How (the Wrong) HR Technology Makes Open Enrollment Harder
How (the Wrong) HR Technology Makes Open Enrollment Harder

How (the Wrong) HR Technology Makes Open Enrollment Harder

Tell your clients that “buyer beware” definitely applies to benefits administration software.

Capterra, an online software review site, features 300 ben admin systems as of 2019, and only 7 providers with more than 300 reviews are rated 4.5 stars or higher. (Not to brag, but Paycor’s benefits technology is one of those seven.) That means there’s a lot of bad technology out there. But don’t take our word for it. Here’s what a Capterra user had to say about a well-known benefits administration provider:
"Our provider failed to execute open enrollment, so employees were not enrolled with the new health insurance provider for weeks into the new year. They failed to cancel our old health insurance, so we were doubled billed. Overall, it seems like this product was designed to trip up customers and make it difficult to cancel.”
– Arron S., Director of Finance, Capterra User
See what’s going on there? This client is frustrated by both bad technology and bad service (the two often go hand in hand). As a trusted broker and expert advisor, here’s how you can protect your clients from a frustrating experience.

Start by understanding how bad technology makes open enrollment harder for your clients:
Bad technology…  …makes open enrollment harder. 
Lack of integration across platforms and carriers.  Clients must manually split insurance payments each month between employee and employer portions, taking time away from more strategic initiatives. 
No employee self-service.  Your clients are left answering employee questions instead of building a competitive benefits package.  
A clumsy or needlessly complicated user interface.  Clients will spend months learning the software and working around their solution rather than being supported by their technology.  

Help your clients make the right choice.
Choosing the wrong provider could lock you and your clients into a system that you’re going to have to work around, not work with. Your clients depend on you to help them find the right HR technology. Here’s what you can do.

When Evaluating Benefits Administration Providers, Look for 5 Features:

  1. Unified System
  2. Your clients need a unified HCM system that lets them enter data once and then makes it available across all HR and payroll solutions vs. siloed products that don’t integrate with one another.

  3. Electronic Storage of Employee Files
  4. Store employee files in a cloud-based system to ensure security and efficiency. By adopting electronic storage your clients mitigate risk should they be audited.

  5. Employee Self Service (ESS)
  6. Employees need to access and enroll in benefits anytime, anywhere. When major life events or demographic changes occur, they should be able to make the changes on their own, giving your clients more time to focus on strategic initiatives.

  7. Configurable Workflows
  8. Maintain control of the system without being too rigid; enables employees to make changes.

  9. Track FMLA Eligibility
  10. Reduces dependence on manual tracking and cumbersome spreadsheets.

Once you help them narrow the list of potential partners, they’ll need to meet with a representative. Your job is to help them lift the hood. In other words, don’t let them get fooled by flashy demos, help them come prepared with questions that will ensure they’re getting the right human resources technology and expertise.

Ask Tough Questions. Your Clients are Looking for a True Partner, Not Just a Vendor:

  • What experience do you have working with companies my size?
  • Can I access all employee data from a single employee record or do I need to switch between products? (e.g. ben admin, time, payroll, etc.)
  • Login screens and dashboards are important, but can you show me the information behind those screens, since that’s where I’ll be spending most of my time?
  • How will you empower our workers with employee self-service?
  • How will you help facilitate the transfer of information between my organization and our healthcare and/or 401(k) brokers?
  • Who will help me answer questions and resolve problems when they arise?

Technology is Just the Beginning: Avoid Companies with Sloppy Implementation

Everyone’s afraid of implementation, and for good reason. According to SHRM, 70% of HR systems implementations are not successful.

Here are 5 things your clients should look for in implementation:

  1. Dedicated Implementation Team with Tenured Project Manager
  2. Understand who will be assisting you and how that process will work. If your sales rep is also leading implementation, they may be more focused on selling rather than a successful implementation.

  3. Implementation Schedule and Time Frame
  4. It’s important that everyone is working towards the same go live date. Your client’s provider should layout a timeline from sign to start.

    NOTE: Your client’s start date is dependent on their involvement with the provider. If your clients aren’t responsive during implementation, the process will get derailed.

  5. Implementation Expectations
  6. Communication is the key to a successful implementation. The provider should set expectations for your clients on what they’ll need to bring to the table (e.g. what information/data will they need to provide). Look for weekly implementation calls to review progress and ensure the process is running smoothly. Overcommunicating isn’t a bad idea.

  7. Implementation Fee Schedule
  8. The provider should lay out the full costs of implementation. From upfront to your go live date, there should be no surprises or hidden fees.

  9. Have Policies and Procedures Been Reviewed in Advance?
  10. You don’t want to be surprised during implementation. Make sure you have a clear picture of what can be handled in the system and any potential workarounds. Ensure they can support your policies like PTO, paternity leave and the unique needs of your client’s business.

How Paycor Can Help

More than 30,000 medium and small businesses nationwide trust Paycor to help them engage, manage and develop their people. Paycor is known for delivering the best unified Human Capital Management (HCM) platform for the SMB market, but what makes us legendary is the total client experience we provide, from responsive service and user-friendly design to expert partnership and thought leadership. Our unique combination of technology and expertise helps clients streamline every aspect of people management, so they can focus on what they know best – their business and their mission.

Want to learn more? Visit our benefits administration page.
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