Many years ago, I came across an HR software product I had an instant “WOW” reaction to. It did not require installing anything on a computer. You could log into the program via the Internet from anywhere and have access to your HR files and systems. I was blown away. I wished I had had access to something like that when I was a practicing HR manager. I touted this great product to my clients, and a few bought into it. Then it disappeared because the company was bought up by a payroll behemoth, but it had given me a taste of what was to come.

Of course, today you can guess that this was an early iteration of what has become known as “the cloud.” It made me a convert to the use of HR software. Prior to that, in any department I had worked in, our HRIS was an actual metal file cabinet. Unfortunately, today, some 20 years later, many companies still have the file cabinet mentality about HR software.

“But it is hard to learn.”

Very few things that are good for you come easy. If you think back to the first time you had to learn Excel, it was not easy. I know many people who are still poor at using Excel (raising hand). Many of you, however, have gotten very good at Excel and are able to track your HR processes, new employees, benefits, payroll, and even applicants with a spreadsheet. It has become second nature to you. You are loath to give it up. I understand, sometimes it’s hard to let go of a habit. Bad habits are especially tough to give up, and not using an HR software system is a bad habit.

More Efficient and More Effective

One of the major complaints of almost all, if not all, HR people I meet is that they never have enough time to get their work done. They work long hours and never have a chance to be proactive in their jobs. Wouldn’t you like to have that time? That is what an efficient and effective software system gives you: TIME. Here are the benefits of a good system:

  • It is paperless – in today’s world, that is huge both in terms of cost and of time spent filing and handling papers.
  • It allows you to easily input information. Heck, you can even have new employees put in their own information!
  • It puts payroll and benefits in one place.
  • You can easily retrieve information – no more rummaging through the file cabinet.
  • It keeps track of accruals on vacation, leave, sick time, etc.
  • It allows managers and employees to manage some of their own processes, thus cutting down on transaction time.
  • It allows for tracking of applicants and the automatic production of offer letters.
  • It connects with recruiting sites.
  • It allows you to communicate with applicants and employees alike.

There are many more benefits than these. It all depends on which product and vendor you use. The biggest benefit as far as I am concerned is that IT FREES YOU FROM THE CHAIN THAT ATTACHES YOU TO YOUR DESK. Yes, you can become a telecommuter and still be effective in HR.

My question to you is, “What is not to love?”

Making a Decision

I will admit, making a decision about which HR software to choose can appear to be a daunting task. After all, according to expert William Tincup, there are approximately 22,000 software vendors. They range from big enterprise platforms to products designed for very small companies. There are a lot of products that are made to interact with each other in a modular fashion. Here are some tips Tincup gave at an HR conference a year ago, to help you get over the pain of this decision.

  • Use your peer group to learn what will work for you.
  • Look for an integration history of at least 100 times; don’t be a guinea pig unless you get a discount.
  • You must have a great process; this is more important than the product.
  • Don’t do business with someone who makes you feel dumb.
  • The CEO’s dilemma is your dilemma.
  • The best time to buy is at the end of the quarter, or even better at the end of the year.

You can make the process easier than it may seem at first by reading up on the options online and simply taking it one step at a time.

The Future

You can be in denial all you want, but cloud-based software is the only way HR will be done in the future. If you wish to remain competitive and attract and retain the talent your organization needs, this type of automation will be absolutely necessary. Eventually, robots and AI will be doing all of that work anyway. Start now and learn how to focus on the “human” part of your job. Leave the data transactions to the computers.

Remember, automation means more free time and less stress. And if that doesn’t make you smile, I am not sure what will.

Andreea Hrab

International HR Director for OSF Global Services, Andreea is a veteran recruiter who has seen them all. She developed HR recruiting strategies and retention programs that guarantees the success of the company. She is a people person and she handles very easy new relationships with new employees, but her most interesting challenge is to find the middle way between company’s best interests and employee’s needs. To learn more about Andreea contact her on LinkedIn.

3 Comments

  • Avatar Berta Scott says:

    Using these applications lets me choose a place where I can work by myself. Sometime I work in the park and sometimes in a café. I am not bound to any work arrangement, and that is why I love my job even more.

  • Avatar Vivian Martin says:

    Hey, I like my job and don’t want be replaced by robots! But seriously, I want to have more time for self-education. Cloud solutions give me this opportunity. This is like using a coffee machine: of course you can put it away and mill your coffee grains by hand, but who does that? It is better to use a machine and talk to your colleagues in the meantime.

  • Avatar Martina L. says:

    “But it is hard to learn” – oh, are you serious? Everything is hard to learn, but if it makes your work easier, what are you waiting for? I am a strong supporter of all the innovative HR software and I advise everyone to try it.

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