HR can be confusing without a management system

Why Today's HR Needs Automated Systems

Harold and Harriet: Opposite Ends of the HR Tech Spectrum

(HRD) - Harold and Harriet are two harried HR honchos that work for competing oilfield businesses. Harold has been in the industry since Leduc Number One blew in, back in the 1940’s. Harriet, on the other hand, is fresh from university. What she lacks in experience, she makes up for in knowledge of new ways and ideas. Harold hasn’t tried a new way of doing things since Diefenbaker was in office.

Harold is such a throwback, if you look up “old school” in the urban dictionary, you will see Harold’s picture by the entry. He distrusts computers, claiming he has managed to do his job without fancy automated HR programs for over half a century, why should he change now? Harriet, on the other hand, knows the HR landscape has been altered enormously in the last 50 years and is eager to adopt every improvement that will make her more efficient, effective and able to provide due diligence, which lowers risk liability.

You Hire, You Fire. What’s New About That?

Actually, there is a lot new about HR in the new millennium. Modern Human Resources managers such as Harriet focus on the “Human” part of the equation more than the ‘Resources’ portion. To her, employees are more than warm bodies; not just mere organic robots that are there to do the company’s bidding. Harriet knows that a worker’s wants, needs and aspirations must be met or the HR person will find themselves spending a lot of time doing paperwork for onboarding new hires and processing separation certificates.

Union Compliance Has Never Been So Important

Another reason that HR has changed, arguably for the better, since Harold started in the biz, is that safety is much more in focus than it was 50 years ago. Unions and management alike have recognized the importance of keeping their people free from harm and making it a priority. HR specialists that fail to factor in a union’s safety stipulations and OH&S regulations will create nothing but headaches for their bosses. 

However, being union compliant is hard work and requires much attention to detail. Harold’s photocopied crew allocation lists fail to take into account union rules or the proficiency certificates required for specific tasks. Only Harriet’s automated HR program will remember all those niggling details and cross each T and dot every I.

Why Those T’s and I’s Are Important

Having an automated HR crew planning tool is vital for keeping all those balls in the air that HR Directors are required to juggle. It makes no sense to send unqualified people to do a task where they are left to stand around waiting for someone with proper certification to do the job. Forcing unqualified people to perform duties they are legally unfit for is a good way to incite union job actions, government censure and possible fines. Trusting memory and scraps of paper to keep it all running is neither efficient nor effective. The pennies Harold saves by not buying HR software is nothing compared to the cost of a strike, a shutdowen due to injury or a lawsuit brought by a deceased worker’s widow.

What Should Harriet Expect From Her HR Software?

Not all HR programs are created equally. To do great human capital management and skill allocation you need a system that accounts for every facet of every task your workforce is expected to do.

This would include:

  • The certifications required to do the job

  • The staff that are available for specific shifts

  • The Rescue Crew staff who are readily available

  • The equipment necessary to complete the assignment

  • The people knowledgeable of that equipment to get the work done.

Wow! What Else Can an HR Management System Do?

As well, good HR software helps Harriet know her employees better than Harold ever could. It gives her a good grasp of the minutiae concerning her manpower resources such as:

  • Date of hire

  • An employee’s unique skill set

  • Official certifications and qualifications

  • Sick days earned and used

  • Previous hours worked and when they will be legally allowed another shift

  • Clothing issuance

  • Work locations

  • Contact information

  • Letters of recognition or warning

At The End Of The Day

With all the information in the database, Harriet can instantly staff crews with the right skills to get tasks completed as quickly as possible with the least amount of wasted time. Good HR software will pay for itself in saved money in an amazingly short period. It isn’t just the smart way to deploy staff intelligently; it may be the only way.

Categories: HRMS HRIS Hiring

Author: Chris McKerracher

Chris McKerracher is a Social Media Marketer and Professional Writer for Industrial NetMedia. Chris has worked as a journalist, editorialist and humourist for a number of Alberta newspapers since 1995. He has also written eight theatrical plays which have been produced with the ninth to be staged in May of 2016.


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