How HR Software Can Help Deliver a Competitive Advantage

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1 How HR Software Can Help Deliver a Competitive Advantage whitepaper

2 Content Executive Summary What is competitive advantage? How can HR contribute to your competitive advantage? Key HR Software areas that will add value to your business Conclusion Author Michael Parry Sales & Marketing Director How HR Software Can Help Deliver a Competitive Advantage Page 2

3 Executive Summary An efficient HR function is guided by intuitive HR software, helping the team to work in an effective and strategic way, supporting your workforce and providing valuable insight. Gaining a competitive advantage in your industry comes down to understanding how to make an impact in your market, create and sell great products, and manage the primary asset in any business - the people. An efficient HR function is guided by intuitive HR software, helping the team to work in an effective and strategic way, supporting your workforce and providing valuable insight. Not only does this provide management with the information they need to make business critical decisions, it also feeds into a continuous improvement culture. Understanding the methodology, the available software tools and the reasoning behind this forward-thinking approach to people management is crucial. And it s this insight that s helping savvy companies to stride ahead of their competitors. Introduction Competitive advantage is now more important than ever to ensure long term business growth, with increasing scrutiny being directed at developing better services, people and teams. So how can your HR team give you the edge over your competition? A highly effective HR system can help grow a business through recruiting and championing the best people, saving money on essential but time consuming administrative areas, aiding effective communications internally and externally, and providing your management team with clear data and trends. With that in mind the question should really be, how can you equip your HR team better so they can help develop your competitive advantage? How HR Software Can Help Deliver a Competitive Advantage Page 3

4 What is competitive advantage? Competitive advantage grows out of value a firm is able to create for its buyers that exceeds the firm s cost of creating it. Value is what buyers are willing to pay, and superior value stems from offering lower prices than competitors for equivalent benefits or providing unique benefits that more than offset a higher price. There are two basic types of competitive advantage: cost leadership and differentiation. Michael Porter, Competitive Advantage, 1985, p.3 Understanding cost and differentiation Gaining a competitive advantage essentially comes down to creating superior value over the competition, which in turn leads to increasing revenues and profit. Porters Value Chain The value chain can be used to help identify your company s value activities. How HR Software Can Help Deliver a Competitive Advantage Page 4

5 As a bite-sized concept, this is straightforward enough. But this market lead needs to be sustainable, and in today s fast-paced business world, becoming an industry front-runner and staying there is easier said than done. Their secret recipe gives them a clear point of difference, and eliminates risk of imitation. To get to this top position, organisations must have better resources and capabilities than their competitors. This is a fundamental consideration when safeguarding assets against imitators and contenders. These distinct competencies of resource and capability provide organisations with the tools to deliver impeccable service delivery and real value for money to their customers. Or, differentiate themselves from their competition in terms of offering something alternative or innovative. The Coca-Cola Effect Perhaps the best example of a company achieving competitive advantage is Coca-Cola. Their secret recipe gives them a clear point of difference, and eliminates the risk of imitation. But this alone wouldn t enable Coca-Cola to maintain such a long-term market leadership. Cost is key here. Not only have Coca-Cola provided their customers with a clear proposition; our cola drink is superior and unique. They have also ensured that production is cheap, and distribution is widespread, even in the remotest areas of the globe, ensuring that everyone is familiar with the brand. Add to this, their carefully considered marketing tactics and additional Coca-Cola brands, and their spearhead industry position is secured. How HR Software Can Help Deliver a Competitive Advantage Page 5

6 How can HR contribute to your competitive advantage? Any managing director will understand the importance and theory of competitive advantage. So the principal question remains. How can HR help you to achieve this position? It s easy to talk about how HR can add real value as an intangible concept. But let s quantify the power your human resources function can really exercise in achieving this goal. Management of people is integral. Effective management ensures that people feel secure, incentivised, part of a team and empowered through information supplied by the business, or indeed the HR team. Ensuring cost leadership People are the most important asset to any business. But let s take a step back and measure that statement. How can people play an instrumental role in an organisation s success and work towards achieving cost leadership? The obvious answer is of course, through higher productivity and effectiveness. At this stage we need to ask, what role does HR play in promoting the efficiency of people within a business? Management of people is integral. Effective management ensures that people feel secure, incentivised, part of a team and empowered through information supplied by the business, or indeed the HR team. How HR Software Can Help Deliver a Competitive Advantage Page 6

7 This information may include training and development, giving employees long-term visibility of their progression, and a sense of contribution, worth and inclusion. When it comes to training, the effect is twofold for employees and businesses. Streamlining HR functions give HR professionals and managers the tools they need to implement meaningful training to upskill the workforce. And this increases productivity and improves delivery of external and internal services. Creating a point of difference One of the most effective ways to set yourself apart from the competition is to attract and retain the best people so you can provide a superior customer experience. Opening up a dialogue with your staff through regular surveys and feedback will help you to understand trends, act on valuable information direct from the source, and it nurtures a positive working environment through improved employee engagement. Not only this, the insight gathered through this connected approach will help HR professionals to write meaningful job descriptions to attract the best people. All this in turn, will enhance your reputation as a company, defining it as an attractive place to work, generating positive word of mouth, press, and even helping to get awards like the 100 Best Companies. Harnessing new technology in HR software will ultimately empower the human resources team to implement these strategies. Enabling them to nurture a happy and fulfilled workforce, and raising the bar on the service implementation. How HR Software Can Help Deliver a Competitive Advantage Page 7

8 How can HR software help? As we ve touched on, a happy, skilled workforce increases productivity and leads to superior customer care. HR software forms a core part of this process. The tools it provides helps with cost efficiency by automating essential, but time consuming procedures like offer letters or expenses management. This has two effects; it streamlines systems making communications timely and professional, and, it frees up HR professionals to concentrate on strategic work. By removing the pressure of admin heavy tasks, the HR team can connect with employees. They can also use the software to collate big data, and analyse it in a meaningful way. From looking at overall trends, to drilling down to individual staff members strategically and in line with succession planning, tackling issues or recognising and promoting high performers. A central, user friendly system will help HR to provide your management team with clarity of information on the people who make up and drive your business. How HR Software Can Help Deliver a Competitive Advantage Page 8

9 Key HR software areas that will add value to your business We ve talked about the role of HR in creating real and lasting competitive advantage in your marketplace, and how HR software can revolutionise the way we manage people to add value. Now let s drill down into how HR software can create a lasting difference in the way your human resources team work, to positively influence cost leadership and differentiation. The recruitment process should flow seamlessly from start to finish. Recruitment Attracting the right people for each vacancy comes down to a practiced and considered process. Writing job descriptions that sell the vacancy, accurately describe the job and define essential candidate requirements is crucial. HR software can help to streamline this process, creating qualification questionnaires that will save HR staff time through promptly filtering out unsuitable candidates. This immediately saves your company money. How HR Software Can Help Deliver a Competitive Advantage Page 9

10 Filling positions quickly as well as effectively is another critical time saver and this is where a slick HR process and the right tools can make a significant difference. HR software can help your team to target the right job boards, effectively use your own company s website and send automated letters to speed up the interview and offer stages, so you can attract and secure the best candidates. It can also provide your team with the tools to rate each candidate independently. That way, each interviewer s views are recorded, then collated by the software programme and presented as a non-biased assessment for each candidate, leading to a thorough and unbiased process. The recruitment process should flow seamlessly from start to finish. Intuitive HR software will effectively complete the online workflow through engaging people at all stages, ensuring valuable candidates aren t lost along the way, and treating all applicants with respect through prompt and accurate communications. This in turn contributes to the external perception of the company, with both successful and unsuccessful candidates championing your business. Retention & Engagement Getting the right people for each position is step one. Keeping them there is more involved, and a lack of focus on training, development and recognition can lead to losing talent. Innovative HR software puts the power in the hands of employees through self-service training requests, and gives managers the tools to identify skill gaps through matrices, providing a smart way of tacking this issue. This self-service approach has another big benefit. It saves your HR team time, and as we know, that means saving money. Not only can staff request training through agile software programs like Selima s, they can also manage their own holiday allowance and the HR team can post timely communications on internal message boards. This ties in with engagement. Direct communication within the workforce and with the HR team helps HR professionals to gain How HR Software Can Help Deliver a Competitive Advantage Page 10

11 valuable feedback from the people on the ground, enabling them to monitor staff performance and track trends, so they can make meaningful changes. Modern technology synonymous with our everyday lives, like ipads, can be integrated into the workplace... This two way dialogue helps to build a positive working culture, making people feel connected, valued, and heard. And as part of this process training and performance reviews are completely suited to each employee as the HR team and managers have all the information they need to act effectively and decisively. Workforce Management We know that effectively managing staff can increase productivity and engagement, save time, and impact cost efficiencies. In today s workplace, using intuitive HR software like Selima s cloud based system can play a number of roles. From generating workflows and enabling staff to always stay connected in an age of flexible working. This creates a distinct advantage in the day-to-day running of a business. Rotas can be easily created, employees can pick their own shifts, again, tying into empowerment and engagement and in turn, tackling absenteeism. And modern technology synonymous with our everyday lives, like ipads, can be integrated into the workplace for tasks like clocking in and out, streamlining processes and creating a synergy with social trends, while reinforcing your business as forward-thinking. Most importantly, trends can be tracked through this smart way of working, helping HR teams to make strategic, business critical decisions on cuts and investment based on tangible data on elements like daily labour costs and output. How HR Software Can Help Deliver a Competitive Advantage Page 11

12 Data Analysing big data is important in any modern business. The right HR software will help HR teams to drill down into workforce information and effectively eliminate flawed reporting from disparate spread sheets and sources. Everything your HR team needs is in one central, easy to navigate and technologically advanced place, enhancing big data and making it meaningful and measurable. So, trends can be analysed and acted on, whether that s staff absenteeism, turnover or engagement levels. This strategic approach tackles motivation, productivity, and empowers businesses through better, engaged, productive staff and an effective HR function that saves money on timely tasks and focuses on the bigger picture. How HR Software Can Help Deliver a Competitive Advantage Page 12

13 Conclusion Creating a competitive advantage is something that needs to be taken off the page as a theory, and presented as a tangible working model for your workplace. Intuitive HR software can deliver cost savings by maximising the time of your HR team, increasing staff productivity across your business, and analysing workforce trends to foster a culture of continuous improvement. With the right tools, managing your staff, defining your company culture to create a point of difference in your industry, and saving money on the end-to-end people process can make a significant impact on your position in the marketplace. Intuitive HR software can deliver cost savings by maximising the time of your HR team, increasing staff productivity across your business, and analysing workforce trends to foster a culture of continuous improvement. It can also empower employees and managers - placing the information and resources they need at their fingertips, driving engagement and with a motivated workforce increasing business performance. So, when thinking about how you can achieve real competitive advantage, start with your most important asset, your people, and invest in the right tools to improve your resources and capabilities, to firmly put you at the forefront of your industry. For more information on our HR Software call or How HR Software Can Help Deliver a Competitive Advantage Page 13

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