Chapter 3: Developing and Implementing Strategic HRM Plans

3.4 Technology and Strategic Planning

Small employers may simply use spreadsheets, but all employers use some sort of application or program to help manage their staff. Employers must comply with a number of legislative requirements that make it desirable to track data in an efficient way. For example, the simple task of monitoring start dates could be a nightmare for a company that relies on a paper process but suddenly needs to adjust its workforce. Calculating the appropriate amount of notice required by law is impossible without the start dates! But the most common use of technology is around time tracking, payroll, and benefits. With a bi-weekly payroll cycle, there is a strong financial case to be made for streamlining and automating the system as much as possible. In addition, job seekers will notice that more and more companies are using online application systems to collect and screen résumés.

While the costs to invest in HRM technology vary, employers will reliably save on both direct and indirect costs when they invest in an appropriate application. Indirect costs may include the risks of making a decision not aligned with statutory obligations or increased productivity of existing staff, but direct costs in staff time needed to manage a manual process is usually the most compelling reason for organizations to adopt technology.

Key Considerations


In Canada, we have two official languages (English and French), but many software solutions are available only in English. If your company does business in Quebec or New Brunswick, you may need to have an option that accommodates the needs of your French-speaking employees. If you’re not already doing business in those provinces, you must still consider whether it is foreseeable that you might expand your territory—changing systems later could prove to be both costly and challenging.

Data Storage

If you’re using an application that will be stored on your own servers, is it secure and backed up regularly? If you are using a cloud-based application, will the data be stored in Canada, and how secure with the data be? Many organizations are concerned about the United States government’s “Patriot Act.” Initially designed to combat terrorism, this legislation allows American law enforcement access to records of a company or individual without requiring that the individual be notified. In response, the government of British Columbia introduced the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Amendment Act in 2004. Organizations that provide services to a “public body,” such as a hospital, school, health authority, or directly to the provincial government, must ensure that the storage of and access to personal information is restricted to locations within Canada.


Does the system integrate with your other systems? This is critical with payroll applications; they should integrate with your accounting software in order to generate the time- and process-cost savings. If the key driver behind the adoption of technology is to be able to access and use data in order to be more productive and efficient, you must ensure that your various systems can “speak” to each other, or the data you use to manage your business might be inaccurate.


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Introduction to Human Resource Management - First Canadian Edition Copyright © 2017 by Zelda Craig and College of New Caledonia is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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