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careersHR professionals in Pakistan spend substantial amounts of time carrying out administrative tasks, replying to employees’ queries, making presentations and general information management.

By opting for a Human Capital Management System (HCMS), HR leaders can make their departments more efficient by automating tasks and streamlining administrative processes and focus on strategic areas such as leadership development, succession planning, performance management and professional development.

HCMS benefits the organisation by helping it build, manage and maintain its ‘human assets’ and leverage them effectively to maintain a competitive advantage in the market.

There are several HCMS solutions that can be acquired from local and international vendors. Here is what to look out for when evaluating them:

1. Identify your business needs, core processes as well as short- and long-term goals. Don’t forget to consider who will be using the tools and who it will be used for; how both groups react to the System is critical to its implementation and impact.

2. Most HCMS solutions offer much more than information management. Search for a solution that offers a wide range of strategic tools including talent management, 360-degree development, psychometric testing and learning management with a user-friendly interface.

3. Regardless of industry or the size of the organisation, web-based HCMS platforms offer attractive alternatives to customised but costly applications that require an internal technology team or a lengthy implementation process that calls for constant training.

4. A System that empowers employees to self-serve offers significant time saving for an HR department. An employee can easily access his/her information after updating a certain request and real time information access to line managers and employees eliminates unnecessary HR workflow.

5. Finally, consider what your technology team has to say when evaluating systems with potential vendors/consultants. They will offer you the best insights and identify problems specific to your organisation in terms of technical processes, application security, data access, server setup and integration with in-house applications.

– Muhammad Farhan
The writer is an HR business performance consultant and trainer. m.farhan.sm@gmail.com.

First published in the Careers Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on April 14, 2013.