A new report published by Webster Buchanan Research argues that HR self-service is starting to be put to broader use across the people management field, touching everything from recruitment and absence management to flexible working and trend analysis.
Until now, internet-based self-service systems have traditionally been seen primarily as a cost and efficiency issue for HR.
Rather than calling the HR department or filling in paper forms, employees can enter data such as bank account details online, view their past payslips, sign up for training courses, submit requests for annual leave, review absence records and so on.
By doing so, they free HR from basic administrative tasks to do more value-added work.
Webster Buchanan’s report, published in association with HR software and services specialist Computers In Personnel, argues that employee and manager self-service is now moving beyond these administrative tasks and becoming embedded in multiple day-to-day activities, achieving the aims set out years ago by early pioneers.
Managers can implement information from performance reviews and trigger follow-up actions such as training requests.
Externally, job applicants can enter data online and ultimately track the progress of their applications.
Yes Telecom, a division of Vodafone, has seen a reduction in administrative costs and improvements in process efficiency by implementing Ciphr Net, CIP’s self-service software.
Reporting has also improved significantly: managers can now see a calendar view of absence to spot sickness trends, for example, helping them analyse how much time is being lost and where.
Mellissa Wong, HR officer at Yes Telecom, said the company is now preparing to take advantage of the broader people management benefits of employee and manager self-service, including recruitment.
In addition, she added:
“The system has already enabled the HR team to focus on more strategic personnel development issues, by freeing up a significant chunk of time previously spent on admin and processing tasks. It’s been very positively received. We’ve had feedback from new starters who’ve joined from bigger companies, and they’re very impressed with what the system can do. ”
Christopher Berry, managing director of Computers In Personnel, pointed out that using self-service in areas such as recruitment can give organisations a competitive edge.
“Organisations can get ahead in the race for talent if they look to open up their self-service systems to job applicants. The faster you can identify high-quality candidates and make job offers, the more likely you are to be able to snap up talent before a competitor.”
Keith Rodgers, co-founder of Webster Buchanan Research, said:
“The cost and efficiency implications of self-service are important, but they’re not the only issues. Self-service can play a big role in helping organisations manage a broad range of people-related activities more effectively. And because it generates significant volumes of data for analysis, it gives senior management better insight into their workforce and helps them manage everything from absence to long-term planning.”