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Why an Enterprise HRIS Isn’t Always a Safe Bet

May 16, 2022| Reading time: 6min

BY ChartHop

If you’ve been in HR long enough, you’ve experienced something that goes like this: Old processes stop working, data is everywhere, and employees are overwhelmed with the number of systems they use. 

When many organizations reach this stage, they decide it’s time to move from their array of payroll, performance, and other HR systems to a unified, enterprise HRIS. 

For many organizations, this decision makes perfect sense. Global? Varied mix of employees and contingent workers? Different compliance needs for different worker types? An enterprise HRIS can handle it all. And for Fortune 100 companies, this makes sense.

But for those who don’t have upwards of 5,000 employees, it’s a different story. Especially given that most companies use HRIS software built 20+ years ago, when most software was on-premise and the only way to modernize and make data accessible was to adopt a cloud-based enterprise HRIS. Twenty years ago, integrations were also far more difficult to build, and software was primarily built for the software administrator, not the day-to-day users. 

Now, all of that has changed, and so must your software decisions. With that in mind, here are three reasons to think twice before moving forward with an enterprise HRIS.

Employees and Managers Often Struggle to Make the Most of an Enterprise HRIS

First, whether it’s an employee finding their pay stub or managers running a compensation review, the user experience on an enterprise HRIS is challenging. Because these platforms cover so many modules, it’s typically not intuitive to find basic information. One user remarked on a G2 review about an enterprise HRIS: Any final destination is like 10 clicks and a marathon away.

Similarly, analytics in an enterprise HRIS are not self-serve. While HR teams can create dashboards for executives and managers, a manager would need to request someone on the HR team to run a simple report on compensation across their team over time or the start date for different members of their department. 

To reduce the burden on your HR team’s time, employees and managers should be able to access information such as an org chart, employee profiles, basic analytics, compensation history, and performance reviews within a few clicks on one platform.

Enterprise HRIS Often Hinders Innovation

The promise of a single platform to replace all your other tools is always lovely, but in reality, it makes it difficult to pick the systems you want to use and that make sense for your organization.

In the end, it means companies must either accept using sub-par modules in the all-in-one enterprise HRIS or go back to the issues they faced before: an array of disconnected HR tools. Either solution makes it difficult to move fast in delivering a superior employee experience

In contrast, what you really need is the ability to centralize people data from all your HR systems – regardless of which ones you choose. Even as your tech stack changes and new solutions emerge, you want a platform that can easily ingest data from those new sources. 

An enterprise HRIS limits your HR tech stack options, when what you really need is a solution that enables you to grow and evolve your toolset as new solutions emerge. 

Enterprise HRIS Admin and Implementation Require Significant Time

There’s one thing enterprise HRIS systems are not known for: speed. The time to implement these solutions is typically nine months or longer depending on the number of employees and modules involved. That’s a year during which your employees are in limbo and your HR team is dancing across multiple systems and spreadsheets for analytics. And you’ll likely need to dedicate a significant portion of your team’s time to the implementation, preventing them from focusing on current-day initiatives. 

Moreover, once the solution is implemented, you’ll need to hire a HRIS admin to make any new changes or configurations because the systems are notoriously difficult to use. 

Instead, look for a solution that’s designed for HR teams, employees, and managers to use on their own, without dedicated training. Whether it’s intuitive form builders, simple-to-use reports, or an easy-to-navigate org chart, features that are easy for admins to configure and users to adopt can make all the difference. 

What to Consider Instead – Because You Do Need HR Tech

At the core of it, unless your company is a global multinational, an enterprise HRIS may not be the best fit. Instead, you should develop your HR tech stack based on what you actually need – like surveys, performance management, and people analytics – and you’ll have a lot fewer headaches down the road. Ready to learn more about what it takes?

Get the scoop on what you need to build in a best-in-class people program that actually works for your team and your company in our Ultimate HR Tech Buyer’s Guide.

Get the Ultimate HR Tech Buyer’s Guide

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