When you think of human resources software, your thoughts may tend more toward tracking, cataloguing and warehousing information. For many years, HRMS was a tool that simply replaced file cabinets and to-do lists – where you could track hours, attendance, benefits, documents and more. But more recent iterations of HRMS are adding functionality that allows human resources departments to improve retention and employee workplace satisfaction. And a recent survey of HR professionals shows that this type of robust data solution is exactly what’s needed!


SHL’s 2013 Global Assessment Trends Report reveals areas of interest and concern for HR professionals. For both this year and last, the top five priorities for human resources are:

#1 Engagement and retention

#2 Leadership development

#3 Performance management

#4 Workforce planning/talent analytics

#5 Training

Image soruce: Marygrove

Often in human resources, it’s a challenge to balance recruiting, on-boarding and off-boarding with meeting the needs of employees still with the company who are functional (if not optimized.) But when you compare the costs of training new hires, coping with bad hires and the expense of losing dis-engaged workers, making the most of the staff you have is often the most cost effective way to stay competitive. And this is just what HR professionals are hoping they’ll get help with from their HRMS.

Here are some of the dissatisfactions HR professionals have with data analysis and systems when it comes to better managing personnel development, optimization and retention. Here’s what they say:

  • Only 56% of HR pros say their organization uses data on employee competencies and skills to make workforce decisions – this makes me wonder how decisions are being weighed. How are decisions this important made without relying on quantifiable data to justify them and does that put an organization at risk for discrimination liability or wrongful termination claims?
  • 65% of those surveyed said they believe it’s critical to have data on competency and skills integrated into their talent management system. Agreed. But it’s one thing to have the data in place and quite another to use it to make decisions. Isn’t that what data is intended for? To inform us and guide future actions?
  • Just 18% of HR pros say they are satisfied with the way their HR system manages talent data! That’s a shockingly low number and makes me wonder if most organizations surveyed are relying on low-functionality programs, outdated systems or perhaps just don’t know how to make the most of their existing HRMS. Training is an internal issue for HR personnel as much as it is for them to facilitate training for other workers, but can often be overlooked.
  • In an increasingly mobile age where information may be needed on the go, it’s surprising to find that just 17% of those surveyed said their HRMS are accessible from mobile devices or smart phones.

Image source: Behance.net

No matter what your firm does, human capital is critical to business function and makes up a huge expense. Beyond the cost of paying your workers, they can mean the success or failure of your business and are your key revenue drivers. Without them, you are nothing. And by making the most of each and every employee you have, you can drive profits and reduce expenses. Employee optimization and worker productivity should be key goals for your HRMS and it seems that human resources professionals are keenly aware of this – at least based on these study results. To read the full results of the 2013 Global Assessment Trends Report, click here!