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COMPENSATION PRODUCTIVITY TOOLS
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The role of a HRIS is paramount in attracting, hiring, retaining and developing the human resources of any organization. This is because HRISs provide information that vitally support the goals and objectives of a company. In the current world of big data, information is power. Therefore a good integration of HRIS software connects internally all departments involved with human resources such as the compensation and benefits department, HR line managers and the finance department. This increases an organization’s efficiency and also its productivity. Thus, “A human resources information system (HRIS) is the integration of software, hardware, support functions and system policies and procedures into an automated process designed to support the strategic and operational activities of the human resources department and managers throughout the organization.” (Chauhan, Sharma & Tyagi, 2011)
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Compensation management software is a crucial component is designing and administering an equitable and effective compensation program. “Compensation software systems ensure company-wide compliance within previously set guidelines, organizes and analyzes data, tracks merit-based performance goals and assists with future wage planning.” (Sharp, 2015) The current task requires finding a compensation management software that can currently cater to the company’s U.S operations. However, as a human resource systems manager, it would be important to find software that may eventually be expanded globally.
The benefits of using compensation productivity tools are manifold. Their practical application is to generate reports and metrices which allow organizations to access their success and financial health. It allows HR managers to develop new strategies for employee retention and development and also changing the compensation structure based on market data.
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Additionally, compensation management software, provides flexibility by using solutions that can be custom fit to integrate into the current system. It can also increase international flexibility when companies operate in different countries by instantly converting currency and taking into account the needs of the different branches of an organization. Most software now are simple to understand, are quite secure and most importantly their automation saves HRPs valuable time that they can invest in becoming a more strategic partner in the business.
There are several stand-alone compensation software systems available in the market which can help with various HR processes. They can target just compensation, or compensation and benefits, or training etc. In particular to automates processes like salary surveys, salary range planning and budgeting and forecasting, the compensation manager is interested in the following tools.
- Salary Survey Analyzer to automate the entire Salary Surveying process: A salary survey analyzer is a “dynamic tool that can collect and analyze a broad range of data, including average salaries and benefits paid to employees in specific regions and industries, with respect to a specified profession.” (DeFranzo, 2012) This tool not only collects salary information, it can even collect compensation information which includes benefits. Surveying the market manually is time consuming and data can get outdated very quickly. Automated compensation productivity tools use real time data and hence allowing organizations to remain competitive in targeted regions.
- Salary Range Developer to automate the number crunching steps in updating Salary Ranges and Merit Matrices: By developing a salary range employers can control their salary expenses while still ensuring pay equity among employees. Organizations can choose to lead, lag or match the market when compensating employees. An automated salary range developer can use historical data from within the organization and also market data to stay in sync with the current market conditions. This helps companies keep their competitive advantage. The software ensures budgetary controls while providing guidelines to improve profitability.
- A Salary Forecasting and Budgeting Tool to automate the annual number crunching process: Compensation is one of the biggest operating expenses of a business. Thus compensation planning which involves forecasting salary increases and budgeting for those increases, is an important responsibility of a compensation manager. A multitude of resources are used for this purpose which includes salary survey data, government labor data, industry magazines and professional publications. An automated process helps in gathering all this information as inputs and crunches numbers to produce an accurate budget. Such a system can predict future hiring needs and allocate funds for those as well. As opposed to using spreadsheets, automated salary forecasting and budgeting tools save time and money.
In the current scenario, the compensation manager understands that automation is necessary for compensation management and hence has requested for information from the HR systems manager. However, he too is answerable to senior management and therefore it is best to include the potential ROI of investing in such a system. It is evident that technology can be significantly useful in planning compensation, but, just saying that is not persuasive enough for higher ups to condone the purchase of said software due to high costs. HR personnel must demonstrate how the new technology will help increase productivity and contribute to business goals all while saving money in the long run. Providing articles such as, “Using Software to Plan Compensation”, (“32% Use Software to Plan Compensation,” 2005) which provide various statistics about the use of compensation software across industries, regions and amongst companies of varying sizes might be a useful guide for compensation managers to realize the need for compensation management software. HRPs should also look at specific areas where savings can be found and explore those more, to determine the potential ROI of investing in HR automation. These areas include: “Payroll processing, Payroll inflation, Employee absenteeism, Unnecessary overtime, FMLA and leave time, Wage and hour compliance exposure, Employee self-service, HR productivity, Employee engagement and satisfaction.” (PayNorthwest, 2016)
After researching several stand-alone compensation management systems available in the market and reviewing their capabilities, the list has been narrowed down to two software vendors. They are COMPview™ by HRsoft and compACT by Kinixsys, Inc. Both these software can be easily integrated into the current HRIS system as they are stand alone and are both deployed using cloud-based technology.
HRsoft is an industry leader in compensation planning and total rewards software. Their clientele include companies like Gannett, Microsemi, MedStar Health and many more. They cater to many industries. They have achieved superior results for their clients resulting in excellent feedback. They offer COMPview™ as a solution to control and simplify even the most challenging compensation plans.
COMPview™ is a complete system which allows HR managers to define, oversee and control the entire compensation system from forecasting and budgeting to distributing employee awards. It incorporates all the rules and policies of the organization and applies them. The professionals at HRsoft tailor COMPview™ to fit the organizations current needs. The software systematically guides and simplifies the development of an equity-based compensation system. The modules include salary surveyors, range calculators, forecasting and budgeting applications. “Further, it empowers line managers to make more strategic award decisions based on performance and potential, while providing HR with real-time visibility into the decisions being made on an employee-by-employee basis.” (“COMPview – Compensation Management Software,” n.d.) It has the ability to easily integrate data from other technology sources like the company’s HRIS, Payroll or financial software. This means that the business can use this “standalone solution while still leveraging the investment in those other assets, providing for a seamless flow of data from one system to another.” (“COMPview – Compensation Management Software,” n.d.) Implementation of this software is done by professionals who assure a secure and efficient transition. They provide continued support through a “dedicated Engagement Manager who serves as the single point of contact for design, support, configuration and implementation of the specific COMPview™ solution.” (“COMPview – Compensation Management Software,” n.d.) Pricing of this software falls in the moderate range but according to reviews by various clients, it may we well worth the investment.
Kinixsys, Inc. is a rather new company but as it states on its website, (kinixsys.com/about), it considers itself a “dynamic and vibrant Information Technology services organization that develops enterprise applications for Human Resources and Compensation Management. Kinixsys also specializes in providing IT Infrastructure solutions.” Its current clients include Blue Shield of CA, Oncor and MoneyGram.
compACT by Kinixsys, Inc. calls itself the “smart, secure and right” compensation management system to “deliver the right compensation to the right people at the right time.” ( “Kinixsys Compensation Solution Datasheet,” 2018) It provides three options of deployment; Cloud based, client hosted or licensed versions, with cloud deployment being the most popular. Its compensation essential tools include Modeling (Planning Scenarios), Workflow Approval Process, Global Currency Capabilities, Audit Trail and Total Compensation Statements. It also offers compensation basics like Overtime, Cash Guarantee, Retention Bonus and Sign-on Bonus. It merit pay module allows for selecting base pay ranges, and promotions and making market and equity adjustments. It provides the ability to make short term and long-term incentive decisions. It is easily integrable with the current HRIS system, payroll and financial systems and performance management system. “The software application is secure, flexible, and highly configurable for use in administration of complex “company-specific” compensation programs.” ( “Kinixsys Compensation Solution Datasheet,” 2018) Kinixsys, Inc. provides superior support through skilled project mangers for the implementation process and a dedicated tech team along with continuous phone and email support. The software offers accurate real time insights with Cloud tracked audit trails. This ensures compliance, saves time and money. Pricing for this software falls in the moderate to high range.
As part of the implementation team, the role of the HR systems mangers is to help provide data and inputs to the implementation team in order to integrate either of these software into the current HRIS system. This can be done using the MIS team and developers to create programs to generate employee data that might be required as inputs. Since these systems are stand-alone and both guarantee easy integration, the implementation process may only require some basic interface generation to link the current software to the new one. User training for any new software is absolutely essential. Hence a training must first be taken by the HR systems team. While the vendor may train users, the HR systems team must be on stand by for future training needs.
Based on the requirements posed by the compensation manager, I recommend either COMPview™ by HRsoft or compACT by Kinixsys, Inc. Both these software are geared toward creating a complete compensation management system. They offer the ability to customize according to client needs and also have the ability to work globally when necessary. With similar pricing, either of these software may be good buys, because eventually the ROI from investing in HR automation will be well worth the investment.
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