The role of the HR system administrator on an HR team

The HR system administrator plays a unique role in a company, providing support for projects and technology initiatives. They can also create a positive experience for new employees.

The HR system administrator has a unique role on an HR team. Unlike most HR roles that focus on supporting employees, managers and the business, the HR system administrator's focus is primarily on supporting the HR team. This is not to say that employees, managers and the overall business are not important to the HR system administrator, but many of those direct connections are managed by other members of the HR team.

The HR system administrator brings a skill set that is focused on technology, reporting, project management, requirements gathering and vendor management with a strong attention to detail to the HR team, and supports them in many ways:

Automating manual processes: Members of the HR team are often responsible for developing new HR processes to support a program or initiative, or streamline an existing process. The HR system administrator's role in this exercise may involve reviewing the process to determine if and how it can be automated, and then using existing or new software to automate the process.

Moving print and fill forms online: Another task the HR system administrator is well positioned to assist with is moving print and fill or non-fillable forms online. This provides many potential savings, such as reducing the need for paper and ink, the time required to type in the information captured by the form, and the storage of the printed forms. With an online form, you may also reduce spelling errors and typos by using spell checkers, and by having the person with direct knowledge of the information complete the form. Finally, online forms provide a level of sophistication that employees and candidates have come to expect.

Reporting: The HR system administrator can provide multiple services to support the HR team and the company as a whole with their reporting needs. First is developing and enabling employees throughout the company to access the reports they require on demand with the data they are authorized to view. Second is providing reports on an ad hoc basis to support HR and business requirements. The system administrator can flush out the requirements and pull data from multiple sources to build a thorough report with charts and graphs. Third, they can investigate and implement new reporting tools if the ones available are not meeting the company's needs.

Manage HR systems: There are four areas where the HR system administrator can apply their expertise to the company's HR systems:

  1. Investigate and enhance the current HRMS: One of the key responsibilities of the HR system administrator is to use the current HRMS to support HR and company goals. This may require configuration changes, editing current workflows and forms or enabling and configuring functionality that is available within the HRMS but that has not been used in the past.
  2. Identify and implement applications that support the HR team: In addition to an HRMS, HR teams often use multiple applications, such as Microsoft Office, a document management tool, software to build org charts and eLearning authoring applications. The HR system administrator can evaluate current applications used within the HR team to see if they meet new requirements or help identify new applications as required.
  3. Evaluate, acquire and implement a new HRMS: When your current HRMS is no longer meeting your needs, you HR system administrator may take the lead in managing a project to find a suitable replacement. This involves managing a project team and schedule, identifying HR systems that meet your needs, negotiating with a vendor, and implementing a new HRMS.
  4. Support other teams: In addition to supporting HR, they may also be a main point of contact for IT or another group implementing an application that involves HR or HR data. Their technical knowledge, understanding of the HR applications being used, and its data can have a positive impact on non-HR projects as well.

Training: As your company's subject matter expert, the HR system administrator may also be responsible for developing training material and delivering training sessions related to your HR systems. If another group within the company is responsible for training employees on HR systems, you may want to use your HR system administrator as a contributor and reviewer of the training material being developed, and possibly have them attend the training sessions to answer any technical question.

Your HR system administrator is not only able to benefit HR and employees, they can also have a positive impact on the experience of candidates and new hires. Taking advantage of their skills can make it easier and more intuitive for candidates applying for open positions. Also, with the help of an onboarding system, they will be able to automate many of the forms and processes required of new hires.

To provide this level of expertise, your HR system administrator may require skills more often found in IT than in HR, but with a good understanding of the role HR plays in an organization. They are also keenly aware of the sensitivity of the data and take additional steps to maintain that confidentiality.

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