What is an HR management system?
When you run a small business, there’s always something to do. In fact, a 2023 Gallup survey found that 39% of small business owners work over 60 hours a week. And although that sort of stretch can be required from time to time, working consistently at that level isn’t healthy or sustainable.
So what’s the solution if you want to run a successful small business?
In my experience, the key to success is typically how you work, rather than how much you work. The old saying ‘work smarter, not harder’ has probably never been more true than when it’s applied in the context of small business.
Over the years, I’ve found that one of the best ways to work smarter is by using tools that speed up and automate all of those time-consuming, repetitive, but very necessary tasks.
And perhaps the most essential tool to do that for small businesses is an HR management system.
HR management systems (also known as HR systems, HR automation tools, human resource management systems, or Cloud HR software) form a big part of my role at Charlie. As one of our product managers, I am continuously researching the HR software market so that we can improve our own product and make it work better for small businesses.
So I know how powerful a good HR system can be, and the huge difference it can make to your business day-to-day.
If you're struggling with one or more of the following, then this blog will really help you out:
- A lack of time - you’re constantly ‘juggling’ and are increasingly frustrated by the number of boring, repetitive tasks that take over your day (copying-and-pasting emails or moving data between different pieces of software, for example)
- A lack of data - you’ve no easy way of learning or proving what success is, so you’re often doing manual calculations to try to show what works and what doesn't
- A lack of expertise - you have to be everything to everyone, and really wish you had some reliable, expert support that doesn’t cost the earth
- A lack of resources - your budget is tight and every penny counts — you can’t afford to hire a big HR team.
Sound familiar? Let’s take a look at how an HR management system can help a startup or small business in particular.
What is an HR management system?
An HR management system — often referred to as HR software, HRMS (a human resource management system) or HRIS (a human resource information system) — digitises and automates essential HR functions so that business owners and HR teams can manage them more efficiently.
A good HR system will help you to effortlessly manage the lifecycle of every employee, from recruitment and onboarding, through essential admin like performance reviews and time off, to when they move on from your company (offboarding).
HR management systems move small businesses away from paper files, multiple spreadsheets, and computer folders to one central platform.
This digital platform then automates all essential HR tasks and admin, and securely saves and stores all employee and company contracts, documents and communication.
What does an HR Management System do?
An HR management system pretty much does what it says on the tin: it’s a digital system that you use to manage anything related to human resources — i.e. your people.
Automating HR tasks removes all of the time-consuming manual elements, freeing up business owners and HR professionals to concentrate on other things.
Though not all human resource management systems are created equal (ideally, you want one that is easy to use, has great functionality, and is specifically created for small businesses), they all should provide most of the following:
- A secure place to store employee data, company policies and other important documents
- Automated onboarding of new employees
- Time-off tracking and attendance management
- Automated performance reviews
- Better employee engagement through polls and surveys
- Perks and benefits for all employees
- Compliance with UK employment law
- Automated offboarding for exiting employees
- Data analysis and reporting
- Integration with other software
Charlie is one of the most popular HR management systems for startups and small businesses because it offers all of these functions via one simple and easy-to-use system that’s designed to meet their specific business needs.
How can an HR system help a small business? (i.e What are the benefits?)
The benefits of an HR management system can’t really be exaggerated.
HR systems have revolutionised the way businesses manage their people, and they’ve helped to pave the way for more progressive and strategic HR thinking.
By using an HR management system, you’re likely to see positive changes in your business very quickly.
- Improved recruitment
With an HR system, recruitment processes are better and simpler for both you and your new employees. And automated onboarding ensures that no steps are missed and communication is open, clear and regular.
- Improved retention
Better communication and engagement, through functionality like automated performance reviews and surveys, improves relationships with your team. When people feel listened to and are happy, they’re likely to stay for longer.
- More efficiency
An HR system will streamline all of your HR admin and related tasks through digitisation, HR automation and employee self-service (where employees are able and responsible for uploading and updating their own information), giving you time back to focus on other parts of your business.
- Better (and easier) decision making
With all employee data stored securely and centrally, and analytics and reporting built in, a human resource management system will enable you to better understand your business, and make decisions based on true and up-to-date information.
- Fewer mistakes
HR management systems like Charlie ensure compliance with UK employment law, reducing the chances of human error and oversight. Automatic reminders further reduce the chance of something important being missed — your team never forgets, and you never have to chase them up.
How Charlie can help your small business
Charlie is an HR management system — a complete HR tool to automate all of your HR processes, from onboarding to performance reviews, to employee perks.
What’s more, Charlie is built by a small business for small businesses. It’s an HR system designed to deliver everything your unique business needs.
- Help you automate boring, time-consuming and repetitive HR tasks, and cut down on the time that’s wasted flicking between different folders and systems
- Enable you to better understand your small business from a people perspective, and demonstrate the impact of good HR
- Allow you to actively impact your team’s happiness and engagement
With Charlie, you’ll streamline all of your HR work streams with a single platform. It’s so quick and easy to set up and use, your team won’t require any training. A win-win for you both!
Charlie is the best HR management system for small businesses who are looking for a solution that’s simple and affordable.
Try Charlie for free today. You’ve got nothing to lose except worry and faff.