Regional District entrusts HR Systems Strategies Inc. with first-ever HRIS software implementation.

An efficient five-person team manages human resources, payroll, and safety for the 230 municipal employees who keep things running at Comox Valley Regional District. While this busy group was managing with a spreadsheet-based system of employee profiles and other information for four different work sites, Ellen Jackson, the Regional District’s Senior HR Advisor, could see challenges ahead.

“Access to information was the main challenge,” said Ellen. “We really didn’t have a central repository for HR business partners to go in and look at employee profiles and information. Our HR support at other locations would have to rely on someone else to look up hard copy files and relay information, not to mention we would have to go to one spreadsheet for this piece of information and another spreadsheet for that piece of information. Pulling reports was literally impossible.”

The group decided it was time to implement a human resources information system (HRIS). After a rigorous RFQ and RFP process — with multiple presentations to the vendor qualification committee — a joint decision was made to implement info:HR software from HR Systems Strategies Inc. Factors that tipped the scales in favour of info:HR included the system’s user-friendly reputation, relatively gentle learning curve, and its proven link to iCity, the organization’s existing payroll system. The new system had to be relied upon to provide viable information to the organization and to the managers.

“Smooth implementation is always our goal,” said Andy Staniewski, President, HR Systems Strategies Inc. “But when an organization has never had an HRIS before, integrating with the current system is crucial and the learning curve has to be taken into consideration. I am really pleased that the Comox Valley Regional District is entrusting their first HRIS implementation to info:HR software.”

Scale and budget also came into play: “Being a smaller organization, implementing a huge HRIS platform just didn’t make sense for us,” said Ellen. “We needed something plug-and-play that works in our organization now and into the future. It’s the right fit for us.” info:HR’s modular, scalable construction means the Regional District can rely on the software to grow along with the team as they make plans to implement succession planning, further HR development, and workforce management.

While the integration process is ongoing, the feedback so far has been positive. After only a few training modules, the team is already noticing the ease with they can access information, customize reports, and turn on features like auto-notifications.

“Auto-notifications are a huge time-saver,” said Ellen. “Reminders go out automatically to the managers and HR about new hires or the end of a probationary period, which is great. Implementing a brand new system with a small team can be exhausting, but the HR Systems Strategies team have had nothing but patience for us and they’ve been great with all of our requests, questions, and verifications.”

Comox Valley Regional District (population 67,000) is comprised of three municipalities and three electoral areas on Vancouver Island’s central east coast. The members of the Comox Valley Regional District work collaboratively to provide services for the benefit of the diverse urban and rural areas of the Comox Valley.