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Helping HR Execs Reach Nirvana in Three Easy Steps

The best practices for using HR information systems in higher education.
University Business, Sep 2006

It's one of the questions HR execs ask themselves everyday: "Are we using our human resources information services solution the way we should be, and doing everything we need to do to meet the needs of our employees?"

Like so many other HR professionals, an executive in higher education may feel that once the HRIS solution is implemented, it is the end of technology progress, and time stands still. All too often high-power systems are put in place, with great fanfare. Then they end up sitting stagnant, without any additional functionality coming into play.

It's sad but true. Administrators often get caught up in day-to-day career demands and can't find the time needed to focus on taking systems and tools to the next level of automation and efficiency.

There is a way out. The top HRIS providers for higher education offer countless ways for clients to squeeze every ounce of benefit from their solutions. They simply must be asked to do it.

"It's important to work with a business partner that can capture our visions in human resources-and implement programs with the purpose of achieving our initiatives," says Cathy Metz, HR director at Wabash College (Ind.).

Today's top HRIS providers know they need to do a lot more than drop a box of software at the door, and they are more than willing to do what they can to make their clients successful. After all, smart businesses know it's not about selling products; it's about establishing long-term relationships with satisfied customers.

Here are a few simple steps to help you get the most from your partnership with your HRIS systems and services provider:

"Maintaining a relationship with your HRIS provider is essential if your HR department is going to add value to the organization's overall bottom line," says Heather Ongo, HR manager for Systems, Compensation, and Labour Relations at Acadia University (Nova Scotia). "By actively participating with our HRIS provider, I am aware of the features of our software and what business problems it can resolve. I am aware of what enhancements are coming in the future, so I can start planning for them. It has given me a network of resources to consult with to further learn how to solve business problems by using our HR system more effectively."

HR professionals commonly remain paralyzed, fearing they must deal with the cards they have been dealt. It doesn't have to be that way. All it takes is a little initiative to spring new human resource processes to life.

With the guidance of an HRIS partner, substantive human resources technology initiatives can be implemented in just a couple of days. In some cases, a phone conference or online seminar (webinar) is all that is needed to get things rolling.

Before you decide on the course you want to take, be sure to conduct a true cost/benefit analysis. Your HRIS business partner should be more than willing to help.

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