Why all-in-one HRMS suites don’t work

The usual HRMS suites may not give innovative and creative HR solutions to emerging and evolved people-strategy problems

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Today, various types of HR technologies are competing edge to edge with each other in the HR tech marketplace. However, if we create a thin line between two major sets of HR technologies that exist in the market today, two major categories emerge. On the one hand, there are the human resource management systems (HRMS) suites or what is traditionally known as ERP systems, which come with an entire gamut of HR tech solutions. They offer different modules for different facets in HR, such as applicant-tracking system for hiring, learning management systems and payroll software.

And then, there are other HR tech options which provide a single-point solution to a particular area in HR, such as recruitment, employee engagement, compensation and benefits and so on. They can also be called the best-in-breed products in the HR technology market.

“Payroll modules that come with HRMS suits are rather simple and are not capable of handling the complexities of the Indian payroll system”

Amit Sharma, CHRO, Volvo Group India

An all-in-one HR tech solution will always appear to be more appealing as it helps one implement a single HRMS suite that covers every major aspect of HR and its associated challenges. The sad part of the story is, this approach may not work for one.

Why? An HRMS suite may have it all, but most of its modules may end up being quite average. They may be substandard and ill equipped to tackle the evolved HR challenges an organisation is facing at the moment.

Talking to HRKatha, Amit Sharma, CHRO, Volvo Group India, agrees, “It is just like being ‘jack of all trades but master of none’”.

Sharma reveals that in his entire career, he has never come across an HRMS suite, which provides an accurate module on payroll and benefits. “The ones which come integrated with an HRMS suite never work. They are rather simple and are not capable of handling the complexities of the Indian payroll system,” explains Sharma.

Also, we should understand that every company has a different culture, marketplace and diverse set of employees, customers and clients. With evolved HR challenges, organisations require highly- customised solutions. “The usual ERPs or HRMS suites fall short on innovative and creative solutions to fit the new emerging HR challenges,” tells Jayant Kumar, president – HR, Adani Ports & SEZ.

Standalone HR tech-solution providers, Kumar believes, are much more agile than a normal HRMS suite.

What should we do?

An all-in one HRMS suite is not an ideal option if one is looking for a customised and innovative HR tech. However, does that mean one should completely do away with them?

As HR leaders suggest, while one should definitely explore best-in-class single-point HR technology solutions in learning, on-boarding or hiring, the importance of having a core HR technology which is universal across the organisation cannot be ignored.

“The usual ERPs or HRMS suites fall short on innovative and creative solutions to fit the new emerging HR challenges”

Jayant Kumar, president – HR, Adani Ports & SEZ

Imagine a company that starts implementing individual HR tech solutions for every particular need! It would certainly be very difficult to manage the entire employee data. This way, instead of having a single-point data-management system, every module will create its own employee data and insight which would become cumbersome for companies to manage.

Kumar explains further citing the example of a big company, where hundreds of people get hired every day and an equal number of people leave. If different HR tech solutions are implemented for different things without having a core HRMS solution, one would need 100 people to delete and enter the employee data every day, in each different module.

Kumar reveals that at Adani, they used to have a different stack of modules for different HR purposes. Now, however, they have implemented a core HRMS suite for the organisation.

Human resource leaders recommend an HRMS suite where the master employee data gets stored. “It is very important to have one source of truth in terms of capturing the entire employee lifecycle,’ states Sharma.

On the contrary, Jacob Jacob, group CHRO, Malabar Group, believes that having a all in one HRMS suits is a better option to keep things simple. According to him, Malabar has been using the system and they have been able to customise it as per their needs. Also, you do not have to handle multiple vendors for every other solution. “Having an integrated HRMS suit is a better option in the long run and it also saves cost,” tells Jacob.

One is free to explore different HR products for various needs or have a core HR technology and integrate the other HR tech stacks with one’s core HR suite, but is integration a simple process?

“In case of an integrated HRMS solution, you do not have to handle multiple vendors for every other solution”

Jacob Jacob, group CHRO, Malabar Group

As per experts, this is where one’s choice of an HRMS suite comes into play. One has to be careful to choose a vendor whose product can be easily integrated with other HR technology modules. In fact, all the upgraded and new-age HR technology solutions come with integrated capabilities.

The wiser choice would be to have a core HRMS suite, and then build upon different stacks of HR technologies that fit the organisation’s needs. This way, one would be able to enjoy a highly customised experience in terms of HR tech.

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