5 Costly Mistakes to Avoid With Your HR Software Purchase

HR Software Mistakes to Avoid

Let’s face it. The post-COVID world of work looks vastly different from the landscapes most of us experienced in 2019. COVID-19 smashed into our workplaces like an asteroid, leaving massive changes in its wake. And it wasn’t just the work environment that was affected. The technology we use to get work done has also evolved out of necessity as we accommodated remote work environments, flexible hours for working parents, and other COVID-related craters in our routines.

In light of these changes, many companies have had to adjust workflows and implement new protocols to help their employees remain engaged and productive. One driving factor behind many of those changes is the software we use to get work done.

In the HR department, technology decisions for 2021 need to accommodate remote work, virtual learning and collaboration, remote access to employee information, virtual recruiting, and more. Choosing the wrong software could leave you struggling to make effective workforce decisions, keep everyone connected, and hire the right people. If you are in the software exploration phase, here are five mistakes to avoid as you make your decision:

1. Insufficient Long-Term Strategy Planning

Strategic planning should drive every software decision, including those in your HR department. And for most companies it does. However, strategic pitfalls happen when you limit your tech strategy to today’s needs while neglecting to consider where you want to be five or ten years from now. Planning for the future state of your company ensures that your software can scale with you and accommodate your long-term technology and organizational goals. As you consider HR software, ask questions like these:

  • Where do we expect to be in five or ten years?
  • What are our workforce goals (hiring, retention, engagement, etc.)?
  • How do we want to improve our employee experience (onboarding, collaboration, performance reviews, learning and development, etc.)?
  • What HR process gaps do we need to fill?
  • Do we anticipate changes in our workforce such as an out-of-state or international expansion?
  • How do we plan to integrate remote work with our long-term workforce strategy?
  • Will AI, IoT, or increased automation play a role in our HR department now or in the future?

2. Unclear or Generic Requirements

The key to purchasing the right software is putting in your due diligence during the requirements phase. It’s easy to put together a list of functionalities, but choosing a vendor isn’t really about finding the functionalities you need (all reputable vendors will offer the same core functionalities). It’s about finding a vendor that can help you build out your long-term HR technology strategy with opportunities like:

  • Customizable processes
  • Data capabilities
  • Implementation support
  • Scalability
  • Innovative potential
  • Long-term maintenance and support
  • Customer service
  • Right cultural fit

The right software vendor for your company may not be the one with the most bells and whistles or the most sophisticated functionality. It may be the one with the best support or the one that is a good cultural fit for your company.

As you gather your requirements, be sure to dig deep into the specifics of your processes and organizational structures, talk to all of your stakeholders, and look for pain points that need to be resolved for users. Then, consider how the vendor approaches these issues and ask plenty of probing questions as you work through your options.

3. Limited Vendor Search

If you only look at one or two vendors, you could miss out on some wonderful software options. Keep in mind that while the big-name software vendors may be able to offer flashier capabilities, a smaller vendor may offer more in terms of personalized service, support, or other important factors.

That’s why it pays to start your search with a broad funnel and narrow it down to a customized short list based on your unique requirements and HR goals. The best way to do that is to use a tool like our HR Comparison Survey. It’s a fast, easy way to search a broad range of quality vendors based on your requirements and then get a customized list of the ones that most closely match your needs.

4. Overlooking the Service Piece

Robust software and broad functionality is important, but without strong customer service from the vendor you may be very disappointed in the overall outcome. That’s why it’s critical to consider a vendor’s service and support before you make a final decision. At times, this can be the differentiating factor between two equally attractive software platforms.

In addition to the specific services and support features that are available, consider the interactions you have with the vendor during the discovery phase. Are they readily available to answer questions? How long does it take for them to get back with you? Do they listen to your concerns and provide real answers (not just a sales pitch)? Are they honest? You can expect service to be at its best during the sales process. If you see any red flags then, they will only get worse after you have signed a contract.

5. Incomplete Implementation Planning

The implementation process will make or break your experience with the software. Before you choose a vendor, make sure you know who will do the implementation and whether you feel confident that they can do a good job. Ask questions like:

  • How much experience does this person have on this platform?
  • How many successful implementations have they handled?
  • What is included in the implementation scope? Are there any additional costs?
  • How much training is included? Is additional training available for a fee?
  • How long will the implementation take?
  • What project management process will be used?

As you choose your HR software, you’ll learn more and more about the capabilities that are available in today’s market. Be careful that you don’t succumb to scope creep that could cause you to exceed your budget. Make a plan, stick to it, and find a vendor who can help you achieve your goals.

Ready to create your vendor short list? Our HRIS Comparison Tool helps you narrow down your requirements and matches you with vendors who meet your unique needs!

HRIS Comparison Tool

Is Your HR Strategy Ready for Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation strategy

The future of business is digital. That’s true whether you’re talking about customer-facing functions like sales and customer service or back office functions like HR and finance. Even before the pandemic, company leaders were already planning to increase investments in automation, AI, and data. Now, issues like global talent shortages and remote work have stepped up the need in every sector, and technology upgrades have become top priority. It’s no longer enough to have a five-year plan. Digital transformation needs to happen now.

The question is: what does that look like for HR?

What to Consider as You Evaluate New Tech

Perhaps the biggest change to come out of the pandemic has been the massive shift to remote work. Companies have had to pivot quickly, implementing stop-gap measures to manage a newly remote workforce, synchronize technology, and enable online collaboration, learning, and productivity (hello, Zoom).

But now that we’re 18 months in, there has been time to observe how well those measures are working and identify gaps. New technology to fill those gaps is hitting the market seemingly every day, and there is plenty of opportunity to create a more efficient tech stack that serves specific needs. As you plan your digital transformation strategy , here are a few things you should look for in your HR technology:

  • Single-source database – If your HR platform relies on different databases for different functionalities, you’ll create information silos and employees will have to use multi-step processes to access data. A single-source database eliminates break points so that information is readily available when and where it’s needed.
  • Integrations – Consider whether your HR platform can easily integrate with external software. These days, there’s an app for just about anything. If your platform can’t easily integrate, however, you’ll once again be stuck with information silos and multi-step processes.
  • Functionality duplications – Consider the functions already available in your HR platform and in your current tech stack so you aren’t paying for multiple apps that do more or less the same thing.
  • Pain points – Look for tech solutions that can address specific pain points in your current processes. In other words, don’t just choose a software solution because of the new things it can do. Consider whether it can solve deep-rooted process complexities, reduce friction points, improve efficiency, or make a current process easier to conduct in a remote environment.
  • Useroriented design – Technology itself can’t improve employee experiences. The technology must also be oriented toward intuitive user engagement. Take a careful look at your company culture to identify where and how technology can be embedded into daily work for better efficiency and higher productivity.

How to Build Your Digital Transformation Strategy

These are all important things to think through, but remember that digital transformation isn’t just about automating processes and implementing new functions. It’s about embracing disruption, adopting new ways of getting work done, improving business agility, and leveraging tools that support the new reality of work. Your tech strategy should reflect those priorities. In other words, it’s not just about making current processes faster and easier; it’s about rethinking the process of work altogether and embracing new ideas early.

Building a strategy that will carry you into the future means thinking about what you want your business to look like in five or ten years, not just what problems you need to solve now. Ask these questions to get moving in the right direction: 

1. What are my technology and process goals?

Goal-setting flows out of your vision for your HR department. To set functional goals, start by thinking through what is working well, what isn’t, and how current processes need to change. Identify short-term wins (we need to solve a problem) and envision where you want to be in the future (how do we evolve). This might include:

  • Integrating performance management milestones with daily work
  • Establishing a strong people analytics platform
  • Bringing all your data into a single database
  • Building out a virtual learning environment
  • Creating more resources for remote workers
  • Leveraging AI tools for an improved recruitment experience

2. What are my requirements?

Once you have a firm grasp on short-term and long-term goals, take some time to work through your specific requirements. Here are some areas of functionality to consider:

  • Payroll
  • Expense management
  • Employee self-service
  • Benefits administration
  • Talent Management
  • Recruiting
  • Learning and Development
  • Social integration
  • Automation and AI tools
  • Data management

You can save some time on this step by using our HRIS Comparison Tool to think through specific needs at the platform level. Use the tool to evaluate your current processes at the user level and also at the strategy level. Determine what the software needs to continue supporting, and evaluate whether processes can be improved or streamlined.

The requirements gathering process should include not only strategy-level stakeholders, but also grassroots users who can shed light on daily work processes and user experiences. Use a variety of methods such as surveys, observation, documentation analysis, brainstorming and focus groups to dig deep into the requirements process.

3. Do I need a whole new platform or just a new app?

Examine your goals and your current tech to determine whether your platform has the potential to take you where you want to go. If it does, then you may be able to add additional functionality using one or more apps. However, if your current platform is limited in scope, doesn’t meet your data management needs, or doesn’t offer the improved functionality you’re looking for, it may be time to upgrade.

4. What is my budget?

Your IT budget can spiral out of control quickly if you aren’t strategic. Avoid the trap of bloated IT spending by carefully planning your digital transformation strategy, remaining agile so you can adjust when necessary, and sticking with the specific requirements you’ve identified. 

Digital transformation holds the key for HR success in the future. According to SHRM, it is also linked with stronger financial performance, improved diversity, higher productivity, and stronger succession plans. As HR leaders embrace that future, they can reap the rewards of a more engaged, productive workforce both in the office and in a remote environment.     

5 HR Strategies to Tackle Your Post-Covid Talent Shortage

We Need You

If you’ve ventured out and about lately, you’ve probably seen them: those strategically placed signs in the windows of restaurants, retail stores, and just about everywhere else that cheerfully proclaim, “We’re Hiring!”

Maybe in the back of your mind, you’ve thought: “Right – you and everyone else.” And you wouldn’t be wrong. Maybe you’ve even got a sign of your own.

From fast food places to marketing boutiques to Fortune 500 companies, everyone is desperate for talent these days. Robert Half reports talent shortages in accounting and finance, technology, creative and marketing, healthcare, legal and just about everywhere else.

More than two-thirds of companies across the globe are struggling to find the right blend of technical and soft skills, while at the same time working through technology transformations in the wake of the pandemic.

The bottom line is: Companies are ready to bring employees back to work, but an imbalance in supply and demand has left employers scrambling to fill crucial roles.

While global talent shortages probably won’t resolve any time soon, that doesn’t mean your hiring efforts are hopeless.

Here are five things you can do to make your open positions more attractive to the right candidates.

1. Invest in Digital Transformation for HR

Digital transformation has become a strategic imperative in our post-pandemic world. From remote work to virtual hiring to increased automation, technology that was once considered a long-term goal has now become a short-term necessity.

Digital recruiting tools that solve problems like inefficiency, hiring volume, and reach have been top of mind for quite some time now. So have tools that enhance the employee experience. The pandemic, however, has urgently ramped up the pace, especially in light of global talent shortages. So what exactly should you consider as you supplement or upgrade your HR software?

  • Recruitment Automation – Automation can save you hours of work during the recruitment process. From resume screening to interview invitations to generating job descriptions, automation tools make your process more efficient and less prone to error. For example, SentricHR includes pre-configured recruiting workflows that move candidates through the process automatically.
  • Virtual Capabilities – Virtual interviews, virtual teams meetings, virtual learning opportunities – all of these will be integral to the future of work. As you consider ways to support an increasingly virtual workforce, look for tools that can integrate with one another as they streamline the process.
  • Online learning – Many HRIS platforms include an online learning component such as a class library or the ability to upload your own resources. In addition, you can utilize a comprehensive tool such as LinkedIn Learning to help employees develop their skills.
  • Gig Economy Integrations – Employers are increasingly turning to gig workers (like freelancers and independent contractors) to fill talent gaps. Some HRIS platforms include tools designed to help you manage these contractors and associated costs (WorkDay’s People Analytics tool, for example).

2. Recruit Beyond Your Geographic Location

Almost half of employers anticipate a hybrid of remote and in-office work going forward, and an additional 34% plan to remain fully remote. That sounds good to employees as well, with 51% of workers saying they would be open to relocating as long as they wouldn’t take a pay cut.

That’s good news for hiring, because it means you aren’t limited to the talent available in your local area.You can take your recruiting efforts where the talent is.

Candidate sourcing and management technology gives hiring managers the ability to automate the process of matching roles and skills with candidates, with or without geographic indicators. Your ATS may already have desirable candidates stored from previous applications, and you can use your HRIS sorting and matching tools to find them. As new candidates come in, you can match those resumes to job descriptions and necessary skills as well.

If you’re ready to invest in additional applicant tracking software, look for these capabilities:

  • Ability to integrate with your current HRIS and CRM
  • Full customization options
  • Extensive reporting
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion sourcing tools

3. Include Teams in Your Hiring Decisions

Involve your current team members in the interview and evaluation process when filling an open role. There are several benefits to this approach:

  • Current team members know the work best. They know what it takes to the fill the role and what skills are necessary.
  • Participating in the selection process helps teams feel invested in the success of the new employee. Your teams will be more likely to welcome a new team member and help them through the acclimation process when they have had a say in the decision.
  • Teams can help you identify and overcome blind spots. No one interviewer can ask every question or consider every angle. Collaborating with current team members will help you make better decisions overall.
  • Team members are vital to retention. According to SHRM, strong workplace relationships play a key role in retention. In fact, two out of three employees with at least one friend at work said they would reject a new job offer. When you involve team members in the hiring process, they are more likely to get to know the new employee and form the kinds of relationships that help people feel valued at work.

4. Hire for the Skills, Not the Role

Skills-based hiring (as opposed to credentials-based) has been trending for several years now. In 2021, we will see recruiters take it a step farther by becoming more fluid with specific requirements and prioritizing adaptability and learning potential as essential components of success.

It may seem counterintuitive not to prioritize the specific role you’re trying to fill. In today’s world of work, however, job skills are evolving so rapidly that adaptability may soon outrank hard skills in terms of job fit. Of course, some jobs will always require specific credentials. However, the ability to learn quickly and adapt to new skills is essential – so essential that SHRM has listed it as the top requirement for recruiters. If recruiters themselves must be agile in the face of evolving talent needs, so must the employees they want to hire.

5. Consider Outsourcing

Outsourcing isn’t just for back-office processes anymore. With talent gaps looming large in the workforce, companies have turned to outsourcing to fill needs across the organization, from HR to IT to finance.

Outsourcing is attractive because it gives you access to top minds in a given space without having to pay top dollar to hire an expert in that role. It’s best for areas that do not comprise your core competencies, and it can give you flexibility to focus on filling the roles that will give your business a stronger competitive advantage.

What’s the Next Step?

No one knows exactly what talent will look like a year from now, but we do know that the future of work is evolving rapidly. We expect to see stronger reliance on digital technology as more processes are automated, more companies build remote work into their permanent workforce structure, and more employees expect flexible work arrangements.

If you are mapping out your next steps in the HR digital landscape, we recommend prioritizing your HRIS platform. Once you have that strong foundation in place, you can supplement with tools that fill specific needs in areas like recruiting, learning, or performance management.

Ready to start your HRIS search? We’ve got you covered! Our HRIS Comparison Tool uses your unique requirements to create a software shortlist in just twenty minutes.

HRIS Comparison Tool

5 Keys to Choosing the Right HRIS Implementation Partner

HRIS Implementation Team

Today’s businesses are under pressure to evolve like never before. Economic conditions created or affected by COVID-19, the transition to remote work, global supply chain disruptions, worker shortages – all of these have brought urgent new challenges as well as new opportunities.

Keeping pace with the ever-accelerating speed of business takes good business judgment, strategic vision, and a healthy dose of technological aptitude.

In the midst of all that pressure, you might be asking: when is the right time to upgrade my HRIS platform?

The short answer is: now. If you are still operating an on-premise system, let this be the sign you’ve been waiting for. It’s time to upgrade. Even companies in industries that have been slow to move to the cloud for security reasons (like healthcare and finance) should take a long, hard look at their technology strategy.

Cloud solutions have come a long way since they were first introduced. They can often keep your data more secure in their multi-factor security servers than you can in your back office.

With all that said, though, you may still have a few questions:

  • How do I find the right HR tech vendor?
  • How do I know who will best meet my business needs and requirements?
  • What about the implementation? How do I make sure it is a success?

To answer those first two questions, check out our best tips for choosing an HR tech vendor and nailing down your requirements.

In this post, let’s zero in on that last question. How do you set yourself up for success with an HRIS implementation? It starts with choosing the right partner.

How to Choose the Right HRIS Implementation Partner

If already feel confident about the HR tech vendor you’re considering (still have questions? Check out our free Buyer’s Guide!), then hopefully you already feel good about the customer service and support available to you through that company.

However, your due diligence isn’t complete until you have nailed down the details of the implementation. After this process, you should feel completely confident that your vendor can ensure a successful implementation.

This evaluation is crucial because the vendor’s implementation approach will affect your business outcomes well into the future.

Here are five keys to choosing a vendor you can trust:

  1. The implementation project manager has extensive experience.
    Ask the vendor who will be in charge of your implementation. Make sure this person has a history of successful implementations on this system under his or her belt. A project management certification isn’t enough to ensure success. You want to know that the person handling your HRIS implementation has the know-how to deal with any complications, unusual circumstances, and pitfalls that may come up.

    It’s also a good idea to check with references who have worked with your implementation partner before. Here are a few questions you may want to ask:
    • Was the implementation completed on time and within budget?
    • Would you use this vendor again?
    • How well did the project manager explain technical issues?
    • How effective was the training provided?
  2. The vendor takes a partnership approach.
    No two implementations are the same. That means you need to work with someone who will take time to understand the unique aspects of your business, talk through your business goals, and work collaboratively with you. Look for someone who will come alongside your team as a partner rather than just swooping in without listening to you.

    Collaborative project managers prioritize communication, feedback, and user experiences. They will spend a lot of time talking through the implementation with you ahead of time to be sure they have a full understanding of your needs and your business. Pay attention to how the implementation team lead interacts with you before you make your decision and ask questions like these:
    • Do they spend time listening before jumping in with an answer
    • Are they prompt with communication?
    • Do they give you ample opportunity to ask questions?
    • Do you feel pressured to make a decision before you feel ready?
    • Do they make it easy to schedule a phone call or meeting?
  3. The project team looks at the implementation from a holistic business perspective.
    An experienced implementation lead will consider how the new software can integrate with and improve processes across your whole organization, not just in the HR department. This is a value-add approach that helps you make the most of your investment.

    On the other hand, some vendors view HRIS implementations as an IT project only. Once all the parts and pieces are connected and the bugs are squashed, they consider the project done. And while it’s true that the software may function well and you may even be really happy with it for a while, this approach doesn’t help you make the most of your investment.

    By viewing the implementation as a cross-organizational endeavor, you can find ways to make your employees’ jobs easier, create better employee experiences, and draw more value out of the software itself.

  4. The vendor provides a clearly defined project scope and budget in writing.
    Don’t make any assumptions about what will or won’t be included in the implementation. Be sure to get everything in writing. If it’s not included in the written scope, don’t expect it to be covered in the implementation. For example, some vendors may provide limited training as part of the project scope and charge extra for additional users or more hours.

    You’ll also want to check for any extra fees or costs associated with the implementation. Take time to read the fine print of the contract, since every vendor will structure the costs differently.

  5. The implementation team consists of people you can picture yourself working with.
    The human factor plays a huge role in the success of any project, especially one as complicated as an HRIS implementation. It’s nearly impossible to navigate such a project without mutual respect. If you don’t see eye to eye with your vendor or they don’t take the time to understand your concerns and perspectives, that’s not someone you should work with.

    You also want someone who “gets” your company culture and can help you align your software to support that culture.

Technology + People = Success

You can have the best technology in the world, but it won’t serve you well if your implementation team doesn’t do a great job. As you select your vendor, remember that the sales team won’t be the ones implementing the software. A great sales team doesn’t necessarily equal a successful implementation.

That’s why it’s critical to ask the right questions about your HRIS implementation before you seal the deal. Take time to learn about the people you’ll be working with. Make sure you feel confident in their ability , and you’ll set yourself up for long-term success.

Need help finding the right vendor? Our HRIS Comparison Tool helps you nail down your requirements and create your vendor short list in twenty minutes or less!

Ask the Expert: Criterion Shares Insights on the Future of HR Technology

Criterion HR Tech Insights

The future of work holds exciting opportunities for innovation and growth. As the priorities and needs of HR shift toward personalization, employee-centered experiences, and digital integration, the technology used to achieve those goals must shift as well. HR leaders and their teams need robust tools that not only support ongoing digital innovation, but also shape the way teams interact and deliver value across the organization.

In the midst of this rapid evolution of work experiences, a worldwide pandemic has also placed unprecedented demands on the HR office. Remote teams, health and wellness needs, budget constraints, and changes in workforce dynamics have changed the HR landscape virtually overnight. To respond to those changes, companies will need agile solutions that can continue to provide necessary support even in non-traditional work environments. HR is changing, and technology must change along with it.

We spoke with Steven Kuhn at CriterionHCM about what they are doing to meet the challenges of today’s workforce. Here are some of their insights about the future of HR technology and how Criterion has stepped up to the plate.

HR Technology Transformation

CompareHRIS: What do you think has been the biggest change in software over the past five years? 

Criterion: While cloud solutions have been available for 20 years, the last 7 years have seen a significant move off of traditional client/server, behind the firewall, and on to Software-as-a-Service solutions.

CompareHRIS: What do you expect to see in the next five years? Has the pandemic changed company priorities in terms of technology transformation?

Criterion: This transition will continue and may in fact accelerate due to this pandemic and a major shift to remote work. Traditional solutions simply cannot keep up with the demands of a remote workforce.

Criterion has always had a strong solution for automating manual processes and efficiencies for remote locations and remote workers. Our solution is designed to help our clients during the pandemic with features like: employee engagement, digital documents & forms and forms management, electronic signatures and work flows. 

CompareHRIS: Have you made any changes or enhancements to your solutions to support companies during the pandemic? (e.g., contact tracing, ability to configure earnings codes for FFCRA, support for remote team management, etc.) 

Criterion: Criterion HCM was designed with the remote workforce in mind, so while we continue to enhance our solution quarterly, there wasn’t a need to do any elaborate redesign. We also quickly adjust to legislative changes, which means that we were easily able to configure and integrate FFCRA earnings codes. Since we are a SaaS delivered solution, the changes were immediately available to all clients on the day of release.

CompareHRIS: We hear a lot about technology transformation in the HR field. How has Criterion stepped up to the plate for companies that want to support talent more effectively through technology?

Criterion: Definitely, many people are talking “digital transformation” these days. Criterion has been providing these tools for many years, but the drive to this capability from the market is just really starting to take hold. Many organizations now realize disparate HR systems just do not work in today’s workplace. Even many systems who claim a “single database solution” will still be dated technology with behind-the-scenes integrations between HR, Payroll, ERP, etc. Criterion always has been and sill is a true robust single database HR solution without any internal break points. It is also a completely open API solution.

Simply stated, we can integrate with any other software solution given access to their database. Clients find this seamless connectivity advantageous for doing business in a fast-paced environment. That technology aside, another way Criterion helps clients is by providing a rich document-management capability embedded in our core HR. This enables clients to securely store and track employee forms and documents including digital signatures. Clients can use existing PDFs or build their own forms, assign them to groups of people or individuals, and report on the data collected in those forms. 

Remote Work and Employee Experience

CompareHRIS: How does Criterion support needs like remote teams, FFCRA policies, and employee wellbeing? 

Criterion: Through the Criterion HCM ESS portal and mobile apps, employees have access to whatever relevant company information they need.  Administrators can also provide easily accessible government information, initiate polls, and review the results.  Using the Social Feed, managers can keep in touch with all employees or specific groups for things like employee recognition and other morale building functions.

CompareHRIS: How do your solutions incorporate personalization throughout the employee lifecycle (e.g., recruiting, onboarding, recognition, etc.)? 

Criterion: From the moment a candidate applies and continuing through their entire experience with the employer, Criterion HCM provides a single source of information. When a candidate applies, they receive personalized emails throughout the interview process, so they’re assured of not being lost in the mix. Through our interview review forms, all hiring staff has a consistent interview track to ensure the candidate gets a fair evaluation. Once on board and throughout their tenure, employees and managers have easy access to all relevant information, forms, and tasks to keep them informed, engaged, motivated and productive.

CompareHRIS: Employee wellbeing will be a high priority for companies in 2021 and beyond. Does your product include features that support employee wellbeing (e.g., surveys, health tracking, other resources)?

Criterion: Absolutely. One of the biggest issues we hear about is communication (or, lack thereof).  Criterion HCM’s Self Service portal makes it easy for people to access information. It also allows administrators to query staff and otherwise alert employees to company policy and direction. But, many companies don’t have the resources to plan and create the relevant communications. To solve that problem, Criterion uses the ESS portal to direct employees, managers, and administrators to internal and approved external resources to keep everyone informed in a concise and consistent manner.

CompareHRIS: Diane Gherson, CHRO of IBM says, ”Our job in HR is to create that connected, transparent, mobile, personalized, searchable and 24×7 universe through our workplace and our tools.”  How does Criterion support these objectives of stronger connection and greater flexibility? 

Criterion: Criterion has created a solution that is easy to use with various tools that employees use to connect them to their HR data. Remote employees in the field can access the HR data they need online with a smart phone, allowing them to do all the things they need to do in the 24X7 universe. Incorporated tools like time & attendance, performance management, benefits management, learning, task management, workflows and real time reporting and dashboards provide employees & managers with the information they need to make sound decisions. Our clients like the flexibility of purchasing the modules they plan to use now, with the ability to purchase additional modules later so they can expand upon their HCM goals with a single application.

CompareHRIS: How can Criterion help HR leaders reach the goal of driving value through employee-centered solutions? 

Criterion: Our GUI (graphical user interface) is easy to use and to deploy. Most importantly, however, we provide the training and change management capabilities to enable better adoption of our solution. Criterion is set-up with a flat design that allows for easy navigation.  Based on the employee role, users see only the data fields and information you want them to have and the information they need to interact with HR.

Advancements in AI, Robotics, and Data

CompareHRIS: We’re seeing a growing demand for more sophisticated robotics, AI, and cognitive solutions in the HR department. How does this impact your products?

Criterion: We are doing more in this area as well taking advantage of some tools our technology partners provide. We will have more to show and tell in the coming months.

CompareHRIS: Does your product include any AI or virtual reality components as part of your service offering? 

Criterion: The challenge faced with any company, including those who develop and publish software, is how do we make the tools not only friendly but unobtrusive.  The balance between AI, Virtual Reality, and practical use requires some nuancing that Criterion is deeply involved in. Our goal is to make the product better, not just to make it glitzy for show.  We are working on some features that will be enhanced by these components without overly glamorizing a process.

CompareHRIS: How are you preparing for issues related to employee data privacy? 

Criterion: We continually update our software to accommodate the changing requirements of employee data privacy in the US, Canada, UK and globally. We are GDPR compliant and people can access our policy here: Criterion GDPR policy. How have HR analytics changed over the past five years, and how does Criterion incorporate these changes into solutions to measure value and support better business outcomes?  

Data drives the decision processes across all parts of the organization. Access to the data is critical. From our perspective, there does not seem to be a great change in HR Analytics in the past 5 years, but there is a greater awareness for wanting access to data and being able to derive meaningful decisions from it. In other words, the metrics really haven’t changed; the need for accessing critical data to create and monitor the metrics has. 

Improving Business Outcomes Through Your HR Technology Solution

CompareHRIS: Can you describe a recent client implementation and how Criterion was able to deliver advantages or support business goals for the organization? 

Criterion: Recently we worked with a large construction organization with multiple locations. The company was using multiple solutions to handle their HCM needs. As the HR and finance department leaders looked at all the big HCM players in the market, they could not find an HCM solution with the right complexity to handle all their HR processes, union rules, pay rules and employee engagement needs. Ideally, they wanted one complete HCM solution with integration to their new cloud-based financial solution.

During our implementation processes we managed the project with a single implementation manager and project manager. Criterion’s experienced and professional implementation delivered a solution around tight timelines with a configurable solution that met their HR, Payroll, Talent, Benefits, and Time & Attendance needs. We supported their business goals by automating manual processes and putting all their HCM needs into one solution, which allowed them to eliminate three other tools. In addition to all the HCM requirements, Criterion also provided a bi-directional API integration to their cloud-based financial solution so they could better organize their finance department. Our implementation team delivered on their known business requirements but also supported their transition from a paper-based environment to a full digital transformation.  We also provided employee engagement for their remote workforce that allowed the HR team to align their communication with their remote workforce during a pandemic.

CompareHRIS: What advice would you offer to someone who is just beginning their search for an HCM software application? 

Criterion: There are many HCM solutions available to you. Without much exception, they can all meet the basic HCM functional requirements that you will have. So, consider evaluating your options from a different perspective. Look for ways the solution addresses your “pain points,” not only in the current processes, but also those deeply embedded or complex processes that maybe you’ve given up on trying to resolve because you’ve never found a system that can deliver that specific functionality. Use that as your initial requirement. If the solution can pass that test, (and can demonstrate that capability), then you should look at their core functionality. 

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