By Michael Caton  |  Posted 2004-06-07 Print this article Print

Employease Inc.s hosted human resources application gives companies easy entry into a system that provides good request workflow and employee self-service capabilities.

In eWEEK Labs tests, we found that the Employease hosted application, which is priced at $4 to $8 per employee per month, delivers a range of capabilities to companies that need to get a quick handle on the basics of HR management, including such components as job postings, time-off requests, and benefits and compensation management.

The service, which was updated in March, does a good job of providing companies with a way to build a complex HR management system with workflow to route requests, as well as the ability to provide employees with a self-service tool.

However, we would like a compensation management system that includes incentive compensation management. To add sales-based compensation capabilities, companies will need to use Employeases Open API to integrate with sales force automation systems.

The application can connect directly to third-party service providers, including payroll vendors and insurance carriers. Employease also provides call center support personnel with some HR expertise, enabling them to answer workers questions about benefits.

The Employease system provides three roles: employee, manager and HRMS (human resource management system) user. Users in the manager role typically also have access to the employee role. We liked how the rights management system let us granularly control Web-based self-service tools, as well as manager and HRMS features. The HRMS user defines the workflows that escalate benefits requests from employee to manager.

Although HR users will likely need technical support when it comes to adding custom fields, we found the rest of the system easy to manage. For example, using a built-in HTML editor, an HRMS user can publish company information, such as policy documents, to the system in short order. This Employease release consolidates rights management under a single tab, making it easy to get a comprehensive view of users and group rights.

The reporting capabilities in Employease do a good job of slicing and dicing data and of generating and storing batched reports. However, companies with large data sets will likely need to augment the reporting engine with reporting software such as Crystal Reports, from Business Objects S.A. In addition to reporting on data in the system, Employease tracks data from transactions with third-party service providers.

The Employease service does have some drawbacks. It supports only Internet Explorer 5.5 or later and Netscape Navigator 7.1 or later, so users with older home systems might have problems accessing benefits information. In addition, the user interface for HRMS users differs slightly from that of the applications for employees and managers.

Technical Analyst Michael Caton can be reached at michael_caton@ziffdavis.com.

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