HR Software for SME: 5 Features You Really Need

March 10, 2015

Hr Software for Small Businesses: 5 Features You Really Need

HR Software for small businesses is not that different than the HR software for large employers. In fact, there are many systems available that suit both types of organisation just fine!

But if you’re not sure what you’re looking for, then selecting the right HR software for your SME can be tough. So here are 5 key features you should look out for when comparing HR systems:

1. Employee Database

Perhaps the most important part of all, no HR software is complete without a place to store your employee data. In fact, if the HR software you’re looking at doesn’t offer this, then I’d start to ask whether or not it is HR software at all!

HR software for SMEs doesn’t usually need to offer you anything particularly complex in terms of its employee database, but a few nice points to look out for are:

–  Interface that is easy to navigate

– Ability to customise what kind of information you can store

– Search utility to find individual employee records faster

2. Document Storage

If you’re choosing HR software for your small business because you want to go paperless, then you’ll want to get rid of that pesky filing cabinet for good. So a great feature to look out for is the ability to store documents like contracts and company policies.

At the very least, your HR software should let you upload existing files from your computer. But it’s also nice if you can:

–       Create brand new documents from within the system itself

–       Save templates (such as letters) that you can automatically populate with employee data

–       Edit documents you have uploaded in case your terms or policies change in future

3. Holiday Planning

Whether your SME employs 10 people or 50 people, they’re all going to want to take time off at some point. So to really avoid the hassle of managing employee records on one system and holiday requests on another, your HR system should really offer some sort of holiday planning.

It’s a real bonus if your HR software can:

–       Accept holiday requests from employees

–       Let you authorise or deny request from within the system itself

–       Automatically calculate annual leave entitlements depending on your people’s work patterns

4. Attendance Tracking

Attendance is a big issue for any business. Sometimes, tracking unauthorised absences and sicknesses can help us see patterns we might never have caught using more informal methods of recording time off.

Your HR system should let you record absences and track attendance on some sort of calendar. What’s even better, is if your HR software provides:

–       The ability to categorise absence by type (e.g. AWOL, Sick)

–       Bradford Factor scoring

–       Alerts and warnings when a person’s absence pattern begins to get out of hand

5. User Permissions

Unless you are the only person who will ever be using your HR software, you will need to make sure that it lets you set different user permissions. For example, if you are using something like Self Service, you’ll want to make sure your employees can only edit the information you’re happy with them editing. And if you have managers using the system, you’ll want to be able to check exactly what they can and cannot authorise.

It’s also important to choose HR Software that can handle growth

You might only have a few employees now… but my guess is that you plan to expand your business. So look at the company you’re considering, and ask yourself: “Will this HR software be right for me when I become much bigger? And if not, how easy will it be to switch away to another provider?” – if you can’t answer those questions yourself, then pick up the phone or open your email and ask the provider exactly what they have for businesses positioned for rapid growth.

HR software costs differ greatly depending upon the level of sophistication you requires. Read our article on HR software prices to learn more.

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