Is Your HR Tech Vendor Data Up to Par?

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There's no shortage of HRIS & Benefits Administration (Ben Admin) options in today's marketplace. ACA requirements continue to fuel demand for new functionality, and the number of solutions available is steadily increasing among cloud-based providers. And the growth isn't showing any signs of slowing either as record investment in HR Tech startups has surpassed $880 million this year.

Throw in Private Exchange technology, and your head is probably spinning if you're an HR Director or Benefits Consultant. 

Fortunately, Employee Benefit Adviser's Elizabeth Galentine  penned a valuable article offering insight from several industry experts, including Charlie Peluso (CEO, Workplace Solutions) and Lyle Griffin (President, Selerix Systems). They addressed the importance of maintaining a distinction between traditional HRIS (Human Resource Information Systems) and Ben Admin systems, factors to consider when selecting a new platform, and the benefits of investing in a proper system.

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Clearly there's increasing crossover. That's why such guideposts are a "secret weapon" for Brokers and Consultants, who are required to quickly find the right Benefit Solutions for clients in a market that's only growing more splintered. Ultimately, the quality of client service depends on fully comprehending the options and differentiators. 

The guidelines below, combined with a sound vendor management strategy, will help keep you laser focused on what you're looking for and ensure you are keeping up with Joneses. 


 


1. Ask the Right Questions

First and foremost, remember to focus your solution(s) search around the core priorities of the employers you serve. Right now that priority is talent. The "Future of Work" movement has declared that people are more critical than ever. Shop for your HR Tech vendors accordingly. Whatever the solution niche is (payroll, recruitment or benefits), focus on platforms and systems that are pros at: employee empowerment and engagement.

Know the priority behind the platform. 

 

2. Get the Freshest Data

Your vendors are changing every day: expanding capabilities, gaining experience, adding functionality, making acquisitions and evolving (and if they're not evolving, you need to know that). Issuing an annual questionnaire, RFI or formal profile update request, simply won't cut it. The data in those responses can be out of date in as little as a month, week, or even a day.

You cannot afford to be left in the dust with old information. Access to real-time vendor profiles and the ability to filter down on live data to shortlist based on client needs is vital. Empower your vendors by giving them tools to make the process streamlined and effective for all parties involved.

Slow data is a killer.  

 

3. Find the Right Tech Mix

With more HRIS and Ben Admin platforms shifting to the cloud and away from enterprise resourcing planning systems (ERP), HR professionals and consultants now have more power to find software that fits their specific needs.

Maybe there's a strong Talent Management system in place but improvements are needed to the Benefits Enrollment and Communication process. Find vendor(s) that help fulfill your requirements and integrate with current systems. Make flexibility and customization a priority. 

Flexibility is a double-edged sword: it's the power to curate based on specific ogranizational and workforce needs, but it also means being responsible for knowing which platform is the best fit for unique requirements.

It's a lot. You're continually being asked to do more and aren't getting any extra hours in the day. So if you're looking for a "better way" to serve your clients, it might be time to start shopping around for tools like RFP software to help manage the inefficient administration of gathering and sorting vendor details. 

Work smarter not harder. 

 

The Takeaway


 

Staying ahead of the benefits solution tech curve presents a challenge for everyone involved: Employers, Vendors, HR professionals, and Broker and Consultants.

To stay ahead of the game, the key selection stakeholders need to have a clear understanding of exactly how the game is changing. Including the crossover between traditional HRIS and Ben Admin platforms, the liability of outdated vendor info, and tools they can implement to compare and curate options faster. 

Effective tools and a solid strategy can ensure you have all the options at your fingertips, and the ability to recognize the "best fit" in less time. Setting you up to make better decisions, and provide even more value to your clients. 

 

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