Interview with Tom Hammond, Paychex Sr. Director, Product & Program Management, Part 2
In part 1 of our interview with Tom Hammond, we covered how our human capital management (HCM) system, Paychex FlexSM, helps HR professionals with onboarding, recruiting, and applicant tracking. Part 2 discusses what went into building Paychex Flex and what sets it apart from other HR technology.
How has your group, and Paychex in general, built an open, single platform like Paychex Flex?
We’re uniquely positioned. We’ve leveraged over 44 years of industry experience to build a product suite that brings efficiency and productivity to the marketplace. We’ve leveraged our financial strength to acquire best-of-breed products and services and integrate them into our existing Paychex Flex platform. We integrate all our products with single sign-on and a single client and employee record. Then we apply a consistent user experience across the suite.
The single client and employee record is an important differentiator allowing us to leverage a master file for critical client and employee level information such as client / employee name, addresses, department numbers, rates of pay, deductions, marital status, etcetera.
The value of this is important to business owners who are consistently looking to save time and drive efficiencies within their organizations. Some human capital management systems require duplicate data entry across modules which reduce efficiencies for the client and opens up opportunities for data integrity issues. With Paychex Flex, critical client and employee information is accessed from the single client and employee record. It is maintained in one spot, and it’s accessible in all Paychex applications—which helps clients avoid data collisions.
HR professionals may worry about choosing a system that’s too small or large than they need at the time. How can Paychex Flex reassure them?
We build and deliver our HCM system differently—as a modular platform. We offer a much more granular product offering which prevents the need to buy an entire module when all the customer really needs is one component. Offering time-off accrual with or without time and attendance, or onboarding with or without applicant tracking are two great examples of how we’ve designed our offering with the client in mind.
We also offer extensive customization options which allow clients to remain with us as they grow in size and complexity.
What are some other ways Paychex Flex differs from typical HR technology?
It has strong multi-user edit capabilities. All providers will claim they allow multi-user edits, but when you take a closer look, there are limitations. For example, users may be locked from accessing employee demographics while another user is entering payroll. This will impact productivity within the organization. Paychex Flex offers true multi-user editing with no limitations. We have built strong capabilities to drive efficiencies.
Effective dating is another strength. We offer the ability to enter future dated changes into the app and have them apply on that date. This provides our clients with advanced capabilities to manage their workload. This is a superior experience to the traditional “tickler file,” where you might see a screen that provides the user with a list of items that must be updated before the payroll is entered. With these systems, you’re entering the data twice.
Paychex Flex also has excellent reporting capabilities. Some systems have limited access to payroll reports; enforcing a waiting period of 24 hours before the reports are available and limiting report access to 30 to 45 days. Our reports are available within minutes and the reports don’t disappear.
How did Paychex decide that those and other useful features needed to be part of Paychex Flex?
We leveraged over 44 years of industry experience to design and construct applications that provide our customers with what they need to run their businesses effectively and efficiently. We consistently listen to the voice of our clients and we pay attention to the voice of the industry. We’re constantly talking to our clients about what they need to help them achieve their goals. And we built Paychex Flex to meet a complex set of client needs; some who’d like a dedicated service provider, a dedicated team of account professionals, or a pure self-service model. Paychex offers our clients choice.
So there’s freedom of choice.
Yes. Some people, like millennials, are much more comfortable doing the work themselves. That’s fine. We give them self-service capabilities, chat, and access to a 24/7 helpline if they have issues. For those who want more support, we offer a dedicated multi-product service center, and larger clients may work directly with a relationship manager.
Our Senior Vice President of Service, John Gibson, offers a great analogy on the power of Paychex. He describes Paychex Flex as a powerful tool capable of driving incredible efficiencies. When that tool is coupled with the skilled “craftspeople” in our service organization, who are available to support clients as they see fit, it results in an unmatched experience. We offer our clients flexibility—the ability to use our extensive suite of tools themselves—with a dedicated service model that is always available to support them along the way. To me, this is the true definition of flexibility—the true meaning behind Paychex Flex.