Both the workplace and workforce have been undergoing profound changes in recent times. Companies are recognizing that in order to meet the resulting challenges and stay competitive, they must perfect the ways in which they manage the one common resource none of them can do without –the employees. In the business world, the area that deals with the workforce is called Human Resources, often labeled HR for short. That field is becoming increasingly more important these days. And, the new challenges have led to new responses from HR departments as they find that the best way to adapt is to make extensive use of HR computer software. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that everyday HR software systems are claiming a bigger and bigger piece of the software market.
Typically, a HR Software System is robust enough to handle the many varied functions of a Human Resources department. Some of these functions might be: storing personal data, screening job candidates, tracking hiring dates, monitoring salaries and benefits, administering development workshops, annotating bonuses and compensations, and keeping up with changing health care benefits. Software applications also assist HR departments with payroll processing, employee information management, and training. With the progression and improvement of the software systems, HR people report that using HR software has become a much larger part of the workday, as technology invades the workplace. Almost every task now includes using computerized tools because these make it easier for their departments to screen applicants, manage schedules, set up payroll, handle benefits and taxes, and do almost any other task the department handles on a daily basis.
HR Software System
Experts agree that automating an HR department with the right HR Software System provides advantages that will ultimately save time and money. Managing HR functions and practices through software allows the department to get more accomplished in less time and gives employees time to work on aspects of the department which cannot be automated –conducting interviews, handling complaints, etc. It will also be possible to organize HR processes so they are more efficient. Centralizing the work force data diminishes the risks of litigation, grievances, and audits.
It is important to note here that almost every company has its own HR policies and practices. To develop HR software that can be applied globally, a software vendor has to study hundreds of HR practices, analyze data, group certain patterns, and –from that- design a good HR Software System which can be customized to the more unique practices followed by each specific company. Consequently, every HR Software System requires many man hours to be developed. The point being that while there are HR systems which can be downloaded for ‘free’, the best products will not be given out for free.
Human resource management software applications designed to be run on an integrated software architecture are undergoing a rapid evolution, and many of the new innovations among these products stand to bring significant benefits to smaller and smaller business owners. In the earliest days of ERP specific human resource management software, HR applications were just one of several program suites that could be run on an ERP platform built around a single or multi-tier server architecture. When large companies implemented enterprise resource planning business solutions, they usually installed the central server system and then installed diverse software programs that handled a wide range of department functions through interfaces that offered the same look and feel.
In addition to accounting, payroll and customer relationship management programs, ERP systems could run human resource management software that could facilitate hiring and retention functions. Some of these capabilities included selective recruiting, employee training and scheduling, strategic workforce deployment and regulatory compliance with safety and equal opportunity employment mandates. These software programs could also help gather and analyze employee performance reviews and conduct functions related to disciplinary action, performance improvement plans, transfers and terminations.
As with other software applications designed to run on the earliest ERP solution infrastructures, human resource management software remained for several years out of reach to all but the largest companies with flexible technology budgets and high tolerance for risk. Until recently, small businesses with more restrictive budgets were often kept out of the market for ERP software and human resource management software. But as market saturation and a slowing of demand takes place at the highest budget levels, developers and installers are turning their attention downstream and beginning to compete for market share among the smaller business clients with needs that they could once afford to ignore.
Human Resource Management Software
In order to court these small business clients, it’s been necessary for software developers to customize and scale their human resource management software offerings. Developers and providers have also begun marketing product suites that can be purchased and installed by business owners, and then run on a server infrastructure provided by a hosting solution or software service provider. These companies allow small businesses to run their back office applications on a central server system in a rental capacity, which allows business managers to sidestep the cost of server system ownership and maintenance. This arrangement is beneficial to both the hosting solution and the human resource management software user, and may also be beneficial to software providers as well if they can arrange successful strategic partnerships with these software service providers. These arrangements are beginning to take place, and their success may help small business owners obtain the competitive edge they need to stay afloat during challenging times.
Another basic feature of a good HR system is Position Budgeting and Tracking. Position budgeting and tracking is the ability to budget for position types, employee equivalents, or other factors used to facilitate hiring decisions. It also calculates model pay increases and the impact of hiring or transferring new employees to a department.
Training and Certification Tracking is a fourth key feature. Training and developing a workforce is a very important way to improve the capabilities of the employees. Tracking training provides the ability to identify courses or develop a program for target groups. It also gives employees the ability to register, download course overviews, and receive course certificates through an online portal. This then gives HR information on which courses are in demand and which are not.
Human Resource Software System, Part II
A fifth feature considered extremely important is Employee Health and Safety. Human Resources software systems assist in accumulating data needed for Workers Compensation, Occupation Safety and Health Administration, or other regulatory agencies. Standard reports can be run for regulatory requirements and custom reports can be generated for internal incident, injury claim, and disability tracking as well as for analysis.
Another feature considered basic is Performance Management. Performance Management tracks employee performance reviews and ratings. It can track employee scoring based on categories such as attendance, skills, test results, certifications, and other factors. It is an excellent tool for determining bonuses, promotions, and pay increases.
Grievance Tracking functionality is important, too. Grievance tracking provides the ability to track employee issues such as harassment, supervisory problems, accusations, or other incidents, which may require corrective action.
Another basic feature is Mandated Benefits. These benefits are the ones directed by federal, state, and local laws. Social Security and unemployment insurance are funded through a tax paid by the employer based on the employee’s compensation. Workers Compensation exists in all states. Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) is the extension of benefits for a certain defined period of months to employees that leave the company. Human resources software offers the ability to automatically enroll personnel at termination, and generation of COBRA notices via electronic mail or regular mail.
And, finally, Employee Self Service functionality is one of the most valuable features of a Human Resource Software System because it allows employees to make changes to their personal information (name, address, emergency contacts, benefit enrollment, benefit election changes, online leave requests, and dependent enrollment) without having to contact the Human Resources people. This can be accomplished online with secure access to information such as benefit statements, employee handbooks, pay stubs, company newsletters, and events.
Human Resources software can be divided into two main areas of functionality - Payroll Software and Human Resources software. A Human Resource Software System is one of the most important investments a company can make because no one has succeeded in business without the knowledge that employees are the lifeblood of the organization. The better the workforce - the better qualified, better trained, and better managed –the more satisfied and fulfilled the workers will be, and as a result, the more effective and profitable the business will be, too. A thriving business has to invest wisely in the future, and one of the best ways to do this is to invest in the employees.
Human Resource Software Systems provide businesses with many benefits that help a business grow. One of the best things about Human Resource software is how it helps with employee retention. It has been proven that unhappy employees tend to leave to find work where they feel more respected, more valued, and are treated better. It takes a lot of time and costs a lot of money to hire new employees. First of all, there are fees for advertising the job openings, then the time involved in reading through applications, scheduling interviews, doing background checks, following up on references, and the interviews themselves. And, once the employees are hired, then they have to be trained.
Human Resource Software System
Human Resource Software Systems are invaluable because they enable companies to meet many employee needs, keeping them feeling content and appreciated. To that end, the best HR software systems contain some basic features applicable to all enterprises.
To begin with, HR systems need to automate recruitment. Human resource software can organize the recruitment process. Recruiters can use the software to manage the process from when an application is received, through correspondence and interviews with the applicant, to meetings with relevant hiring managers, to making an offer or rejecting the candidate’s application. Recruitment also tracks advertising, and applicant testing. More importantly, this feature allows for successful candidate information to be automatically converted to permanent employee records.
A second feature is Resume Tracking and Management. HR software allows Human Resource departments to match job descriptions with resumes and candidate records. Key word searches enable the ability to quickly scan resumes for experience or skills that are most focal to the open position. The software system is programmed to then automatically match key items and flag resumes with the most links, allowing HR to find the most qualified applicants.