9 Trends Where Technology Can Simplify HRNovember 4, 2019
A few years back, HR departments used to rely on an on-site HR system that is only accessible to a couple of administrators each time they want to keep digital files of their employees. Fortunately, modern cloud HR software is now available that enables employees to access them securely via the web. This advancement in technology has dramatically reduced adoption barriers.
Gone are the days when managing the workforce entails the use of a confusing system of post-it-notes, documents, and spreadsheets. A report by Grand View Research, Inc. shows that the global human resource management system software market is expected to reach $30.01 billion by 2025 at an 11% CAGR from 2019. The research firm noted that growth factors include the escalating need for managing an increased workforce and the rise in the demand to replace the old systems with more advanced technology.
Below are a few trends where technology can simplify HR:
Security and Disaster Recovery
If you opt to file your employee data in a cabinet, how certain are you that they are secure? How do you determine who can access it? Do you have the means to detect if an unauthorized person has tried to access it? All these issues can be resolved with good online HR software in place.
In case a legal dispute arises, do you have the means to prove someone in your team is trained on a certain piece of equipment or is informed of a specific policy? Communication via email exchange is fine, but it is always easy for somebody to deny seeing an email. A lot of HR solutions nowadays provide a read-and-accept function that offers a paper trail showing that a certain employee was sent a communication and whether or not he has accepted the content.
A lot of advanced HR software solutions today come with an employee directory. It makes it easy for employees to reach out to colleagues not only within their circles but also outside of their immediate department. Contact details stored in a filing cabinet, in contrast, will slow down the communication process significantly.
Information Analysis and Informed Decisions
Data gathering can open up opportunities for analysis that can help you in making informed decisions.
A good HR solution makes it easy for you to search, analyze and report on performance management data that are crucial to every function in your organization.
You can, for instance, discover what departments have high turnover rates and the reason behind it. You can get insights into who are the line managers with the most number of members leaving and on whether or not they need training. At the same time, you can also determine the line managers with the most top sales performers, their characteristics and the particular training courses they have attended. These valuable insights are difficult to obtain using a paper-based system.
Moreover, the ability to provide evidence to support your initiatives and ideas swiftly can also help in strengthening the credibility of HR.
Reliance on documents and spreadsheets to monitor your employee’s data only results in silos of information. You clearly have to factor in the data’s security and sensitivity. Yet with the use of a central HR system that enables the right people to access them, you are allowing more individuals to make good use of the information you currently have.
Employee HR Experience
Rapid technological advancements also mean that employees expect more from the digital services that their employers provide. Someone who’s used to using his mobile device for everything, from ordering a pizza to booking an Uber ride, would expect to be able to do the same for viewing his benefits or taking leave without having to send a form to the HR department, for instance.
Well-designed and user-friendly HR solutions can aid in changing the way your employees see your HR, from being an antiquated function to the one that is in tune with the times and enabler of excellent work. Better employee HR experience could translate into better employee engagement.
To take your employees’ experience to the next level, you may opt to integrate your HR software with other systems like time and attendance, expense management, and learning management to enable single sign-on. You can even further streamline calculation of salary by integrating with a free payroll software for small businesses.
A decent HR solution can help you save money, on top of the less tangible costs like productivity and efficiency. HR software adoption certainly involves either a one-off set-up fee or an annual subscription cost for a cloud-based system. Yet, you’ll soon realize that it is all worth it in the long-run given the efficiency and the amount of time saved in implementing the technology.
The standard ratio of full-time HR staff to employees in a company is 1:100. A cloud-based HR software, however, could improve the ratio to 1:140. This means that an organization with 280 staff members needs one less full-time HR professional to manage their employees’ data. This eventually results in staff cost reduction of about tens of thousands of dollars every year or the opportunity to redeploy your staff on more essential tasks. Moreover, better data accuracy also means fewer costly error experiences.
Keeping track of essential employee data through a paper-based system can become an administrative nightmare, especially if you’ve got over a dozen individuals working for you. Responding to questions like ‘Can you give me a copy of my last two payslips?’ and ‘How many leaves have I already taken?’ can eat a lot of time.
With an efficient HR solution, you can automate repetitive and demanding administrative tasks like certifying absence, approving leaves, and chasing managers to complete annual reviews or probation. The self-service functionality also enables you to delegate tasks to managers and employees.
A study by the World Economic Forum found that by 2022, human involvement in administering job tasks is expected to decrease by a third to 39% from 64% in 2018, thanks to the growing trend in automation and machine learning.
The benefit of storing all your staff members’ information and related data in a single place and the ability to send automated alerts for necessary actions to take is that it improves your compliance with regulatory requirements. HR systems play a vital role in particular compliance areas, including health and safety training compliance, right-to-work checks, and GDPR compliance, specifically around data retention and security periods. HR systems also help you on gender pay gap reporting.
Should you invest in HR Software?
There will undoubtedly be a point in time where a company’s growth can no longer efficiently manage employee-related information and processes in the absence of decent HR software. A lot of HR solutions nowadays allow companies to perform similar tasks related to data management as well as attraction and retention of their staff, yet with a different degree of sophistication.
Overall, advanced HR solution ensures consistent system management, reduced repetition, greater automation, and accuracy. This means improved productivity and more value through more consistent and accurate reporting. This does not mean, however, that you should opt for any HR system you could find first in the market.
In most cases, an HR solution with rich functionality makes like a lot easier for your HR team. However, small to medium-sized companies are often not complicated enough to require a very specialized and complex piece of software. Hence, when deciding which software to adopt, do not focus on the advanced features it offers. Instead, check the complexity of your operations on whether it warrants a higher level of functionality. Make sure your investment will repay you a competitive advantage.