Study: HR Welcoming Web-Based Benefits, Records Updates

The Web is expanding possibilities for large employers who give workers self-service options in human resource transactions, says a recent Towers Perrin survey. Interactive voice response (IVR) -- by telephone -- still is the main mode of delivering most self-service, with more than 80% of firms providing self-service for 401(K) contribution changes, investment allocations, and loan modeling. But the Web is becoming a medium of choice for expanding self-service options, says the survey. Especially suited to the Web are complex or heavily text-based human resources transactions -- such as family status changes, personal changes, and employment events -- where until now more than 80% of firms have not offered employee self-service. Where companies are using IVR systems heavily, the move toward Web technology has been much more aggressive, the survey revealed. Whatever the medium, "The trend is clearly toward automating processes which . . . gives human resource professionals more time for value-added tasks and reduces administrative costs," says Towers Perrin consultant Joe Bender.

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