HR software provider Unicorn HRO has released a new application programmer interface for its iCON Human Resources Information System platform. This programming tool will allow tech-savvy employers to fine tune their HRIS programs for improved talent acquisition, time and attendance, benefit admin, access control and facilities management operations.

In essence, the new API can help employers link disparate systems that may have difficulty communicating, interacting and operating smoothly during basic HR functions in what the firm calls “an end-to-end HR hub.”

“It facilitates more real-time data integration between our icon human resources information system and what I call downstream systems such as carrier, eligibility or enrollment systems,” says Edward Gettings, senior vice president of product development and operations at Unicorn HRO. “We see this being used for applicant tracking systems, time and labor systems, and the like, where efficiencies can be driven by more real-time data exchange.”

According to Gettings, the new API can help with the entire onboarding process for hiring a new employee and adding them to the HR systems.

See also: Offboarding tool aims to build loyalty by offering benefits to departing employees

Users of the API can, for example, use the application first for position control, where the data for an open position inside a firm is budgeted. That information is sent over to the applicant tracking system for facilitating recruiting. Once an applicant is hired, that information on the new hire comes is delivered to the application in real time for payroll, benefit sign-on.

“On the benefits side, a lot of the carriers have started to come up to speed on using APIs so if there is a new hire in our system, their information automatically updates their eligibility system,” Gettings says. “Depending upon what their enrollment process is — maybe it’s a phone call from the new employee to the carrier — that carrier will recognize that employee. They’ll have certain indicative data available to them real-time so that the process can move forward very quickly.”

The Florham, N.J. firm says it has more than 400 corporate clients.

Employers have been adopting cloud-based solutions because it delivers real-time data exchange between the HRIS platform and other downstream systems that perform applicant tracking, Gettings says.

“If an organization has an employee badge, a security or an equipment acquisition system for their employees, those downstream systems want to get updated in real-time so that they know what has changed with the employee population,” he says. “Then they can do whatever it is that they do downstream, like assign the badge or terminate the badge if it’s a terminated employee."

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