Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why are we implementing a new HRIS system?
  2. Why Workday HCM?
  3. How will this affect my work?
  4. How much will the new HRIS system cost?
  5. When will the system change?
  6. Who is leading this effort?
  7. How are students involved in the HRIS implementation?
  8. How do I find out more information about the HRIS implementation?

1. Why are we implementing a new HRIS system?

Many concerns have prompted this action, including: errors in pay and benefits because of multiple data entry points and obsolete systems that rely on customization and work-arounds; compliance with changing laws and regulations on pay and benefits; reliance on paper and manual processes that don’t represent best practices regarding data safety, sustainability and customer service.


2. Why Workday HCM?

Workday HCM was selected because of its high data security, flexible software to respond to changes in laws and regulations, information saved in “the cloud” that doesn’t rely on physical servers, and a proven track record of success at other higher education institutions similar to Willamette. Lewis & Clark College and Yale University are both Workday HCM users.


3. How will this affect my work?

Integration of the new system will primarily affect staff in human resources and payroll who will work on streamlining processes and utilizing the best practices that the Workday HCM system has to offer. All employees and student workers at the university will interface with the HRIS information system and it’s important that all employees attend training sessions or review training items to understand the new interface and any changes in processes. The goal is to make the system intuitive, user-friendly, easily accessible and secure.


4. How much will the new HRIS system cost?

The cost to purchase and implement Workday HCM is $1.2 million, which includes the software package, integration of the system and training and development for staff members. The cost to upgrade or replace Willamette’s current systems required additional staff time and the purchase of at least one new system to record time and attendance. The Workday HCM system provides all of these services in one package.

University Services reallocated funds and utilized cost savings in other areas from previous fiscal years to cover the costs associated with the Workday HCM implementation. The ongoing maintenance costs for the system will be built into the budget (beginning in FY19). These costs are comparable to other products and solutions.


5. When will the system change?

The implementation of the HRIS system is already underway with a scheduled launch in July 2017. Deployment and testing of the system will begin in the spring semester with opportunities for faculty and staff members to offer feedback during training sessions.


6. Who is leading this effort?

The project was initiated by a cross-functional team including human resources, financial operations, payroll and WITS. However, as noted above, all employees and student workers at the university will interface with the HRIS information system and it’s important that all employees attend training sessions or review training items to understand the new interface and any changes in processes. The goal is to make the system intuitive, user-friendly, easily accessible and secure.


7. How are students involved in the HRIS implementation?

The HRIS will also streamline process around how student workers record hours, are paid and receive required training. Two student employees in human resources and one student employee in the accounting office will work together with Willamette staff members during the HRIS implementation. In addition, a group of student workers will be included in the testing phase of the new HRIS system.


8. How do I find out more information about the HRIS implementation?

Updates will be shared throughout the year via the Bearcat Bulletin and in-person training sessions will be offered during the spring semester. Updates will also be posted on the HRIS project website.