The e-HRM guide

E-HRM is about HR clouds and HR software, but what does that actually mean and what types of HR tools exist? This guide creates clarity in the e-HRM landscape.


  1. What is e-HRM?
  2. Why implement e-HRM?
  3. How to implement e-HRM?
  4. 3 large clusters in HR software
  5. The benefits of e-HRM
  6. Our e-HRM solution

1. What is e-HRM?

E-HRM stands for Electronic Human Resources Management and simply means that you support your personnel management and organization with technological HR systems. It is about human resources software and human resources tools that ensure that your human resources management can run digitally. This provides more overview, more support and less time wasted, because the electronic HRM tool ensures synchronised processes and thus reduces part of your workload.
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What types of HR software are available?

We'll start with the most general term for a HR software package: HRIS. The abbreviation stands for Human Resources Information System. This is the most commonly used term to describe an HR system that keeps track of employee information for business purposes.

HCM is the extended version of an HRIS system and stands for Human Capital Management (system). In addition to the HRIS functionalities, an HCM package will have an even wider range of possibilities for managing talent throughout the company.

HRM or Human Resource Management System is the dominant group of select HR software providers offering a broad spectrum of functionality for managing a large and international workforce.

ATS or Applicant Tracking Software, stands for the grouping of software tools that help your company attract and recruit potential candidates. This software usually has integrations with numerous job boards for vacancies and often generates a unique branded page where all open jobs are listed.

TMS or Talent Management System are HR software packages whose main purpose is to attract employees and to further develop and guide them once they are part of the organization. These systems often need to be integrated with other HR tools or HRIS in order to exchange the necessary information.

LMS stands for Learning Management System and groups together all the tools that will support different types of training, education and different learning pathways.
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2. Why implement e-HRM?

More and more companies are focusing on e-HRM. In 2017, PwC* surveyed more than 300 organisations on how they use HRM technology. What were the foundings? More and more organisations are implementing e-HRM software.

"Close to 40% of the 300+ companies we surveyed have core HR applications in the cloud, and even more are planning to migrate.

This research was carried out worldwide with HR teams and professionals working for 370 companies of various sizes. These organizations are part of more than 30 different sectors and are based in 40 countries.

Does the implementation of e-HRM software have a positive impact?

Business processes are increasingly automated, but does this technological evolution also have a real impact within HR ? We quote some remarkable figures from the report, which paint a better picture of the business impact that e-HRM can have:
  1. 52% saw an increase in the use of e-HRM software by employees. Makes sense when you know that they can access the software at any time and from anywhere. They can, for example, request days off from their sofa.
  2. 47% mentioned that managers would use self-service tools more intensively to manage their teams.
  3. Automation and innovation in HR continue to drive down costs. 20% of companies noted a measurable decrease in personnel costs.
  4. 78% were satisfied with the capabilities of the HR cloud to meet their business needs.
  5. Fears of a failed implementation fell from 52% to 47%.
  6. Only 17% of HR tech companies indicated that mobile access is a priority for them.

3. How to implement e-HRM?

Focus on a specific process area
HRM processes flow through to many aspects within a company. By in-depth analysis, look for the process area that benefits most from digitization: often these are processes and tasks where a lot of manual work comes into play when processing and/or communicating information. Check out the pain points in the operation of these processes and look for the most compatible e-HRM solutions and human resources tools that are on the market today.

Involve key stakeholders in this process
Depending on which process area within HRM will be automated first, you will also need input from different stakeholders. The timely involvement of the right stakeholders is essential to a good selection and implementation of an e-HRM solution. Stakeholders involved can help determine HR software needs and will also be more inclined to be an ambassador for automation.

Create a business case as a guide
A business case helps to make a better estimate of all the necessities to take the first steps to e-HRM. For example, you can go to a HR software provider with a clear picture of your needs and expectations and questions if their product provides them. Finally, the business case is primarily a measuring tool to compare the goals set with the final results.

4. 3 major clusters in HR software

To structure the HR software landscape, we started from the 'employee journey'. This is the total experience, going from a 1st application as candidate, over the employment as employee with the employer, until leaving the organization again. In line with that employee journey, you will see 3 major clusters of e-HRM solutions emerging:
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  1. Before someone is hired (recruitment & selection)
    In this cluster you will find the Applicant Tracking Tools (ATS), which manage the influx of candidates. CV Warehouse is a well-known example in Belgium. In order to screen candidates, more and more organisations also use selection tests and assessments (e.g. via Thalento). This also includes the vacancy databases, as well as the staffing tools. Together, these HR tools help to find and screen good candidates.
  2. Hard-side of HR software: everything between onboarding (in service) & offboarding (out of service)
    As soon as an employee joins the company, a lot of HR administration takes place: from drawing up contracts to the monthly payroll. This part is typically called the 'hard side' of HR . In this cluster we mainly find the traditional players, such as the software of the social secretariats, but also many new players in time registration and personnel planning, who often focus on one specific part of the HR administration (e.g. Online Work Schedule, Beeple, BookU).

    We are on the eve of many innovations in this cluster. The tools for HR administration are increasingly evolving into e-HRM tools. Also HR analytics (with e.g. iNostix), providing useful insights based on HR data, will take a more prominent place in this cluster.
  3. Soft-side of HR software: everything around culture, feedback, engagement, etc.
    A promising cluster where a lot is happening. Just think:

    - Intuo,a platform for e-learning, engagement and performance management.
    -,which makes it easy to distribute manuals to employees.
    - Moov-IT,which work around health promotion in organizations.

    These tools are regularly linked to a particular cultural change or behavioural change that organizations want to launch (e.g. promoting health, engagement, innovation and/or a broader feedback culture). And, as we know, cultural change is often a big challenge. So we are very curious how this cluster will evolve and how e-HRM can play a role in this.

5. The benefits of e-HRM

1. Centralized HR data

What if all the HR data was in one place?
Digital, centralized HR data: Always up-to-date in a handy overview. Wouldn't you avoid a lot of mail traffic and paperwork? Both the accountant and the HR employee could work more efficiently, with much less chance of errors and better data protection.

At the same time, even on C-level e-HRM keeps you etter informed than ever of the ins and outs of the company. After all, you receive even more accurate and in-depth HR reports, because the accountant and HR staff have more figures and more time to analyse them.

"The adventage of cloud-based computing and real-time data has allowed for a lot more flexibility to make real-time decisions, as opposed to just looking at what's happened in the past quarter or the past year. This much more detailled information can be valuable and even needed to set policies and help the C-suite make the decisions they need to make."
- Nina Chmura, senior partner at WithumSmith+Brown, Forbes 2017
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What HR data can you centralize?
Personal data
All the data you need for a correct HR administration can be found in the employee profile. Personal data, leave counters, salary history, documents, assets, training courses, etc.

All leave requests and sick days appear in the calendar overview. Here, HR managers or team leads can check everything and quickly make adjustments before everything goes to the payroll provider.

All company documents, from certificates and pay slips to information about insurance managemen. Share these documents with employees in just a few clicks via the mobile app, make important company documents available to everyone in the organization, assign individual documents to employees, and have contracts digitally signed.

2. Workflows

When a company is successful and grows, it will systematically be more in need of structure. This structure is often created by documenting recurring processes within the company and optimising them into workflows. Such as e.g. this onboarding workflow:
These can easily be automated in an HR tool. E-HRM then ensures that a fixed structure is set up that includes and displays everything in a clear overview, including notifications of unfinished tasks so that nothing can be forgotten.

3. Hr analytics

With e-HRM software you can easily retrieve and analyze HR data from an HR system, which allows you to quickly make important connections using strategic methods. This is what we call : combining HR data and figures to arrive at insights.

How does e-HRM help you with HR analytics?

  1. Operational reporting
    Collect data (or HR metrics) about what you are doing in an HRM tool in an orderly way. How many people have you recruited in the past year? What training courses have the employees followed? How much does everyone earn? Keeping track of these figures systematically is step 1.
  2. Advanced reporting
    Make it a habit to keep track of information that shows how things are going in and with your organization. Nowadays there are HR tools that monitor your evolution day by day. This spares you the time to put all the numbers in reports. For example, measure inflow and outflow, absenteeism, salary, costs...
  3. Strategic Analysis
    Using statistical models, you will learn how HR data affects other data and vice versa. You link the activities of the HR department to the business results. For example: what does the Bradford Factor tell me about absenteeism in my organisation?
  1. Predictive analysis (predictive analytics, predictive HR analytics)
    With more advanced statistics and people analytics from e-HRM software, you can also predict what you can expect in the coming period. You combine patterns and trends in the data with models that give a view of the future. Based on that information you can plan better.

4. Performance management

Monitor the growth of your employees closely and organise performance interviews at regular intervals. In this way you increase commitment and promote a more transparent relationship between manager and employees. Keep track of the information shared during the interview in an HR tool so that it is not lost. This way you will benefit from it permanently. Via e-HRM, for example, you can set up an HR system for performance reviews, where you can keep records of performance reviews and consult them again and again.

4. Employee Self Service

E-HRM ensures that employees can also manage part of their HR data themselves. Via HR tools that offer an Employee Self Service, they can adjust and consult their own data and HR administration. Think of entering personal data, applying for leave of absence, consulting their payroll package and pay slip, uploading necessary documents, digitally signing contracts and reviewing performance interviews. This once again ensures more transparency between managers/hr and employees. At the same time, it also reduces the administrative burden for HR, freeing up more time for other HR processes that can have a major impact.
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6. Our e-HRM solution

Officient is a human resource software (or HR software) in the form of a human resource management tool. Our tool is mainly tuned to the HRIS package. This means that we have developed an HR system that keeps track of all employee information in one overview that can be constulted any time and anywhere. In this way, we offer a SaaS solution for yourhuman resource management in your company: an HR cloud or e-HRM that keeps track of everything for you.

Our main focus is on HR administration and payroll based on personnel data, a leave and sickness calendar, documents and contracts. But we also want to focus on HR analytics, because we strongly believe that centralised HR data can lead to valuable insights.

Above all, we like to let you discover it for yourself. Are you interested in testing our e-HRM solution? Then request your demo here. Would you rather learn more about e-HRM first? Download our e-HRM ebook for free here.