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Solve Your HR Problems with Human Capital Management (HCM) Technology

Contributor: Felicia Tjong, Payroll Manager

April 14th, 2023 | 12 min. read

By Tony Calavitta

Solve Your HR Problems with Human Capital Management (HCM) Technology

Human Resources and employment go hand-in-hand – HR plays a pivotal part in the entire process of employment.

Because HR responsibilities guide the entire employment life cycle, it’s critical for employers to make sure that HR tasks are performed efficiently and effectively. But, with these responsibilities ranging from recruitment to retirement, this is not an easy undertaking.

Here at Combined, our team understands how difficult HR management can be and has helped countless employers, just like you, fine-tune their HR operations. We want to help you find the right HR solution for your business.

In this article, we will explore Human Capital Management (HCM) technology as a resource to simplify HR tasks. By reading it, you will learn how an all-in-one HCM system can assist with each of your core HR functions.

What are the core functions of Human Resources (HR)?

The core functions of Human Resources (HR) steer the employment life cycle by managing the relationship between a business and its employees.

These core HR functions include:

  • Recruitment, selection, and onboarding
  • Administration and payroll
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Training, development, and performance management
  • Communication and employee relations
  • Compliance management
  • Employee offboarding

The length of this list, not to mention the diversity of responsibilities, should grant insight into how easily keeping up with HR tasks can become disorganized and overwhelming. For this reason, more and more businesses are integrating technology to simplify their HR functions.

Of these options, Human Capital Management (HCM) technology is both a popular and effective answer to HR problems.

What is all-in-one Human Capital Management (HCM) technology?

To better understand what all-in-one Human Capital Management (HCM) technology is, think about all the different functions of your smartphone.

With only one device you can perform what used to separately require a cell phone, a computer, a camera, a pager, an MP3 player, and many more gadgets. Having all of these functions on your smartphone means no locating misplaced devices or untangling messy charging cords, but rather the convenience and organization of an all-in-one device.

All-in-one HCM technology is the smartphone for the field of HR.

It brings all of the core HR functions together into a single software platform, enabling businesses to consolidate and manage the entire life cycle of their employees in one centralized location.

Streamlining HR processes using integrated all-in-one HCM technology eliminates the need for multiple, different HR systems. And, just like the smartphone example, having all of these HR functions combined within a single platform makes for a more convenient, more organized, and more effective approach to HR responsibilities.

All-in-one HCM technology can simplify HR functions

Let’s take a closer look at how HCM technology can assist with and enhance each of the core HR functions.

Recruitment, selection, and onboarding

Finding the right employees for the right roles was the #1 HR challenge in 2022. In fact, 76% of HR professionals agree that attracting and hiring qualified candidates was their single-most difficult responsibility. This responsibility can be simplified using an HCM system.

Here is how HCM technology can assist with recruitment, selection, and onboarding tasks.

Recruitment

An all-in-one HCM system can help coordinate your entire recruitment cycle.

When looking to hire, you have to advertise open positions. This means having detailed job descriptions to post in job listings.

Using HCM technology, you can create, edit, and store updated job descriptions so that they are ready when you need them. Whether you are hiring for a role immediately or may need to fill a position in the future, collecting and organizing this information on a single platform can fast-track the process of posting job listings.

However, even with this information readily available, posting job listings can easily become a time-consuming task. Because open positions need visibility to attract qualified candidates, effective recruitment requires HR to not only post but also manage job listings across a wide range of job boards.

Think about how many job boards applicants have instant access to – LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor, Monster, ZipRecruiter, and that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface. Now, think about how much time it takes to manually post a single job listing – this amount of time compounds for each job board your HR posts a position to. With this in mind, the time HR spends posting job listings for maximum exposure quickly adds up. Then, there’s the supplemental time it takes to monitor every active job listing on every separate job board.

Let’s say you manage to post your job listing to 10 different job boards. Monitoring each of these job boards requires 10 individual logins and standalone tracking for all 10 listings. If you need to update your job listings, that’s 10 different updates. Following all 10 job listings, even for just one open position, can not only become 10 times tangled but can cost tenfold the amount of time.

HCM software includes an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) that organizes the process of posting job listings across different job boards and, in the case of 10 individual job listings, can reduce the time HR has to spend on this process.

By merging these otherwise separate job boards into one comprehensive dashboard where HR professionals can quickly post, view, and update all job listings at once, an ATS feature allows for a large applicant pool without the large responsibility of actively logging into and checking multiple job search sites for applicant activity.    

It can also optimize the applicant experience with each active job listing by:

  • Sending automatic responses for increased applicant engagement
  • Screening applications and resumes for skills, credentials, and qualifications
  • Scheduling interviews integrated with appropriate calendars

Considering that the best job candidates remain on the employment market for only 10 days, recruiting top talent is a race against competing job listings. By using HCM automation, you can accelerate the process of taking your ideal candidate from application to interview and, finally, to onboarding.

Additionally, an HCM system collects applicant information throughout the stages of recruitment so that you and your future employee are prepared to speed across that onboarding finish line.

Selection

Before you can move to onboarding, you have to go through the process of candidate selection.

In theory, selection seems as simple as a firm handshake. But, in reality, there are many HR tasks to be completed before a final offer letter can be signed, sealed, and delivered.

Here are a few post-interview objectives to be completed as part of the selection process:

  • Employment verifications
  • Background checks
  • Assessment tests

With the same Applicant Tracking System (ATS) used in the early stages of recruitment, you can provide candidates with links to these actionable selection items and monitor their completion of them. Once your system gives you the green light to proceed, you can move forward with an offer letter.

Once you’ve screened and selected your choice candidate, using an HCM system can ensure that you are prepared to make them a timely offer.

In the same way that an HCM system allows you to manage your job descriptions, it can also store updated offer letter templates. With an easily accessible standard offer letter at the ready, the candidate you’ve selected won’t have to wait long for the good news. Additionally, in the case of negotiation, your offer letter can be swiftly revised, re-sent, and received.

Given that 55% of job candidates expect to receive an offer less than two weeks after a first interview, expediting the tasks involved in the selection process using HCM technology improves the likelihood that your recruitment efforts successfully end in employment.

Onboarding

When you meet someone new, you probably want to make a good first impression. The onboarding experience you offer new employees serves as this initial introduction to your company.

This is exceptionally important because while effective onboarding can improve employee retention by 82%, 42% of new employees will begin to look for another job if they experience poor onboarding.

An HCM system can enable HR to conduct smooth and successful onboarding by consolidating tedious onboarding tasks.

Recall that an HCM system collects and maintains applicant data throughout the recruitment process. When it comes time to onboard a new employee, having this information stored and accessible prevents unnecessary paperwork. Instead of dealing with duplicate information entry, a new employee’s file will already be partially completed with details maintained through and transferred from the application phase – a convenience both your new employee and HR will thank you for.

An all-in-one HCM onboarding module can also allow you to give a new employee access to your employee handbook, company policies and procedures, benefits information, and even required training courses prior to their first day. This can not only speed up the onboarding process but set your new employee up for successful employment.

Compensation and benefits

According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 63% of employees in the United States cite compensation and benefits as top factors contributing to job decisions and job satisfaction.

This statistic shows that the right compensation and benefits strategy is crucial to driving effective recruitment and successive retention.

Managing the ins and outs of employee compensation and benefits, then, is an important HR responsibility. And it is one that an HCM system can simplify.

Here is how HCM technology can assist with compensation and benefits.

Compensation

Compensation refers to the direct payment your employees receive for the work they perform. In a single word, compensation means wages.

Because employees want to be paid fairly and equitably for the work they perform, determining and communicating appropriate salary ranges is essential to maintaining long-term employment.

An HCM system can be configured to help HR achieve both of these goals.

Using all-in-one HCM technology, you can access a comprehensive database of compensation information for similar roles, industries, company sizes, and more. By using this information as a reference, you can easily create data-driven pay scales that are comparable to market standards. This database also offers predictive data analysis to identify current and future compensation trends, allowing you to keep your pay scales not only comparable but also competitive in the job market.

With this information available, you can adjust your compensation strategy to attract new employees and communicate pay details to retain your current workforce.

Building these pay scales within an HCM system also grants you easy access to thorough pay data, allowing you to evaluate pay-related bias or inequity and take the necessary measures to eliminate any wage gaps. By using HCM technology to effectively manage your compensation strategy, you won’t have any compliance concerns when it comes time to report your pay data.

And, as a result of this ongoing compensation management, your employees will trust that they are and will continue to be paid fairly and equitably – a confidence that is proven to encourage employee engagement, enhance employee satisfaction, and elevate employee retention.

Benefits

Benefits refer to the indirect, non-monetary payment your employees receive for the work they perform.

Because employees are 70% more likely to stay in a position if satisfied with their benefits program and 101% more likely to trust an employer who provides education on benefits coverage, managing employee benefits is a key HR responsibility.

This responsibility, ranging from helping employees select the right plans, offering detailed benefits summaries, and assisting with enrollment to educating employees on plan rates, deductions, and features, is no small task.

HCM technology, however, has the capacity to streamline this array of benefits-related objectives to save HR time and heighten employee satisfaction.

Built with a self-service benefits administration module, an HCM system can reduce HR hassle by simplifying the process of enrollment. This module gives employees access to a wealth of benefits information so that they can confidently choose the right plan for their needs without relying solely on HR to answer question after question. According to Forbes, only half of employees actually understand their benefits – easy access to this benefits education allows employees to become informed while also reducing the role of HR in this process.

This module also facilitates convenient online benefits enrollment, eliminating the need for endless enrollment paperwork. With a guided enrollment function that validates complete and correct data, an HCM system allows employees to select their best-fit benefits plan, electronically sign and submit enrollment documents directly to their choice carrier, and even update their information in a single, centralized, self-service portal. This saves HR valuable time as well as frustrating back-and-forth when collecting all necessary paper documentation.

Additionally, as an inter-connected platform, an all-in-one HCM system tracks any changes to benefits plans and automatically inputs payroll deductions, reducing time spent on data transfer, manual payroll errors, and associated compliance concerns.

Administration and payroll

Most employees view administration and payroll only as the clockwork direct deposit they receive every pay period.

But behind the scenes of payday, completing the maze of HR tasks that ensure employees routinely receive their paycheck on time and error-free can be time-consuming and tedious.

All-in-one HCM technology can streamline these administrative and payroll functions so that they aren’t as difficult to manage.

Here is how an HCM system can assist with both administrative duties and payroll processing.

Administration

An all-in-one HCM system securely retains accurate and up-to-date employee data – This includes records necessary for payroll like:

  • personal details
  • time and attendance
  • tax information
  • benefits deductions

Managing these records, in and of itself, is a big job.

HCM technology can be programmed to divide and delegate this responsibility between designated team members. For example – HR may have exclusive access to confidential information whereas payroll professionals may handle data involved in timecard approval and recordkeeping. With controls to split administrative responsibility, an HCM system enables efficient data management.

Despite any distribution of responsibility, HCM technology still organizes all of this information on a single server. This reduces the risk of administrative error when conducting payroll while speeding up the process.

Considering that payroll is a routine responsibility that involves administrative oversight, there is no cap on how much administration time an all-in-one HCM system can save.

Payroll

Processing payroll manually requires extreme attention to detail – especially with factors like remote and hybrid work, full and part-time work, paid and unpaid leave, overtime rates, and so on. An all-in-one HCM system can keep track of and manage these details so you don’t have to worry about payroll errors.

With built-in time-keeping, tax withholding, and benefits deduction features, HCM technology can automate your payroll to be timely, accurate, and compliant with all relevant labor laws.

Additionally, an HCM system has a self-service portal where employees can easily access payroll information, tax records, request time off, and more without a lengthy HR approval process, offering an element of convenience to both employers and employees.

Training, development, and performance management

Did you know that 76% of employees agree that companies with professional growth and development opportunities are more attractive? Yet only 29% of employees feel that adequate attention was placed on training, development, and performance management in their current role.

With these statistics in mind, training, development, and performance management are critical HR responsibilities that should not be overlooked – An all-in-one HCM system can assist with each.

Training

HCM software includes a Learning Management System (LMS) to standardize and coordinate employee training.

For required courses like harassment training, an all-in-one HCM system comes with a preset training module that can automatically assign, monitor, and report course completion. If courses need to be repeated at a regular interval, this module can track relevant deadlines and ensure that all course requirements are fulfilled according to regulations.

This feature frees HR from the responsibility of manually following who needs to take a training course and when it needs to be completed, not to mention coordinating this timeline with the actual process of course assignment and completion.

This training module also has the capacity to be personalized to your business - Any additional training courses not built into it can be uploaded and administered in the same way.

Among other training resources HCM technology offers are:

  • Online lessons and tutorials
  • Virtual classroom instruction
  • Supplemental training content.

Because an HCM system can track employee progress on all available training outlets, it’s not only a valuable training resource for employees but can also provide employers with metric insight into employee aptitudes.

Development

From standard training results, HCM analytics can identify skill gaps so you can personalize development programs for individual employee competence.

Using HCM technology, you can adjust programs to help each employee effectively improve their skillset.

This not only contributes to increased employee engagement and elevated employee performance, but can help HR monitor stages of career development, support career growth, and provide timely opportunities for upward mobility.

Performance management

HCM technology can track employee performance and generate supporting reports, supplying HR professionals with a comprehensive view of organizational progress.

By capturing data on employee attendance, productivity, quality of work, and other programmable metrics, an HCM system can be used to:

  • Monitor employee performance trends
  • Identify areas for improvement
  • Offer insights into potential training needs

This can facilitate goal setting and monitor growth and development.

HCM technology can also provide a platform to give and receive feedback on performance. This can include regular check-ins, performance reviews, and data-driven feedback. With records of this performance feedback, you can logically qualify performance management decisions, such as promotions, bonuses, or disciplinary actions.

Communication and employee relations

Effective communication and employee relations are directly linked to employee engagement. And, according to the State of the Workplace: 2022 Report, disengaged employees annually result in a staggering $7.8 trillion loss in productivity.

In other words, the role of HR in optimizing communication and employee relations in the workplace has a direct effect on business productivity.

An all-in-one HCM system can have this direct effect on communication and employee relations – Here’s how:

Communication

An HCM system can provide a centralized platform to send company-wide announcements, memos, and messages.

This can ensure that all important information reaches all employees at once and prevents any miscommunication. It can also operate as a direct line of contact between employees and HR where questions and concerns can be answered.

Additionally, HCM technology provides an outlet for employees to anonymously submit feedback or complaints without the pressure of retaliation. This offers employees a level of comfortability to express grievances while giving HR a documented basis to address common concerns and mediate conflict.

Employee relations

With an HCM system, employees have the ability to view and update employment information round-the-clock.

With instant access to pay data and records, benefits information, tax forms, announcements, and more, employees won’t feel like HR is a hurdle they have to overcome to use or change this information and HR won’t have the burden of gatekeeping it.

This self-service aspect of HCM technology can not only improve employee autonomy and job satisfaction but can significantly reduce the amount of HR administrative responsibilities.

Compliance management

60% of business owners highlight keeping up with compliance as one of their top challenges.

An all-in-one HCM system can help keep your business in compliance with employment laws.

Because federal, state, and local employment laws are constantly in flux, you need to be aware of regulation changes and update your company policies accordingly. HCM technology can provide you with automated alerts regarding important law changes and relevant deadlines, making them easier to keep track of and adhere to.

It also has regularly updated security measures in place to protect stored employee data and sensitive information – with features ranging from encryption to access controls to audit logs, an all-in-one HCM system can help you avoid data breaches and associated compliance issues.

Employee offboarding

All-in-one HCM technology can automate your offboarding process so that it is smooth and standardized.

An HCM system can provide a comprehensive offboarding checklist outlining all necessary steps that need to be taken so that no HR tasks are missed. Following all laws and regulations surrounding employee termination, this checklist can help ensure that your offboarding process is quick, consistent, and compliant.

As a centralized platform, an HCM system can also quickly terminate employee access to company systems including payroll, making turnover a less difficult process.

Additionally, HCM technology can facilitate the collection of exit surveys, giving valuable insight into employee turnover, which can be used to adjust hiring and training practices that may have led to employee exits. By understanding this employee exit information, HR can refine workplace policies and procedures to enhance employee retention.

Take the next steps toward an integrated, all-in-one Human Capital Management (HCM) solution

If you are here, you understand that HR management involves an endless list of tasks and responsibilities, completing all of which can easily become overwhelming.

In this article, we discussed Human Capital Management (HCM) technology as an answer to this very HR problem. By reading it, you learned how an all-in-one HCM system can simplify each of your core HR functions, making HR management more manageable.

Here at Combined, our team has helped countless employers, just like you, optimize their HR operations. We want to help you find the right HR solution for your business.

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This article is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel for legal advice.