interview

ESS Tools: An Interview with Professionals in HR

May 10, 2017

With over 15 years in self-service technology, Advanced Kiosks has a powerful reputation providing solutions for human resources. While we do know a whole lot about HR, our focus of knowledge is technology and engineering. That is why I decided to reach out to industry thought leaders who have dedicated years of expertise to the art of talent acquisition and the implementation of employee self-service tools.

I interviewed both Kimberley Kenner, Director of Recruiting at Ethos Human Capital Solutions, and Henry Glickel CPC, CERS, and author of “The Power of Proactive Recruiting”. In this interview I asked Kimberley and Henry about their experience with ESS, employee reactions, tasks better left to the professionals, improvements, and final thoughts. Here is a bit more information about these HR professionals.

Bios:

Kimberley Kenner, Director of Recruiting at Ethos Human Capital Solutions

 

Kimberley Kenner is a Director of Recruiting, with over a decade of experience in training, recruiting, and talent acquisition. She is an alum of California State University- Long Beach. Kimberley has published articles in Yahoo Business & Finance, as well as the Examiner.

 

 

 

Henry Glickel CPC, CERS, and author of “The Power of Proactive Recruiting”

 

Henry Glickel is an experienced talent recruiter with over 20 years in the field and over 1,800 successful placements under his belt. He is the author of “The Power if Proactive Recruiting”. The book is rated five stars on amazon for its insightful content dedicated to recruiting. He received his MBA in Healthcare Administration at Temple University. Currently, he is an investor and advisor for Kortivity, a recruitment management software company.

 

THE INTERVIEW

KC: What is your experience with employee self service?

KK: I have worked in companies where we implemented self service websites. We used it to provide access to paycheck stubs, current rate of pay, benefit timelines and they can submit benefit questions.

HG: I consult with many of my clients on employee self service.

 

KC: How do employees respond to ESS?

KK: We found during the transition period that employees were very leary of a self service option and were worried if they had additional questions they wouldn’t get answered. For minor transactions, like paycheck stubs, benefit information, and request for time off, it actually became a great tool. It did however at first, create a negative HR image. They thought we didn’t care, and were too busy. The ones that were most frustrated, were usually having an issue with a court ordered pay demand (child support, taxes) and/or had mistakes made by their healthcare provider insurance bills, and thought that HR should be their source for information.

HG: I think it’s very helpful. The hard part is the action of doing it, but the effort that it takes to implement it is usually easier than the situation itself. At first you have to consolidate multiple systems, but once human resources goes through it they have very positive things to say. They reap a lot of benefits such as lowered costs and using less time.

 

KC: What are some tasks you think are better left to the HR professionals?

KK: Issues that couldn’t be helped were related to FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act), LOA (Leave of Absence), and workers’ compensation benefits. Managers and employees could access the form to report an incident, but that was it. Those questions took up and still take up 25% of our HR managers’ time. We did not come to a fixable solution for those unique questions.

HG: When it’s something that cannot be resolved by the individual. If the answer can be found by the individual then it won’t be necessary to call HR if using an ESS tool. Performance plans, worker’s compensation, and injury in workplace. Things that require more personal detail should be resolved between an employee and HR.

 

KC: What improvements did HR make moving forward?

KK: At a later date, we added a feature for managers to be able to pull blank forms. Now that was a hit. They loved getting access anywhere they could get on the web. They didn’t like having to scan, or turn in manually. (we didn’t have a reciprocal uploading feature). This was still a very time consuming issue. Performance management, time off requests, status changes, etc. We provided some basic Q & A, but it felt like the questions the managers and the employees had were unique. The other plus was the discounts to movies and local entertainment and amusement venues. That was a popular feature on the website.

 

KC: Overall, what are your thoughts about employee self-service?

HG: Employee self-service is great for time and attendance, questions about benefits, onboarding, and paid time off. 90% of all questions can be answered by ESS.

 

OVERVIEW

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Overall, employee self-service is a popular topic that most human resource professionals are familiar with. It can have both positive or negative impact depending on how the kiosk is implemented and what the purpose is being used for. For example, Kimberley had noticed that employees sometimes responded negatively to the kiosk as they felt it meant that HR was too busy to help them. This indicates to me that the employee self-service tool was the primary option for employees to get assistance. Naturally, ESS works best in an environment where it is implemented as an additional resource, and not as the primary resource for employees.

Both Kimberley and Henry note that more personal tasks such as benefits, worker’s compensation, and injury reports are all processes better left to HR professionals. All other tasks that don’t require a story are tasks that can be done using ESS. If an employee needs quick information, access to a printer and scanner, a phone to call HR, or a checklist, employee self-service is the way to go.

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