The seven essential features of HR software no organisation should do without



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6 mins

Human resource management plays a critical role in the success of any organisation, and, as technology continues to advance, human resource (HR) software has become an indispensable tool for HR professionals. However, with so many options available on the market, it can be challenging to determine which features are essential and which are ‘nice-to-haves’.

Luckily, we’ve done the hard work for you and distilled the most important HR management software features.

The key features in this article

The seven features of HR software your organisation needs

From absence management to performance reviews, here are the seven HR software features your organisation needs to streamline processes, improve overall efficiency and ensure employee engagement.

1. Absence management

Absence management features in your HRIS system allow your organisation to more easily monitor absence levels. As you collect more and more data, you will be able to report on absence trends and identify where improvements may need to be made. With all this information in one place, full oversight of reported absences is made simple – the HR team can view organisational trends, while line managers can monitor their team’s time off and navigate workload distribution appropriately.

With Ciphr HR, employees can easily log absences – from holiday to sick leave – directly in the platform. Managers will automatically get a notification, which they can either accept or reject, streamlining your processes. 

Here is what one of our clients had to say about Ciphr HR’s absence management functionalities:

“People can log their own self-certified sickness and HR has access to Bradford Factor score reporting, too. We can now keep a much closer eye on employees’ absence.”

St Mary’s Hospice

2. Employee self-service

Your employees should be able to access your HR software directly, taking control of requesting holiday and reporting absences (as mentioned above), updating their personal information as necessary and accessing company policies and documents. Employee self-service streamlines admin tasks, reduces costs, improves data accuracy, and increases employee engagement. Giving employees more responsibility for their own tasks will enable your HR team to work on more strategic projects, too. 

We pride ourselves on Ciphr HR’s employee self-service capabilities and the user-friendliness of our HR system. Here’s what one of our clients said about it:

“Our users now take responsibility for their own details. We always know exactly where we are with staff information.”

Blandy & Blandy Solicitors

3. Performance reviews

Performance reviews are essential for your teams’ growth. HR software can help with performance management by helping you identify and track individuals’:

  • Learning and development (L&D) needs
  • Skills
  • Qualifications
  • Completed training
  • Objectives
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • And more

All this information is stored in one place that both managers and employees can easily access and refer back to. Ultimately, performance reviews and management can help your employees grow and flourish.

Ciphr’s central HR software has traditional performance management capabilities, and we also offer related products as a learning management system (LMS) and eLearning content. The right LMS can further improve your employees’ learning experience through visual learning journeys, collaborative and gamified learning, social tools and more. Integrating an LMS with your central HR software – and populating it with high-quality, relevant training content is a sure-fire way to invest in your people, and your organisation.

4. Data analytics and reporting

Gone are the days of tracking data on multiple spreadsheets – and gone are the days of not knowing what the numbers you are reporting on actually mean. Not only does the right HR software have all the information you need all in one place, it will help you tell a story, giving you impactful insights you can report on and use to guide your strategies in the future. 

Monitoring and analysing valuable data in one place will save time, energy and frustration. Configurable reports and data analytics will help you to make more informed decisions, monitor results and keep track of key performance indicators (KPIs) in areas that range from the gender pay gap to performance, as well as regulatory and legislative compliance.

5. Integration functionality

Your HR software should be able to integrate with your organisation’s other key applications. This will increase security and data accuracy while simultaneously reducing admin time and improving the employee experience. After all, having all the applications you need in one place will make your teams’ lives easier and encourage them to interact fully with your software.

Standard integrations include:

  • Payroll software
  • Learning management systems
  • Benefits platforms
  • Access management systems
  • Electronic signatures

However, many organisations will also need less common integrations, which can range from a school information management system or an expenses system to an engagement survey platform or Microsoft Power BI. Don’t settle for software that doesn’t provide your organisation with all the integrations you will need on a daily, monthly, or even yearly basis.

6. The ability to store and share policies and letters

Your HR software should be your employees’ ‘one-stop-shop’ for essential HR information, which can range from policies such as absence and remote working guidelines, to contract confirmation letters and other important communications. HR software such as Ciphr’s enables you to store and disseminate policies with ease, providing a single point of reference – so employees always have access to the latest version. And you can track who has read and digitally accepted policies too, helping you to monitor and ensure compliance.

7. Mobile capabilities

It’s 2023 and more people than ever are working remotely at least part of the time, which means mobile functionality is a must. Employees and managers alike need to be able to access their HR software anytime, anywhere, on any internet-enabled device they choose. This will increase employee engagement with your HR software and generally make life easier for members of your organisation.

Ciphr HR has the mobile capabilities our clients need – here’s what The Cambridge Building Society had to say about them:

“It is a huge benefit that staff can log in from absolutely anywhere. It has helped to achieve total buy-in across the company, from the CEO down to staff in our branches.”

Get the HR software features you need with Ciphr HR

It’s common knowledge that HR software has become an essential tool for managing the HR processes of organisations – but to maximise its benefits, you need to feel confident in its features. From mobile capabilities to absence management, the right HR data management software features can make all the difference not only for your HR team but for your entire organisation.

Ciphr HR has the seven essential HR software features we’ve mentioned above, along with add-ons that range from outsourced payroll, recruitment and onboarding to benefits administration. If you’d like to see how we can help your organisation streamline your HR processes, download our brochure or request a demo today.


Related: Managed HR services (outsourced HR)>