At SAMpeople, we’ve seen an influx of demo requests for our HRIS for schools and Multi-Academy Trusts. Having had difficulties accessing accurate, up-to-date and Trust-wide HR information throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, Multi Academy Trusts in-particular, are looking to purchase a HRIS that links seamlessly to their existing MIS.
The requirement for Trust-level reporting often leaves HR departments struggling to manipulate excel spreadsheets, then sourcing data from multiple systems leaves some scope for human error and on many occasions a lot of precious time is wasted. The realisation that a great HRIS designed specifically for the education sector, can produce complex reports at the touch of a button is what’s driving the current HRIS revolution. Imagine being able to have more time to concentrate on HR strategy that supports increasing standards
A Trust’s specific requirements and priorities can differ, but the fundamental must haves are always crystal clear and include the following top ten requirements:
- Simple navigation and an intuitive user-friendly system
- Seamless links to an existing MIS to avoid duplication – often double, triple entry!
- Timely On-boarding that supports the harmonisation of existing data
- A clear and transparent pricing structure with technical support inclusive within the licence for ongoing support when needed
- A robust absence management module with customisable triggers
- Customisable system settings and workflows
- Ability to add multiple contracts, term-time calculations and export reports including payroll reports
- Employee portal to view personal information, submit requests, sign policy documents and receive information
- The ability to export information for payroll, workforce census and gender pay reporting purposes
- Links to an ATS to avoid duplication
Here are our three recommendations on how best to approach the transition to a new HRIS
What to think about and how best to approach the transition to a new system can be tricky when there are so many things to think about, we’ve captured three key elements here:-
- How clean is your data?
When preparing to import data into a new HRIS, you’ll need to review how it is currently managed within each school and begin to harmonise information such as job titles, absence categories, salary decimal places and the like to ensure a smooth migration. You’d be surprised how many ways there are to log reasons for absence into an MIS or spreadsheet across multiple sites. Your chosen provider will support you by providing a spreadsheet of things to think about in advance to allow you to consider how best to harmonise your data. What goes in must come out and great data equals beautiful reports!
- How ready are you and your Team to move to a HRIS?
Transitioning to a new system requires a commitment from the Trust central team and each school to make it work and you’ll work closely with your chosen provider to make sure you have a system that’s fit for purpose. Make sure you know what’s included in your SLA and find out if there are any additional hidden costs. You’ll spend the on-boarding period with your integration manager so make sure they are knowledgeable about the sector’s unique requirements. It has to be acknowledged that moving to a new system is most definitely a little short-term pain for huge long-term gain!
- You get what you pay for!
We all know this is true for everything we buy and your HRIS will be no different. Seek testimonials, follow up references and more importantly go with your gut. What’s more important to you? A provider with a strong moral compass to provide great services to the education sector for years to come…. or the cheapest price possible? Maintain a healthy balance for a long-standing supplier/purchaser relationship and always seek references. Don’t forget, check if you need to tender for the purchase, it will depend on the amount and the thresholds.
Consider the support you’ll receive and how your new system will integrate with other software and service providers
A HRIS can only go so far, how important is it to you to have a provider who understands HR in the education sector and can provide advice, support, and guidance through additional support services as needed? The provision of payroll information, gender pay reports, occupational health and counselling, DBS, HR & legal services all come into play when dealing with HR data and supporting leaders to utilise the information within the HRIS effectively. To avoid duplication and to save time ensure you can connect the dots in an efficient way within your Trust to help you save even more time.
Here’s where we blow our own trumpet… from our long-standing education sector HR experience, we’ve developed HR systems that are designed around the needs of schools and Trusts. We have researched and piloted the software to ensure it meets these needs and continue to take on board the feedback that is provided by clients to further innovate future developments. Our experience from SAM and FusionHR, supporting MATs across the UK, over the last 10 years has driven both our features and service.
If you are thinking about purchasing a HRIS, we would encourage you to consider the above points. It’s important to get the one right for you.