The Human Resources department is one of the most important cogs in any well-oiled business, and an effective HR software system will undoubtedly keep this wheel turning smoothly. Also known as the human resources management system (HRMS), this software utilizes a number of processes that aims to make managing a company’s employees and their data easier. Using an HRMS is now the hallmark of a modern company. As a matter of fact, it’s very rare to find a business that doesn’t use this software. Even small and medium-sized companies are now taking advantage of all the benefits this program gives.
Advantages of Using an HR Software
There are a lot of tasks that an HR management software can handle and simplify, like payroll, recruitment, storing and accessing employee information and keeping track of attendance, absences and leaves. It is also helpful in the performance evaluation and benefits administration. But aside from helping ease these tasks, one major benefits of using HRMS is boosting the productivity of the HR department. Automating detail-oriented functions, like payroll and benefits administration, allows HR employees to focus on other key issues like hiring and training.
Using an HR software can also boost the morale of employees, regardless of what department they’re in, as it gives them the ability to manage their own benefits. More importantly, it also minimizes the occurrence of costly human errors. This is particularly helpful in payroll keeping, as a mistake as small as a misplaced decimal point has major financial and legal ramifications. The software also makes it easy to ensure that companies are complying with the state and federal laws.
Another important advantage to using an HR software is that its integrated metrics tool helps a company assess key issues such as hiring costs and turnover rates. Being able to readily see this information can help companies devise optimal business strategies. PC Mag has also reported that a good HR software can also help businesses develop online learning platforms for their employees as it has tools that make it easy for a trainer to write to conceptualize and implement a learning module.
How to Evaluate and Choose an HR Management Software
There’s a staggering number of human resources software out in the market today, like ClearCompany, Kronos and TrackSmart just to name a few. Unfortunately, not all software are created equal. This can make choosing the best HR software for your company even more challenging. Consider the following when evaluating and choosing an HRMS for your business:
1. Decide on the Company’s Needs.
Before you start going over the different HR software vendors out there, decide on what your company really needs. It goes without saying that these software programs have various features that might not fit your business needs. Buying a premiere and expensive HR software only to find that it has a lot of features that you won’t be using is a waste of money ad your employees’ time. Conversely, opting for a cheaper software with fewer features and then discovering that it doesn’t have the functions you need is unproductive and frustrating. It’s best if you list all the features you want by order of priority before you start shopping around. Having a clear vision of where the company will be in a few years can also help in evaluating what processes or systems you might need in the future.
2. Check With all the Relevant Departments.
Most of the time, a company’s HR and IT departments would be the two most affected by the implementation of an HR software. It’s crucial that management gives these two departments and other groups that will be affected the chance to voice their concerns and state their needs. Not only will this give the top brass the information they need when it comes to evaluating and choosing the right software, but it will also make it easier for the other departments involved to accept the change and extend their cooperation.
3. Settle on a Budget.
It’s always a good idea to settle on a budget first before choosing an HR software. But when it comes to determining the budget, the company should take into account the Total Cost of Ownership of the system. This means taking into consideration not only the cost of the software but also the labor costs of implementing it. It also includes the cost of the subscription, how much money will be shelled out for the software’s licenses as well as the cost of updating the system a few years down the road.
4. Have an In-Depth Discussion With Different Vendors.
Do your due diligence and gather as much information as you can on the various management software and their corresponding vendors. Consider the vendor’s reputation and the stability of the company, how long the vendor has been in business and the kind of support that will be available once the software is installed. You should also clarify what kind of security measures the vendor has in place, who will retain ownership of the data and how easy the software can be integrated with your company’s current system. It’s also a good idea to take into account how friendly and professional the HR software provider’s staffs are.
5. Say Yes to Demos.
It’s the practice of management system vendors to offer a free HR software demonstration. Take advantage of these offers and say yes to each and every demo. More importantly, have employees from the HR, IT, and other affected departments to attend. The demonstrations will give them a chance to peruse the management system, ask questions about the program and develop a greater understanding of what the software can do for the organization.
Tips for Implementing an HR System
After evaluation comes the hard part – implementing it. Luckily, there are some steps that the company can take to make the transition seamless. Firstly, the company should configure the HRMS to fit its process and policies. However, this would require some planning and evaluation, particularly of the company and HR department’s current and future goals. It’s also a good idea to evaluate existing HR processes and systems at this stage and think about what can be consolidated to make software implementation easier. For example, specific workflows, like payroll and training, should be considered when setting up the new system.
A project leader and a mediator should also be appointed before implementation begins. The project leader would be in charge of the whole thing, from its inception to implementation. Therefore, this person should be experienced in project management and should be decisive and firm when it comes to giving deadlines. Meanwhile, a separate mediator is also needed, especially when issues over specific software features or modules and their implementation crop up.
Next would be to convert the company’s data into the new HR system. This would entail some organizational preparation and even employee training, particularly as they would have to learn to do things differently. It’s a good idea to roll out the new system to a small test group first to get some initial feedback. Creating teams to handle the different HR activities, like payroll, ERP and updating employee data would also be beneficial.
To help this process go more smoothly, a company should have the following employee data:
1. Workers’ personal information, including their basic details, contact information, emergency contacts, and dependents.
2. Benefits administration like premium calculations, benefit plans, benefit statements, eligibility, cost summaries, HIPAA certificates and career information.
3. Employees’ total compensation information, like base pay and incentives. Include planning tools and pay grades.
4. Time-off requests, paid-time off, accrued absences and leave balances.
5. Training courses, classes, and other employee development. Employees’ qualifications, certifications, and competencies should be included as well.
Lastly, extensively prepare for the implementation. While this last bit sounds so obvious, most companies fall short in this area. This is because they treat HR software implementation as a one and done deal, one that begins at the start of the project and ends with training. However, this is not the case. Planning should start even at the earliest stages of the project. It starts with the HR coming up with a communication plan and both HR and IT department heads developing a consensus among employees about the new technology and the changes that will come.
Aside from that, it’s also a good idea for the HR and IT heads to identify which organizational processes will change and create an avenue for end-users and stakeholders to provide feedback, give suggestions and voice their concerns. The impact of the upcoming changes and the new processes should also be clearly articulated and explained to employees.
An HR management software can go a long way in boosting productivity and streamlining a company’s operations. However, choosing and implementing an HR system will take a lot of time, money and energy. This is why careful and extensive planning is needed.
Are you ready to see how an HR software can boost your company’s productivity and morale? Then go to CrowdReviews.com and check out our reviews of the best HR software around.
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