When's the right time to invest/upgrade in HR software?
July 19 2019 - When was the last time you took a step back and looked at how much time HR administration is costing your business - and considered whether that is time well spent?
It is all too easy for businesses to get stuck with out-of-date HR technology or time-consuming processes. It's the way it's always been done, and for the most part it works well enough, so no one bothers to question whether there is a better way.
However, with research showing that admin can take up as much as a third of the working year, and the legislative burden on employers increasing, can you really afford for your staff to be constantly dragged back to basic HR admin tasks? Or for HR staff to be trapped in endless cycle of paper-pushing, when they should be helping you deliver on your vision for the business.
So, how do you know if it's time to change your approach, and invest in one of the new, more effective and cost-efficient Cloud online HR systems?
Your existing HR system hasn't been updated for a while
Older pre-Cloud HR systems - those based on technology from a decade or more ago - are fast running out of steam. They are almost always extremely expensive to develop and support, and rarely allow themselves to be adapted to take full advantage of new technologies to support more productive and engaging ways of working.
If you've not been offered any new features in while, are struggling to use your HR system from anything but your PC, or are being forced to manage too much manually, it is time to upgrade.
The paper-work keeps piling up
You need to keep HR records to stay on the right side of the law. While filing cabinets or excel spreadsheets may be fine to start with, paper-based or fragmented online records are at best difficult to manage, and at worst could put you in breach of GDPR if they aren't kept secure or deleted when no longer required - or you can't respond to a subject access request.
Centralising HR data and documents in a single, secure Cloud HR system means you'll have greater confidence that data is being kept safe, and you will know where to go when you need it. Some HR systems go one step further, for example by providing tools to automatically delete or anonymise data at the appropriate time for your business.
Reporting is a chore
With headcount costs such a huge part of your overheads, you shouldn't be flying blind when it comes to making important decisions. If you can't easily run accurate headcount reports, check on time lost to sickness, monitor overtime costs or ensure appropriate resourcing by co-ordinate when staff are on holiday or tied up in training, it's time to make the move to something better.
Online HR systems are designed to reporting straight-forward, and some will even alert you to potential issues, such as escalating absence levels or holiday clashes.
Everything is manual
How much time is wasted across the business checking on information or chasing up forms? Take your absence approval process for example. Can employees check their holiday entitlements for themselves, submit requests online from their tablet or phone, and have them automatically routed to their manager to approve?
Today's HR systems combine secure employee self-service with automation, so no one needs to get bogged down in tedious time-wasting activities. For example, they'll calculate holiday entitlements, route requests through your approval processes, and even warn managers when too many staff want to take holiday at the same time.
With Ernst & Young estimating the cost of not using an online automated HR system at around £3.50 per data entry, it is easy to see that automation is the smart route to take.
Recruitment takes too long
You know how frustrating it is when you can't fill a role quickly enough; other staff may struggle to fill the gap; new initiatives get put on hold; and productivity suffers. In a competitive, fast-moving job market, manually posting vacancies and sifting through piles of CVs slows everything down. It is not good use of company time, and risks good candidates going elsewhere.
HR systems speed up the recruitment process by automatically posting vacancies online, as well as providing tools that simplify selection and candidate communication. Some systems help with onboarding new employees too. With 63% of companies reporting they've had candidates drop out before they've even started, and a third of non-starters putting this down to a bad experience or poor or no follow up, investing in recruitment and onboarding software could reap immediate rewards.
You don't really 'know' who is working for you
You may be on first name terms with all your employees, but are you confident you have the other information needed to ensure your business is legally compliant and running smoothly?
Can you check to see that everyone has signed their employment contract, provided evidence of their right to work, or had appropriate training for their role? Do you know who hasn't taken their legal holiday entitlement, or is overdue a pay rise or promotion? Are you able to identify potential issues, such as excess overtime, missed performance objectives or high staff churn, before they become a significant problem?
As a business leader you shouldn't need to monitor every aspect of HR, but you do need to be sure that your HR practices are compliant, and your business set up for success. The easiest way to do that is by using a modern Cloud HR system that manages HR data and processes in the most effective way and helps everyone work together more productively.