HR software in the cloud is being widely touted as the way forward for human resources. Cloud-based computing cuts companies’ costs, makes remote working easier and frees up HR professionals for valuable face-to-face training and consultation time.
Younger workers in particular will already be familiar with the idea of apps and cloud-based working, and for a smaller business, the use of cloud-based software can save on the costs of a server, user licences for individual machines, maintenance costs and even the expense of hiring extra staff to manage the HR processes manually. In addition, the tight security around a typical cloud-based system means a lower chance of cyber attacks or data losses. A paper-based system could still fall victim to a burglary, flood or fire.
Other benefits include:
- Ease of access – laptop, tablet, PC or even mobile app
- Productivity – leave days can be requested or approved on the train or in a hotel room and sickness cover arranged in a few clicks
- Fewer paper-based processes; less filing; less physical storage space required
- Integrated records – from first application to leaving the company, some systems will handle the complete personnel filing process
- Ability to restrict access to certain areas of the software to particular staff only, or nominate individuals to input information on behalf of others
- Personalised training programmes, leave allowance and appraisal management systems
- New starters can upload scanned documents to the cloud before their first day, saving time and allowing any queries to be addressed in advance
- Customisation – some systems include areas for employee benefits, an internal social media element, organisation charts and employee profiles
- Ability to feed into finance and payroll software systems
- Tailored reports on employee demographics, retention, reasons for leaving
There is a wide range of systems available to manage HR processes, depending on how automated the company wants the system to be. A core range of services typically covers booking leave, registering sickness, managing training, tracking expenses and scheduling jobs or shifts for specific staff. Add-ons to some systems will allow complete end-to-end records of a staff member’s employment to be held.
Any business where workers are scattered across different time zones is likely to benefit from HR software in the cloud. For any company, it is a simple solution to the issue of where to hold all HR-related information, policies and procedures. With HR software in the cloud, staff can easily locate documents relevant to their situation, and can easily complete sickness forms, leave requests or expenses before submitting them to their line manager for approval.
Whether the company is a large global presence, a medium sized firm with a mobile workforce or a small start-up employing contractors or freelancers, cloud-based HR software has advantages. Many software providers offer free demonstrations and limited time trials, so it is possible for managers to make an informed decision, even allowing their employees to test software to see whether it works for them.
It’s easy to see why HR software in the cloud is seen as the future for human resources.