Costs, benefits of self service

|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 01/13/2003

Respondents to the

Cedar 2002 Human Resources Self Service/Portal Survey

were asked what they had spent so far on self service and what they expect to spend in the next 12 months.

In 2002, organizations were spending on average US$1.31 million on HR self service, though that was less than what companies were spending in 2001 — about 14 per cent less.

The average cost per employee is about US$340 for organizations in the 1,000 to 5,000 employee range.

Survey respondents were also asked what metrics they use to conduct post-implementation audits. Average cost of transactions continues to be the most popular metric in North America while in Europe the preferred measure is head count changes. Other popular metrics include cycle time, ROI, employee satisfaction, and inquiries to service centre or specialists.

Early adopters of HR self-service solutions realized return on investment within three years — in one case it took just 18 months — and the average cost of transactions in North America were reduced by 50 per cent.

Though apparently some HR professionals still struggle to convince the rest of the organization of the credibility of their metrics. One respondent explained, “accounting challenged all metrics collected by saying it was not possible to quantify these items, therefore the metrics were not valid and a valid case could not be made for cost effectiveness.”

Holly MacTaggart, director of HR for Dell Canada is convinced HR technology has produced dramatic improvements to the organization.

“I am an HR information systems geek,” said MacTaggart. “I see costs savings in it.”

With HR self service, Dell cut the cost of transactions and reduced the number of people doing data entry work. Rather than having staff doing data entry, people can be hired into other parts of the organization where they can help the business, she said.

When a manager hears she will be provided with human resources information faster, better and cheaper, that she won’t need a huge HR department to do it and that she might get an extra employee because the organization no longer needs someone doing data entry, then she tends to understand pretty quickly that HR self service is a good thing, said MacTaggart.

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