HR software potentially offers a business many significant benefits. But there are so many software options out there, where do you start when trying to work out which is the right one for you? Here are a few questions to try to help you decide.
1. What do you need the software to do for your business?
Ok, that first question might seem obvious but it’s one to which some companies don’t always have an immediate answer. It’s important to spend time identifying exactly what you require from the software to make sure you get all the functionality you need but not more. After all, it doesn’t make any sense to end up paying for functions that are never going to be used.
Do you need an HR system that will simply help with a move away from manual administration? Or do you need something that goes beyond that and helps with management of the workforce by offering modules for holiday and absence management for example? Some HR systems can also offer greater strategic support in areas such as performance reviews and recruitment. Be sure to establish where your priorities lie in order to identify the software that will meet them.
2. Could substantial business growth be on the cards?
Most HR software will have scope to accommodate some business growth; many systems offer different modules that can be customised according to your company’s requirements and you could potentially add onto those in the future – up to a point. But if the ambition is for your business to expand significantly, look for HR software that can be scaled up accordingly. Otherwise it could mean going to all the time, trouble and expense of finding a new system and rolling that out all over again.
3. Could self-service and mobile functionality be beneficial?
Handling issues like booking holidays and managing absence are all part and parcel of the HR role but dealing with every aspect of them manually can be time-consuming. So consider whether having HR software that provides self-service options where managers and employees have access to their own data (such as payslips and P60s) as well as personal and job detail information might be beneficial. Depending on the configuration you decide on, it could be used for a range of employee notifications, updates and requests with managers able to approve and sign-off all via the HR software.
Another consideration is mobile functionality. There are a whole host of reasons why the ability to access HR software remotely via mobile technology could be useful. Do you or your employees work away from the physical office at times? Could it offer more flexibility and convenience and make it easier to stay on top of issues on an ongoing basis?
4. Are updates included?
When researching your HR system choices, it’s worth double-checking the situation about keeping the software updated. In very general terms you’ll tend to find that cloud-based HR software (accessed online) will be more likely to provide free updates on an ongoing basis than on-premises (installed on your computers) HR software. Just make sure you’re clear on what, if any, additional costs may be required so there are no nasty surprises further down the line.
5. Might integration with other software like payroll be worthwhile?
Could it be beneficial for specific existing systems to integrate? Take payroll. Could you eliminate the effort of duplicate manual data entry, reduce the risk of errors and improve efficiency by integrating the systems? It’s worth considering, and it’s important to explore your options at this stage.
Perhaps you don’t have payroll software in place and might just be focusing on HR for now. But might you eventually decide to bring in payroll software, or other software solutions your business might need, in the not-too-distant future? If so, it would ultimately save time, effort and money to identify software that could provide you with both so make sure you’ve factored this into your deliberations.