e-HR stands for Electronic Human Resource. The term e-HR refers to deal Human Resource Management transactions using an internet. E-HR aims to keep information available to employees and managers at anywhere at any time. E-HR may include organizations HR portals and web applications, Enterprise Resource Planning, HR service centers and interactive voice response. There are three identified levels of e-HR such as publishing of information (delivered by intranet medium), automation of transactions with integration of workflow (intranet or extranet used) and transformation of the HR function (redirect HR function towards a strategic one). E-HR is characterized in field of HRM as having numerous innovations in Technology and it provides wider potential in term of usages including employee self service, information sharing, functions administration and production of reports.
e-HR make use of technology to create a real-time, information-based Self-service, interactive work environment. With e-HR, managers can access relevant information and data, conduct analyses, decision making and communicate with others and employees are able to control their own personal information like update their records when it changes and make any decision on their own without consulting with any professionals help.
e-HR will effect both efficiency and effectiveness of Human resources function in such a way that the efficiency of the human resource process can be effected by reducing cycle time for paperwork, improvements is data accuracy and reducing manpower requirement. In similar way the effectiveness of human resource process will be effected by improving the capabilities of both employees and managers to make a better and accurate decisions.
e-HRM as an enterprise-wide strategy that used scalable, flexible and integrated technology to link internal processes and knowledge workers directly to the business objectives of the organization. The adoption of e-HR practices has a great impact on strategic goals of the organization image, alignment and cost reduction.
Benefits of e-HR and e-HR adoption
The adoption of E-HR brings benefits in major areas in the HR processes such as HR planning, acquiring HR (recruitment and selection), HR evaluation (performance appraisal), communication, rewarding HR (performance appraisal, compensation and benefits) and developing HR (training and development, career management).
- Users can access database and able to update and search in formations and make decisions accordingly through e-profile.
- Allows managing of recruitment and hiring process (Job advertisement, Manage applications and interview) in a systematic manner through E-recruitment.
- Application and approval process of leave management and its review through e-leave.
- On-line submission and approval process of employees claim to Finance is possible through e-claims.
- Web-enabled appraisal, skills development and career mapping can be performed through e-appraisal system.
- Managing of payroll processing will be very systematic and fast way by e-HR system. which involves the calculation and reporting of taxes, gross or net pay and deductions, arranging or allotment of money to different cost centre.
- Computerized Job evaluation or performance rating system is another strength of e-HR to determine the worth of each job and to decide the correct pay rate. This is based on the points system rated against the each type of job and its nature.
- Computerized salary surveys can conduct among the companies to gain information about the current pay levels and pay structure.
- The feature of salary planning application can calculate the total salary and allocate it according to the merit or seniority of the people.
Some of the items which are very critical to be consider while implementing e-HR in any organization are given below.
- The structure of Human resource process or master planning in a company should be properly formulated. If it is not done properly, HR systems become a difficult task or frustrating for users.
- Ensure the availability of enough resources like computer and centralized system for each and every employees to utilize the e-HR system on regular basis. Otherwise people need to use their personal computers at workplaces and it can demoralize the users.
- Training of employees are an important criteria in making successful e-HR system especially when some users may be far less skilled with computer than others.
- The use of e-HR system had a direct impact on the bottom line and made it more competitive. So organization can get the opportunity of reducing manpower in HR. It can leads to unhappiness over the staff.
- HR professionals must have a good working relation ship with their companies IT professional otherwise there will be a chances of conflict between them during implementation or integration of application.
- Employees with little knowledge in computer may resist a move towards computer based e-HR system. So the organization may need to take special care in encouraging the users with an offer of incentives for using these programs.
- Security of e-HR system is another issue to be consider and make the system as non threatening as possible and keep confidence.
- Effective communication among employees is a necessary part of the process. Communicate and educate them about the importance of the system.
- The Identification of Investment required for software and hardware is one of the main issue and also the return on investment or payback period will be unpredictable and based on the estimation it will take one to three year.
Strategic Role of e-HR
There are two strategic perspectives way the HR can become more strategic. Both these can provide useful frameworks for connecting HR system to the business strategy. The first one takes an economic perspective of the organization to achieve more competitive advantage in an external market environment. The second one is based on the Resources based view and it focuses on the strategic resources and capabilities within the organization In companies perspective, more attention is always given to applying an economic perspective towards the externally focused business strategy than the resource based view. So the primary role is cost reduction and it can be achieved by eliminating all HR transactional functions though e-HR system.
The primary role of HR managers spend their most of time in administrative expert role, strategic partner role and capability builder. The HR functional activities like tracking of job requisitions, processing and managing payroll of employees, benefits programs etc are under the role of administrative export role. The strategic business partner role consists of planning of business, workforce and succession, business management and compensation design to support the business strategies of the company. Building organization capabilities and human capital are primary deliverable in which most of the time spending in the development of human capital and organizational capability.
Automating and streamlining of administrative transactions by implementing e-HR system make the HR function more strategic because those in the HR role can now spend more time on strategic activities in a way of reduce the cost involvement, Lead time, Increase the efficiency of HR services and communication, improve the productivity and finally able to operate at lower cost. Previously the cost factor was the strongest focus of e-HR practice, but nowadays the focus is not only towards cost but also more towards the integrative consequences of deploying e-HR in a Company. The cost reduction and transformation of all process of an HR department into a strategic unit because of the introduction of e-HR.
The strategies can be used in several ways for enhancing the effectiveness and acceptance of e-HR systems. For example, organizations may allow applicants to apply for their job through web, but use web based systems to give applicants to verify the requirements. The same way, the organizations may use e-HR systems to gather performance data and enter performance reviews, but managers may have face-to-face meeting with applicant to give rating.