One of the first things a business usually implements is some sort of Human Resources (HR) system. The day your business grew from being just you to having even just one more employee, a way to manage things like benefits, days off, payment schedules and more, probably became essential.
In the old days, options were limited. Companies had HR systems custom built for them onsite, having to hire developers to write a new program that met their specific demands, or were stuck purchasing a package and then hoping it could either be customized (via hard coding, or the addition of independent intermediary modules) to meet their business’ needs, or totally scrap the old way of doing things and restructuring the business’ HR process to accommodate a new system.
Needless to say, you can appreciate the hassles of going with either of these solutions. Each and every business has unique facets that will always stand out from others. So far, there is no one complete system that can meet any company’s HR demands. Businesses that require HR automation either opt for a system that meets most of their demands and then, somehow, support their remaining needs using peripheral systems, or drop their old ways and redesign the way they do things so they can use the HR systems.
But, that was before the advent of cloud-hosted HR systems.
What are Cloud Hosted HR Systems?
A cloud-hosted HR system is one that allows a business to store its data in servers that can be accessed from anywhere in the world via a web browser or a mobile app. Small businesses can have truly global-standard systems to look after their employees’ profiles, data and personal information. The backend of these cloud-based systems, meaning the servers and connectivity aspects, are usually handled by a third-party company with the client that implements their system, needing to only worry about the input, retrieval, and maintenance of their data.
How Do Cloud Hosted HR Systems Help?
Before talking about the advantages of cloud-based HR systems, we need to note that cloud computing is a relatively new concept in the technology field and is constantly evolving. This means the companies that offer their services are always on-the-go when it comes to updating and keeping their systems current. This means they’ll always have the latest technology at their disposal.
Compare this to the “old” way of doing things, where a client server-based HR application or system was installed onsite. The business was responsible for updating and patching its own system. While that’s totally feasible in larger systems with dedicated IT staff to handle issues, it isn’t uncommon to see smaller businesses experience system crashes and total disaster due to an oversight.
That leads us straight to our first advantage: with cloud-based HR systems, business won’t have to worry about HR system outages, updates or upgrades. The company supporting your system will be responsible for all issues from start (installation) to finish (go-live), and beyond (post-implementation support).
With cloud-based HR systems, the stakeholders now also include the employees themselves. Before cloud-based technology, employees would usually have to trudge all the way to the HR office for simple issues like updating their addresses or new qualifications. Now, any employee with a decent enough smart phone can simply log into their profile and update their data and have it stored in the main system, pending the approval of HR personnel. (Who are then automatically notified – another plus.)
Another benefits: awesome data integration. Many companies still hanging on to their old systems struggle with integrating other software with the main HR system. Payroll has to read and write HR data, the access control systems need HR information to give employees access and permissions, the attendance system needs to feed data to the HR system, which is then fed to the payroll system, etc. The connections and integrations that need to go into independent systems are rarely thought about, but are the norm in an SMB environment. With cloud-hosted HR systems, the provider is responsible for all system integrations and connections. All you need to do is sign up for them and you’ll have a complete system.
The overall cumulative effect is that businesses save money. They do not have to worry about hardware or software issues or any technical support. Apart from that, the HR department itself is relieved of some duties that involved menial tasks, like inputting and updating data, focusing instead on other, more important issues like organization management and growth strategy.
Finally, with a cloud-based HR system in place, you are guaranteed data security, ease of access of any document, and audit trails ensuring documents go through the proper channels. With such a system in place, your business can rely upon a robust HR department.