Proceedings of 26th International Business Research Conference 7 - 8 April 2014, Imperial College, London, UK, ISBN: 978-1-922069-46-7 An Analysis of the Implementation of E-HR Practices at TNT Business Solutions Ltd Gulshanrai Babajee, Ram Goolaup and Naushad MamodeKhan Organisations are operating in a fast and constantly changing environment and have, to become competitive to ensure their survival. TNT Business Solutions Ltd, one of the main actors in the BPO sector in Mauritius with an increasing workforce every year, has started e-HR practices with a view to reduce cost and processing time of operations. Today, Information Technology (IT) is rapidly changing the face of corporate world. Each profession is now using IT to enhance their work life and to provide better products and services to their customers, both internal and external. The HR function which was formerly associated with administrative duties has proved to be a very important function these days. More importantly, HR area is proving to be role modeling the organization by going for low cost strategy and greater efficiency. The objectives of this study were to identify the main factors associated with the successful implementation of eHRM practices at TNT Business Solutions Ltd and determine the challenges related to its implementation. Data has been collected through a survey whereby questionnaires were administered to a sample size of 220 respondents. Data has been analysed using SPSS. Based on the findings, some essential factors for an effective eHRM implementation have been identified. They are cost effectiveness, speed and accuracy of transactions, better communication, boost in employee’s efficiency and a considerable reduction on the time consumed and errorproned HR paper work amongst others. Keywords: e-HRM practices, cost effectiveness, challenges, employee‟s efficiency Field of Study: Human Resource Management 1. Introduction The fast growth of the World Wide Web during the past decade has propelled the HR functions towards a new concept, the e-HRM approach. Imperatori and DeMarco (2009) argued that for many organisations, e-HRM applications are a way to enable their business to be more versatile and to promote knowledge-sharing, while for employees who are fans of technological innovation, e-HRM solutions allow them to manage their working preferences. In this chapter, we start by comparing distinct views from various authors on e-HR/e-HRM; we then present some benefits of e-HRM practices, possible obstacles and challenges in implementing e-HRM systems, followed by future trends in this field. _______________ Gulshanrai Babajee, Software Engineer, TNT Business Solutions, Email: [email protected] Ram Goolaup Lecturer, Faculty of Law and Management, University of Mauritius, Email: [email protected] Naushad MamodeKhan, Lecturer, FSSH. University of Mauritius, Email: [email protected] Proceedings of 26th International Business Research Conference 7 - 8 April 2014, Imperial College, London, UK, ISBN: 978-1-922069-46-7 1.1 E-HRM Implementation: Different Views E-HRM can be defined as “a way of implementing HR strategies, policies and practices in organisations through a conscious and directed support of and/or with the full use of webtechnology-based channels” (Ruel et al., 2004). “E-HRM can be used for transactional activities (i.e. those that involve day-to-day transactions and record keeping); traditional HRM activities such as recruitment, selection, training, compensation and performance management; and transformational activities that add value to the organisation.” (Thite and Kavanagh, 2009). Ulrich (2000) states that e-HR, through self-service, requires additional involvement of employees and managers in HR practices. The employees and managers become more familiar about HR practices and HR devolvement becomes a reality. This distributed knowledge poses the challenge for HR professionals to consistently keep up with new developments in their field, in order to maintain their advisory-consulting role. According to Noe et al. (2000) HR functions can become essential allies in generating business success, however, in order to attain this objective, HR needs to review its target, its role and delivery capabilities. E-HRM represents the handling and transmitting of electronic data and information used in Human Resource Management (HRM) from one machine to another. It is capable of changing all the classical HRM functions allowing employees to work remotely from different locations and still doing their work as expected as if they are working close to each other. For example, with the use of internet, organisations can search for skills without geographical restrictions. Online job applications as well as screening of candidates from the company‟s website or from websites of companies which specialise in online recruitment can be done instantaneously during recruitment phase. With regards to training and development needs, employees from different sites of the same organisation can receive the similar training via the company‟s intranet without the need to move to another location or any training venue. Walker A.J (2001) stated that if HR innovation technology is to be considered effective, it must amend the work performed by the HR staffs by considerably improving their level of service, enabling more time to perform work which brings greater value, and decreasing their expenses. People often says that the implementation of HR systems, leads to a reduction in HR personnel and outsourcing but Walker argues that over the past ten years, study results illustrate that, in general HR departments have increase their number of employees to do the same work. Moreover, Walker highlights that there need to be a complete business process re-engineering of the HR functions prior to e-engineering the HR activities. Electronic performance management system (E-PMS) and e-recruitment are two of e-HR‟s latest trends, more out of convenience than pure need: “managing of appraisal forms and resumes are one of the biggest headaches for HR professionals and managers. Something like e-leave, on the other hand is already history”, based on Varma study (2010, cited Wong 2003). As a more general trend however, Wong suggests that any e-HR usually reaps quick benefits, including a paperless and more efficient working day for many HR practitioners: “as organisations become more knowledgeable in e-HR, they begin to see the benefits almost immediately.” On the basis of work by Mitchell (2002), the rationale for implementing Employee Self-Service (ESS) systems suggests that delegating these administrative HR activities to employees and managers increased data input precision and reliability, speeds up HR processes and decision making process. It also supports business integration, increases organisational flexibility, customises HR service delivery, produces innovations in HR, improves organisational and HR efficiency and reduces overall firm cost. Proceedings of 26th International Business Research Conference 7 - 8 April 2014, Imperial College, London, UK, ISBN: 978-1-922069-46-7 Keebler & Rhodes (2002) reported that e-HRM technological innovation should not only be developed to make the HR procedures as effective and inexpensive as possible, but the e-HRM system should meet the functional requirements of the company too, to improve the service experience of management and non-management employees. Michael Armstrong (2006) argued that “e-HR provides the information required to manage HR processes.” These may be primary workforce data and pay-roll systems but can be prolonged to consist of functions such as performance management, compensation and reward, training and recruiting. All these can be made available via a web-based platform, thus allowing remote access anywhere and anytime. The details provided by the e-HR process can be conveyed across the organisation. It can consist of links that enable managers as well as employees to interface with HR programs and make changes or inquiries directly and obtain immediate results and feedback. The HR function is becoming more strategic with the growth of e-HRM practices. This is noticeable by the fact that at present time employees are asking for advice rather than administrative assistance, which is the opposite scenario compared to late 1990s. Hun Nam Chung (2003) argued that today companies have less, but more qualified HR staffs whereas a few years back the reverse applied. At present, there is a drift towards the adoption of metricsbased management with emphasis on performance measurement to ensure that organisational objectives are being met. E-HRM applications that embed such features together with best practices should be able to deliver those outputs. Once this HR infrastructure is set up and ready for use, people may adopt virtual work place initiative to sustain the increasingly mobile and dynamic personnel. A more recent study by Foster et al. (2004) has shown that the integration of internet in Human Resource function constitutes of two elements: one is the use of digital media while the other is the effective contribution of employees in the process. These two components drive the technological development that helps companies reduce their administration costs, provide realtime access to information, decrease processing time and enhance employee interaction and satisfaction. investments in e-HRM, students are more reluctant as evidence of these benefits until now is inadequate. Ruël et al. (2004) observed signs of a shift in responsibility from HR staffs to line managers and employees. They also noticed that from the employees‟ point of view, an e-HRM system brings more autonomy of information and leads to better information responsiveness. Through HR practices employees develop knowledge, skills and motivation to contribute to the company‟s strategy. According to CedarCrestone (2005) survey, HR consultants advocate that many organisations are adopting e-HRM system and number of applications is still increasing. Fletcher (2005) stated that "HR has moved from an administrative, support function to the heart of strategic management and the use of technology is the key to that transformation." She also claimed that companies have to embrace a „Human Capital Management‟ strategy to benefit from any company's biggest asset: the expertise, know-how and experience of its employees. Moreover, she described how big companies incorporated HRIS twenty years back, which allowed them to automate old time-consuming procedures. Proceedings of 26th International Business Research Conference 7 - 8 April 2014, Imperial College, London, UK, ISBN: 978-1-922069-46-7 Dr. Aravind & Dr. Paramashivaiah (2006) contended that human resource is no more regarded as a business requirement; instead it has differentiated itself as one of the primary assets of any company. With such a great focus on human capital, it is crucial for every organisation to identify approaches that provide high quality recruitment solutions at low costs. This is where the world of e-recruitment begins. The internet is no more just a craze; it has now become a very useful device at everyone's convenience. E-recruitment is simply using internet to seek the services of the preferred individuals. Sacht (2007) noticed that due to significant changes in the employment market, Human Resources are compelled to change their usual ways of working and their strategic role in order to help businesses succeed. Moreover, with the growing importance of technology and the volatile business environment, companies must always be ready to take immediate measures and require smart thinking so that they are able to adapt to change. This new business process implies leaving behind old ways of working. 1.2 Types of e-HRM Following research work done by Lepak and Snell (1998), it has been identified that IT can greatly influence the incorporation of HR functions, when the responsibilities for carrying our HR tasks are split into three main areas; transactional, relational and transformational. This concept is used by Ruël et al. (2004) to categorise e-HRM technology into three types, namely: Operational e-HRM, Relational e-HRM, and Transformational e-HRM. Lepak & Snell (1998) stated that operational or transactional e-HRM consists of optimising operations. It includes basics HR activities in the administration area such as recording of employee‟s data and payroll. Operational e-HRM reduces the use of paper work significantly, thus is environmental friendly. However, Lengnick-Hall & Moritz (2003), highlighted that the quality, usability and quantity of information could hinder the effectiveness of these initiatives. Relational HRM, which is normally considered as the second more complex form of e-HRM, is about the interactions and networking of the various HRM stakeholders, said Strohmeier (2007). Martin et al. (2008) pointed out that in this kind of HRM, there is an option of whether to conduct more advanced HR practices, like assisting in the computerisation of HR activities via the intranets, in the recruitment and selection process through an online system, HR portals, employee self-service and manager self-service, and operates with several applications. Transformational HRM relates to HR activities with a strategic character. It requires the transformation of the HR function. Ruël et al. (2004) pointed out that transformational HRM refers to activities like strategic competence management, information management and knowledge management. Here a company can select for versatile employees through a set of web-enabled tools that allow the employees to develop themselves in line with the company's strategic objectives. According to Lengnick-Hall & Moritz (2003), it's only when the HR functions are re-routed towards more strategic initiatives while at the same time relieved from the operational tasks, and then there will be the shift from a transactional to a transformational focus. 1.3 Benefits of e-HRM Moving from a paper-based process to an automated one brings lots of value to an organisation as there will be an improvement in quality and speed. Below are some of the main benefits of implementing e-HRM in an organisation. Proceedings of 26th International Business Research Conference 7 - 8 April 2014, Imperial College, London, UK, ISBN: 978-1-922069-46-7 Ease of administering employee records: The number of queries directed towards HR department and the need for HR to key in employee records will decrease significantly by offering employees with immediate access to their personal data, for example, the number of local and sick leaves, personal details, insurance claims and so on. As stated by Adamson & Zampetti (2001), since employees are allowed to amend their personal information, the HR record-keeping benefits higher precision and information quality. Simplification of recruitment and selection: In addition to normal paper-based recruitment task, the organisation will get an extra possibility to recruit and select people via the web in an online-application process, though there will always be a need for human intervention. However, e-HRM techniques can streamline the process and decrease mistakes. Interestingly, a recent study showed that 100 percent of large firms in the United States use e-HR systems for recruitment (Cedar, 2002; Gueutal, 2003). Assessment of employees: With the introduction of IT into HR function, organisation benefits from online performance management of its employees by using the company's intranet. Furthermore, the employees can do e-filing of 360 degree feedback form, which can later be analysed through the generation of charts and metrics. Adamson & Zampetti (2001) indicated that e-HR can also provide managers with information on how to conduct a performance appraisal, the distinct requirements and metrics of given positions and roles as well as examples and models of effective appraisal process. Training needs and development: With the use of computer based training, employees can identify and plan their own training programs. In the opinion of Sambrook (2003), E-learning can propose a solution to training as well as tailor-made learning that fits the particular needs of the learner, but it can also create barriers to learning, due to lack of hardware, fear of technology and learner isolation. There is also distance learning which is an extension of the e-learning concept. “Because of its flexibility, distance learning offers several benefits over traditional forms of instruction, including the ability to train employees quickly and efficiently around the globe, use the most knowledgeable instructors for high-quality training, provide updates to training material as necessary”, (Burgess & Russell, 2003). Reductions in cost, time and labour: Through Employee Self Service, there is very little or no paper work at all since all entries can be done electronically hence reduces the time spent for validating input and fixing errors. This means that not only manpower can be saved, but the handling time also can be decreased. With this new way of working, e-HRM gets to the primary goal of cost effectiveness. For example, employees can log in online anytime without being in office, request for leave which will be sent directly to his/her line manager for approval. Upon acceptance the leave balance is instantly updated. This will significantly reduce the workload of HR department. 1.4 Possible drawbacks / obstacles of e-HR implementation Although there have been many positive talks about the benefits that e-HRM systems can bring to a company, there is also the opposite side of the coin. The introduction and adoption of new systems often poses challenges for many organisations and comes with some risks like integration failures due to incompatibility, high set up cost or decline in personal contact. Trapp (2001) highlighted that individuals might lose the human contact which they would normally have following a visit to the HR department. Hallowell (1999) also added that with increasing reliance on IT, there is a risk of dropping the 'human touch', an authentic psychological encounter that can happen only when two people share the same physical space. Proceedings of 26th International Business Research Conference 7 - 8 April 2014, Imperial College, London, UK, ISBN: 978-1-922069-46-7 According to a United Nation (2002) report, the challenges against an IT initiative can be categorised as human and technological. The lack of necessary IT skills, lack of nonapplications of good Information Communication Technology (ICT) policies and strategies are classified as human obstacles, while technological barriers consist of the weakness of ICT infrastructure and low rate of adoption. Hebert and Vorauer (2003) identified that there are more negative points that positive. In their scientific research they discovered that assessors offer better and more beneficial reviews during personal contact compared to computer system interactions. This imply that there will be bad ratings from participants if they are not going to provide their opinions other than through a face-to-face interaction Hawking et al. (2004) classified lack of privacy and security as a main barrier. Guaranteeing the security and confidentiality of data input is an important issue if we want to convince employees that their personal data is „safe‟ when they are using web-based HR tools (Ruel et al., 2004). It has also been observed that when employees are under pressure it leads to less quality. For example when people feel that each of their mouse clicks would be recorded and that they are being watched closely, this creates a sense fear, which eventually reduces focus on work (Cardy and Miller, 2005). According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) survey report (2005) on HR Technology, the top 3 obstacles that make it difficult to introduce an HR technology system in an organisation are: Resistance to change, financial approval and an infrastructure that has not been properly prepared. Price could be another hurdle when considering e-HR. E-HR systems need preliminary cost expenditure when you have to set them up. Cost can be estimated and budgets prepared but as with any IT project, there will be unavoidable extra expenses that one did not anticipate. Last but not least, similar to any computer programs, e-HR systems can fail causing data loss and result in financial loss of an organisation. Another limitation could be the misuse of data. Since employee records are electronically stored on servers or any other accessible device, confidential information could be leaked out and misused. 1.5 Overcoming challenges during e-HRM implementation According to the United Nations Report (2002), resistance by different groups should be dealt by incentives, awareness and training. Hawking et al. (2002) is of the same view when they explained that as part of the change management process, HR departments should conduct training sessions. With regards to security, HR team members must be very strict in protecting employees‟ records and business information. Davidson (2003) stressed out that frequent back-ups of data and assigning unique security password are two primary actions that can be taken. He also recommended that regular computer systems security workshops are scheduled with employees, especially with HR staffs to advise them on security aspects and risk management as it is vital for HR department to understand the risks it faces. Communication is another important aspect that needs to be taken into consideration, when implementing major change in an organisation. Everyone must be kept informed of the changes happening within their respective department. In the opinion of Whittington et al. (2005) Proceedings of 26th International Business Research Conference 7 - 8 April 2014, Imperial College, London, UK, ISBN: 978-1-922069-46-7 communication must be two-way and that interaction must be multi-channel, involving top management, employees and external stakeholders. According to Ruel et al. (2004), HR department can start marketing campaigns to encourage the use of web-enabled HR tools. Employee‟s trust and confidence can be increased if HR staffs clearly mention the usefulness and efficiency of e-HRM systems and the added benefits that go along with it when transforming HR roles. Thus, HR personnel should still meet the expectations for usual HR administration tasks while at the same time try to prove how the introduction of eHRM gives them every opportunity to perform strategic HR more efficiently. 1.6 Recent trends in e-HRM This section highlights the global e-HRM trends in current times. 1.6.1 Global trends in e-HRM - Highlights According to CedarCreston (2013) HR systems survey on „Going Global with HR Technologies‟, they suggest that practicing the following efficiency and innovation techniques may allow companies to enhance their business outcomes. Become more efficient through: 1 2 3 4 5 Standardising both administrative and talent management processes. Moving to consolidate human resource management systems (HRMS). Serving more workforces from a single HRMS and single payroll solution. Consolidating talent management automation support onto the HRMS platform. Reducing customisations. Become more innovative through: 1 Working to expand the percentage of the workforce using self service and adopt regional shared service centers. 2 Adopting a software-as-a-service (SaaS) HRMS. 3 Adopting an integrated talent management solution (consolidated on the HRMS platform) 4 Adopting business intelligence tools and rolling these solutions directly to managers. 5 Adopting social tools strategically. Moreover, based on CedarCrestone (2013) survey which tracks many HR applications, it has been noticed that these applications can be divided into the following six categories: Administrative: The core HR, payroll, benefits record keeping systems, and workforce management (time management and absence management). Service Delivery: Those self service transactional services that improve service delivery, reduce costs, and enable employees, HR, and managers to spend less time on administrative tasks. Talent Management: Performance and learning management, planning and career development. Those talent management applications that enable an organisation to plan, attract, develop, and retain key talent. Workforce Management: Labour scheduling, absence management and time reporting. These tools are essential for getting the right people, with the right skills, in the right position and time, at an optimal cost. Proceedings of 26th International Business Research Conference 7 - 8 April 2014, Imperial College, London, UK, ISBN: 978-1-922069-46-7 Business Intelligence and Workforce Optimisation: Applications and technologies that when combined, enable a company to move towards metricsbased management. Social, Collaboration and Mobile: Publicly available social medial tools such as Facebook, Twitter as well as corporate social network are tracked. The CedarCrestone (2008-2009) survey on the state of HR technology adoption covering several organisations across the world, created a roadmap followed by most companies that have an ERP-based HRMS as their foundation as described in Figure 1 below. Figure 1: CedarCreston Application Blueprint, (2008-2009) Administrative Excellence Core HRMS/ERP Foundation: Companies start their journey with the aim to achieve Human Capital Management (HCM) quality with the implementation of core documentation systems usually the latest and most advance HRMS along with payroll and possibly benefits administration. Workforce Management: This classification includes functions for time and attendance, task management, leave management, labour cost management, forecasting and scheduling. Ensuring these elements are kept at a best practice level through upgrading to latest vendor releases allows companies to reach Administrative Excellence. Service Delivery Excellence Companies which are achieving Service Delivery Excellence are those with self service programs, gradually switching to portal technologies, moving toward a help desk approach and enhanced by call-center technology. Proceedings of 26th International Business Research Conference 7 - 8 April 2014, Imperial College, London, UK, ISBN: 978-1-922069-46-7 Self Service and Workflow includes Pay, Personal Data and Benefits; Salary Actions, Transfers and Promotions. Portal Framework incorporates Single Sign-On and Identity Management. Performance Excellence Companies having strategic HCM applications (talent management) together with a data warehouse that brings information in from various sources and analytics to allow measurement and reporting of employee‟s performance are acquiring Performance Excellence. The talent management components are programs that allow companies to acquire, to grow and to retain its employees through compensation, career planning, etc. 1.6.2 Software as a Service - Trends, Rationale, Concerns CedarCreston (2012-2013) HR Systems Survey done worldwide with more than 1200 responses on HR technologies and deployment approaches states that SaaS HRMS growth surpassed the prediction for the year 2011 by 24% and will keep growing above 30% for the coming years. Use of licensed softwares will decrease, but CedarCreston does not see SaaS HRMS hitting parity with licensed solutions until at least 2014. Reasons for moving to SaaS HRMS According to that same survey, the main reason companies are moving to SaaS HRMS is to develop the user experience across the organisation – not just for HR, but for managers and employees as well. HR and executives understand that user experience from a SaaS HRMS solution drives use and usage drives value for the organisation. However, the most important reason for IT to move to SaaS is to reduce the need for internal infrastructure, followed by a reduced total cost of ownership. From Figure 2 below it can be found that the prime reason respondents are moving to SaaS HRMS is to improve user experience across the organisation. Figure 2: Reasons for moving to SaaS HRMS; Sources: (CederCreston, 2013-2014) Concerns about moving to SaaS HRMS On the other hand, participants of the survey raised some concerns such as security and data privacy, integration complexities with existing systems and customisation issues as illustrated in Figure 3 below. Hence, solutions providers need to pay more attention to these issues if they want the transition to SaaS HRMS to happen smoothly. Proceedings of 26th International Business Research Conference 7 - 8 April 2014, Imperial College, London, UK, ISBN: 978-1-922069-46-7 Figure 3: Concerns for moving to SaaS HRMS; Sources: (CederCreston, 2013-2014) 2.6.3 Mobile HR Applications Furthermore, from CedarCreston (2013-2014) HRS survey, it has been noticed that the adoption of mobile-enabled function ramped up to 67% since 2012! The most used mobileenabled functions are performance management, recruitment and payroll as shown in Figure 4 below. It has been forecasted that the acceptance of mobile-enabled processes will almost double by 2014! Figure 4: Key Mobile-Enabled Function Adoption by the Workforce; Sources: (CedarCreston, 2013-2014) Proceedings of 26th International Business Research Conference 7 - 8 April 2014, Imperial College, London, UK, ISBN: 978-1-922069-46-7 2.7 Conclusion As stated in the research work described above, it is clear that the introduction of e-HRM practices is not an easy project. Like any other project, the introduction of an e-HRM system will have both its pros and cons. Several factors have to be taken into consideration prior to starting this transformation process, which can bring lots of benefits to an organisation if all the steps are followed correctly and with proper mitigation strategies to reduce any risks or issues. In the next chapter we give an overview of TNT Business Solutions Ltd, on which the research is being done. Results We first provide information pertaining to the demographic variables. As for age, out of the sample size of 220 respondents 30% of them are in the age group 18-29 years. The age group 30-39 years is highest with more than 40% respondents. We have approximately 25% respondents for age group 40-49 and finally only 2% for the age group „>= 50‟ years. In general we notice that there is more or less a right balance of age groups at TNT Business Solutions. This is because in the BPO / ICT sector, age is not a constraining factor with regards to the nature of work. In fact, the majority of the respondents were from Customer Service department with 45% response rate followed by 30% from the Data Management department. The remaining were from the HR, Finance, Business Development and IT departments with a response rate varying from 5% - 8%. Moreover, the respondents were secondary school graduates accounting with a total of 76.8%, followed by 15.4% for University under graduates. The remaining interviewers have very few respondents with 6.3% and 1.4% for post-graduate and technical certification respectively. This can be explained by the fact that most of the jobs at TNT Business Solutions require a minimum qualification of either school certificate or higher school certificate. For school certificate holders mainly typing skills are needed whereas for higher school certificate holders, people are required to perform more complex tasks and logical thinking is needed as well. On the other hand, it may be inferred that TNT Business Solutions, although being an equal opportunity employer, is predominantly staffed by female as 65% of respondents are females as compared to 35% who are males. It is to be noted that male employees are those who like to work on night shifts. We next present the tableau of results pertaining to the Likert Scale questions. Overall, we have had four questions based on the Likert Scale and they were each analyzed using factor analyses. For simplicity, we have shown the table of the Variance explained by each component in the questions followed by interpretation of each of the significant factors. Proceedings of 26th International Business Research Conference 7 - 8 April 2014, Imperial College, London, UK, ISBN: 978-1-922069-46-7 Component Initial Eigenvalues Total % of Variance Cumulative % 1 2 3 4 4.656 1.751 1.247 .945 46.561 17.514 12.466 9.451 46.561 64.075 76.541 85.992 5 .599 5.994 91.986 6 .392 3.922 95.907 7 .199 1.991 97.899 8 .118 1.176 99.075 9 .070 .695 99.770 10 .023 .230 100.000 Extraction Sums of Squared Loadings Total % of Cumulative Variance % 4.656 46.561 46.561 1.751 17.514 64.075 1.247 12.466 76.541 Table: Total Variance Explained for Question 1 Following the eigenvalue criterion, the factors relating the variables in question 1 may be expressed as: Cost savings Improve productivity Speed up HR transactions In fact, any e-HR system allows companies to store, process lots of information, reduce costs of maintaining employee's data and provide up-to-date information about their employees anywhere and anytime. Moreover, existing applications can be integrated with the new e-HR system and the output generated by each of the subsystems is maintained in a single HR database. Therefore, whenever a particular employee's data is updated, such a change is replicated in each of the subsystems automatically.This is confirmed as well by Foster et al. (2004), who stated that use of electronic media and the valuable involvement of employees in the process, force the technological improvement that helps companies reduce their administration costs. Aravind and Paramashivaiah (2006) supported the fact that e-HR will definitely bring cost savings to organizations through e-recruitment. With regards to increase in productivity and HR transactions, if employees are provided access to all their HR processes via a single window web-based application, this can considerably decrease time spent on administrative tasks and can therefore improve individual and business efficiency. Following Dessler (2004), technology boosts up the operations of HR department in four main ways: work productivity, self service, outsourcing and call centers. Using the company's intranet, employees can self-service many of their HR activities such as updating personal record, changing insurance benefits and so forth. Proceedings of 26th International Business Research Conference 7 - 8 April 2014, Imperial College, London, UK, ISBN: 978-1-922069-46-7 Component Initial Eigenvalues Total % of Variance Cumulative % 1 2 3 4 2.679 2.493 1.539 .921 26.790 24.931 15.386 9.208 26.790 51.721 67.107 76.316 5 .835 8.355 84.671 6 .534 5.343 90.013 7 .464 4.645 94.658 8 .272 2.720 97.378 9 .207 2.072 99.449 10 .055 .551 100.000 Extraction Sums of Squared Loadings Total % of Cumulative Variance % 2.679 26.790 26.790 2.493 24.931 51.721 1.539 15.386 67.107 Table : Total Variance Explained for Question 2 Usually, the introduction of technology to any organization comes with its inherent risk such as loss of „human touch‟, high set up cost, data protection, sufficient know-how and expertise, resistance to change, etc. As per the results obtained, we found that Question 2 can be summarized into 3 factors as well and they are: Data security IT skills Resistance to change Companies should protect themselves from any leak of private information and the subsequent misuse of these. Handling the large amount of information produced via e-HRM system is somewhat challenging for companies. Ruel et al. (2004) are on the same wavelength when they affirm that ensuring the protection of data and information is critical for employees such that they feel „safe‟ when using web-based applications. The implementation of a full-fledged e-HR system is not something that can be completed in a few days. It requires a strong implementation team that will need to work together with the vendor to ensure a smooth transition to the new system. E-HR users also must grow their knowledge, especially their IT skills that will ensure positive contribution to business process. They would often require playing with, analysing, interpreting data and communicating outputs. Likewise, Trapp (2001)highlighted that one of the critical success factors for introducing e-HRM is that the workforce should have a good knowledge of IT. Third factor is resistance to change. This is very common in many organisation as it is human nature to resist change. This is probably because of fear of failure or of being redundant and uncertainty about what will happen. So, if not properly handled can result in a failed or flawed e-HRM implementation. At times employees do not co-operate during the change process. Similarly, Gueutal (2005) mentioned that with the implementation of MSS, there is resistance from managers/supervisors who perceive the new e-HR system as pushing 'HR work' towards them. Proceedings of 26th International Business Research Conference 7 - 8 April 2014, Imperial College, London, UK, ISBN: 978-1-922069-46-7 Component 1 2 3 4 5 6 Initial Eigenvalues Total % of Cumulative % Variance 16.487 54.958 54.958 3.440 11.466 66.423 2.307 7.691 74.115 1.506 5.020 79.134 1.222 4.074 83.209 .947 3.156 86.365 7 .891 2.968 89.333 8 .683 2.275 91.609 9 .603 2.011 93.620 10 .502 1.673 95.293 11 .404 1.346 96.638 12 .343 1.143 97.781 13 .291 .969 98.750 14 .181 .603 99.353 15 .117 .390 99.743 16 .077 .257 100.000 17 4.836E-016 1.612E-015 100.000 18 4.159E-016 1.386E-015 100.000 19 2.859E-016 9.531E-016 100.000 20 2.410E-016 8.032E-016 100.000 21 1.285E-016 4.283E-016 100.000 22 9.165E-017 3.055E-016 100.000 23 6.869E-017 2.290E-016 100.000 24 1.297E-017 4.323E-017 100.000 25 -5.617E-016 -1.872E-015 100.000 Extraction Sums of Squared Loadings Total % of Cumulative Variance % 16.487 54.958 54.958 3.440 11.466 66.423 2.307 7.691 74.115 1.506 5.020 79.134 1.222 4.074 83.209 Table : Total Variance Explained for Question 3 From results obtained in question 3, we conclude that there are five factors that play a significant role towards e-HRM implementation: Easy access to information Up to date information Online training Personal development Motivation Information is vital in any business as it facilitates the decision making process and can therefore help achieving competitive advantage and strategic business goals. In my opinion, the implementation of an e-HRM system can facilitate employee‟s access to real time information and this can be made possible via the company‟s intranet, ESS or MSS. In line with Wyatt (2006) who advocated that e-HR represents the wide access of employee‟s data, transactions and tools available instantly via the web in most working environment. He also stated the stunning impact web technologies has had on the way employees now obtain employmentrelated information through built-in self service systems. Training is no more considered as a cost, instead, an investment for the future. With the introduction of e-HRM system, employees can identify their own training needs and development, check for training programs availability and enroll online within few mouse clicks. This can eventually help in self development of Proceedings of 26th International Business Research Conference 7 - 8 April 2014, Imperial College, London, UK, ISBN: 978-1-922069-46-7 employees and motivate them to work efficiently. As per Burgess & Russell (2003) literature, they affirmed that due to the flexibility of distance learning, employees can be trained quickly around the world using the most experienced tutors for high-quality training and can be provided with up-do-date coaching material as necessary. Component 1 2 3 4 5 Initial Eigenvalues Total % Variance 5.498 45.816 1.815 15.127 1.419 11.825 .726 6.547 .667 5.561 6 .515 4.289 91.164 7 .364 3.037 94.201 8 .333 2.776 96.977 9 .185 1.544 98.522 10 .003 .023 100.000 of Cumulative % 45.816 60.943 72.767 81.315 86.875 Extraction Sums of Squared Loadings Total % of Cumulative Variance % 5.498 45.816 45.816 1.815 15.127 60.943 1.419 11.825 72.767 Table : Total Variance Explained for Question 4 With regards to question 4 from the survey, there are three factors that have been extracted as stated below: Paper work Workload Communication With the digitization of many HR activities, there will be a reduction in paper enrolment process. Consequently, work will be less error prone as well. According to a research by Varma (2010 cited Wong 2003), e-HR generally brings immediate benefits, including a paperless and more efficient ways of working for many HR professionals. As for the amount of work required, Gueutal, (2005) highlighted that one of the promises of self-service is that routine transactions will occur without HR intervention, thereby reducing the workload on HR staffs significantly which is in-line with the survey result. On the communication aspect, Mayfield et al. (2003) recognized that “Information Technology facilitates communication freely. Such information sharing is crucial to learning organizations that view employees as their main competitive advantage”. 6.1 Conclusion With today's ever changing and competitive business environment, nearly all companies need to keep pace with technology if they want to survive and remain profitable on the market. Thus, an e-HRM system if implemented correctly can bring success to those companies. E-HRM facilitates the development and integration of a wide range of activities of organisations by connecting different business functions and offering up-to-date information about its employees on-line, anywhere and anytime. E-HRM considerably decreases reliance on paper transactions which are very error-prone and time consuming. Modern e-HRM systems provides more and more advance functionality allowing the companies to automate complex and demanding processes and delegate routine transactions to line managers and employees. This will subsequently leaves HR staffs with more time to better manage the company‟s main asset - its employees and focus on strategic activities. Proceedings of 26th International Business Research Conference 7 - 8 April 2014, Imperial College, London, UK, ISBN: 978-1-922069-46-7 There is also improvement in performance of HR activities, increase in productivity of employees and cost effectiveness in the long term. Furthermore, e-HRM promotes computer based training where employees can be self-trained and can also learn at their own pace with latest training materials available on the internet. This promotes personal development and inspires staffs to work harder and always have a can do attitude. However, there are also some concerns identified such as resistance to change, fear of implementation failure, decline in human contact, security of information and lack of IT culture. I would therefore suggest putting into practice above recommendations so as to reduce or even eliminate those barriers. Also it is essential for the HR staffs to familiarise themselves with the technology before they start engaging other employees and make them see the value of such systems. Proceedings of 26th International Business Research Conference 7 - 8 April 2014, Imperial College, London, UK, ISBN: 978-1-922069-46-7 References Adamson, L. and Zampetti, R., 2001. 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