The human resources management system (HRMS) have been a central part of human resources departments for decades. Though useful to HR, these systems have also been static. Speaking generally, their functionality has not advanced greatly while other technologies have made great strides, and the information in them has been restricted to mostly use by HR professionals. However, along with growth in distinct and integrated talent management systems and in workforce management systems, this has begun to change as the HRMS is being integrated with these newer systems. The changes make it possible for HRMSs to become more strategic as HR professionals use them in new ways. To that end, Ventana Research will conduct a benchmark research project to evaluate the evolution of these systems and processes to determine where they are becoming more strategic applications for HR.
HRMSs are evolving from basic uses in maintaining core identifying information for employees, information on organizational structure and positions (often referred to as position management information) to providing talent profiles that include skills, competencies, certifications and interests, both at previous jobs and projects within employees’ current jobs. HRMSs also now maintain employee directories. While these used to be limited to simple identification data, the growth of social collaboration systems enables users to find others who are expert on specific topics, enjoy specific activities or may have worked on specific projects and then connect with them. Such contacts can help increase productivity and engagement.
Modern HRMSs also can track more strategic talent metrics. Previously, the data in an HRMS was used largely to track compliance with government regulations, and that remains an important function. But now, by integrating HRMS data with data from talent management and workforce management systems, business and HR leaders can track metrics such as performance, leadership effectiveness and others identified in our human capital analytics benchmark research. In addition, as HRMSs are now part of an ecosystem of HR applications, embedded analytical applications can analyze this information and help make it more useful to the business. Our research on human capital analytics finds that while spreadsheets are still the most widely used tool to analyze HR information, the use of dedicated and embedded human capital management (HCM) analytical tools is growing fast; more than two out of five (43%) participants said they plan to use them in the future.
The research we are preparing to conduct on the next generation of human resources management systems will assess the degree to which organizations are relying on these systems as an integral part of their talent management processes and their relation to systems for management of performance, compensation and succession. It will try to determine whether organizations are using talent management applications dedicated to these processes, manual processes for these functions or an HRMS.
This new research also will investigate adoption rates for next-generation technologies including integration with mobile technologies, business collaboration, big data, cloud and even wearable computing, in an effort to understand where companies are planning investments. In other research, we have found strong adoption of mobile technologies in workforce management and human capital analytics and less adoption in payroll management, despite the fact that employee self-service is considered an important part of the value proposition by more than half of participants in our payroll management optimization research. Similarly, in cloud computing, despite many more product offerings for HCM, our research shows many companies staying with on-premises applications and yet a larger number of them to examine the shift to this computing model. Please stay tuned as we conduct new research to publish best practices and insights in our education and guidance to our clients and through future analyst perspectives to determine if how and where these technologies are elevating the productivity and performance potential of employees.
VP & Research Director