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You need to ask these questions!

Don't let the mere thought of choosing and implementing HR software in your business scare you off doing it. It's likely to be one of the smartest investments you could make in your small business, especially if you're growing.

When I cast my mind back a few years, and think of the first time I looked in to whether implementing a HR system (aka HRIS) in my employers' business of 60 employees was an investment worth making, my first memory is overwhelm. Here I was researching so many different systems, getting more and more bamboozled by the minute. I cringe when I think of the time I wasted not having first gotten clarity on exactly what we wanted and needed our HR system to do for us.

Well now that time and my career has marched on and advising small businesses on the most viable HR systems to meet their unique and specific needs is a regular occurrence for me, I can honestly tell you there are about 5x the options on the market now than there was a few years back. But the really good news is that many are very affordable and scalable options for startups and small businesses.

So how do you choose?
Here's a basic breakdown of the process we follow with our clients, including a free downloadable Tip Sheet, and I'd like to share this with you in the hope it will save you time and overwhelm.

1. What HR processes do you want it to handle? 

There are SO many functions today's HR systems can perform for you now that once it's up and running you seriously won't know how you managed to do it all manually before. No more Excel spreadsheets! No more copying and pasting of information from one place to another!  The system is now going to do it all for you.

So its critical you think about the HR tasks you perform now and write up your wish list. Here are some thought joggers but this is by no means an exhaustive list: 

  • securely store employee records, 
  • track job applicants through to hiring, 
  • develop time sheets, 
  • manage leave records, 
  • send me reminders/alerts when licences are expiring
  • develop documents like employment contracts and policies, 
  • administer employee rewards, 
  • manage performance appraisal processes
  • manage compliance with WHS and Fair Work Act
  • payroll

2. What features do you want the system to have?
Depending on your business, some features will be "must haves" and others "nice to have" so now is the time to decide what features your HR system "must have" to bring a real and measurable return on this investment. To assist you with this step, use our HR System Tip Sheet as a starting point.

3. What is your budget?
Cash flow is the biggest stressor running the business so make sure you get clear on how much the business can afford. 

4. Research at least 3 providers
So now you know what you ideally want, need and can afford, it's time to look at what's on the market and a good fit for your business. A google search is always a good place to start. Type in 'HR systems for small business australia' and take a look at some of the options. You could spend all day researching and weighing up the pro's and con's of each so as there are so many, I'll give you a couple of value for money options I can highly recommend to start your research with:

  • enableHR, 
  • Employment Hero

It's also useful to take a look at systems similar businesses are using and happy with, so ask around. Or another alternative is to contact us to discuss your HR needs and we'll guide you in the right direction.

I would recommend selecting 3 that look viable and then focussing your research on those. 

5. Demo / free trial
Time to take one for a test drive (or two or even 3). The reputable providers will bend over backwards to give you a demo and a free trial period so make use of these and be sure to test out their support services during the trial period. If you don't have your own HR Consultancy, like HR Tactics, to contact when you need system support then you'll want to make sure the actual Provider offers the level of support you require.

Investing in a HR system is a significant investment so make sure you follow the process and  it starts with getting crystal clear on what you need and want the system to achieve. Good luck and don't hesitate to call us at HR Tactics if you want assistance with the process!

This article was written by Jackie Strachan,
Owner and Principal Consultant at HR Tactics
P: 0406 146 116
E: jackie@hrtactics.com.au
W: www.hrtactics.com.au