Using Technology to Leverage Your HR Resources

By: Brigitta Glick, SPHR
Friday, August 2, 2013

Whether you have a practice with 100 physicians or you run the ship solo, groups have legal requirements and business reasons to maintain employee data, attract talent, onboard new team members and keep up with staff training. Depending on your size, business processes and practice strategy, there are a number of options to consider to leverage your resources.

Paper human resources files residing in trusty file cabinets are completely acceptable and may make good sense for the smallest groups. Where technology makes sense, cost-effective choices range from a simple Excel spreadsheet to a human resource information system (HRIS). An HRIS can document an employee’s tenure from beginning to end.

New technology that tracks time and attendance while seamlessly integrating payroll and benefits administration can save time. For medium to large practices, gone are the days of collecting paper timesheets and manually inputting hours.

Groups hiring staff on a regular basis may benefit from implementing a feature-rich, online applicant tracking system. This type of solution can streamline the recruiting and hiring process, helping fill positions faster with the applicant most suited for the job. As social media takes a larger role in recruiting, your recruiting system will need to tap into social channels as well as traditional recruiting tools such as job boards and websites.

Once a practice has decided to implement technology in its overall human resources strategy, it must determine whether to use a single platform, an integrated technology solution or multiple smaller systems. Although managing your human resources function with file cabinets and Excel spreadsheets is possible, using external venders is generally more cost effective and often provides a more comprehensive solution. The wide selection of vendors and combination of products can be daunting. This is not a one-size-fits-all decision; depending on your needs and objectives, an ideal solution can emerge after careful consideration of many options.

Don’t rush into technology-buying decisions without reflecting on your practice strategy first. Consider your current and anticipated business challenges, your present and future people challenges, and the upside to implementing the technology. Ask your vendor:

  • Is there a cost for training?
  • Can training be done on-site?
  • Who will own the data?
  • Can you transport your data if you later decide to switch to another system?
  • What types of maintenance and upkeep are required?
  • What security measures are built in?
  • What types of reporting capabilities are offered?
  • What level of customer support is provided?
  • What is the total annual cost?
  • What are the upfront costs?
  • What is involved in the implementation phase?

Taking these things into consideration will enable you to make the best buying decision and avoid wasting your precious resources. Technology is part of ourlives and can either be a hindrance or an asset to the practice. How the need is identified and the solution implemented can be the deciding factor on how quickly the organization can get back to what it does best: caring for its patients.

Brigitta Glick, SPHRFor help developing a human resources strategy that fits your practice, call Brigitta Glick, SPHR, President of Provenir, at 210-479-3444, or visit