To begin with, most small businesses settle with using spreadsheets for their day-to-day HR requirements. When your company is small, this method can be perfectly manageable, but as your company grows and you recruit more people it can cause some serious issues, and you will need to invest in an HR software suite.
What are the initial problems?
1 – Managing time off can be a nightmare
As your team grows, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep a handle on who’s taking time off and when, particularly if employees are required to email their leave requests to managers or senior team members.
Firstly, team members can be left in the dark if emails aren’t responded to promptly. Another difficulty is that it’s hard to see how much holiday you have used already and how much you have remaining without asking someone, which can lead to tension within the business.
Finally, managers always have to be heavily involved in the process of booking holidays. You have to receive the request, check against any other conflicting holidays, decide whether or not you’re approving it, then manually update your spreadsheet. A few requests can quickly create a lot of unnecessary admin for managers. Is that really the best use of your time?
2 – Storing of personal information can get messy
Without an HR solution, you’re likely to be storing your team’s documentation and details in several different locations. Not only is this a pain for whoever’s tasked with managing it, but it’s also not likely to be GDPR compliant.
There’s additional problems here, too. Firstly, your team can’t self-serve. So, if they move home, they’ll have to notify the HR manager within the business, who’ll then have to update those details manually in the system.
Secondly, you can’t give access to a spreadsheet containing this information to everyone within the business, because it contains a huge amount of sensitive data and personal information.
Finally, even when you take precautions, it’s still hard to keep track of who has access - and what level of access - to the HR spreadsheet.
3 – It’s unprofessional. And it shows
Not having an HR software in place simply doesn’t look great, particularly when you’re onboarding new-starters. If you’re sending emails back and forth as part of your onboarding process to collect personal details or define what equipment your new recruit needs, mistakes can be made and things can get lost in communication.
If your managers don’t have a consistent process to follow, mistakes will be made. It’s not a great first impression to project.
4 – Processes aren’t formalised
Without HR software, you’re unlikely to have a formalised process for things like appraisals. Without a clear method of standardisation for appraisals, it’s likely your company won’t have regular forms to complete, reminders won’t be sent at the right time, appraisals won’t happen when they should and they’ll be conducted and reported on inconsistently, with different team members getting different experiences.
How can HR software solve these problems?
1 – There’s one source of truth for time off
There’s no room for confusion when it comes to time off when you have good HR software. All of your team will know exactly how much time they have allocated, how much they’ve used and they can be self-serving when they book holiday, without bothering their manager with small but time-consuming requests.
2 – Secure document storage
Not only do you remove the mess and confusion of storing passport details, P45s and other sensitive information in different places, but you’ll also be GDPR compliant. The right HR software ensures your documents are stored securely and you know exactly who has access to them within your business.
You can even set permission levels so you can be completely confident that the right people have visibility of the right documents.
3 – It’s professional
When you invite a team member to input their information into your HR software, it looks far more professional and creates a slicker onboarding experience. It saves you the worry of missing something and makes you look like a more professional business.
It also makes sure your onboarding process is seamless for new-starters, creating a fantastic first impression.
4 – It saves time
Having a centralised place for team birthdays, addresses, allergies, and so on means you know exactly where to go for the relevant information when you need it. Rather than searching through Google Sheets to find some important information about your new hire, you can quickly pull it up within your HR software.
More importantly, it saves you time, freeing you up to focus on other things.