User Friendly HRMS System versus Complexity & functionality

Is user friendliness important when considering a Human Resource Management System (HRMS)? Absolutely! But only to the level that the system meets your needs.

For example, in the past I worked with a couple of HR systems both containing report writers but at completely different levels of ease of use and complexity. The first HR Management Software application had the easiest report writer I have seen. It demoed well and users loved the fact that it required little, if any, training to generate basic reports. The other software system’s report writer required training and database knowledge to create reports. This system did not demo well and, frankly, it scared clients. If asked, nine out of ten times most would have selected the first report writer; but there was, of course, a potential problem with that choice.

While easy to use, the first report writer had serious limitations. You could not group information, you could not add counts or totals, you could not create custom function fields in the report, and graphing was not an option. If you wanted a simple employee list report without grouping or totals, this product met the need. If you wanted, however, to create a turnover statistics report or detailed compensation report it would not meet the needs. This is just one example of where the most easy to use HRMS system was not the best. My advice, when reviewing HR software solutions, is to make sure the system can create the most detailed reports you need created. Include in your needs assessment the type and complexity of reports you will require and ask the perspective software vendor to show the process of creating those reports.

The ease of setting up the HR system is another important consideration. One product may be far easier to setup but require more work for you to maintain going forward. Often, but not always, the more detail the setup, the less work later to maintain the data.

About the Author

Clay Scroggin worked in the Human Resource and Payroll Software Industry for more than fifteen years. During that time Clay, and those who worked with him, sold and assisted hundreds of HR professionals with their HR software needs. In 2007, Clay began working on, a site dedicated to assisting HR professionals with their search, selection, implementation and use of HR systems. The site contains several tools to assist HR professionals with their software research including a Human Resource Information System Selection Tool and an HR Software Blog.

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