City eases load on HR

After a years-long wait, the city of Keizer is finally moving an item off its want list. 

At a meeting of the Keizer City Council Monday, June 15, councilors voted to approve a contract with Springbrook Holding Company that includes supporting software for human resources staff. 

Keizer’s Human Resources Director Machell DePina told the Keizer Budget Advisory Committee of the need for additional support either through a new employee or a human resources information system (HRIS) more than two years ago, but it wasn’t until City Finance Director Tim Wood was renegotiating a contract for managing electronic payments that an opening appeared in the clouds. 

While the set-up cost for the new system was originally estimated to be $15,000 for the HRIS system plus annual maintenance fees, Wood managed to get the initial cost down to $7,680. The city plans absorb the costs through repurposing an existing server and through decreased technology costs during the past fiscal year. 

DePina said the new HRIS programs will enhance what the city currently offers employees in several ways: 

• Improved accuracy  – Employee information can be entered once and then pulled from a master file when needed for other projects and needs. It also provides a direct link to payroll data ensuring departments are working from consistent and accurate data.

• Higher speed and efficiency – When processing transactions or pulling reports, human resources employees can set them up to run automatically rather than developing them by hand each time. It means more time for DePina and the other staff member to work on “the huge backlog of other things we cannot currently get to due to workload.”

• Better access for employees – The combined updates to the payroll system and the addition of the HRIS will allow the city to provide employees better and more immediate access to their own pay and benefit data. They will even be able to run scenarios to see the impact of changing their tax exemption status.

“We anticipate implementing the HRIS will allow us to accomplish more with our very lean staff of two employees, continuing to put off the need to add additional staff to our department for another couple years,” DePina said.