HR Toolbench

FAQ

About HRToolbench:

1. What makes HRToolbench unique?
HRToolbench is a truly integrated suite of HR modules that facilitates multiple HR processes and documents, including job descriptions, competencies, candidate selection, 360 feedback, performance management, compensation administration, and succession planning -- all accessed through a single unified website. No other vendor offers comparable scope of HR functionality in an integrated package, or the degree of information sharing among different HR modules. Designed with wide-ranging HR challenges in mind, HRToolbench simplifies and eases the administrative demands shouldered by HR professionals, and also provides employees and managers with the tools and shortcuts needed to collect and use high quality HR information to measure, develop, engagement, reward and motivate employees.
2. Why did you create HRToolbench?
My mission is to provide tools for HR professionals to align employees with business strategy and, thereby, contribute to company performance. I believe it’s important to help build and sustain a productive, respected, and fulfilled workforce. After working as an HR consultant for over three decades, I wanted to transfer my experiences into a unique solution. For the past 5 years I have worked tirelessly to design, create and develop HRToolbench that combines software and consulting services for HR professionals and business owners. With HRToolbench you can access the talent management best practices I have developed over the years in an easy to implement, cost effective module-based format. I personally enjoy sharing my knowledge and experience with business leaders and HR professionals. My sincere desire is to help HR professionals contribute great things to their organizations and to enhance the stature of the HR field. All the knowledge, practical experiences, and content I’ve gained over the years are bundled into HRToolbench to provide HR professionals the tools they require to help drive business results in their organizations.

For Leadership:

3. How can you determine if HRToolbench is a good fit for your company?
Contact us today for a no obligation, free consultation to discuss the specific needs of your business, and the talent management solutions that HRToolbench can provide for you.
4. How does HRToolbench enable my company to align employees with business strategy?
Your company’s success requires more than a well-conceived business strategy. It also requires flawless execution, which means employees - your company’s most valuable asset - must understand their roles and performance expectations. And as your business strategy evolves, your talent needs to evolve with it. The level of coordination and flexibility required cannot be achieved with paper forms, standard data, silo HR processes, and HR focused exclusively on administrative tasks. HRToolbench is the only web-based solution that can help align your employees with your business strategy while also making your HR professionals more efficient, strategic and critical to your company’s performance. HRToolbench provides all of the talent management technology tools and HR consulting services needed to manage your workforce strategically and to gain a competitive advantage.
5. How does HRToolbench help my company measure and manage the workforce as a valuable asset?
HRToolbench enables your company to design the ideal workforce required to execute its business strategy and to measure employees against the ideal. You can quantify competency gaps impeding job success, identify employee development needs, and measure and reward performance fairly. HRToolbench provides the tools and data needed to manage your workforce as a valuable asset; after all, employees represent 40% or more of your company's overhead costs.

For HR Professionals:

6. How does HRToolbench help manage talent more efficiently?
You can count on HRToolbench to give you the information you need to analyze your workforce and manage your talent more efficiently and effectively than ever before. HRToolbench's fully integrated modules save valuable time and provide strategic intelligence that will help you increase your company’s performance. To learn more about HRToolbench's solutions for strategic talent management, call us for a personal consultation.
7. How can HRToolbench help HR professionals manage the workforce more strategically?
Armed with the right tools and workforce information, HR can make a measureable contribution to company performance. HRToolbench is a fully integrated suite of online talent management tools designed by experienced HR professionals to provide the functionality, content and processes required to manage your workforce strategically. HRToolbench helps companies create data-rich job descriptions for every job, including job responsibilities and the general and function-specific competencies and corresponding proficiency levels required for job success. HRToolbench then applies this job information to different HR processes to create a foundation for strategic workforce management. For example, job competencies are used to assess candidates, to measure employee competency gaps, to focus developmental training, and to identify employees ready for potential transfer and promotion. Having this information immediately available provides a strategic advantage to the company and empowers HR professionals to manage the workforce as an asset whose productivity can be optimized. HRToolbench also provides HR professionals online access to the reports needed to respond quickly and effectively to top management's requests for strategic workforce information.
8. How can HRToolbench reduce the administrative load of HR professionals?
HR professionals are constantly maintaining job and employee information, and then compiling and reformatting data from different sources to support specific HR processes. HRToolbench is unique because it maintains the data needed to support numerous and time-consuming HR processes, integrates the necessary data components, and delivers the information in tools ready to use. This means information is entered once and appears automatically in the right format wherever it’s needed. Whether it’s writing job descriptions, reviewing employee performance, defining job competencies, assigning jobs to salary grades, managing spreadsheets for salary increase planning, or planning employee development activities, HRToolbench saves time, improves accuracy and increases quality. HR professionals observe that HRToolbench can save the estimated equivalent of a mid-level, full-time HR professional over the course of a year.
9. How can HRToolbench help compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act?
The HRToolbench Job Description module provides HR professionals with built-in FLSA compliance screens that contain all of the FLSA exemption test criteria necessary to determine the Federal exemption status of a job. HR professionals can easily keep track of the exemption status of all jobs and quickly determine the exemption status of a new job. The tool automatically displays a job's exemption status as soon as exemption test responses have been entered. Supplemental comments can also be entered to explain the basis of responses. Exemption test criteria for all jobs are maintained for easy retrieval by HR professionals. A FLSA report can be generated instantly in the event of an audit.
10. How can HRToolbench help compliance with the American’s with Disabilities Act?
The HRToolbench Job Description module provides easy to use screens that enable employees and managers to document the “essential” and “non-essential” responsibilities of a job, as well as a job’s physical and mental challenges, and work environmental factors. Pre-written content and point-and-click user interface make the collection of ADA criteria convenient, consistent and comprehensive. Detailed ADA information on a job description can be used proactively to identify a job candidate’s potential needs for accommodation before they become legal problems.
11. How can the cost of HRToolbench be justified to senior management?
HRToolbench is affordably priced for small and mid-sized organizations that desire advanced talent management technology but cannot afford Fortune 500 price tags. It is difficult to project the precise "hard dollar" savings that HRToolbench can generate because each organization's situation is unique. However, here is an example of the potential savings that can be gained: following implementation of the HRToolbench 360 Feedback and Performance Management modules, a 135 employee professional services firm estimated an annual savings of $250,000 based on reductions in time required to complete feedback and performance evaluation forms and to administer the process.

Software Solution and Implementation:

12. Why should a company transition to HRToolbench if it already uses an online job description software and/or performance management software?
Most online job description tools produce static word-processed documents. Since job information is not maintained in a database, applying the information to various talent management processes is inherently cumbersome and typically not done. For example, to display job competencies from an employee’s job description on the employee’s performance evaluation form would require separate data entry. In contrast, sharing job description information among the various modules of HRToolbench is automatic. This maximizes opportunities to use the information strategically, and makes the time and effort to prepare job descriptions much more economic and transparently valuable to HR’s internal clients. And, because the information is being drawn from a central source it is applied consistently across different talent management processes.
13. How easily can employees and managers learn to use HRToolbench?
Employees and managers report that navigating and using HRToolbench is extremely easy. Screens are highly intuitive and straightforward. Detailed context-sensitive HELP instructions are provided throughout HRToolbench. Detailed step-by-step user instructions for each module are also available. Typically, no formal user training sessions are required, but on-site training can be provided, if desired. Most importantly, our unparalleled consulting support services mean that HRToolbench senior experts are available to work with you, whatever your needs.
14. What kinds of helpful content are built into HRToolbench?
HRToolbench is pre-loaded with extensive content, such as competency libraries, 200 job description templates, ADA criteria, 360 feedback templates, a default salary grade structure, a proprietary job evaluation system, and pre-configured reports. Numerous dropdown pick lists make completing a job description easy. Pre-written, suggested manager comments make entering performance comments on an employee’s performance evaluation easy.
15. How does HRToolbench make job competencies available?
Extensive competency libraries are embedded in HRToolbench. Over 300 General and Functional/Technical competencies are made available to all subscriber companies at no additional cost. HRToolbench also enables client companies to customize existing HRToolbench competencies, or to add their own competencies. Senior HRToolbench consultants are also available to help create custom competencies, if desired.
16. Does HRToolbench replace an existing HRIS or payroll system?
No. HRToolbench is not a Human Resource Information System. It is an online, multi-modular software system designed to support various talent management processes, including job descriptions, candidate selection, 360 feedback, performance management, compensation and succession planning. HRToolbench can automatically load employee data files from a client company’s HRIS or payroll system, but it is not a replacement HRIS.
17. How does HRToolbench access employee information from a client company’s HRIS or outside payroll provider?
HRToolbench requires updated basic employee information and employee/supervisor reporting relationships. HRToolbench technical professionals work directly with each client company's internal HRIS manager, or outside payroll or HRIS vendor, to establish automatic nightly or weekly employee data downloads to HRToolbench. For larger employee populations this eliminates the need to enter any employee data manually. For smaller organizations, employee data can be maintained manually, if desired.
18. How quickly can employees and managers embrace using HRToolbench?
As with the introduction of any new tool there is always some organizational adjustment required. It is best to position HRToolbench for rollout as an aid for employees and managers, rather than an "HR driven system," and to give employees and managers the opportunity to experience the time savings, ease and convenience of HRToolbench to accelerate acceptance. The challenge is changing the collective mindset of HR's internal customers that gathering HR-related data is worth the time and effort because the information will be used extensively and effectively. Firsthand experience with the ways HRToolbench transforms job and employee data into practical and helpful information for managers and employees is the best way to convince users that HRToolbench is worthwhile.
19. How quickly can HRToolbench be implemented?
Because HRToolbench is hosted by HR Technology Solutions and is provided on a “Software as a Service” basis, implementation time is dramatically shorter than with installed systems. Key setup tasks include setting up job descriptions, making selections from among the various system configuration options, and establishing the nightly or weekly employee data feed from the client organization’s HRIS. A draft employee announcement and online training materials are also provided. The entire process is quick and typically requires no more than a few weeks.
20. How does HRToolbench secure and protect a company’s data?
HRToolbench has been designed and built on the latest Microsoft ASP.NET platform and is leveraging SQL Server 2005's enterprise-class data storage and management facility. Our servers are housed in one of New England's premier data centers featuring redundant power, HVAC and fiber rings, dry fire suppression system and upstream IP diversity to six Tier 1 Internet backbones. The data center is physically monitored around the clock. Data are backed up periodically throughout each day. All end-user interactions with HRToolbench from the initial login through to the final sign-off use 1024-bit public key encryption to ensure the integrity and security of employer and employee data. All data are backed up nightly on redundant servers.

Consulting Services and Support:

21. What are HRToolbench’s HR consulting services and how are these different from other talrent management software providers?
We share a commitment to your success using HRToolbench. While other talent management vendors configure your system and the leave future to your internal HR professionals, our approach is to partner with you. We provide a unique combination of talent management technology tools and supporting HR consulting and advisory services that assure your company derives maximum benefit from HRToolbench. With HRToolbench you have a business partner who brings innovative and strategic thinking, creative problem-solving, and in-depth subject matter knowledge to meet your needs. Whether it’s developing custom competencies, drafting employee communications, training managers, researching competitive salaries, analyzing workforce data, and more – HRToolbench senior HR consultants are available to work with you.
22. Does HRToolbench require a company to purchase and maintain any special equipment, or dedicate internal IT resources to its daily operation?
No. HRToolbench requires no special equipment to be purchased, and no software to be licensed, installed or maintained. Users can access HRToolbench on demand 24/7/365 using Microsoft Internet Explorer, version 7 or higher. Your internal IT resources are not involved in the daily operation of HRToolbench following initial set up of the employee data file feed.
23. What system support and training are provided to a company’s internal HRToolbench system administrator?
We work to ensure that HRToolbench is implemented and functioning smoothly and meeting your needs. An internal HRToolbench System Administrator (typically an HR professional) will be appointed to serve as your company’s internal system coordinator.  He or she will receive personal training to guarantee successful HRToolbench operation. We’re also available to provide telephone support. At HRToolbench, you can count on us to continue beyond initial implementation and training to ensure success.

Pricing:

24. Can a company activate some, but not all, of HRToolbench’s modules?
Yes. The Job Description module is a necessity because job information is the foundation of HRToolbench. Thereafter, the Performance Management, 360 Feedback, Candidate Selection, Succession Planning, and Compensation modules can be activated at any time, as you desire. Companies using HRToolbench have the flexibility to activate the array of modules that best meet their needs.  Keep in mind that the modules are extensively integrated. So, we will work closely with you to determine which combination of modules will provide the desired functionality.
25. How is HRToolbench priced?
HRToolbench pricing is based on the number of employees and the modules activated. Companies may enter into a one-year or multi-year subscription agreement.