Buyers Guide

Our Guide To HR Management Software

Human resources (HR) management software offers businesses a way to manage a large or growing workforce in a more efficient manner. There are many different categories of HR management software, and you may sometimes see references to HRIS, HRMS or HCM but all of these abbreviations broadly come under the same umbrella. All of these HR packages have certain things in common. Most importantly, they can streamline the normal functions associated with HR, including benefits administration, payroll and personnel tracking, thus enabling you to be more productive. Many packages can also offer strategic guidance, through helping with the recruitment and development process. Read on to find out more about the benefits and key features of HR management software. 

The benefits of HR Management Software

The first and most obvious benefit is increased efficiency of administration. HR management software can take care of all of the mundane and routine HR queries associated with managing staff. This in turn reduces costs in the HR department. In fact, while a typical company might need to employ 1 full-time HR specialist for every 100 staff members, some businesses may find that with quality HR management software, that ratio can increase to 1 for every 140 employees.

HR management software can also make it easier to access information. Rather than maintaining hundreds of separate spreadsheets, all of the relevant HR information is available at the touch of a button. And having all of that information in one place means that you can run employee analysis that would be unfeasible with paper-based records or spreadsheets, including assessing which teams experience the most sick leave, which workers are the most productive, where your best salespeople were recruited from and so on.

Software of this kind can also offer benefits in risk mitigation and security. Most HR systems include a read and accept email facility, which can be helpful if you need to prove that an employee was aware of a certain policy or piece of information. Modern HR software is usually extremely secure and will incorporate failsafe back-up systems so that you don’t lose all of your information in the event of fire, flood or other disaster.

The Key Features of HR Management Software

HR management software generally covers three distinct categories of HR management, and in each category, there are certain common features.

To help with core HR management, which includes the basics of benefits administration, personnel tracking and payroll, a good HR management software package should manage functions such as paid time off and medical appointments, and should centralise employee data, to enable personnel tracking. The payroll aspect of the package should be able to handle every aspect of salary, deductions and taxes.

Workforce management is the process of scheduling and tracking your workforce. A HR management software package is likely to include features that will enable you to track staff attendance or absence, and alerts for when employees hit certain levels of performance. It should also make it easy for you to schedule shifts or attendance to meet the needs of the company, providing alerts where staff levels are too low.

Finally, HR management software should offer strategic advantages, helping you to improve your recruitment, training and management of staff. The package is likely to include an Applicant Tracking System, which offers a database for recruiters to store applicant information, and monitor the application process. Performance Review Software is another common feature, providing a centralised system for supervisors to measure performance and conduct employee reviews and to assist with Learning and Development, many HR management software programs offer a hub for the monitoring of training and skills development, which may include testing, reporting and certification pathways.

What kind of HR management software do I need?

The HR management software market is very competitive at the moment, and there are a number of products from specialised providers such as BambooHR, Optimum Solutions and VibeCatch, which can benefit your business. To help you to narrow down your choices, the best place to start is to work out exactly what you will need your software to do.

Small companies that haven’t yet digitalised their HR operations may be well served by looking for an integrated HR package, such as Sage HRMS, SAP-HR or Vista HRMS. These products will enable you to deal with all the main HR functions easily and effectively.

For those businesses who are focused on revamping their recruitment and hiring process, it could be worth going for a premium recruitment and applicant tracking product, such as SuccessFactors, COMPAS or GoHire. These software solutions offer many useful features, including the facility to post jobs to social media automatically, an applicant database, and the ability to track every candidate throughout the recruitment process.

If your company is facing people management problems, perhaps because you have a large number of employees working varying shifts, then upscaling your workforce administration capability should be your priority. There are a number of products on the market, such as LaborView, TimeAttend or TimeForce that can significantly improve the efficiency of your workforce management, many of which come with a built-in payroll system.

Lastly, if workforce development is your main concern, than a talent management package could solve your problems. Software such Halogen Talent Management Suite, Kenexa2x or NuViewHR will be able to take care of everything from initial training to annual appraisals and will help your business to upskill your staff, improve productivity and boost retention rates.

Trends to be aware of

One thing to bear in mind when you are looking for HR management software is the fact that the market is changing rapidly. Here are two important trends to consider.

In recent years, HR software companies having been trying to consolidate their applications with integrated suites that take care of every HR aspect, which has inevitably meant that smaller companies have been taken over. This can lead to lower costs but can also cause disruption if you are on a long-term contract, so it can be a good idea when you sign up to any deal to tie-in the level of service you expect at the beginning.

HR software companies are increasingly adopting Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) deployment methods, which are easy to set up and can be used by all HR staff from any device. Most SaaS applications make it possible to customise the software to suit your company’s needs, but it is important to be aware that this option can be more limited than you might think.