There is much talk nowadays about solutions for Human Resources professionals, but what are these exactly and how are they beneficial?
The changing role of HR
Originally, HR teams had a defined role with a strongly advisory capacity. The departments were often quite large and focused on helping staff with queries and assistance relating to their employment. HR staff would support with traditional activities such as recruitment and selection, performance management, training, employee benefits packages, payroll and more. Their work would largely be progressed on a client-centric model, according to the staff needs and the focus of their work could often be quite tactical, even if there was a strong strategic component required for legislation and policy setting within the business.
But since the credit crunch and resulting prolonged economic difficulties, HR departments have been placed under a great deal of pressure. Alongside tactical and day to day HR activities, their input is increasingly needed at the strategic and leadership level. HR departments are being called on to advice on business TUPES and mass redundancies, office relocations, overseas growth and outsourcing, talent sourcing for specialist roles, employee engagement and employer branding, talent management and internal culture schemes, growth through people and more. Happily however, although the demands are becoming more pressing, the range of technologies that exists to facilitate the strategic shift, is also growing.
The rise of HR software solutions
There are now a wide range of HR Solutions which exist to help businesses carry out an HR service, with less cost, time and resource requirements. At the heart of these solutions lies the twin concept of automation and self-service. Employees are empowered to manage their own queries and employee administration, by carrying out simple tasks such as leave booking, self-cert sickness reporting, changes of details, training requests and employee benefits management themselves, via secure accounts. This means that staff can access payslips, annual benefits statements, P60s and other documentation themselves, without needing to log a work request with the HR department.
Additionally these products allow for greater automation, integration with existing systems and customisation of reporting and information generation, which helps HR departments to make decisions and provide business information for strategic steer. These systems are also auditable and compliant, with a strong emphasis on data privacy and protection and they are often increasingly hosted via a cloud computing set-up, so that the business doesn’t need to invest in the implementation and maintenance of expensive on-site servers. For those solutions delivered via the SaaS model, upgrades and new releases are carried out remotely, quickly and regularly and the front-ends of the systems are intuitive and user-friendly.
There are certainly great benefits to using HR software systems for forward-thinking businesses that are keen to improve their operational efficiencies without growing extra costs. As ever, the right provider should be selected according to the rigours of a competitive tendering exercise and after objective comparison of the offers on the market. This provider will then act as an HR partner, to advise and support this most strategic of business functions.