5 must have features in HR systems

Every business needs an HR department – from the micro-business that takes on a single member of staff to the blue-chip company that employs thousands, a business is only as good as its workforce.

And both types of business come with their own pressures. While the owner of a micro-business needs to put more time into the day-to-day running of things rather than worrying about holidays and sick pay, the HR team of a multinational can do without dealing with the dizzying figures involved in its payroll.

That’s why integrated HR systems can help both equally. Here are five must-have features you should look out for in human resource software, regardless of the size of your business or the industry it operates in.

1. Employee management

This should be at the core of all HR systems, as it helps with everything from recruitment to onboarding, training, and staff retention.

At a very basic level, it should act as a secure database for employees’ personal and professional details, including roles, responsibilities, employment history, and salary. If your business demands it, it should also be able to manage headcount and offer a learning and training platform for all staff.

2. Cloud-based functionality

Data security is key to any business, and utilizing a cloud-based HR solution adds an increased layer of security when storing sensitive company and employee records. It’s a whole lot more secure than an office-based computer or locked filing cabinet.

And the demands of multi-site and remote working also means that employees can no longer expect to be tied to one location. Using cloud-based HR software means your business can create, manage, and maintain a central database that is scalable to the size of your company and can be accessed at any time from anywhere.

3. Employee self-service

The bigger your business, the more time-consuming dealing with employee absences and data becomes. But there’s no reason why absence requests, changes of address, or new banking details should have to physically pass through your HR department.

All HR software should offer an employee portal where they can request absences, log sickness, and change personal details. These requests are then automatically passed to line managers who can sign them off, thereby reducing the workload of HR staff. This functionality can even be expanded to cover employee assessments and goal tracking.

4. Real-time reporting

HR isn’t all about hiring staff and dealing with disciplinary matters, it should extend to examining the overall structure of the business and reporting on ways to work more efficiently. An effective HR solution should be able to retrieve and create insights from across the business and help arrange this data into compelling insights and stories that can help the business work smarter and drive forward.

5. Flexible integration

Although a good HR system should provide everything you need, it should also be able to integrate with other, third-party applications – if you have other applications already set up to run critical parts of your human resources, you’ll not want to spend the time or money getting rid of them to implement a new system.

When choosing an HR solution, make sure it integrates with the following as necessary:

  • Payroll
  • Recruitment
  • Time, attendance, and scheduling
  • Benefits
  • Expense management
  • Health and safety
  • Employee engagement
  • Talent management
  • Learning and development
  • Background checks and screening