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Master of Business Administration

MBA Semester 4
Talent Management and Employee Retention - MU0008
Assignment Set- 1

Q.1 Explain the talent Management imperative.

Competent businesses are adept at hiring and firing workers. Great businesses however are
skilled at developing and deploying talent in ways that continuously grow their experience,
stretch their abilities and enable their achievements. Creating work environments that promote
people agility across jobs and organizational boundaries is the next imperative for companies
seeking competitive advantage through their talent.

It is surprising how few companies develop and move their talent around the organization. They
know how to recruit stars, fire failures and replace leavers – but few seem to know how to
provide one of the most important factors in retaining talent – opportunities to achieve, move and
grow – within the company. Ever hire a star only to see them leave in frustration 9-18 months
later because they felt stuck? Or experience shock when an outstanding performer leaves your
company after 5 years because they were ‘too valuable’ in their current job to be allowed to
move to a different position or department? So instead, they moved to a different company.

There are many organizational and cultural reasons why companies constrain talent. Performance
obsessed managers are often reluctant to give up the people resources they feel are needed to
achieve ever more challengingly goals and performance objectives. This short sighted behavior is
reinforced by management and incentive systems that reward business results but not
development of people.

HR and line managers often lack the tools and information to understand and manage the supply
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and demand of people and skills dynamically. Thus they are likely to be slow and reactive in
responding to shifts in skill requirements and opportunities to grow new competencies. They may
also be prone to rely on traditional hiring and firing processes as a means of matching skills
demand and supply rather than more complex retraining and redeployment of existing resources.

Some leading edge companies however are beginning to tackle the talent agility challenge. For
example, in “Cisco Systems: Developing a Human Capital Strategy”, California Management
Review, Winter 2005,, Jennifer Chatman,
Charles O’Reilly and Victoria Chang describe how this Silicon Valley legend has refocused its
approach to talent from external acquisition to internal development and deployment. For years
Cisco was the poster child for how to identify, attract and hire talent. But beneath the surface, it
was buying talent through acquisition and keeping it through high-priced equity stakes
distributed to employees. Not much talent management acumen was required. But when the
company’s marketplace and stock price tanked, Cisco had to learn a different set of skills for
attracting and keeping talent. It also realized that it needed to better utilize the talent it already

According to CEO John Chambers, “We made progress in developing employees, but in our
industry, I want the majority of us not to be in the same job – or even the same function – three
to five years from now. I want us to create an environment of continuous learning and challenge,
that will allow us to move from one business unit to another in engineering, or from sales to
customer advocacy, or from financial to IT.”

Companies like Cisco that compete in dynamic industries, where technologies, products and
markets are in a continuous state of change must learn how to develop and redeploy their talent
in an agile manner. The company recast its Pathfinder software application originally developed
to support external recruiting and used it to create an internal job matching system. Pathfinder’s
corresponding online database, I-Profiler, allows employees to voluntarily enter their resumes for
consideration. The profiles capture employees’ work and educational experience, skills, and
technical qualifications and detail their career aspirations for development discussions with their
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managers. Line managers have access to each of their employees’ profiles to assess existing
skills on their teams.

But these moves represented only part of the solution. The company also chartered Cisco
University to lead a company-wide cross-functional effort to create a ‘development culture’
within the organization. The university does not operate as a centralized place to go for learning,
but as a set of distributed capabilities for everyone to tap across the organization. This learning
and development capability is built upon the ‘3E Model’:

-Experience through assignments, on-the-job learning, and traditional learning

-Exposure developed through on-line learning, mentoring, shadowing, periodic forums and talent

-Education through a series of customized and focused programs that include significant teaching
and involvement of senior Cisco executives as well as outside faculty

The impetus for shifting Cisco’s talent management strategy came from the top of the
organization. John Chambers asked in a company meeting prior to starting these initiatives,
“How many people think we are good at moving resources (people) and retraining? (No hands
were raised). It’s not even in our vocabulary. But we’ve got to get dramatically better at moving
resources around the company. Our top leadership….I keep moving them around. We’ve got to
learn how to retrain people effectively as a part of our culture, to keep up with the market
transitions.” This is good advice for any company.

How good is your organization at moving and retraining staff to anticipate and respond to
changes in your business? Not very good you say? If so, it’s time for a change. Because
companies that find ways to grow and move their talent within their organizational boundaries
will not only substantially reduce recruiting and termination costs but will better attract and keep
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top talent as well. Indeed, those companies that can master talent agility will have a leg up on
their competition in both the quality of their people and their

Q.2 Describe Pre -Employment testing

Employers often use tests and other selection procedures to screen applicants for hire. The types
of tests and selection procedures utilized include cognitive tests, personality tests, medical
examinations, credit checks, and background checks.
Companies can legally use these tests, as long as they don't use to them to discriminate based on
race, color, sex, national origin, religion, disability, or age (40 or older). Employment tests must
be validated for the jobs they are being used to hire for and for the purposes for which they are
being used.
Online Pre-Employment Tests
Depending on the type of test, employment testing can be conducted online or in the employer's
office. Online employment tests are often used for pre-employment testing and assessment.
Utilizing online testing eliminates the need for the candidate to visit the company's office or for
the company to have to administer the test.
Types of Employment Tests
Personality Tests
Personality tests assess the degree to which a person has certain traits or dispositions or predict
the likelihood that a person will engage in certain conduct.
Talent Assessment Tests
Talent assessments, also called pre-employment tests or career tests, are used to help an
employer identify candidates that will be a good fit for jobs. Talent assessments help predict a
new hire’s performance and retainability.
Pre-Employment Physical Exams
Employers may require a pre-employment physical examination to determine the suitability of an
individual for a job.
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Drug Tests
There are several types of drugs tests that candidates for employment may be asked to take. The
types of drug tests which show the presence of drugs or alcohol include urine drug screen, hair
drug or alcohol testing, saliva drug screen, and sweat drug screen.
Cognitive Tests
Cognitive tests measure a candidate's reasoning, memory, perceptual speed and accuracy, and
skills in arithmetic and reading comprehension, as well as knowledge of a particular function or
Emotional Intelligence Testing
Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability of an individual to understand his or her own emotions
and the emotions of others. Testing job applicants for their emotional intelligence (in the form of
psychological-based tests) is a growing employment trend.
Physical Ability Tests
Physical ability tests measure the physical ability of an applicant to perform a particular task or
the strength of specific muscle groups, as well as strength and stamina in general.
Sample Job Tasks
Sample job tasks, including performance tests, simulations, work samples, and realistic job
previews, assess a candidate's performance and aptitude on particular tasks.
Background and Credit Checks
Criminal background checks provide information on arrest and conviction history. Credit checks
provide information on credit and financial history.
English Proficiency Tests
English proficiency tests determine the candidate's English fluency.
Lie Detector Tests
The Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) prohibits most private employers from using lie
detector tests, either for pre-employment screening or during the course of employment.

1. Manager Retention Practices

Our research consistently validated the reality that the manager plays a significant role in
influencing the employee's commitment level and retention. There are a number of manager
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retention practices which will increase the probability that an employee will remain committed to
an organization over time.
These retention practices represent the manager's actual behaviors on the job. This often has little
to do with the amount of classroom training they have received. Furthermore, the best retention
practices are not the same as the standard menu for good organizational management. Most
organizations ask their managers to place productivity as the highest priority, underscored by the
pressures to fulfill "our obligations to our investors."
Good retention practices focus not only on what the employee is contributing to the company,
but also focus on how the manager can create a climate so that the employee is retained and
committed on a long term basis. While enlightened leaders balance the needs of the organization
with the needs of the employee, the truth is that these leaders are rare. Though managers play a
very crucial role in retention, they do not control all of the factors that can affect attrition.
Therefore, the second component represents the organization's responsibility in the retention
2. Organizational Retention Systems
There are a number of organizational systems and processes that influence retention. Some of
them are evident, such as the equity of pay scales. Other systems are less obvious, and their
impact on retention is often unrecognized. For example, there is evidence that an organization's
recruiting systems and processes can significantly impact retention ratios. These systems support
the Manager Retention Practices, but they also increase the likelihood that employees are
committed on a long term basis and are performing at their best.

3. Measurement and Accountability

Closely linked to the other components, this component ensures that retention becomes an on-
going priority. Many organizations do not even know what their attrition rates are. And those that
do often lack enough data to pinpoint where the problem is most severe, or to uncover the
specific causes of attrition.
For example, those organizations that measure attrition sometimes do not track it by length of
service. The tenure patterns of the departing employees can reveal valuable information
concerning the potential causes for attrition.
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Additionally, many organizations do not track attrition by occupational group other than by
"manager" or "no manager."
This simple segmentation is often a crude one that does not provide the organization the refined
information it needs

Q.3 Apex is a firm facing high attrition rate. The Management is highly concerned about
the attrition. They are investing on the candidates by training them and after some time
employees are leaving the organization. There are costs associated with hiring besides
talent crunch. Mr. Ravi the HR Manager has given the responsibility to design strategies
for retention.
Suggest few components and strategies to achieve retention Fall 2010

The implications for employers should be clear. It is now more important than ever to retain the
team members an organization currently has and to choose the right team members when
hiring decisions are made. The following is a short list of useful tips and hints to help increase
levels of employee retention in your organization. Put them to work for you!
 Get the right people on the bus - in his book, Good to Great, Jim Collins talks about the
importance of having the right talent on the organizational bus. Hiring individuals who are truly
fit to succeed in the position for hire will dramatically increase the chances of that employee
being satisfied with his or her work and remaining with the company for an extended period of

By far, we have found this to be the biggest predictor of future employee retention.
 Communication, communication, communication - communication has become so
heavily stressed in the workplace that it almost seems cliche. However communication couldn't
be more important in the effort to retain employees. Be sure that team members know their roles,
job description, and responsibilities within the organization. Communicate any new company
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policies or initiatives to all employees to be sure that everyone is on the same page. Nobody
wants to feel that they are being left out of the loop.
 Include employees in decision making - it is incredibly important to include team members
in the decision making process, especially when decisions will effect an individual's department
or work team. This can help to create a culture of employee involvement and will generate new
ideas and perspectives that top management might never have thought of.

 Allow team members to share their knowledge with others - the highest percentage of
information retention occurs when one shares that information with others. Having team
members share what they have learned at a recent conference or training workshop will not only
increase the amount of information they will retain, but also lets a team member know that he is
a valuable member of the organization. Facilitating knowledge sharing through an employee
mentoring program can be equally beneficial for the team member being mentored as well as the
 Shorten the feedback loop - do not wait for an annual performance evaluation to come due
to give feedback on how an employee is performing. Most team members enjoy frequent
feedback about how they are performing. Shortening the feedback loop will help to keep
performance levels high and will reinforce positive behavior. Feedback does not necessarily need
to be scheduled or highly structured; simply stopping by a team member's desk and letting them
know they are doing a good job on a current project can do wonders for morale and help to
increase retention.
 Offer a competitive compensation package - any team member wants to feel that he or she
is being paid appropriately and fairly for the work he or she does. Be sure to research what other
companies and organizations are offering in terms of salary and benefits. It is also important to
research what the regional and national compensation averages are for that particular position.
You can be sure that if your compensation package is not competitive, team members will find
this out and look for employers who are willing to offer more competitive compensation
 Balance work and personal life - family is incredibly important to team members. When
work begins to put a significant strain on one's family no amount of money will keep an
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employee around. Stress the importance of balancing work and one's personal life. Small
gestures such as allowing a team member to take an extended lunch once a week to watch his
son's baseball game will likely be repaid with loyalty and extended employment with an

 Provide opportunities for growth and development - offer opportunities for team
members to acquire new skills and knowledge useful to the organization.
If an employee appears to be bored or burned out in a current position offer to train this
individual in another facet of the organization where he or she would be a good fit. Nobody
wants to feel stuck in their position will no possibility for advancement or new opportunities.
 Recognize team members for their hard work and let them know they are appreciated -
this can be one of the single greatest factors affecting employee retention. Everybody, in all
levels of an organization, wants to know that their efforts are appreciated and recognized.
This can be as simple or as extravagant as a supervisor may desire. Often time a short e-mail or
quickly stopping by a team member's desk and saying "thanks" can do wonder for morale. Other
options might include a mention in the company newsletter for outstanding performance or gift
certificates to a restaurant or movie theatre - the possibilities are endless.
 Clearly define what is expected of team members - nothing can be more frustrating or
discouraging for an employee than the lack of a clear understanding of what is expected of him
on the job. In a performance driven workplace a lack of clarity regarding job duties and
expectations can cause fear and anxiety among employees who are unclear of what is expected of
them. Even worse outright anger can occur when a team member receives a negative
performance evaluation based on expectations and job duties that he or she was unaware of or
unclear about.
 The quality of supervision and mentorship - it has been said so often that it is almost
cliche, but people leave people, not their jobs. Supervisors play the largest role in a team
member's development and ultimate success within an organization. All employees want to have
supervisors who are respectful, courteous, and friendly - that is a given. But more importantly
team members want supervisors who set clear performance expectations, deliver timely feedback
on performance, live up to their word and promises, and provide an environment where the
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employee can grow and succeed. Failure by supervisors and management to provide this can
cause an employee to start looking for greener pastures.
 Fair and equitable treatment of all employees - one of the surest ways to create animosity
and resentment in an organization is to allow favoritism and preferential treatment of individual
team members. The so-called "good ole' boys club" can create a noxious organization culture and
foster resentment among team members. This culture will only get worse and can create a
devastating exodus of valued team members. Be sure to treat all employees equally and avoid
favoritism at all costs.

Master of Business Administration

MBA Semester 4
Talent Management and Employee Retention - MU0008
Assignment Set- 2

Q.1 Write down the steps for compensation based talent management.
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Ans : Organizations have integrated most of the key human capital functions - like recruiting,
employee development and succession planning – into their talent management strategy. Yet,
most are missing one other function: compensation. I believe that the most common disadvantage
of talent management programs is that they exclude compensation as a prominent factor in
employee development and retention.

Talent Management vs. Compensation Management

I’d argue that there is – compensation management is job-centric whereas all other talent
management functions are employee-centric. Think about it for a moment. Your talent
management strategy is all about recruiting employees, training employees, aligning employee
performance plans with corporate goals, planning employee growth and development, and
identifying employees with potential then charting a course to help them realize it.

Compensation management, by contrast, is all about jobs: what they are worth in the
marketplace, how they stack up against one another internally, what grades or bands they fall
into, and what target incentives and equity compensation are associated with varying levels of
jobs within the company.

That said, it doesn’t mean that’s the only role compensation can or should play. There is no
reason why employee market valuation must be done exclusively on a job-centric basis. Given
the mandate of attracting and maintaining top talent, it is imperative that employee market
valuations also be done for individual employees. This, of course, requires good compensation

The Benefits of Using Compensation Data in a Talent Management Strategy

Many of the components that make up a talent management strategy – acquisition and mastery of
knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies – are important influencers of compensation. Once
organizations know how to build a talent management strategy that takes compensation data into
account, they can place a market value on knowledge, skills and abilities. A talent management
strategy based on compensation data means:
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• Job offers tailored to the specific value an individual brings to the organization
• Career paths within and across job families that are anchored to actual market valuation
of the knowledge, skills and abilities that differentiate one level in the career hierarchy
from the next
• Merit systems that are based on the target market value of the employee so managers can
determine the right competitive compensation package, and not simply merit increases
from a matrix
• A talent management system that monitors the pay competitiveness of high potential
employees, helping to identify flight-risk potential before a competitor attempts to lure
your future talent away

Bringing Talent Management and Compensation Management Together

If compensation data has the potential to play such a vital role in talent management, why have
so few companies taken the steps necessary to bring it about? One of the primary reasons is that
market valuation of individual employees requires more compensation data about each
employee: their skills, specialties, education, experience beyond the current job or even the
current employer, and new certifications they’ve earned. Talent management strategies are our
friends, here: HRIS and emerging talent management software applications allow us to collect
and store this information – if we take the time to collect it.

Market valuation of individual employees is a companion process, not a replacement for, more
traditional job-centric compensation management processes. Without the employee-centric
market valuations, however, compensation data is relegated to the sidelines of the talent
management systems. At the same time, without the valuation component offered by employee-
centric approaches, a talent management strategy will lack a critical financial metric for making
pragmatic decisions.
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Q.2 What are the 5 steps to strategic talent planning? Elaborate.

Ans. Recruiting rarely is based on any sort of strategic plan. For most organizations, recruiting is
a tactical operation ? a series of things that take place that result in qualified people getting hired.
It is mostly reactive, and few recruiters have the time or charter to look forward more than a few

To ensure that your organization has a chance at hiring the best people ? and to successfully
operate in a global, competitive environment, organizations ? you will need a strategic plan
coupled to appropriate resources and tactics.

Here's a quick overview of the five essential first steps needed to put this plan together and to
begin making it operational:
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Step 1: Talent Plan

Workforce or talent planning is the first and hardest step. It means deeply understanding the
organization's business goals and the competitive environment the organization functions in. It is
a combination of understanding and predicating demand, while at the same time being educated
and aware of the talent supply situation from all the sources that are available.

This step needs to be far more than simply listing the jobs projected in the annual budgeting
process and factoring in turnover. It is an evolving process, as opposed to an annual event, and is
the most dynamic and critical stage of any strategic process.

Step 2: Image and Brand

It is not true that if you build a great strategy or a great organization, people will necessarily
flock to your doors. Getting people aware of your organization is a tough job. It requires having a
consistent communication process as well as a plan to raise general awareness through
advertisements, promotions, or by getting listed as a "best place to work." You have to be able to
answer questions like, "What makes your company different or unique?" or "Why would I want
to come work for you?" Not only should you have answers to these questions, but you should
also make sure your advertising, web presence (which is essential), and overall corporate
advertising support this image.

This has to be an organization-wide effort. It takes time and an accumulation of messages to be

effective. One or two advertisements or a handful of posters won't do it.

Step 3: Sourcing Methods

Develop a multi-faceted sourcing strategy. Embrace active candidates who are responding to
your brand and image-building messages, but maintain the capacity and skills to tap passive
candidates. Decide based on past experience what works best for you in locating candidates, and
then build those sourcing channels to the max. Make sure you are using referrals from current
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employees, your network of professionals, web-based search, your own web site and also
develop methods to keep in touch with potential candidates that you have no current position for
but might have at some later time.

Step 4: Screening and Assessing Candidates

Are you going to invest heavily in educating managers in behavioral interviewing? Are the
recruiters going to be the main screeners, or will you use testing and other tools? What role will
the Internet play, if any? Are you going to look into using web-based tests? How much will you
rely on candidates screening themselves out or in? What role does the hiring managers play in
screening and assessing, and what are the differences between what you do and they do?

This is an area where there can be great improvement with reasonable effort, but where things
are still done mostly the way they have always been done. A focus on automating screening to
some degree reduces the volume of candidates and actually raises candidate satisfaction.

Step 5: Market and Communicate!

Candidates want to be in the know about their status and prospects. They seek out feedback and
information. Your organization's website is an invaluable tool, but you will also need to develop
systems to communicate with candidates personally and to send out newsletters and emails.

Probably all the people you need at one time or another sent a resume or expressed interest. They
were most likely told that there were no current openings. Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could
actually stay in touch with those people and let them know when there is an open position? That's
what CRM (candidate relationship management) systems can do. Unfortunately, they are not yet
generally available or optimized for recruiting. But ask your ATS vendor what they doing about
this and urge them to provide you the tools you need to effectively keep qualified candidates
interested in you. Make sure that whatever systems you choose fit your strategy and make
economic sense

A few other things to keep in mind:

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• Make sure all managers and recruiters have a simple system for deciding on a candidate.
As you know, speed is the real differentiator today, and the recruiter/manager who moves
the most quickly will usually get the candidate. Eliminate unnecessary approvals, and
make sure your selection criteria are clear to avoid slowing down the process.
• If you are a decentralized firm, work out a system for who owns what. If you all agree
together then the areas of dispute will be limited. The rule I use is that the central or
corporate function should set standards and establish corporate-wide systems. Local
offices should participate in that process and have great autonomy on the day-to-day
stuff. They can supplement broad image and branding activities with local advertising
within the bounds of an agreement you all make with one another.

These initial steps and processes are what enable the back-end activities of scheduling,
interviewing, making offers, and on-boarding.

Q.3 Think of a situation in which you as team leader have to explain why HRIS or IT is
important in talent management and how it helps an organization. Supplement your
answer with suitable examples. ?

Ans : In today's corporate world human resources has come to play a very critical role in a
business. Whether it concerns the hiring and firing of employees or whether it concerns
employee motivation, the Human Resources department of any organization now enjoys a very
central role in not only formulating company policies, but also in streamlining the business

To make a human resource department more effective and efficient new technologies are now
being introduced on a regular basis so make things much simpler and more modernized. One of
the latest human resource technologies is the introduction of a Human Resources Information
System (HRIS); this integrated system is designed to help provide information used in HR
decision making such as administration, payroll, recruiting, training, and performance analysis.
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Human Resource Information System (HRIS) merges human resource management with
information technology to not only simplify the decision making process, but also aid in complex
negotiations that fall under the human resource umbrella. The basic advantage of a Human
Resource Information System (HRIS) is to not only computerize employee records and databases
but to maintain an up to date account of the decisions that have been made or that need to be
made as part of a human resource management plan.

The four principal areas of HR that are affected by the Human Resource Information System
(HRIS) include; payroll, time and labor management, employee benefits and HR management.
These four basic HR functionalities are not only made less problematic, but they are ensured a
smooth running, without any hitch. A Human Resources Information System (HRIS) thus
permits a user to see online a chronological history of an employee from his /her position data, to
personal details, payroll records, and benefits information.

The advantage of a Human Resource Information System (HRIS) in payroll is that it automates
the entire payroll process by gathering and updating employee payroll data on a regular basis. It
also gathers information such as employee attendance, calculating various deductions and taxes
on salaries, generating automatic periodic paychecks and handling employee tax reports. With
updated information this system makes the job of the human resource department very easy and
simple as everything is available on a 24x7 basis, and all the information is just a click away.

In time and labor management a Human Resource Information System (HRIS) is advantageous
because it lets human resource personnel apply new technologies to effectively gather and
appraise employee time and work information. It lets an employee's information be easily tracked
so that it can be assessed on a more scientific level whether an employee is performing to their
full potential or not, and if there are any improvements that can be made to make an employee
feel more secure.

Employee benefits are very crucial because they help to motivate an employee to work harder.
By using a Human Resource Information System (HRIS) in employee benefits, the human
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resource department is able to keep better track of which benefits are being availed by which
employee and how each employee is profiting from the benefits provided.

A Human Resource Information System (HRIS) also has advantages in HR management because
it curtails time and cost consuming activities leading to a more efficient HR department. This
system reduces the long HR paper trail that is often found in most HR divisions of companies
and leads to more productive and conducive department on the whole.

When administering a benefits system, HRIS systems can be hugely useful. This is particularly
the case for larger organisations, or those that choose to operate a voluntary employee benefits
scheme. Many HRIS companies provide solutions whereby an employee can view information
regarding their attendance, sick leave and so on. Similarly, they can log in to a ‘portal’, showing
them details of the benefits to which they are entitled. This is particularly useful for voluntary
benefits schemes as it removes the necessity for any action on the part of the employer.
Furthermore, some HRIS systems allow employees to view their performance and review their
progress; this is very useful if you are operating an incentives scheme. Furthermore, utilising
HRIS for your benefits administration can be useful from an employer’s point of view as it will
enable you to keep track of which benefits are most frequently used, as well as offering
information on the relative returns on each of these investments.

Installing and administering an HRIS system can be a complex task. There are a huge number of
HRIS solutions available, but each of these will require some customisation in order to ensure
that they are fulfilling the needs of your organisation. However, most reputable commercial
HRIS providers will offer personalised support in the deployment phases, meaning that there
should not be any necessity to employ a contractor to do the job for you; rather, your provider
will be able to guide you through the process.