Friday Feature - HRA Overview

This seems to be the year of the series. We have had a series on leaves, workflows, payroll encumbrances and manual approvals. And, now we are going to have a series on HRAs. In preparation for Terri's upcoming webinar (sign up now), we are going to take a close look at this incredibly powerful feature. First, let's start with the question that is on everybody's mind, "What is an HRA?"

So glad you asked! HRA stands for Human Resource Authorization - what we call workflows. It is an electronic document that allows you to route changes to employees, positions and other HR records for approvals, notifications, task requests (called a "To Do") and eventually updates to the records. Before we begin the discussion, let's define the terms:

  • HRA - Create a custom form (or use one of our standards) to enter the data you want to change.
  • Approvals - Route a request to groups or an individual for approval. For example, you may want to get approval for a new employee from the Principal, HR, Payroll, Budget, and/or the Superintendent. This is the same workflow we discussed earlier in the workflow series. If you want to dive deep into workflow approvals, I would check out the Workflow Approval Leveling and Workflow Approve All Flag blogs.
  • Notifications - Send an email to someone who needs to know but does not need to approve. For example, you may want to notify the Department Chair that all approvals have been given for the hiring of a new employee in the department.
  • Task Requests (To Dos) - Route a request to a group or an individual for a task to be completed. For example, you may want to notify the graphics department that you will be placing an ad for a new employee. Or, you may want to notify IT that an employee is terminating so they can pick up the person's tablet.
  • Record Updates - Once all of the approvals have been given, Escape Online uses the data you entered to update the database. So, if you have a new employee HRA, once approved, Escape Online creates an Employee record, Assignment record, Person (retirement) record and any other record that your custom HRA may require to be created.

Pretty cool! Let's look at an example from one of our customers that has been using HRAs for over a year. Here is their New Employee form:

When someone enters the data and submits this form, this LIVE customer has the following workflow setup:

  • Approvals - Routes to the Program Manager, Business Services and the Project Liaison.
  • Notifications - Sends an email to the person who created the HRA and any previous approvers if the HRA is denied, returned to the Open status, cancelled, put on hold, or taken off hold. In addition, when the HRA is complete or if there is an error in the posting, an email is sent to the person who created the HRA.
  • Task Requests (To Dos) - Routes a request to an individual in HR to print a copy of the HRA and create an employee file.
  • Record Updates - Creates an Employee record, Assignment record, and Person (retirement) record.

Doesn't sound like how you would set it up? Exactly. That is the beauty of HRAs. They are what you want them to be.

Let's spend the next few weeks diving deep into how HRAs work, so you can imagine how they might save you time and money. Beautiful!