When HR Meets CRM

Updated: April 30, 2009

Who says a CRM system has to focus on customers? Not the growing number of HR managers who are using CRM technology to manage their organizations' human capital, an approach often described as ERM (Employee Resources Management).

Several vendors now offer ERM enhancements or add-ons to their standard CRM software. These offerings provide many of the same benefits as CRM tools, including enhanced staff productivity, end-user self-service and improved reporting capabilities. Like CRM tools, ERM solutions come in a variety of different styles and forms. Here's a quick look at CRM-based ERM technologies from four different vendors.

NetSuite Inc .: NetSuite's CRM-based ERM is designed to automate and centralize employee management and self-service. NetSuite provides an HR document- management feature that electronically organizes and stores content by employee, client, project or on an aggregate basis. The software stores all employee information in a comprehensive, secure employee record. Each record includes employee contact information, hire date, subsequent review date, department and supervisor names, salary, withholdings, deductions, and sick- and vacation-day accruals.

Through the NetSuite Employee Center, NetSuite integrates employee management with accounting/ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems while supporting group collaboration, enhanced employee productivity and reduced administrative overhead. The Employee Center lets employees track and enter time sheets, enter expense reports, and file purchase orders online. The documents are then automatically routed by workflow to the appropriate manager for approval. Once approved, the transactions are automatically sent to the financial department for processing.

The system also lets managers create scheduled meetings through NetSuite's calendaring feature, track employee review schedules, and record performance reviews and other sensitive data. HR professionals can also use NetSuite to set up a corporate intranet to publish content such as business-policy handbooks , benefits information and corporate holiday lists, as well as to maintain and publish employee directories.

Salesboom.com Inc .: An SaaS (software as a service) CRM vendor, Salesboom.com provides a variety of ERM functions within its Salesboom 8 software, including HR policy tracking, paid-time-off vacation requests, employee expense tracking and commissions, and compensation tracking. The provider also supplies a recruiting-management solution that's fully integrated within its Salesboom 8 CRM software. The various Salesboom.com ERM enhancements are available free of charge to existing CRM customers.

Oracle Corp .: ERP/CRM giant Oracle offers the PeopleSoft Enterprise HelpDesk for Human Resources. The solution aims to give businesses direct view-and-edit accessibility to HR data and applications in real time, making the help desk a one-stop shop for all HR support activities.

Oracle says that its help-desk technology gives companies the ability to operate a comprehensive internal support organization that maximizes productivity, increases worker satisfaction and enables a lower total cost of ownership by leveraging existing investments. The product's specific features include employee case management, call tracking and problem resolution, all of which enable HR staff to redirect their focus from administrative tasks to strategic business activities, improving staff efficiencies and job satisfaction. Behind-the-scenes analytics work to guide agent actions, enhance the value of employee interactions and help enforce the adoption of best practices.

Salesforce.com Inc .: As an SaaS CRM pioneer, Salesforce.com offers a variety of HR-related add-ons through its AppExchange on-demand marketplace service. Offerings developed by Salesforce.com include recruiting management, expense tracking, vacation-request organization, policy tracking, employee polling and training-management tools. A variety of other add-in HR-related tools are also available via AppExchange from several different third-party developers.

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