Determining Human Resource Information System Needs

In determining human resource information system needs (HRIS), this paper will, among other things, assess the types of changes and new developments in technology and government regulations that should be considered in long-range planning requirements for updating or replacing a HRIS. It is significant to note that any organization requires HRIS planning among its business strategies in order to be successful. Therefore, being an essential aspect of an organization, HRIS planning entails a set of conforming action plans and objectives that are significant for securing a sustainable lead compared to an organization’s competitors in the long-run. According to the assertions of Badgi (2012), long-range planning does not normally consider the present situation; instead, it emphasizes government regulations, the latest technological developments and the upcoming changes. In order for an organization to attain its business objectives in the long-run, it requires incorporating necessary changes in its HR system to achieve a position that can facilitate progress in the desired direction. It is essential that a business addresses its future needs, which may entail foreseeing the possibility of strange business regulations, or technological changes or developments in data storage.

Essentially, the Human Resource management should be able to identify the latest technological developments in corporate acumen, information sharing, data storage and utilization such information in enhancing the organization’s competitive position. Evaluating the current technology will enable the organization understand the kinds of changes it requires effecting. Productivity improvement and reductions of costs should be critical factors for consideration in long-range planning (Sadiq, Khan, Ikhlaq, & Mujtaba, 2012). In addition, a business should, also, adjust itself appropriately in order to sustain unexpected changes in the government regulations. In this regard, long-range planning should be conducted on an annual basis to addresses issues like changes in the policies of the government and how the organization’s strategic environment can be affected in regard to its HRIS. It should be clear that various government regulations will demand organizations to implement an effective HRIS. In the event that a business fails to comply with changes in the government regulations, the replacing or upgrading its current HRIS becomes a vital consideration in its long-range planning.

Other than time, there are three other three disadvantages of using interviews and focus groups for data collection the analysis phase when determining HRIS needs. The first disadvantage is the vulnerability of both interviews and focus groups to prejudice. Sadiq et al. (2012) in his findings reports that interviews are particularly predisposed to interviewer prejudice. This is because, during the interview process, interviewers tend to incorporate their attitudes, fears and dislikes and this does not lead to impartial findings. The second disadvantage of interviews and focus groups is that sometimes respondents may not be willing to reveal concerns or ideas that could be bearing a lot of substance as far as evaluating organization needs is concerned. The third disadvantage is that interviews and focus groups have a limiting factor to the comprehensibility extent of results. This implies that the more a human resource information system implementation plan involves individuals, the more such individuals are likely to accept a different system.

In order to overcome these challenges, it is significant for an organization management to implement a number of recommendations that follow hereafter. The first recommendation is that project leaders should ensure that the list of focus group participants and/or interviewees comprises of individuals who have a background in technical and functional fields to act as HRIS project liaisons (Kavanagh, Thite, & Johnson, 2011). Therefore, personal characteristics shared by project leaders should not be basis for selecting liaisons so that misinterpretation of information can be avoided. The second recommendation entails addressing the issue of participant involvement. An interviewer or HR facilitator should review additional material through drawing out information, identification of nonverbal clues and making follow-ups on unclear statements. Thirdly, HR facilitators should combine various professional expertise, sexes and age groups in order to obtain the best quality of data.

This section will assess the three critical sources of data-gathering initiatives of an HRIS needs analysis and highlight their advantages and disadvantages. The three critical sources are: top management, which comprises of groups and people whose participation is essential in strategic corporate decision-making; HR functional experts comprising of leaders whose role is selection, recruitment and hiring; and the technical experts, which is a source that comprises of IT and human resource information system professionals (Kavanagh et al., 2011). The advantage of sourcing from top management is that less expenses are involved and the assistance obtained is priceless. Top management is critical for ensuring successful execution of business processes, guaranteeing appropriate staffing, and funding the project. The disadvantage of utilizing top management lies in their focus on aspects of cost-benefit in component of the project; besides, leaders have a high likelihood of fighting the proposal. The functional HR experts are advantageous in the sense that they generate designs and technical knowledge, which can assist a business actualize its action plan in a competitive manner (Kavanagh et al., 2011). The only disadvantage the functional HR experts may have during needs analysis is that sometimes they may not understand how to link the whole process to the existing business practices. The advantage of relying on IT and HRIS experts is that they have first understanding of the new HRIS and the business process. The only disadvantage of relying on IT experts during needs analysis is that sometimes the IT experts may not be willing to handle the new HR information system.

Apple Inc. is the chosen organization in this context, which has recently realized that its HRIS needs in improvements so that it can achieve exceptional leadership, great working conditions and outstanding benefit packages to help it retain its competent employees (Badgi, 2012). Currently, Apple Inc. requires meeting the objectives of the current contracts. Therefore, there is need for evaluating the current strategies of retaining employees so that areas that require modification can be identified. A predictive analysis is crucial to assist the business establish the connection between high staff turnover and employee job satisfaction. The derived information from this analysis can assist the HR manager to propose necessary changes to the current packages or employee conditions of work. In this regard, exit interviews are essential to clarify reasons for associates’ departure from the company. Apple Inc. can start offering tuition re-imbursement, promote higher learning, provide cross-training opportunities and resume writing classes (Kavanagh et al., 2011). The projected future would entail addressing the needs of associates on a quarterly basis by use of focus groups or surveys, interviews, start employee appreciation forums to reward positive performance and, continuously, create new career opportunities.

In conclusion, this paper, among other things, assessed the types of changes and new developments in technology and government regulations that should be considered in long-range planning requirements for updating or replacing a HRIS. Essentially, the Human Resource management should be able to identify the latest technological developments in corporate acumen, information sharing, data storage and utilization such information in enhancing the organization’s competitive position. The three critical sources of data-gathering initiatives of an human resource information system needs analysis are: top management, which comprises of groups and people whose participation is essential in strategic corporate decision-making; HR functional experts comprising of leaders whose role is selection, recruitment and hiring; and the technical expert, which is a source that comprises of IT and human resource information system professionals.

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