A lot of thought and consideration goes into preparing a delicious meal. You wouldn’t put strawberry jam on a sirloin steak, or soak your cereal in root beer (but if you do, we won’t judge). Instead, you want to choose ingredients that complement each other seamlessly to create a well-balanced, satisfying eating experience.
The same is true for HR software. You want only the best ingredients and you want them to go well together. So when you buy a best in breed talent management system (TMS), naturally you’ll want to integrate it with your HRMS – like thick juicy patty in a fresh bun, packed with the works. Integration involves a lot of nitty-gritty details, so to help you keep it on track we’ve pulled together five things you’ll want to know about integrating HR software.
1. Everything’s better now (sometimes)
You’ll run into people who have had bad experiences with HR software integration in the past. The good news is that integration technology has improved to the point that under the right conditions, integrating talent management software with an HRMS can take days not weeks. Your job is to test that the conditions are right. In essence that means looking for working examples of how the two systems have been integrated in other organizations. HR software integration can be relatively painless, but you have to be rigorous in checking that the specific integration you want is doable.
Takeaway: Be optimistic, but cautious
2. Don’t confuse data integration with user interface integration
For some reason the word "integration" is used to refer both to having integrated data that flows seamlessly between two systems and having a similar user interface across all modules. These can both be important, but they’re quite different and it gets confusing if people don’t distinguish the two.
Takeaway: Keep the conversations about data and user interfaces separate.
3. Systems integration can’t fix bad information governance
Imagine you want to know how many programmers you have in the company only to find out that one business unit has changed all the job titles to “associate”. You may be able to exchange data between systems, but if the data is a mess, then systems integration won’t help.
The discipline of making sure data doesn’t become a mess is called “information governance” and at its heart it’s about ensuring there is clarity on who is accountable for the data and having solid processes for governing how and what data is added, edited or deleted.
Takeaway: Learn about information governance and start building good governance practices into HR.
4. “Integration” can be a sneaky word
In the ultimate integrated system you have one database and so if you edit a field in one system then it is instantly changed everywhere (e.g., when you change a salary in the compensation module, it's instantly updated in the HRIS and in payroll). Having one database for all functions is a nice ideal, however it comes with costs and often it’s not necessary. For example you might use workforce planning software once a year and to "integrate" it you pass a data file from the HRMS to the planning software annually. That’s great — it’s not total HR software integration, but it's all the data integration required.
Takeaway: Don’t let vendors just talk about “integration”, be clear about the degree of integration and compare that to what you need.
5. Get the help you need
Integrating HR software can go wrong in many different ways and if you have limited experience, then you're bound to hit a few landmines that could have been avoided. It makes sense to bring in someone who has experience to provide some guidance. This need not be a big project. It may be that getting their help over a day or two of planning is all you need to get on track.
Takeaway: Spending a little money on expert help can save a lot of money.
Putting all the ingredients together
Keep these tips in mind as the sauce and seasoning while selecting the main ingredients – your HR and talent management software. When the two integrate seamlessly will create a much more palatable experience for your entire team when it comes to managing employee data, doing performance assessments, managing compensation, and more! Your entire organization as a whole will also enjoy the deliciously simple user experience.
Halogen recently announced a new offering built on the Dell Boomi platform. The new offering lets customers easily integrate their talent management suite with their core HRIS/HRMS system, improving the customer experience and enabling Halogen TalentSpace™ to connect easily to external HR systems. The Dell Boomi AtomSphere® iPaaS (integration platform as a service) reduces implementation times, allowing customers to more easily and rapidly connect existing employee data to Halogen TalentSpace.
Your turn: What tips and tricks can you share for integrating talent management and HRIS/HRMS systems?