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Top Features You Should Consider In HR Software

Friday, November 14, 2014

Streamlining HR management workflows with innovative technology solutions

Human resources (HR) management systems (HRMS) run most effectively when tasks are automated, streamlined, and customized for the needs of your business. One of the most effective ways to establish robust HR processes for companies of all sizes is through the implementation of HRMS software.

When first developed, HRMS software was designed to track basic employee functions, such as the use of timesheets or retaining basic staffing data. As software programs have advanced with technological innovation, HR software has had features added to support the recruitment, hiring, onboarding, evaluation, and compensation of employees. HRMS developers recognized the need to provide a solution that addressed a plethora of HR functions while also securely storing sensitive HR data.

As a result, current software solutions for human capital management include the ability to engage with performance management through metric analysis for performance reviews as well as a self-service option for employees to receive support from the HR department. Robust HR software options can be accessed through different platforms (computer, tablet, iPhone, Android, etc.) with the ability to integrate with other software features critical for benefits administration, employee engagement, and small business HR needs.

While every business has their own specific needs when it comes to HR management systems, key features are applicable for businesses from a variety of industries or sizes. This article will outline the top management features to look for in HR software to support your HR team and to automate critical HR functions.

Top features to look for

Once you have decided to move forward with the integration of HR software at your company, the next step is to research the various software options available. As you move through the decision-making process, there are key software functions you should look for. By knowing the needs of your company and these key features, you will better position yourself to make an informed and successful choice to benefit the overall operations of your company. Let’s look at the top features:

  • Recruitment & Hiring. HR software systems offer advanced features for recruitment and hiring needs. For example, many HR software systems include a feature called the Applicant Tracking System (ATS). An ATS is an application feature that can be utilized as soon as the recruitment search begins. The ATS can automatically review a candidate's resume, placing certain skills or experiences into categories while also searching for keywords related to the position. From there, the system can either automatically reject the application or move the candidate forward in the process. Moreover, the ATS supports the tracking of candidates throughout the hiring lifecycle – from start to hire to onboarding. This is essential given that different candidates might be at various phases in the recruitment, hiring, and onboarding process. HR software can also store templates for interviews and streamline complex spreadsheets that hold a lot of important candidate or employee data.
  • Training. HRMS systems can track the training that employees are required to take. Furthermore, the system can also track additional training classes for employees in preparation for future advancements within the company. The automation of these training needs help HR staff stay on top of professional development requirements and forecast upcoming training needs. This creates a win-win situation: HR staff have time freed up to concentrate on other duties while employees feel encouraged and dedicated to the company because they feel they are important to management and will advance in the company. HRMS systems can also offer notifications for when training session deadlines are approaching.
  • Employee Portal. Employees bring a great deal of sensitive data (e.g., social security information, salary data, tax details, healthcare information, etc.) to companies upon hire. As a result, it is important to offer systems that can securely protect employee data. HRMS systems not only protect this information, but also enable employees access to their data with self-service portal options. Therefore, they can refer to their personal information and documents at their convenience. This innovation points to the idea of core HR where employee information is stored in one centralized platform.
  • Employee Benefits Administration. Benefits management is one of the more complex aspects of HR management. HRMS systems can store health plan information, automate eligibility requirements, report on employee compensation, and other details that can impact healthcare coverage. When open enrollment takes place, employees can enroll themselves by using all of the information stored in the software system.
  • Payroll Capabilities. Payroll involves the process of calculating and paying out employee wages while also taking tax details into account for each employee. With a lot of complex calculations, many HR teams have found great value in having a system that can automate these processes and data calculations. The HRMS can store each employee's compensation, allowances, overtime rates, and other factors that impact payroll processing. When payroll is automated, mistakes are reduced, time can be saved, and fewer pieces of documentation are required.
  • Time Tracking and Leave. With HR software, attendance management is a huge draw for employers. Instead of using manual time clocks or more traditional methods for time tracking, attendance management features enable tracking of attendance, paid time off (PTO), personal leave, and holidays. Some attendance management features allow for employees to request their own time off with the option for management to approve the time off through the software. This provides a paper trail for reference and real-time tracking. Furthermore, some systems register attendance with a card swipe or a fingerprint reader. This reduces errors and ensures an accurate recording of employees’ attendance.
  • Employee Performance Tracking/Retention Tools. Modules for performance management allow for HR departments to report employee goals and supply metrics to track each employee's progress toward identified goals. When employers have access to this type of data, they can regularly identify what is going well on the job for each employee and ensure the necessary measures are in place to encourage employee engagement and retention. Over time, features geared toward employee progress tracking solidify a more sustainable model for workforce and talent management.
  • Reporting and Analytics. One of the most important features to seek in HRMS is the ability to analyze a variety of metrics associated with your team of employees, including the storage of key documents that pertain to the employees’ experience at your business. Electronic files, documents, messages, and emails can all be used as reporting or analytic measures.
  • Flexibility. Businesses need flexibility in the HR software system that they select. Flexible systems can be utilized on multiple device options, whether on a mobile device or tablet. Moreover, most HR software programs are easy to use and have an interface that is streamlined, straightforward, and functional.

Software for today's HR world

Running a successful business requires keen and skilled attention toward the HR needs of your company. With the increased use of technology in all parts of business operations, HR is no different. In fact, using HR software for complex HR tasks is necessary for today's world. HRMS software helps businesses maintain high levels of organization, whether working with new hires or employees who have been around for many years.

With HR software, HR professionals can focus on the parts of their work that they do best: advocating for employees, ensuring company compliance, encouraging employee engagement, and incorporating a positive culture at their workplace.

Next steps

Are you ready to optimize your HR department with innovative technology solutions? Are you ready to explore HR software providers and find the right fit for your place of business?

Heartland is ready to help.

Heartland helps nearly 1,000,000 entrepreneurs make and move money, manage employees and engage customers with human-centered technology solutions that allow them to rise above the daily grind and lead their businesses into a brighter future. Learn more at