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  • November 3, 2014

What is the Most Important Attribute of an HR System?

By Richard Doherty

I posted this question to the LinkedIn group HR & Learning Technologies Forum (just under 40,000 members) about a month ago. The question certainly seemed to resonate with the group and generated lots of comments and discussion.

It is of course a very difficult question to answer and many people struggled to limit their answers to a single attribute, often slipping in 3 or 4 under the guise of a single attribute.....

From my review of the comments, some of the attributes I'd like to discuss are (in no particular order, apart from the first one which was indeed the most popular!):

Ease of use

This one popped up time and time again. Many commented that if a HR system isn't easy to use, no one will use it, so it was argued that this one must come top of the list. This is reflected in the work we're doing with the Oracle HCM Cloud, some of which was showcased at Oracle Open World in San Francisco last week where new UX's for employee performance and hiring managers looked simply fantastic. With the consumerisation of enterprise apps, the user experience (UX) is certainly becoming more and more important, but is it the most important? The danger with focussing too much on the UX is that you're blown away by the snake oil salesperson into going with a solution with quite limited functional depth. So if you're selecting a new Cloud HCM solution please make sure you do deep functional dives to look below the surface of that beautiful UX ? we certainly advise the companies we engage with to do this.


One comment suggested that good security be taken as a given..... no! It's not a hygiene factor and different Cloud vendors will offer differing levels of security, so make sure you get your IT colleagues to dig deep into how your data and application will be secured in the Cloud.


This came up a few times and I would say is more important than ever in the age of the Cloud and our rapidly changing business environments. Deep configuration capabilities really are a must unless you're either (a) prepared to change large parts of HR processes you're currently happy with or (b) prepared to start using manual workarounds and/or other 3rd party systems to get around the lack of flexibility in your chosen HCM solution. So once again, make sure you do those deep dives to get a feel for how flexible the different HCM solutions really are.

Regulatory compliance

Like security this one seems to be treated as a hygiene factor by many i.e. all HCM solutions will do this...... well I'm not sure about that, particularly if you're looking at an international deployment. Having the ability to add configurable fields to application screens isn't going to make you compliant, so make sure you challenge vendors on this point and don't take anything for granted.

Many other attributes were of course suggested but I don't have the space to mention them all in this blog posting. Go and have a look at the discussion here.

Essentially I think it's an impossible question to answer but it's a question always guaranteed to stimulate interesting discussion!

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