In today’s hybrid and remote workforces, HR technology is proving indispensable. However, HR software has been evolving for decades. The first HR platform emerged as far back as 1987. In more recent years, HR solutions have become cost-effective enough for any business. In fact, the market for HR software will grow by 12% by 2027.
Large corporations, small family businesses, and everything in between can benefit from HR software. It can allow HR professionals to manage hundreds or thousands of employees. But it can also allow a tiny HR staff to effectively manage HR functions.
The market now holds an overwhelming number of HR solutions. With this variety, how do you pick the right one? We’ll discuss the key considerations that will help you make the best choice.
Top 6 Reasons to Use HR Software
According to PwC, the biggest drivers of HR software upgrades are as follows:
- The need to attract and retain talent (58%).
- Developing employees’ potential (43%).
- Enhancing the employee experience (42%).
- Boosting collaboration (40%).
- Engaging in workforce planning (38%).
- Promoting wellbeing and inclusion (34%).
In 2020, many newly remote workforces adopted HR software for performance management. This enhanced their remote working capabilities, as Stacey Harris says in Introduction to HR Technologies. It also assisted managers with flexible scheduling and pay models, she adds.
Let’s explore the main benefits of HR software now.
Develop Talent, Improve Retention
Recruiting and retaining talent has become a pressing need for most companies. Committing to developing their potential will earn their loyalty. By helping track and manage performance, software can help you grow their potential. It lets you easily track KPIs and prepare for appraisals. This decreases the risk of oversights while reducing prep time. And software can also provide data to use in making workforce decisions.
Importantly, HR software can also help managers communicate with employees. Instant feedback tools can let you share input in real-time, no matter where you work. And some solutions allow peers to share instant feedback with one another. This greatly boosts collaboration within teams.
Enhance the Employee Experience
Software can also improve the employee experience by automating mundane tasks. These solutions can allow employees to avoid repetitive tasks like filling out endless HR forms.
“Today’s employees expect a more streamlined digital experience—one that leverages the most efficient tools to handle routine tasks and lets them concentrate more fully on getting meaningful work done,” writes Shawn Farshchi in Forbes.
Plus, staying closely connected with their manager and peers improves team culture. In turn, this provides employees with a more positive and engaging work experience.
“With the amount of data that comes through an HR department these days, it’s virtually impossible for any person—or group of people—to process everything,” writes Anna Johansson in Entrepreneur. But HR software changes that. By analyzing data about performance, it aids in smart decision-making.
Companies can make more accurate promotional decisions, for instance. They can also assess where they need to become more inclusive.
Overcome Logistical Hurdles
Finally, HR software can assist with a variety of logistical functions. It can streamline the onboarding process and benefits administration. It can help with scheduling and time-off requests. And it can allow you to store employee data safely and securely.
All of these benefits can have tremendously positive effects throughout the company. Let’s now discuss a few pitfalls to avoid when adopting HR technology.
Potential Pitfalls of Adopting HR Software
A great HR system will enhance performance and efficiency. However, several pitfalls exist, so be sure to avoid them. You can easily overcome those challenges by selecting the right system.
- If employees don’t adopt the software quickly, the investment will be wasted. User adoption remains the most pressing challenge for HR systems. Employees may resist technological changes—even ones that would clearly benefit them. More than 80% of respondents to PwC’s survey struggle with the adoption of HR solutions. A hands-on approach to training them will make a huge difference.
- HR fragmentation can occur with a disorganized approach to software adoption. This means using disconnected HR systems for different tasks. If they don’t sync together in a single platform, tasks become more cumbersome. And if you adopt too many different HR tools, it can quickly get confusing, says Farshchi. “This app overload erodes productivity and creates a frustrating experience for HR professionals who are looking for a more streamlined and efficient way to handle routine processes,” he asserts.
- If people don’t understand the purpose, they won’t buy in. That goes for both employees and managers. Summarize in a single sentence how the product will benefit them. Focus on how it will empower them to accomplish their goals. This will build enthusiasm for the new technology.
We’ll discuss how to avoid these issues in detail within the next section. When introducing new technology, thoughtful planning will ensure all goes smoothly.
What Makes for A Great HR Software Platform?
Looking for these essential qualities will help you choose the right system.
- A cloud platform. As Johansson says, cloud software is essential for remote and hybrid teams. It gives team members access to the software from anywhere in the world.
- An intuitive user interface. You should have no trouble navigating the software, even in the first week.
- Ability to scale. Choose a software that can grow with you, Johansson advises. Make sure the software will still function smoothly if your team expands.
- Solid tech support. Consider whether you’ll have tech support from the provider. Will they be on call to answer questions as you implement the system? You don’t want to spend days tracking a tech person down.
- Data security. It goes without saying that your system needs to keep data secure. Make sure the company you purchase it from has a demonstrated commitment to data security.
Now, let’s explore some key points to consider before implementing HR solutions. Examining them first will help you successfully launch your software.
What to Consider Before Implementing A New HR Software
Get leaders—and more importantly, mid-level managers—on board. PwC found that 50% of senior leaders believe HR tech has boosted productivity. However, only 22% of middle managers feel the same. Providing more support at the manager level could help companies leverage these tools more effectively.
With managers, illustrate how it will allow them to do their jobs more effectively. And explain how it will make their lives easier. (For instance, no more struggling to remember employees’ achievements before appraisals.)
What issues do you want the software to solve?
The best software for you depends on the problems you want it to address. Some companies are looking for onboarding assistance. Others want help implementing an effective performance review system across the organization. Talk with managers about the challenges they are experiencing in their work.
Then, determine which ones you can resolve with a software solution. If you don’t need an all-purpose HRMS solution, narrowing down your needs could cut costs.
How can you build investment in this software?
- First, emphasize how it will benefit users. Focus on the positive—how it will improve their lives and enhance their capabilities.
- Second, create a focus group of employees to build investment. Gather them together to get their input. Ask their advice on how to get their colleagues on board. By making them part of the implementation team, you’ll cultivate employee advocates.
- Third, provide clear training on how to use it. Even if you’ve chosen an intuitive system, this will increase buy-in. People may worry that they’ll struggle with new technology. Or, they may not fully grasp how to leverage these tools. Providing training will build their confidence. You might start with a PowerPoint and segue into hands-on training, suggests SHRM.
Offering video tutorials can keep the info readily accessible. These training sessions don’t need to be complicated, especially for a user-friendly system.
- Fourth, offer incentives for getting managers and employees on board, says PwC. They can get “points” for using elements of the system, for instance. They could exchange these for a reward. You might even “gamify” adoption of new tech by creating fun challenges, they suggest. Give a pop quiz about how to use the software, offering a small prize. Or, ask the team questions about it at random times throughout the first week.
- Fifth, share success stories. Tell the team how managers and individual employees have benefited.
How can you avoid system fragmentation?
If you need to use more than one type of HR system, make sure they sync. For example, Primalogik and BambooHR sync together seamlessly. This delivers the best of several HR specialties, including performance management and payroll.
Additionally, if you’re changing systems, don’t keep the old one running, says SHRM. Make a clean shift to avoid any confusion about which one to use.
How Can You Provide the Right Support?
Test the product thoroughly within your HR department before the rollout. Understand it inside and out so you can confidently answer questions. That will make a strong first impression on employees. Train managers first so they can help coach their teams.
Try to make sure everyone has access to support throughout their workday. That will help avoid frustration as they learn the new system. This may be challenging with a workforce that has flexible hours. But employees will probably become proficient within a couple of weeks.
Building investment in your new HR software will play the biggest role in a successful rollout. Understanding the pain points you’re solving will help you address employees’ needs. Providing follow-up support will prove critical as well. As you introduce new technologies, check in frequently with both managers and employees.
Make sure they’re using the software for the intended purpose. By focusing on how it benefits them, you’ll get everyone up to speed!