HCM Without Compromise: The Right Digital Platform Meets Enterprise and Midmarket Needs

Sunil Reddy
December 30, 2021

Running a midmarket or enterprise organization has never been simple: you’re standing between those organizations with the people power, time and resources to operate at scale, and the smaller businesses who can keep it lean and hands-on. It’s the same situation for HR: to keep pace with competitors in terms of hiring, engaging and retaining employees requires a digital platform that enables speed, power, plenty of features, and the kind of responsiveness that makes people feel connected and valued.

But for many midmarket and enterprise leaders, budgets and other constraints have meant considering some uneasy compromises: opt for power and functionality at the expense of user experience, or go for a people-friendly approach that doesn’t fully cover all operational needs? Which route enables an organization to be the most agile and the most efficient?

We looked at three essential pain points facing larger and mid-sized organizations. Here’s how to leverage today’s best solutions to avoid compromising — and get what your organization needs:


User Experience

Gartner found that UX is one of the most critical factors in HCM platforms. But midmarket as well as enterprise users often windup having to fulfill “20% to 30% of their HCM requirements via other solutions due to gaps in functionality.” Going with a low-end HCM platform can mean a company is locked into a specific group of functions, with no room for people-friendly components like personalization, communication features, pause-and-continue forms, and drag-and-drop features.

A common point of user friction is not being able to connect the dots between different aspects of work — such as payroll and tax, or benefits and self-service. For organizations that opt for platforms traditionally aimed for large-scale operations only, the issue may be having the time, budget and most of all flexibility to configure its solutions to meet the organization’s specific needs — labor, compliance, industry-specific requirements, for instance.

Look for: An HCM solution that’s tailor-made for midmarket as well as enterprise organizations, and understands the need for both enterprise-grade power and outstanding user experience. With today’s generation of HCM software, there’s no reason to compromise with either an unwieldy platform or one that doesn’t fulfill or your needs. You can and should have both (and your managers and HR teams will thank you.)


Integration is a bottom line for midmarket and enterprise organizations — recruiting and HR need a way to leverage a broad range of functions, from HR to payroll to talent engagement to workforce management and enable actions across boundaries. They also need each to provide the features and components that manager and employees want and expect — but without excess complexity, extensive training requirements, or downtime.

Behind the scenes, a platform should be able to quickly integrate with internal data and IT systems, as well as ERP, benefits, payroll carriers and other applications. Given the quickly changing requirements and regulations around payroll and compliance — not to mention labor — the platform should be able to distill changing information without hiccups. Most organizations can’t afford the downtime of reconfiguring or revamping to accommodate changes — but need the flexibility.

Look for: An HCM platform that can act as an all-in-one solution that combines an outstanding user experience — with powerful automation functions — and covers HR, payroll, talent engagement, and workforce management.



Being prepared for the future of work has been a primary concern among leaders — and recent Gartner research found that many were concerned with how to best upgrade their HR technologies to be digital-first, location-independent, yet fully capable with an outstanding employee experience. 65% of nearly 875 HR leaders put improving operational excellence as an essential business-level priority in 2021 — and many were looking to the cloud as the ideal environment for newly agile, efficient, and forward-facing HCM.

The challenge is being able to leverage the power of an HCM platform without being locked into a rigid architecture. That means a platform that can adjust to an organization’s needs as well as changing regulations and practices, and scale to fit a company’s growth as well —without losing either responsiveness or security.    

Look for: A flexible HCM system that recognizes the needs of changing workplaces — as workforces go remote and hybrid — and prioritizes effective people management. An open, extensible architecture enables rapid configuration, getting people up and running in a matter of days. A full array of digital HR services and processes should be backed up by enterprise-class security and scalability, including data protection, constant monitoring and threat detection, automatic backups, powerful recovery tools, as well as easy to reach service and support.  


Midmarket and Enterprise Organizations Can Have it All

Given the sophisticated capabilities of digital platforms now, there’s no reason to trade power for useability in an HCM system, and every reason to insist on full functionality, as well as the important features managers and employees need and expect. That includes drag-and-drop dashboards, AI and chatbots, employee and manager self-service (ESS and MSS),secure, 24/7 employee access, or a polished, singe-page user experience that’s equally accessible and navigable on mobile as well as desktop.

Further, there’s no reason to settle for balky integrations, complex processes, or missing functions. Mid-sized and large organizations alike should insist on a platform that offers speed, connections, and power. Garnering position with competitors of all sizes means optimizing every resource. A power-packed HCM system that offers maximized useability is a key asset when it comes to recruiting, engagement, people management and therefore, growth.

Sunil Reddy
Sunil has been CEO of Criterion since 2013, providing the visionary leadership that has made our human capital management (HCM) software the best user experience, functionality and value in the mid-market. He remains steadfastly committed to developing the best possible solutions for the entire employment lifecycle, helping executives to make data-driven workforce decisions.

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