Strategic HR: Systems for Managing Your Human Capital

Quick Summary
Welcome to the acronym-littered world of strategic human resources (HR) information technology (IT). Strategic HR IT focuses on the management of human capital and it often employs a Talent Management System (TMS). A second component of HR IT is called Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). ERP focuses on transaction processing, storing all of the basic data related to personnel administration, payroll, time management and so forth. As such, it is not considered strategic.
Strategic HR IT concentrates on TMS and its three main subcomponents. These are education and training, which can be implemented through Learning Management Systems (LMS); Performance Management (PM), which is an ongoing process rather than a single year-end review; and recruiting and talent acquisition, which are managed via Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).
Not surprisingly, strategic HR IT systems were designed for large enterprises, and they can be expensive, time consuming -and labor-intensive to implement. Fortunately, small business can acquire just the modules they really need. Many open-source and off-the-shelf products are available, which keep costs consistent with what small businesses can afford.

Learning Management Systems

On-the-job training is a key perk for employees trying to advance along their career paths. In fact, in regulated industries, individuals in specific roles may be required to take courses to keep their licenses or certifications up to date. Using software programs or learning management systems (LMS) makes it a lot easier for employers to access quality instruction with minimal disruption to daily operations.

Performance Management

The tradition of the annual employee review is now being replaced with ongoing oversight and feedback facilitated by performance management (PM) software. Nobody seriously questions the truism that performance must be measured in order to improve results and help the company achieve its goals. However, there’s a lot less agreement on how to do this in a way that is fair and engages – rather than turns off – the people doing the work. Big data may drive a solution, but only if it helps to simplify the communication process.

Applicant Tracking Systems

Getting the right people in the right jobs is a key to success in any business. Small businesses can now use the same candidate search techniques that large enterprises use. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) make it easy to post jobs on multiple sites where they are likely to be seen by promising candidates. Resume screening, appointment setting, background checking, and compliance reporting are other hiring functions that a good ATS can make easier and quicker to perform.
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