Size doesn't matter: How an HCM suite can help all organizations manage their people better

By: Rebecca Murray
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In today’s business environment, most companies are interested in the potential digital transformation offers to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their operations – whether to save money, create additional customer value, or allow them to focus on more strategic opportunities.

Many large organizations have targeted HR as a key function that can benefit from the use of digital technologies, implementing a range of human capital management (HCM) suites in order to allow them to better manage all aspects of human resources.

Yet, HCM suites can provide significant opportunities to businesses of every size, not just to large multinational or global companies. For small and mid-sized companies, HCM suites and modules like SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central can vastly improve their ability to manage all aspects of their workforce – without having mature and well-resourced HR departments.

The evolution of HCM opportunities

Historically, the HR function of organizations focused on transactional activities – tracking the recruitment, hiring, transferring, promoting, and termination of employees. Over the past ten to fifteen years, however, the role of HR has evolved rapidly. The availability and growing maturity of technologies and HCM suites have allowed organizations to shift their focus from conducting purely transactional HR activities to providing proactive, analytics-driven insights to management so that they can make better business decisions.

The offering of cloud-based HCM suites is now making it easy for organizations of any size to leverage the use of technology to better manage all aspects of their internal operations, including their human resources.

Three factors to focus on when considering an HCM suite

The right HCM suite can help you significantly enhance your game when it comes to managing your people – helping you better manage your employee records, conduct robust data analytics and reporting, and opening the door to a number of talent management modules to extend your HR capabilities into areas once reserved only for large or well-financed companies.

However, not all HCM suites are right for every organization. In order to select the best HCM suite for your business, consider the following three factors:

  • Where you are today: Take time to assess how you currently manage your employees. Review your current operations and identify your biggest pain points (e.g. manual work effort, inconsistent information), what practices or processes you would like to introduce or improve, and what activities you are doing well that you don’t want to lose if you change. By looking at your current state and identifying any gaps, you can determine whether you need an HCM suite, and what you want from a solution should you decide to move forward.
  • Who your people are: To make sure you get what you need from an HCM suite, you need to understand who your people are, where they work, and how they would engage with the HCM suite. A global or multinational organization likely needs a solution that provides multilingual support, while a company with a highly mobile workforce likely needs to be supported by mobile apps or remote access capabilities. By understanding the nature of your employees, you will be better able to select an HCM suite that meets both your needs and the needs of your people.
  • What you want to be in the future: When looking at an HCM solution, you shouldn’t focus only on where you are today. Take time to envision what you want your organization to be two, three, or five years down the road. By defining your future state, you will be better able to select an HCM system that either fits your future needs, or that can be scaled to fit your future needs as they evolve. For example, you could select a core HCM suite to start with and add additional modules (e.g. recruitment, learning) on as your organization grows.

Technology today is no longer just a competitive advantage for large companies. Powered by the cloud, a number of systems are available to help any sized company manage their people and their HR data more effectively so they can make better business decisions.