The Limits of Current Technology in Federal HR Processes

Federal HR has several unique requirements that influence the way technology can be deployed. Not only must all information technology used by the Federal Government meet Section 508 compliance, requiring accessibility for those with disabilities; it may require authorization to operate in certain federal agencies, and hosting and support for cloud applications requires security networking expertise specific to FedRAMP requirements.

Because of these requirements, software not designed specifically for federal use may cause problems that reduce efficiency. Newer software designed to address these specific challenges can have a positive impact for many agencies.

Manual and Paper-Based Processes

Technology tools have been implemented rapidly in many government agencies and directives to move to the cloud and modernize are being followed across the government. However, many processes are still highly dependent on spreadsheets and paper forms, including:

  • Managing data and content for position descriptions
  • Retirement documentation and communications
  • Employee on-boarding
  • Answering retirement and benefits calls and emails
  • Retirement application processing
  • Benefits forms processing
  • SF 52 initiation and tracking

These tasks in aggregate can take hundreds of hours for an agency to complete each year. As such, they represent a potential time savings of 40-70% for agencies that transition to cloud-based technology tools.

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Staying Current with Available Technology in Federal HR

Transitioning from manual processes represent a major challenge for agencies with established software not originally designed for HR use. At the same time, as new technology is implemented for HR teams in federal agencies, there are concerns, including:

  • Training for HR Specialists – Implementation of a new software platform is a major undertaking. It requires buy-in from both management and specialists who will be using these tools every day. To earn that buy-in and support the transition, training is a must. Finding a vendor who can offer both on-boarding training and ongoing support is important to ensure a smooth process.
  • Integration with Existing Processes – While existing processes may require more hours to complete than is possible with certain technology tools, those protocols are time tested and calibrated to match the specific needs of the agency. New technologies need to fit the existing processes, and not the other way around.

The big question to ask when evaluating new technology tools for federal HR is whether that software is truly designed for federal use. The unique requirements of government mean that non-HR software and non-government HR software will have shortcomings that can make regular actions more complex rather than less.

Finding the Right Solution for Your Agency’s Needs

When evaluating potential federal HR software for an agency, there are many factors to consider. To learn more about the current gaps in federal HR technology and how a technology tool can help to address these gaps and prepare specialists to take advantage of the newest tools available to them, download our eBook, How Operational Support Technology Addresses Technology Gaps in Federal HR: