10 reasons to invest in HR software
5 minute read
The case for investing in HR systems rarely makes itself; here are the 10 top reasons to invest, from data security to better productivity, and improved employee engagement
When you’re considering investing in any type of workplace technology – particularly HR software – you have to be certain that your time and money will result in better business outcomes.
There are usually a number of factors, drivers and circumstances in play that mean that organisations (and particularly the HR teams within those organisations) reach the conclusion that the time is right to invest in specialist HR systems. But while HR professionals are usually well-versed in the benefits of HR software, how can you make the case more widely – to finance and IT colleagues, and senior leaders – that investing in HR technology will pay off? Here are 10 compelling reasons to invest in HR software.
1. All your people data will be stored securely in a single location
If you’re operating without specialist HR software, it’s likely that you’re storing sensitive and confidential personal information in multiple unsecure locations and in a variety of formats, such as email, databases (such as Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets), task-management apps such as Trello, or even on paper in filing cabinets. Having data in a number of locations creates risk: risk that it might be lost, stolen or become corrupt, and that it is out of date and incorrect. Specialist HR software helps you bring all that important staff information into a single location, stored securely (both against cyberattacks and access by unauthorised users), in a format that’s easy to keep up to date – especially if you enable employee self-service. You’ll also be able to access all this data when working remotely – the same can’t be said for paper files locked in your office’s cupboard.
2. It’ll increase the productivity and efficiency of your HR team
Do you know how much time your HR team members spend transferring data and information between systems and file formats? It’s probably more than you’d like them to be spending on such low-value tasks. Choosing specialist HR software that links with other systems such as learning management systems (LMS), applicant tracking systems (ATS), payroll software, and time and attendance solutions, will dramatically cut down on the data re-entry work your HR team is tasked with. This time can be better spent on strategic initiatives, or you might be able to offset the cost of your HR software investment by reducing the headcount of your HR team.
3. HR software will increase the productivity and efficiency of your line managers and employees, too
Enabling self-service access to HR software for line managers and employees empowers them to take care of minor HR-related tasks such as annual leave bookings and approvals, logging absence, updating personal information (such as addresses and bank details), booking training, viewing online payslips, and recording objectives and performance. They’ll appreciate the ability to carry out these tasks themselves, as and when it suits them, without having to ask a member of your HR team for help.
4. You’ll gain greater visibility of your workforce’s performance
To effectively monitor the performance of your people, you need data – fast. With all employee information stored in one system, it’s easy to interrogate that database and visualise trends using in-built dashboards and regular, automated reports. With all this data at your fingertips, there’ll be no more scrabbling around for print outs of spreadsheets when someone wants to see the last quarter’s absence statistics or training completion rates – it’ll be available at the click of a button.
5. It’ll enable your HR team to make data-backed strategic decisions and interventions
Having all that data to hand, and in a single system, means you’ll spend less time compiling reports and more time analysing figures to determine patterns, forecast future trends, and assess the effectiveness of relevant interventions – helping you make smarter decisions and more easily gain executive buy-in.
6. You’ll reduce your time to hire and find better candidates
How many times have you missed out on hiring an ideal candidate because another organisation has offered them a contract before you’d finished your interview process? When it comes to hiring the best people, speed – and the quality of their experience with you as an employer – really matters. Adding an ATS or recruitment module to your HR software – one that manages vacancies, talent pools, and the various stages of the application process – can make a noticeable difference to your time to hire and the quality of the candidate experience. You can bet your bottom dollar that your closest competitors are using such technology to hire great people, so don’t get left behind – now’s the time to invest.
7. HR systems help deliver a better employee experience
It’s not just candidates who expect a great experience; existing employees also expect their interactions with HR teams to be seamless, quick, and on their own terms. Investing in HR software that is user-friendly, straightforward, and accessible on mobile devices will be a breath of fresh air for staff used to navigating a gauntlet of unwieldy spreadsheets and forms – helping them to better engage with core processes and procedures such as appraisals and objectives setting, and, ultimately, aiding employee retention.
8. Your pay runs will take less time and become more accurate
Storing up-to-date job and pay data in an HR system – one that integrates with your chosen payroll software – will reduce the time it takes to do your pay runs because accurate data flows instantly from one system to another. You should also find that your pay runs are more likely to be right first time, because the data your payroll software (or outsourced payroll provider) is referring back to is correct. So not only will your HR, payroll or finance team have fewer payroll queries to resolve each time they complete a pay run, they should also have more time to spend on other tasks and projects.
9. Your organisation will be able to better comply with the GDPR
As we’ve already discussed, introducing specialist HCM software helps you to keep sensitive and confidential employee data protected and secure. A good HR solution will also provide you with tools to help you more easily comply with the requirements of the GDPR. Such functionality might include data-retention dashboards (to help you identify data that needs to anonymised or deleted), defining data-retention periods, enabling self-service access to personal data employees and leavers (a key ICO recommendation), and tools to help you fulfil subject access requests (SARs). Such tools will not only help you comply with the regulations – avoiding financial penalties or reputational damage – but also improve the speed at which you can complete data-protection-related activities.
10. You’ll be able to engage individuals with L&D more effectively
Choose an integrated HR and LMS and learners will be able to book training courses, and access online content and programmes, straight away – without needing to remember a different username and password. Making it quick and easy to access learning content results in increased usage and uptake, which is great for your return on investment (ROI) figures, and means your employees – and your organisation as a whole – will be more skilled and knowledgeable. Need more convincing? Read our four reasons to integrate your HR and LMS platforms.
Building a business case for investing in specialist HR software? Our product experts can help. To discover what Ciphr could do for your organisation, call us on 01628 814242 or request a call back
This article was first published in June 2015. It was updated in July 2020 and January 2023 for freshness, clarity and accuracy.