If you’re a small or medium-sized enterprise and you haven’t considered the benefits of an HR cloud-based IT system, then now is the time. Not only will it make your life so much easier but your employees will be delighted too.
Software has of course been able to deliver the benefits of remote access to HR systems for a while but it’s only recently that mobile devices have reached a stage of development where their use for employee-self-service is really simple.
For an enterprise with 20 – 100 employees the cost of buying an all-singing-all-dancing HR system has always been a sticking point. Added to that, an extra server might be needed, together with the IT staff to maintain it. A cloud-based system - one in which the software runs remotely on someone else’s server - removes entirely that element of investment and maintenance.
So what are the advantages? Well, like any other software which is designed to save time and money, the benefits will be quite specific to the enterprise. If you have employees who work away from your premises perhaps on flexi-time, then a cloud-based system will score highly. It will enable them to submit their own expense claims and timesheets or request holidays, without any other admin input. The information can be automatically routed via their line manager for approval. A cloud-based system is perfect for automatically generating reminders and ensuring that contract renewals or probation periods aren’t overlooked.
Personnel managers are concerned, and quite rightly, about data protection. It’s essential that before committing to using a cloud system you check how the data is to be handled, in what country it will be resident and – something easily overlooked when doing due diligence – where the data will be backed-up. While European legislation is mainly standardised, when you begin to transfer personally identifiable information outside Europe’s borders, the rules are different.
I’m always surprised when I find a company of significant size still using spreadsheets to record employee details because, with computerised HR management, organisations can achieve really significant cost-savings and efficiency improvements. Automation is key so make sure you pick a system that comes with a suite of reporting and letter templates and also one where data can be exported easily in a standard format.
Cloud-based HR is especially suited to fast-growing organisations. HR management can continue seamlessly uninterrupted by office relocation or growing employee numbers. However you should check that you pick a system which doesn’t carry large set-up fees, that charges per employee so you pay only for actual use, and – should you have cause to discontinue– does not have a hefty cancellation clause.
So, don’t soldier on with the spreadsheet. Give yourself and your employees a break – in the cloud.
Matt Steel-Jessop is Managing Director of P&A Software, provider of bespoke and cloud-based HR management systems.
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