What does HR software do?
21 April 2022

What does HR software do?

Good HR software will automate and streamline your essential HR processes; here are five ways HR systems will make your work easier


Maryam Munir

Maryam Munir

Maryam Munir worked as a content marketing writer at Ciphr from 2019 to 2021.


HR transformation Technology


Good HR software will automate and streamline your essential HR processes; here are five ways HR systems will make your work easier

HR software is crucial for every growing and established organisation. It not only enables organisations to carry out tasks related to the attraction, retention and management of their people and HR data, but can also increase the productivity and efficiency of HR teams, line managers, and employees. Well-designed HR software can automate and streamline processes, and allow HR departments to be seen as forward-thinking and a strategically relevant enabler of good work, but how exactly does HR software work?

Its basic functionalities include employee and manager self-service, and recording employee data (such as job, pay, addresses, personal information, holiday, and absence information). With HR software, your people data can be stored securely in a single location – removing the need to store your data in multiple unsecure locations such as email, Microsoft Excel or Google sheets, or even on paper in a filing cabinet – enabling greater data security and helping you better comply with the GDPR.

Alongside the basic functionalities of employment record keeping, HR software can also help HR teams track learning and development (L&D) progress, manage and review employee performance, and track pay, benefits and rewards.

Here are some of the ways that HR software works and the functions it can carry out.

Absence management

With HR software, you can track, manage, and report absences. Having this information all in one place allows you to see who is off sick or absent, while automated absence reports can present you with instant analytics about your data.

By using HR software to manage absences – instead of using email or Excel – employees and managers can easily record the primary causes of absence in your organisation. Having a robust view of all absences can help you identify which departments or teams are under-resourced, and help you plan relevant action.

For organisations working remotely, HR software can allow you to easily track who is off sick (and why), who is self-isolating or who needs to take time-off, and make informed decisions based on this data.


With self-service, employees, managers, and HR professionals can manage, maintain, and review their own information. It empowers them to request holiday, enter absences, and update their personal information, with manager and HR verification – supporting employee engagement as a result, and to view information about pay and benefits. Self-service helps streamline and delegate admin-intensive processes, saving time for HR and managers who can instead focus on people and performance.

Automatic notifications

HR software can send out notifications and reminders to managers for tasks such as new starters’ IT setup, probation reviews, and appraisals. When handling the onboarding process for new hires, this functionality can benefit both HR and the new hire. Reminders of any tasks that still need to be carried out before the starting data can be sent to everyone involved and saves HR from having to chase the new employee (or their line manager) for any uncompleted tasks.

This not only reduces HR’s admin burden but can also improve communication and help aid compliance by making sure vital actions are taken at the appropriate time.

Data security and analytics

Single sign-on enables data to be stored securely in HR software. Your organisation can control access levels and provide employees with a secure and easy way to access multiple systems using one set of login credentials. New starters can quickly gain access to relevant applications, which can create a smoother onboarding experience, and, when an employee leaves the organisation, their accounts can be deactivated quickly, ensuring greater data security.

HR software can also provide customisable reports and analytics from the data you enter and store in it. If you are a UK organisation with more than 250 employees, gender pay gap reporting is essential, and HR software can produce these reports and figures for you. You can interrogate data quickly and easily, and report on and present this information to add weight and meaning to important strategic decisions.

Integrating with other applications

HR software can also integrate with other applications in order to improve efficiency. When linked via an application programming interface (API), systems are able to send and receive specified fields of data to and from one another. Organisations can choose to integrate their HR software with applications such as learning management systems, expense management systems, and time and attendance systems – streamlining processes and improving the employee experience.

Adding functionality an applicant tracking system (ATS) to your network of HR software will help to streamline your hiring process. A good ATS enables you to see which candidates are at which stages of the hiring process, can make your recruitment process much smoother, reduce the amount of admin work you need to do, and improves data integrity.

To find out more about Ciphr’s people management solutions can automate and streamline your HR processes, contact us at [email protected] or call 01628 814242.