How to Choose a Human Resource Management System to Satisfy IT and HR

To ensure a successful coexistence between the HR and IT departments in a company, a human resource management system solution must be selected that is capable of supporting the unique needs of both the HR and IT departments. Knowledge Center contributor Shafiq Lokhandwala explains the five most important criteria to keep in mind when adopting a human resource management system solution for your company.


We've all heard the saying, "Men are from Mars and women are from Venus," but when it comes to standardizing on a global human resource management system, the same could be said for an organization's IT and HR departments. To close the gap between these two departments and create a happier coexistence, IT and HR departments need to learn how to communicate more effectively. This can help ensure that the needs of each are taken into consideration, and that an emphasis is placed on creating a peaceful union of organizational equals.

Let us start with the following assumptions: The HR department understands what communication is necessary, and the manner and timing with which it must presented to achieve strategic outcomes. The IT department understands the security imperatives and has the ability to understand the capabilities of the underlying tool set to achieve these outcomes.

The HR mandate

As organizations strive to build and sustain a high-performing, satisfied work force, they place an even greater emphasis on the effectiveness of the HR department. Today, the HR department is viewed as a critical contributor to an organization's bottom line, facilitating the organization's ability to attract top talent, reduce turnover, and control the high cost of benefit enrollment and utilization.

However, to be truly effective, HR needs to have the right combination of people, processes and technology in place to achieve success in this area. With the help of HRMS technology, organizations can now provide a number of strategic functions designed to automate a range of tasks. These tasks include employee assessment or satisfaction, time-to-fill or cost-to-hire statistics, employee performance index, revenue-to-employee or productivity-to-employee metrics, and turnover rate. While few will dispute the value of an organization's HRMS, the road to adoption can be quite challenging. It requires careful consideration and cooperation among all stakeholders--especially IT.

The IT challenge

While companies increasingly rely upon technology to streamline their business processes and create a competitive edge, they are quickly realizing that if they are to truly optimize their IT investments, they must first work to align IT with their business goals. This is particularly true with an HRMS, which needs to be treated as more than just mere infrastructure or a "back office" application (given the major impact an HRMS has on an organization's overall business strategy, competitiveness and profitability).

Five HRMS considerations designed to bridge HR and IT

In order to make the most of their HR technology investments, organizations must be sure to communicate the overall goals and objectives of the HRMS and solicit input from both HR and IT. Careful consideration must be made to ensure that the solution can

improve the organization's business processes, not just re-create old paper processes. The solution must also create efficient workflows with approval mechanisms, provide compliance reporting, and integrate all of the major components of HR. These major components include compensation and benefits administration, recruiting and training administration,

and strategic measurement tools such as metrics, performance management and succession management.

To ensure a long-term, successful coexistence between HR and IT, organizations should speak in terms that each department will understand, and should select a solution capable of supporting the unique needs of both. More specifically, organizations should adopt an HRMS capable of supporting the following five criteria.