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Under 30 employees? You're not too small for HR software

Are you still convinced that your business is too small for a Human Resources Information System (HRIS)? Well this post is for those of you who still have your HR person or Office Manager (or you) spending hours on new starter onboarding paperwork, reconciling timesheets, manually entering data from one Excel spreadsheet to another and the million and 1 other administrative, process driven, routine HR tasks. As a HR Expert and business owner speaking from experience, this is not the best use of their time when they/you could be focussing on more strategic value-adding HR initiatives - if only you had HR software.

I've been where you are and it's not pretty.... Endlessly tied to the desk chasing new starters to return their forms, re-entering or copying and pasting the same employee information from one excel spreadsheet to another, phoning employees every pay run to question strange anomalies when their timesheets don't match up to their timesheet. Need I go on?

I know hand-on-heart that my decision to move a previous employers’ paper-based HR function to a cloud-based HR system was a decision that brought us some of the highest ROI. And that was back in 2014 when you had to pay more for a HRIS and you got a whole lot less for your money.

So I’m going to discuss two major reasons why you should be considering HR software for your business this year, and minimising the time you spend on processing routine HR tasks by around 70%.

1.     Onboarding

Onboarding is critical for turning new hires into valuable employees. But, without an HRIS you and your new recruits probably spend hours filling out and processing paperwork. It’s a huge time drain with so many documents to create, complete, sign and scan. Much more sensible to start putting the pre-employment phase of Onboarding (between them accepting the offer and commencing with you) to good use by prepping new hires for what to expect before they begin.

This pre-employment time is where your culture and values communication is vital. It’s the time to share information about your office and locality, along with great tips on where to eat, and other things of interest, but most importantly have them complete, at their own convenience, all their HR forms and read and accept all your workplace policies and employment contract remotely online before their first day. Result = no HR paperwork on day 1.

Old way: Using paper-based systems, there’s a mountain of paperwork for you to prepare and print out, and for your new starter to complete. Everything from signing their letter of engagement, to acknowledging your code of conduct, and other workplace policies. Plus, there’s the tax declaration and superannuation choice form for them to fill in, and for you to transpose into your systems.

New way: Switching to a HRIS automates and digitises the whole process for you. This makes the whole onboarding experience smooth and fluid, and ensures your new hires aren’t greeted with a stack on paperwork on their first day.

Something that is a huge time drain can now be done in a matter of minutes, and all without printing a single sheet of paper. With new starters now responsible for inputting their personal information and super details, this also reduces human errors as you don’t have to translate any hard to read handwriting.

It’s really important to remember, the onboarding process is your first opportunity to engage employees and help them get used to your company culture and expectations. Don’t make the mistake of making onboarding just about the paperwork.

2.     Spreadsheets

If you are still using spreadsheets for HR management and scheduling shifts for your staff and are finding you’re spending far too much time pushing paperwork, then you’re more than ready for HR software. Spreadsheets are just fine when you’re managing just a handful of people, but once the business starts to grow and employee numbers increase, spreadsheets have the potential to land you in all sorts of trouble.

Security: Firstly, a spreadsheet housed on your PC, and emailed back on forth doesn’t offer the level of data security you really should have in place to protect confidential information. At the same time don’t have the ability to restrict access to any individual cell, or sheet. At best, you may have a password to control access to the entire workbook, and that workbook relies on the security of the share drive that it’s on to prevent access.

Fit for purpose: Secondly, spreadsheets were not purpose-designed to manage HR data. It’s difficult to change the view of the worksheet if you want to look at data in another way.  And making modifications can be extremely painful.

Double-handling: In addition, you’re probably juggling a number of different spreadsheets for different requirements like tracking annual leave, absenteeism, and employee certifications and expirations for the Responsible Serving of Alcohol. This means you’re probably having to input the same information multiple times and having to duplicate the effort to keep it consistent and up to date.

Compare this to the ease of using HRIS software where there’s no need to waste time on double-handling data, and no doubling-up on administrative processes all of which minimises the potential for human error. You can see at a glance when any certifications need to be renewed. And security wise, HR software offers advanced encryption and secure servers to keep your data safe.

Which HRIS would suit my business?

There are a number of systems on the market at price points that are affordable to SMEs. They all tend to differ in their pricing models and some even offer their base models free of charge.

If you would like to find out more on what could be possible in your business, contact us to arrange a demo so you can see for yourself how using HR software will be a big plus for your business.

Jackie Strachan runs HR Tactics, a HR Consultancy focussed on providing SMEs with practical, easy to implement HR advice to maximise their business growth.