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What are the must-have HR software features for business?
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HR software plays a key role in making the day to day running of your business much smoother, cheaper and less stressful. Not only does it cut down on admin time by allowing employees to log in and manage parts of their own HR, but it keeps everything in one centralised database which is accessible from anywhere.

It can seem overwhelming trying to work out which software features will be most beneficial to your business. Luckily, most HR software providers allow you to tailor the features to best meet your company needs.

The key HR software features to look out for are:

1. Logging time off
2. Onboarding
3. Securing employee data
4. Time tracking
5. Appraisals
6. Payroll
7. Reports
8. Alerts and reminders

1. Logging time off

It’s never been easier to know where all your employees are and when. With HR software, your team can easily check their annual leave allowance, the company’s policies on sick daysparental leave and working from home, and can quickly communicate to you if for some reason they’re unable to come into work.

As a manager of the software, you can then accept or reject time off requests, ensuring you always have enough employees on premises. With the calendar tool, you’ll never be caught by surprise as to where your team are, as you’ll be able to plan weeks and even months in advance.

It’s common for employers to be regularly asked questions such as ‘How many holidays do I have left?’. With HR software, staff are able to answer these questions themselves, freeing up valuable time for you to be getting on with more important tasks.

2. Onboarding

A clear and supportive onboarding process is key to helping employees settle in to their new role, which in turn will improve retention and boost overall performance. Common onboarding features of HR software include sending out new starter forms and employment contracts and compiling a checklist of things that the new hire needs to do or learn.

A key software feature within the onboarding area is the online staff handbook. As it’s a legal requirement for employers to lay out all company policies and procedures for employees to read, HR software will compile these policies in one place that’s easily accessible for all members of your team.

The software can also generate an acknowledgement form for employees to sign when they’ve read over everything. This will help protect you as a business in the case of tribunal claims, as you will be able to provide clear evidence that employees were aware of your policies from the start.

The onboarding period is when a new hire is forming their first impressions of what it’s really going to be like working for their new employer. That means the onboarding HR feature helps manage one of the earliest (and formative) employee experiences, supporting new hires to get up and running – boosting your time-to-productivity or time-to-proficiency metric – and feeling part of the team sooner.

Dave Foxall, HRMS World

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3. Securing employee data

With HR software, your most sensitive employee data (bank details, home addresses) can be kept securely within your database instead of inside a disorganised filing cabinet with a flimsy lock. Access can be granted only to those who need it, and a HR Privacy Notice and Data Retention Policy can be produced by the software to comply with the GDPR laws.

Having a centralised system will make it easy to find what you need in seconds, and far harder to lose it. Team members will be able to view and update their own employee file when their details change, taking some of the HR workload off you as an employer.

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4. Time tracking

A useful aspect of HR software is the ability to generate online timesheets for your employees, which can then be filled in quickly and easily and sent to you for approval. This will save time working out each individual’s hours and pay, especially within sectors where shift work is common.

Another possible time tracking feature is a stopwatch, which can be used to document how long your team members spend on each project or task. This not only helps to boost performance and output, but can be useful in showing where some processes could be streamlined.

Clocking in and out via HR software is a much more reliable option than scanning a pass, which may not work and employees may leave at home. Knowing that such an accurate clocking in system is in place may encourage employees to try to be as punctual as possible, which will improve overall business efficiency.

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5. Appraisals

To ensure employees feel valued and to keep business running smoothly, regular appraisal meetings are required. HR software can help to streamline this process, allowing you to set dates for meetings and generating questionnaires for employees to fill out ahead of the appraisal.

You can then set goals and objectives for each individual which will appear on their personal profile, giving them visual motivation to work hard and excel in their role. A clear, efficient appraisal system makes employees feel listened to and boosts their morale, which in turn leads to a boost in overall performance and output.

6. Payroll

One of the most sought-after features of HR software, automated payroll helps to radically reduce tedious admin and human error.

Whether employees earn a wage (paid by the hour) or a salary (paid a fixed amount per month), the payroll software will have the ability to work out the correct amount to pay each employee.

It will then automatically deduct the right amount of National Insurance and Income Tax according to HMRC’s tax codes, then generate a payslip which will be sent securely to each individual’s profile for them to view.  Some software providers can then submit the information to HMRC (a legal requirement for businesses) and directly pay the money into employee bank accounts.

You can also manage expenses requests from your team, which will then be taken into account when calculating wages owed to employees.

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7. Reports

With all company information in one centralised database, it’s easy for your HR software to generate reports on all aspects of the business. From gender pay gap to total salary costs to staff turnover, you can create a clear visualisation of how well your organisation is performing in various different categories.

This can be useful in many ways: to recognize sickness trends which could be damaging to your business, or to identify the biggest costs and expenditures. Reports can also make your team feel valued by showing them how the work they are doing contributes to the wider business.

8. Alerts and reminders

HR software allows you to stay on top of everything that’s going on within your business. Notifications can be sent to your desktop and your mobile phone, informing you about everything from staff birthdays to holiday requests and appraisal meeting reminders.

With no paperwork required and all information available at the click of a button, you’ll be able to stay organised and ensure your business runs as smoothly as possible.

Our HR software can help to take the stress out of onboarding, holiday requests and countless other processes.

Get in touch on info@citrushr.com or give us a call on 0333 444 0165 to find out more about our easy to use HR Software.

Or start your free trial today.

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The content of this blog is for general information only. Please don’t rely on it as legal or other professional advice as that is not what we intend. You can find more detail on this in our Terms of Website Use. If you require professional advice, please get in touch.

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