The hidden benefits of HR Software
What does Human Resources (HR) software do for a business? The most obvious response from HR software vendors is to say that it saves the HR department time, making them more efficient. By absorbing the admin-heavy work that human resources have done for so long, a company can choose to reduce the number of HR staff they use, invest their team’s time in more strategic work or a combination of the two.
But HR software is not just about HR departments. It’s about the entire company. By automating and digitizing HR processes, businesses can improve communication and collaboration between different teams and levels of the organization. HR software enables employees to access their records from their desktop or mobile devices, anytime, anywhere. This improves transparency and accountability, encourages HR sharing of best practices, enhance employee engagement and facilitates HR compliance.
Just as HR software is not solely for HR departments, its benefits are not limited to HR processes. Human Resources touches every aspect of a company, from HR policy development through to the hiring process. By improving the way that HR-related tasks are done across the board, HR software benefits the entire company and enhances employee engagement. It’s about increasing productivity, boosting employee experience, and improving HR best practices.
But looking at HR software in such a black and white fashion misses the other benefits that HR software can bring. The other benefits of HR software aren’t immediately obvious yet have far wider benefits on an organization than simply reducing workload for one department.
What is HR software?
HR Software is a specialist tool that’s used by the human resources team to reduce the admin associated with HR. There are a variety of versions available on the software market, but HR software is typically (but not always) cloud-based and is known by several different names. It may be referred to as HCM software (Human Capital Management), HRIS (Human Resources Information System) or HRMS (Human Resources Management System).
As well as reducing admin, HR software stores employee data and keeps all information in one easy-to-access place. Because it is cloud-based, HR software gives the HR department and employees access from any location, making it especially beneficial for companies with remote working, traveling employees or multi-site locations. HR software can also be accessed on mobiles, allowing HR to check employee records while they are out in the field.
How HR software helps the HR department?
The HR department is responsible for a significant number of tasks, from developing HR policy and processes to handling payroll and employee records. By automating these processes, the HR department can save time and become more efficient.
Human resources software also enables the HR department to share best practices and company policies with everyone. It can keep all HR information in one place, rather than scatter it across various emails and filing systems. This makes it easier for HR to find information and also for employees to access HR data.
HR software also makes HR reporting easier, as all the data is stored in one single place.
How can HR software benefit a company? What can it bring to your company?
As stated at the start of this post, the benefits of HR software go beyond reducing admin. HR systems support HR processes for the benefit of the full organization. The main benefits for a company investing in a human ressources software solution are as follow:
Added value from human resources
With fewer mundane HR tasks, human resources software frees the HR team to concentrate on value-added tasks. From managing employee grievances to supporting team wellbeing, the human resource team can put their effort and skills into helping develop the workforce.
Unlike paper documents or data stored on computer hard drives, HR systems help a business keep employee data more secure. HR software vendors are keen to reinforce how this reduces the chances of data breaches and keeps confidential information private.
Improved employee experience
The self-service aspect of human resources software means employees can take control of simple tasks such as leave requests, employee benefits administration, and training courses. As well as this, the way in which human resources is released from admin-related tasks means there is more energy for focusing on employee experience.
Smarter HR decision making
The wealth of data that HR software can provide gives HR professionals the ability to make smarter decisions when it comes to human resources and HR strategy. HR professionals can find out who is in the company, why they were hired, and how long their tenure is likely to be. HR professionals can use this information to make more educated human resources decisions, rather than relying on gut instinct or intuition alone. HR software also helps HR professionals find HR trends.
HR professionals can look at HR reports and see which human resources processes are working positively (and negatively) to inform HR strategy. HR professionals can also receive specific alerts when there are significant changes within the organization.
Improved data access and analysis
Online HR software gives HR management and the rest of the business easy access to employee data. This makes it easier to review trends and assess potential red flags. HR software also enables HR professionals to access HR reports that can be analyzed quickly. For example, HR professionals can easily study HR records for succession planning purposes. HR professionals can also receive HR alerts when there are significant HR changes within the organization.
Quick HR analysis provides HR departments with accurate data to support informed decision making, including:
- The effectiveness of HR policies and processes
- How salary decisions impact employee retention
- Whether HR programs are achieving their goals
- Which HR interventions have the biggest impact on employee productivity
The benefits of HR software are clear. HR departments that invest in HR software solutions enjoy greater HR efficiency and a more mature HR function. HR professionals benefit from HR reporting, HR alerts, HR analytics, and HR data access and analysis. These benefits allow HR departments to make smarter HR decisions, improving the effectiveness of the HR department as a whole.
Support employee engagement
Human resource software is a powerful tool in supporting employee engagement. Used well, it can empower employees to take charge of their development and their careers. It can also improve communication with employees and make it easier to review and support employee wellbeing.
HR professionals can use HR software to enhance their HR strategies by improving HR reporting and HR analytics, both of which play a role in supporting employee engagement.
Many HR software solutions include recruitment tools to support the hiring process. This can be used in many ways - from the applicant tracking system to debiasing hiring decisions.
HR software-supported recruitment is a powerful HR tool. HR professionals can use HR analytics to create HR reports that identify the main reasons candidates change their minds during the hiring process. Human resources software can also be used to debias HR decisions.
Support employee lifecycle management
Employee lifecycle management can be difficult for HR managers if they don't have the right tools. Because of the way HR software holds so much HR data, it makes the task of supporting the employee lifecycle far easier.
HR software can automate and manage onboarding processes, tracking employee data and HR activities.
This allows HR professionals to focus on developing relationships with HR employees and HR managers to support their well-being.
HR software can also be integrated into talent management to help HR professionals create reports that provide insights on employee skills and performance. This data can be used to identify training and development needs, succession planning, and HR interventions that improve employee productivity.
How can HR software improve your employer branding?
Employer branding and HR software may not be the most obvious of partners. However, if you look closer, some distinct employer branding benefits come from investing in HR software.
HR software improves the recruitment process for the employer and candidate. With Human resources software involved, communication is better and timescales are shorter. There is even the opportunity to ensure job postings are optimized, making them more inclusive. This improved talent acquisition process provides a positive experience for candidates, even those that are unsuccessful. This, in turn, can support employer branding and help attract future candidates.
Because HR management have fewer manual tasks to deal with, they can deal with employee queries and requests more quickly. This means a more satisfying experience for employees and supports the employer brand.
Human resources software provides a centralized location for employee records, policies and contracts which makes it easier for employees and managers to access important information. This visibility and ease of access improves the employee experience and demonstrates that the business trusts employees.
The best Human resources software makes it simple for HR management to develop more personalized experiences for employees using lifecycle management tools. This supports employees throughout their employment, and beyond. It can support initiatives such as alumni associations that will keep the employer brand strong even among ex-employees.
How can companies improve employee engagement by using HR software?
There are two key ways that HR management can use HR software to encourage greater employee engagement.
HR software empowers employees
Giving employees access to self-service tools such as leave requests or employee benefits administration helps increase employee satisfaction. HR management can also give employees the opportunity to take control of their career development using HR software.
Employees can view their progress against objectives, view their current performance management scores, see the options for training and development, and can even view internal vacancies.
This empowerment benefits the employees and supports HR processes such as lifecycle management and talent management. It also directly supports company culture by showing employees that the organization wants to support their success.
HR software makes it easier to communicate with employees
Rather than limiting communication to face-to-face conversations, phone calls, and emails, human resources software opens a world of opportunity to employees. HR management can use HR systems to ensure that employees get reminders about key tasks such as updating objectives or carrying out mandatory training.
Cloud-based HR software also makes it easier for employees who work flexible hours or from a remote location to get reminders with the same frequency as on-site employees. Some human resources software applications have chat functions, allowing employees in large or medium-sized businesses to access HR advice, even when they are not in the same location as the HR management teams.
What are the most common needs for a company that can be covered by an HR software?
Every company is different with a wide range of needs. However, some of the HR tasks that HR software solution can support a company with are as follows:
Unlike older performance management systems, cloud-based performance management systems provide a transparent and easy-to-access way of supporting employees to achieve their best.
Because performance management is intrinsic to the long-term success of a company, using performance management tools can help a business see a step-change in the way they manage employee performance.
From logging feedback to identifying skills gaps, performance management tools make life simpler for managers and HR. And it might sound obvious, but employees love the clarity and accessibility of this type of HR technology too, helping improve the employee experience.
Recruitment is yet another HR process that can be transformed by human resources software. Recruiting software that incorporates applicant tracking can make talent attraction faster and more cost-effective, while also improving the candidate experience.
As well as benefitting a business’s employer brand, investing in recruitment software can supercharge the human resources management efforts involved in recruiting new employees. Even before the active recruitment process begins, the hiring manager can use recruiting software to refine the adverts for new job openings.
They can also use historical analysis to place adverts in the most successful channels to improve the chances of success. Once recruitment is underway, hiring managers can use the applicant tracking function to stay in touch with how each candidate is performing.
Recruiting software helps human resources by automatically sending emails or messages to successful or unsuccessful candidates. The applicant tracking function also works by automating manual tasks such as moving candidate information from one stage in the recruitment process to the next.
Lifecycle management can feel like a difficult task for HR professionals to manage well. At least, that is, if they don’t have the correct management software.
Using a quality human resources software solution allows HR professionals to manage essential employee information and identify where employees are in their lifecycle journey through the organization. Not only does this make the employee experience better for staff, but it also helps reduce attrition, meaning increased productivity and employee engagement and performance management.
Complementing other elements within the human resources remit, successful talent management is critical to an organization’s success. Talent management can draw from the many tools available in good human resources software.
As well as easily accessing employee performance data to identify star talent, human resource professionals can use recruitment tools to place job openings in the most effective channels, use an applicant tracking system to ensure a satisfactory application process for candidates and develop strong onboarding programs to get talent to the top of their game as soon as possible.
Human resources software can also be critical in helping with the retention element of talent management. As well as ensuring strong individual and team engagement, HR departments can keep a keen eye on the employee life cycle management of key talent. This in turn makes sure they get the right development and career advancement opportunities to keep them in the company.
This comparatively simple HR software application can be incorporated into a broader HR software solution, allowing a holistic view of what is happening within the business. The best human resources software allows automatic salary increases in response to strong employee performance results and can be linked to performance reviews for a smooth way to reward employees.
Related to payroll is the way in which human resources software can support benefits administration. By allowing employees to select their own benefits, a company can expect to see improved engagement. This type of benefits management makes employee benefits selection easier for existing and new employees and also helps reduce the load on the human resources team.
Learning and development
Learning management systems and training programs can be incorporated into most HR software. By using systems that link learning and development to performance management, it is possible to create cohesive and logical employee schedules to support skills development.
Employee skills gaps can be identified using performance management tools and then addressed using the LMS element of the HR systems. The effectiveness of the training can then be assessed with future performance reviews or ongoing one-to-one meetings, helping provide a holistic view of employee development and employee engagement.
Handling time-off requests can be a surprisingly time-consuming task for HR professionals and managers. Therefore, having a tool that streamlines time-off requests benefits management as well as employees.
Leave tracking isn’t limited to time-off requests. It is a crucial element in attendance management. The best human resources software includes attendance software, helping HR professionals understand potential patterns in absence that may need attention. Not only this, but successful leave tracking software makes workforce management simpler, helping ensure productivity across the business.
How can HR software increase your revenue?
As a support function, human resources can rarely claim to directly impact organizational revenue. However, if well-chosen and well implemented, HR software can directly impact revenue for the better.
One of the most visible ways that human resources can do this is by using HR software to ensure successful talent management. This helps in three ways:
- Human ressources software is essential in the successful recruitment of good employees. By hiring productive, talented employees, human resources are helping increase the potential for greater revenue.
- By using a human ressources software to manage the employee lifecycles of top talent, HR improves that talents' skills, productivity, and potential for innovation - all significant factors for increasing revenue.
- The human resources team can also use HR software to reduce attrition, helping keep workforce productivity at an acceptable standard for stronger revenue.
There is another way in which HR applications can support revenue growth. Because the best HR software, if used well, directly impacts employee engagement, the results are seen in employee productivity and customer satisfaction. This is a less tangible association but remains important.
After all, happy employees create a healthy business. And if human ressources software can be used to improve employee happiness, then that can have a direct impact on revenue in the long and short term.
The best HR software is the software that works for your company. When HR leaders choose an HR software solution, it needs to support their unique structure and industry. By understanding how human resources software can help you streamline workflow, improve employee engagement, and support workforce productivity-improving revenue along the way - you will become a champion for HR technology in your business.
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