The question every Human Resources Manager dreads is…

The question every Human Resources Manager dreads is…

…’what is our current headcount?’

And usually the question comes from ‘that’ person in your organisation who is looking for a bit of butterfly wing‑pulling fun to divert them from thinking about their own mundane task list.

While the question is rather simple the answer, as every HR practitioner knows, is much more complicated. Who should be counted, where the information is going and why do you want to count them.

People data is now stored in multiple systems across the organisation as a consequence of the changing nature of work and employment relationships. The main system holding employee information is still the HR/Payroll system – this holds the details for all those people on the payroll but not necessarily all who are paid by the organisation.

These days the Accounts Payable system will hold people information about direct and third party contractors who invoice the organisation for services either provided by themselves or provided on behalf of a labour hire organisation.

Increasingly organisations are using their Procurement systems to track people working on fixed term consulting assignments. This is done to ensure that all the necessary regulatory and compliance checks are performed and documented.

And as organisations focus on bottom line performance some activities are outsourced to service companies who will provide people to work on site occupying positions previously within the organisational structure.

Then there is the permanent, part-time, temporary and casual employment types to consider if FTE reporting is required. As well as grappling with unpaid internships, summer clerks and possibly variations on apprenticeships.

No one system holds all the information and attempts to maintain a ‘golden record’ or single source of truth will usually result in data duplication, data disparity and general confusion.

The most efficient approach is to leave the data in the systems built specifically to hold that particular type of data and connect the disparate systems to a platform that can bring all your people data together so you have a single view of the people within your organisation.

The result is more accurate, analytically richer and timely information that has ever been possible previously. This data will allow you to graphically show the overall composition of the employment relationships within your organisation. And of course the nit-pickers will not be able to trip you up anymore!

To find out how easily attainable this secure platform solution is, check out our human resources management solution here.

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