What to Look for When Choosing HR Software

If you run a business that employs people, then you’ll know that there’s a lot of administration involved. Whether it’s managing records, arranging training schedules or recording absences, the best and easiest way to cope with all this is to use HR software. But how do you find a package that suits your needs?

Managing human resources
photo credit: Customers rock!

Needs and budget

Before you start to look at different software options you need to sit down and think about what you need HR software to do. Make a list of features which are essential to your business and also of those which would be nice to have but which you could get by without.

This will help you to compare the different options on offer, and it will be easier to discount the ones that don’t meet your essential needs. You’re likely to want the basics such as payroll, recruitment and attendance, but beyond those there is a wide range of other features such as employee performance and compliance with government regulations.

Once you know what you want from your HR package, you need to decide how much you’re willing to spend. Setting a budget at the outset will help you to focus on what you can afford. If a package is delivered as a series of modules, it will help in deciding which ones to go for.

Pricing and delivery models

Now that you know what you need and how much you have to spend, you can start looking at the different offerings on the market.

CIPHR HR software
photo credit: CIPHR

Prices for HR software ranges from free up to thousands of pounds. However, free options are generally only suited to small businesses where the software is only installed on one computer. You’ll also find that you’re restricted in what you can do with the software and you won’t be able to adapt it to suit your needs or existing procedures.

Commercial offerings come in a number of different forms. You can buy a software package to install on your own systems or servers. This will usually be priced on some sort of licence model so that you pay according to how many people will be using the program.

A more recent option is to deliver HR functions from the cloud using software as a service (SaaS) techniques. You can read more about this online, but it does offer advantages in terms of flexibility. As your business expands, SaaS software can grow with you and there’s no need to upgrade in-house hardware to cope. In the long run, this is likely to be a cheaper option, and it also means that if you find you need additional functions they can be easily added.

Make sure you consider ease of use when looking at different packages. Consider the level of expertise of the people who will be using the software. If they struggle to use it, you won’t get the best from your investment.

There’s lots of choice when it comes to HR software, so take your time and consider all the options. Make sure you read reviews and speak to other users too. This, along with assessing your needs, will ensure you get a package that serves your business well.