Strategic Reasons you need a new Human Capital Management System

July 1, 2015

Written by:  Jacqueline Kuhn

A lot of systems in use today have been in place for 15, 20 even 30 years!

They are probably being maintained and supported by in-house resources, many of whom may be the original implementers.  They are “getting the job done” in terms of record keeping, paying people properly and tracking for traditional US compliance reporting for EEOC.   These systems may be “supplemented” by one or more point solutions that serve as an Applicant Tracking system, support Performance Management or administer and deliver training programs.

While less than ideal, replacement of these systems for reasons of administrative efficiencies alone are not going to build your business case, nor will cost savings, as a unified end-to-end HCM Platform will most likely cost more than you are spending today.

So, how do you build that strategic business case for your new Human Capital Management System?

#1 – It All Ties to Employee Engagement 

Are your employee engagement scores below benchmark due to lack of transparency of information and inconsistent feedback from managers on employee performance?   You need tools that have the capability of producing a ‘Total Rewards” statement, and a performance management process supported by a system with social capabilities to provide instant feedback, “ask the expert” functionality, and peer to peer interactions.

#2 – Go Mobile

Are your managers and employees required to be at a PC or “Clock” device within the company network to perform their time tracking activities, access learning, or update their goals?  Do your employees perform field work, and are not at desks throughout the day?  Moving manager and employee direct access capability to mobile devices will improve efficiencies (and transparency) across the organization.

3 – Single Source of Information

Does your talent processes require a “Profile” for each employee? Trying to compile one is a chore because the information is scattered across several systems, and in paper files.  It is impossible for Human Resources to compile profiles, let alone managers.  An end-to-end HCM system that includes talent information will allow a single source of information to improve the process (and transparency) across the organization.

#4 – Measuring the performance of performance

Do you think your performance and development programs are going well, but you’re not entirely sure? To determine which programs are most effective, and which under-perform, requires data on employee and business performance.  This data is not easily obtained and requires the running of multiple reports from various systems and manual compilation.  A platform that allows you to combine business results with Human Capital talent results can produce rich analytics to determine where the organization performance programs are working.  Which in turn, improves on performance processes (which impacts employee engagement).

#5 – Understanding Turnover

Has it come to your attention that there is significant increase or decrease in employee turnover? It’s important to find out why the change has occurred and to determine if that turnover is regretted.  To do this, information about the employee’s job, pay and performance history, along with who are their managers and engagement survey information is required.  This information is not in the current HRMS, and takes months to compile.

#6 – The Financial Reason – Time-Off Liability

Can you project your time off liability?  Typically, these are calculated on a quarterly basis and include a balancing process for what was reported last quarter to what is reflected this quarter.  Without a system that is tracking time accrued vs time used, this task is almost impossible.  A new system (and related processes) will provide information that Finance can be confident about, and having a system provides the added benefit of transparency to employees of time off available.

It does appear that Employee Engagement is a part of each business case statement.  So why did we not just say these are samples of six ways to increase employee engagement by replacing the HCM System?  Because making the direct connection is not always enough and while engagement is the underlying theme, you would be missing out on the other strategic benefits of replacing outdated and underperforming systems.

There is much research that ties employee engagement to company performance. At HRchitect, we use such research when assisting our clients with building their business case for systems replacements.  If any of these reasons resonate with what you are going through, please contact us to learn how we can help you build a strategic business case.


Jacqueline is an HR professional with over 20 years’ experience in Strategic Planning, Systems Management, Project Management, Services Delivery and General Human Resources. Throughout Jacqueline’s career, she has worked with organizations such as, Sears, Beam, OshKosh and Johns Hopkins to create strategic plans around their Human Capital Management systems, as well as leading selection and implementation projects for Talent Management, Talent Acquisition and HRIS systems.

In her role at HRchitect, she oversees our HCM strategic consulting group which encompasses HRchitect’s HCM systems strategic planning and evaluation and selection practices. Jacqueline spends much of her time with HCM vendors being briefed on their technology offerings, ensuring that we provide the most current information to our clients who are looking for a new solution. Jacqueline enjoys working with organizations to impact their HCM strategies through the utilization of technology.

Jacqueline is a Certified Professional of Human Resource Information (HRIP). She also works extensively with IHRIM and is a Summit Award Winner, is currently on the Board of Directors for the HRIM Foundation, after serving as the foundation’s President where she developed educational courses on HR technology use and best practices.

When she isn’t working with HRchitect clients or IHRIM and the HRIM Foundation, Jacqueline enjoys dog training and is also a classically trained Pianist.