


 Source: Unsplash

My advice? Take small, gradual steps.

Pen down 5 of the most important things you require.

From there, sample a few software. Most HR software offers free trials and will not force you to commit to every part of the software even if you decide to subscribe.

You may also want to consider trying Integrated Platforms first as they give you the flexibility to try out each feature in detail, and allows you to mix and match according to your needs.

Remember, you are the buyer, hence you should be comfortable and confident with what you are subscribing to and not be tied down by unreasonable sales agreements. The tough thing about Full Suite solutions is that there are very few in the HR space that can ensure that every feature is good as they are solving too many problems on one platform.

“When you visit a food stall in the hawker centre, would you order from one that offers 100 items on its menu, or from one that offers only five?”

3. Encouraging Teammates to Adopt

Getting an HR SaaS is not just for the HR team, management, or founders -- it is also for your employees. A good HR SaaS should not only solve the HR processes for teammates involved in HR matters, but it should also help improve the experience of all your teammates accessing payslips, submitting employee’s tax, checking CPF calculations, applying for leave, onboarding, and in some cases, keeping track of schedules and clocking in and out.


Source: Unsplash

Before getting your teammates to adopt a new HR SaaS, you would want to manage the expectations of your teammates well. It’s always good to run through potential new processes before implementing them. Ease everyone in slowly.

If you are new to any HR technology, your initial experience will be daunting. However, there are quite a few friendly HR SaaS in the market that can help you along. Research and read their reviews as you reach out to them or sign up to their platforms. I’m pretty sure you’ll find one that will be suitable for your team.

Have fun and take small, gradual steps in your journey in adopting new HR technologies!


Gordon Ng is the co-founder of Talenox, a cloud-based hr software that focuses on simplifying payroll and leave management so companies can easily meet their payroll compliance requirements. They do this by delivering great user experience through design and superb customer support.

Talenox has been nominated Best Payroll Software by HRM Asia and is partners with Asia’s leading banks such as DBS and OCBC. Headquartered in Singapore, Talenox is also localised for Malaysia and Hong Kong. LinkedIn

Talenox on hrtech.sg marketplace & 2021 Singapore HRTech Marketmap 

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