Editorial

15 Oct 2021

How SaaS HR Software Can Help Your Business Thrive

Kelsey Kaczynski

Cloud-based HR software allows HR teams, business leaders, and employees alike to automate and integrate their workflows, for more efficient business.

How we use digital technology constantly changes to meet the needs of the workplace and the distinct user sets that employees use.

The convenience and efficiency it can offer workers and their employers are hard to find in existing company resources. Can you imagine an app for employees that allows them to automate as much of their admin as possible?

The bottom line always matters, so making work processes easier and more cost-effective will always be a significant motivation.

One of the key technologies that has allowed for much more efficient and effective workforces, as of late, has been that of Cloud-based HR software. While many are most familiar with the Cloud as a means of storage, you can also use it to access all kinds of work tools as a human resources management solution.

The Cloud is taking over many advanced employee performance management processes traditionally handled by on-premises software, including those that make up your business's human resources system. Here, we're going to look at everything you need to know about Cloud-based HR software and just how it can help your business and make your employees happier.

What is HR Cloud Software?

Typically, mid-sized and large companies use HR software, also known as an HCM (human capital management) or HRIS (human resources information system), to meet their human resources, applicant tracking, and talent management needs. Traditionally, this software solution was hosted on a local server kept internally on business premises.

To put it simply, HR Cloud software allows HR professionals to streamline and complete all of your HR processes through software that is not stored locally on a hard drive or any physical device you own but, instead, through the internet. You access the Cloud-based HR solutions directly through a browser or an app that connects you to all of the HR functions you need, all hosted on another server.

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When working on a Cloud solution, your saved data is not stored locally but is typically held in a Cloud server accessed entirely through the HR Cloud software. However, one of the benefits of Cloud HR solutions is downloading data at will.

Some of the tasks that HR Cloud computing software allows you to handle online include managing employee data, payroll processing, and benefits administrative tasks. Business owners will enjoy managing and tracking absences, time tracking, shift planning, recruitment, a performance management system, and goal setting.

A wide range of HCM (human capital management) processes can be moved directly to the Cloud and are especially user-friendly.

Cloud-based HR systems allow you to take all of the core HR needs and processes that your HR departments do on-premises and enable them to do it online with actionable insight. These processes include performance management, employee management, and assessing the employee experience better.

HR and business leaders can perform these tasks by accessing the Cloud solution software through specific login details tied to your account and all of your data.

Pros and Cons of HR Cloud Software

Hopefully, you now have a good idea of what, exactly, HR Cloud software is and the kind of tools that it allows you to access online. However, you may be wondering what, exactly, the benefits of Cloud HR systems are for mid-sized and large companies.

Anyone running a business or managing a team wants to ensure that they will get a return on investment if they subscribe to new technologies. As such, here we're going to look at the advantages that a Cloud HR solution has to offer, as well as some drawbacks you might want to consider.

Functionality

The nature of an HR Cloud-based system makes it much more functional than a standard HR system for various reasons. It allows your team to access a whole suite of different human resources tools, including payroll, absence management, shift planning, and much more in one interface.

The shift from paper-based and localized HR reporting to an all-in-one HR suite allows people leaders to complete work without as much waste. It also allows them to access and update data on the fly, wherever and whenever the situation demands it.

This people strategy can be helpful for, as an example, updating performance assessments on the job or assessing compliance risk.

Innovation

A good Cloud HRMS suite will have innovative features that your on-premises systems do not and will be much more suited to modern working needs than most pen-and-paper manual processes. This intuitive user interface includes payroll and scheduling, performance reviews, onboarding process, applicant tracking, and much more.

One of the significant innovations of Cloud HR management software is how it allows your team to automate the manual processes that contribute directly towards their goals. As such, they can spend more time on work that makes a more significant difference and make their workflow much more efficient while lessening tedious HR processes.

However, a Cloud HR solution isn't more innovative than on-premises software by any set degree. It is infinitely more resourceful as any changes or updates made to the system do not have to be downloaded in patches or added on as new modules.

When new employee systems are added, they are installed on the developer's side, and you have instant access to them the next time you use that workforce management software.

Reliability

One employee performance problem that many businesses are likely to run into at some point or another is connectivity issues. You're suddenly unable to access the software your team needs to get their job done because your hardware is down or you have lost access to the internet.

Cloud HR software is much more reliable because your team can simply switch devices, or device locations, connecting to them from another network. So long as they have the correct login details and authorization, they can access the same employee record tools they use and the same data they have been working with.

Scalability

HR Cloud software is inherently flexible, allowing you to access only the employee self-service tools that you need, adapting to your current employees as they use them. One of the ways they do this is by providing scalability. Many of the top HR Cloud software suite providers give you the option of choosing packages that suit employee systems.

When your needs change, you don't need to change providers or reduce your workforce productivity. When you select a new package, you gain access to the new modules or features while still keeping all your data and the tools you and your engaged workforce are already used to.

Accessibility

The working world is changing, as is employee relations management, and the way remote teams do their jobs is as flexible as the new mobile workforce wishes it to be. As such, companies must meet the needs of employees who are not accessing their work in the same way.

Accessibility is key to the HR Cloud software approach. It allows remote teams to access the work they need to do from any supported device, from any location, and on any connection, so long as they have the login details and are authorized by the account manager. As such, whether they work from home, on the road, or elsewhere, they can get their job done.

This accessibility is key to some of the HR processes your team needs to take care of, allowing you to improve employee engagement and the employee experience while reducing the potential for human error. Employees can use this software to manage the entire employee lifecycle.

Interfaces & Integration

HR Cloud software is built to be accessed through the net, meaning that its design typically benefits from the user interface expertise that makes it as easy to use as possible.

Furthermore, many businesses use various tools that transmit and share data, eliminating the need for manual data entry as the process is automated. HR Cloud software is regularly updated with new integrations to ensure it integrates with the tools you are already using.

You can even enjoy an integrated payroll and health insurance system if your Cloud-based HRIS caters to such services. Having a flexible payroll and automated health insurance benefits at hand makes midsize businesses' operations smoother.

Switching over to this intuitive user interface is then much easier.

Cost-Effectiveness

Of course, the bottom line always has to be considered when investing in new technologies or modalities of work. As such, cost-effectiveness is built into Cloud HCM software. It's a far less costly process using HR Cloud software on a subscription than paying for expensive software download licenses.

What's more, when you work with on-premises software, you generate many company documents that typically have to be saved locally, which becomes quite a costly process.

These tedious HR processes can increase the expenses associated with storage hardware, such as hard drives. This traditional aspect of people management is just one example of the additional costs of increased on-premises software.

Drawbacks

Of course, there are drawbacks to any change in technologies or workforce productivity. Training and onboarding to work with Cloud software may be necessary for your human resources team, which can take some time and investment.

Teams Must Always Stay Connected

Connectivity issues might not be a common issue in the modern working world. But suppose you're working in an area where you don't have access to the internet. In that case, you aren't going to have access to the tools or company documents on the Cloud or any advanced employee performance management services, for that matter.

A mobile workforce that travels often will have to preempt any potential connectivity issues.

Unforeseen Subscription Circumstances

One unexpected company news update when using an all-in-one HR suite would be a hardware overhaul due to an HRIS system's upgrades. Service providers might also decide to increase the subscription fees of their cloud-based HR systems.

One way to manage potential extra costs is to go for one-time subscription payments for your Cloud-based system of choice.

Incompatible Systems

You might find that your traditional software is incompatible with some Cloud-based HR systems. A larger business typically uses many different software as a service (SaaS). Even midsize businesses must ensure that a typical app for employees can be integrated with the overall Cloud-based system.

This accessibility extends to mobile apps too. Mid-sized and large companies must select the most comprehensive Cloud-based HR software.

Then there are the recruitment process concerns. Midsize businesses will often work with third-party recruitment firms whose software might not integrate your own, and their distinct user sets might clash with yours.

Potential Vulnerabilities

Lastly, you must make an extra effort to ensure that your data is safe when using Cloud-based software.

Reputable developers will have many security measures in place, but you need to ensure that your entire employee lifecycle consists of secure devices and networks.

For instance, it's not recommended that employees access sensitive data through Cloud software if they are on a public network or don't have security features like anti-malware and firewalls installed.

Managers should not hesitate to spend as much money as needed for a foolproof security system. Modern hackers have become lethally capable and insidious in their means, and you never know when your business and employees might be taken advantage of.

How Saas HR Services Lighten The Admin Load

While talent management and employee satisfaction are important considerations when using a SaaS HR service, its specific toolkit benefits administration needs the most.

This Cloud-based solution ensures that processes like ordering job applicants and attendance tracking have the best automated support possible. We know by now that automated HR processes make employee management tasks less of a strategic burden, but what about boosting employee skills and managing employee turnover?

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Custom HR software is scalable, meaning that SaaS HR software platforms can handle a business's increased customer service duties. This scalability benefits administration, of course, becoming an accessible employee self-service for new and seasoned company members alike.

Let's unpack these manager and employee benefits in detail.

An Educational Resource

A SaaS HR software provider with the right business intelligence knows that Learning Management Systems are the future of candidate onboarding and existing employee training and development.

The recruiting process is often stymied with extensive and often ineffective training methods, and the implementation process of a new employee's skillset can slow an entire team's operation.

Online training resources are a superb way to cut company onboarding and training costs, and workforce investment. Managers will benefit from automated training modules with the attached performance review process that intelligently reports on employee performances and developments.

Efficient Applicant Monitoring And Recruitment

Make the most out of SaaS HR's custom systems geared to automate the recruitment process. A vital feature of this talent management system includes detailed metric reports so that managers know exactly which employees are the best fit for their companies.

Another impressive feature includes automated email templates that will keep all applicants up to date with their place in your business according to their desired job listings. This talent acquisition automation can be applied to scheduling interviews, too.

The larger workforce can be immediately informed of new job openings with this branch of Cloud HR software, with automatic job postings. Even the way HR professionals handle resumes can be digitally enhanced and streamlined.

Payroll And Benefits Management

Managing employee benefits is one of the more complex and demanding aspects of HR. Overseeing a medium or large employee base's individual health insurance, maternity leave, and vacations can be overwhelming for an HR team.

Thankfully, Cloud-based HR software can take care of many benefits administration processes, merging it with the payroll system to ensure that everything balances correctly at the end of the month. This method means saying goodbye to overloaded filing cabinets and duplicate data entries.

A fully established and automated benefits management can be handled by employees, where they can add events like paid leave manually. As you can imagine, this takes an enormous load off an HR team's collective shoulders.

Conquering Compliance

If you had to ask the average HR professional what the least-enjoyable aspect of their job is, there's a good chance they'll point the finger at compliance. Indeed, many HR teams struggle to stay up to date with the ever-changing world of business law and government regulations.

Thankfully, Cloud-based human resources software understands compliance better than most experts. That's because it is automated to do so, meaning that the relevant systems will stay up-to-date with any changes to your business's compliance needs in real-time.

SaaS HR services track and report even the most minor tweaks to your company's current tax duties. This monitoring can spread out across states and even countries if needed.

Employee classification is another significant compliance responsibility, and Cloud-based human resources software will ensure that each member of your workforce is in their proper administrative place.

Managers must screen most business developments and new policies according to reams of local and federal codes and laws. Cloud-based HR software will conduct this screening process for you, ensuring that your change in direction has the proper bureaucratic support.

Employee Self-Service

We've discussed how SaaS HR gives more control to employees when it comes to managing their benefits, but Employee Self-Service (ESS) does so much more than just logging vacations and making updates to health insurance policies.

You can now manage various employee-relevant benefits and personal information modules individually. Everything from insurance plans to company-relevant personal changes can be updated and logged by employees.

Not only does this sharing of the administrative load ease the burden on HR teams, but it also puts more power into employees' hands so that they understand exactly which benefits are owed to them.

Managers can also improve the overall benefits system when the costs and effort needed to facilitate benefits are lightened.

Digital Classrooms

SaaS HR platforms can virtually eliminate the need for physical in-house training sessions.

HR professionals no longer need to schedule repetitive training sessions for new and old employees with online training courses that cater to employee needs beyond mundane competence requirements.

This digital educational resource allows employees to develop at their speeds, meaning that no one needs to struggle with time and tasks priority. Gen Z and Millennials are particularly passionate about training and development and will relish having a boundless learning platform.

When selecting your training modules, you should ensure that you achieve a healthy balance of all your key company values and skills.

Managing Leave

While vacations are a peaceful and enjoyable time for employees, they can become an administrative nightmare for HR teams and managers, especially in large businesses. The bureaucracy of leave is surprisingly complex, and there is all manner of federal, state, and business-level codes and laws to adhere to.

Cloud HR software can take the administrative reigns once again, ensuring that employees are being fairly treated regarding leave management. Not only will a company's leadership remain on the right side of the law with this system, but you will be able to more easily manage the individual employee leaves.

SaaS HR will also confirm whether employees are actually entitled to leave according to their current progression in the working year, making sure that everyone is on the same page. There is no need for disputes or dissatisfaction when a single source of truth is the authority.

Efficiently Supervise Performance

One of the most significant losses to a company is a poor performance management system. Too many brilliant and hard-working employees' efforts go on unnoticed due to a faulty performance review setup filled with blind spots.

At the same time, many of the less-motivated employees in your company might be flying under the radar, cleverly disguising lacking efforts. An automated performance management system allows HR to precisely analyze and report on individual employee working standards.

This clinical and mechanical inspection of employee performance saves HR teams time and energy that they can now redirect to helping workers.

HR professionals can then devote themselves to aiding struggling employees by working with them on the areas they can improve upon and award exceptional workers.

After all, employees who do not feel like they are being adequately supported or rewarded are more likely to leave their current position.

Analytics and Reporting

Data is only as valuable as its usage. This might sound like an extreme statement, but wasted data potential is a genuine concern in the business world.

So many analytics and reporting systems churn out reams of otherwise applicable wisdom that go to waste due to poor management and filing. SaaS HR services ensure that your analytics and reporting efforts are always directed to the right channels with the most efficient and ordered reporting possible.

Most importantly, Cloud HR software provides actionable insights. Know exactly which areas you are excelling at, and which need more attention with precise overtime, attendance, turnover, and benefits metrics.

This data should be presented in an accessible and readable manner so that anyone in your company (that has the appropriate access) can easily understand where your company stands month-to-month. The high quality of data that SaaS HRs produce and collate is meant to create opportunities for businesses, rather than just attractive spreads.

Aptitude Administration

Are you confident that your employee base is appropriately distributed? Is every employee in a role that brings out their full potential and productivity? Are there any gaps in your teams that desperately need filling?

Questions like these can be answered in detail by a high-functioning Cloud-based HRIS. You can make the most out of detailed employee reports to best handle the talent management process and ensure that every employee is working in their optimal place.

You might even find that there are gaps in your workforce that you didn't even imagine were possible. Every business has its blind spots, no matter how well-established.

More everyday situations, like tenure monitoring, the rate of retention, and total hiring expenses can be dissected and improved. You can find out useful details like the average amount of time it takes to fill vacant spots in your staff, and just how much revenue your workforce generates.

What is the difference between Cloud-Based and On-Premise Software?

Other differences should be explored when you're comparing Cloud-based human resources software with on-premise human resources software (i.e., software that you would install and use locally.)

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Here, we will examine some of the key differences and why they matter to your businesses.

Scalability

As mentioned, single Cloud software is highly scalable and can adapt to your means very quickly with maximum employee engagement. However, when you buy on-premise software, you typically purchase a set level of access to a predetermined set of tools.

You can't scale them back, and, as a result, you can't scale back your costs.

As your business grows in size and the recruitment process becomes more complex, having a Cloud-based HRIS at hand will handle much of the associated admin and help you build data-driven insights into potential candidates.

Deployment

With on-premises software, resources are deployed internally, using your own IT structure. It is kept and managed on your own digital resources and hardware.

Cloud software is typically deployed remotely and accessed by current employees and their own devices through the internet.

Speed Of Access

When you want to use on-premises software on new hardware, you have to download it, which can be very time-consuming. So long as you have the proper access privileges and login details, Cloud software can be accessed almost immediately, speeding up this level of employee self-service.

Onboarding and training for new users might be the only hold-up, but that applies to both platform types and any aspect of people management.

Control

While many single Cloud software providers offer customization options to help you match the software to your basic and regulatory compliance needs, these service providers remain firmly in control of the software as it is on their servers.

With on-premises software, you have more control over where the software is stored, how it is accessed, and so on.

Payment Model

Though there are different models, typically, on-premises software is bought on a license. This license allows you to download and use that software on a set number of devices as an app for employees.

Cloud software, however, is typically paid for on a subscription for a set number of employee profiles that you can update, raising the number or reducing it at will.

Cost Considerations

Cloud software can be a lot more cost-effective for per-user cost. However, there are some cases in which on-premises software can come with a lower total ownership cost.

This Human Resources management solution does come with a much higher level of initial investment, however. The initial and running costs of self-service Cloud software are lower. You also have to account for the individual pricing strategies of different HRM providers.

Maintenance

Any maintenance done with on-premises software must be done internally, either by your own engaged workforce technicians or by outsourced IT workers. Single Cloud software is maintained and updated entirely by the developers, meaning it's less hassle to manage, in general.

Security

The level of specific people management platform security changes on a case-by-case business. However, management process security updates typically have to be downloaded by the user or administrator of on-premises software.

Cloud software has its security updates applied automatically. Many would argue single Cloud software is inherently less risky since you are not in charge of securing the data and company documents personally. However, accessing Cloud software through unsecured connections or devices still increases the level of risk

Which Platform Is Right For You?

There are some cases where on-premises software might better meet your HR and people strategy needs. However, for small to medium businesses that need scalability and the ability for employees to do their work from home or even on the road with a mobile app, Cloud software might be a better option.

Remember that a leading Cloud HR service will provide a handy Cloud HR app tutorial and advanced analytics like comprehensive company culture reports.

An award-winning employee recognition platform allows you to create advanced employee performance management manuals. This employee handbook includes employee engagement surveys, feedback & praise.

Forward-thinking companies are always looking for ways to improve their HR capabilities, lessening compliance risk, enjoy deeper performance reviews, and help employees become people leaders.

Employee retention and the ability to make employees happier often hinges on how well an HR team performs. The average Cloud HR service provides a dedicated customer service team, further bolstering your HR team's productivity and quality of life.

When your HR professionals have less admin and greater accessibility to the relevant data, they can better smoothen out pressing matters like an employee relations issue while expediting current workflows. The bottom line with Cloud-based HRIS is a better employee relations management capacity.

How To Implement HR Cloud Software

If you decide that Cloud-based HR software is the right way forward for your business, there are a few steps that you need to take to ensure an optimized implementation.

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1. Setting Up The Project

The best place to start is planning. Scout out the appropriate stakeholders that would be involved in this automation process, as well as the budget, scope, and timeline.

You'll also need to find the SaaS HR that suits your company, HR team, and broader employee needs.

2. Establish A Timeline

Once the groundwork has been established and you know the software you will be using, it's time to execute the implementation process. All of your research will come into play now, and you'll know what you want to be installed.

You will need to assign the teams that will be involved in this process, as well as the larger integration scope that includes existing systems and software.

3. Construction And Simulations

Now that your timeline is on paper, it's time to design your actual processes. This should be a straightforward process if your planning stages captured all the necessary details and goals.

You might find that the actual implementation of your automation doesn't match your expectations, so make sure to run a few tests before launch.

4. Migration

When you are satisfied with the efficiency of your HR Cloud software, it's time to migrate all your traditional systems' data. Thankfully, most good SaaS HR systems can handle this process adequately, and you will not struggle to include all the invaluable branches of your operations.

This process is far easier when HR teams are included in the mainstream workflow, meaning that your larger employee base should support HR professionals in their efforts.

5. Lasting Maintenance

Once your Cloud HR program is up and running, it is of vital importance that you maintain and support it and the HR members involved. You might find that hiring new and relevantly skilled IT members to maintain and upgrade your hardware for uninterrupted productivity.

Ensure that the proper feedback channels remain open and that the appropriate professionals receive complaints and suggestions that will optimize your setup.

Data Protection Levels with HR Cloud Software

Your HR data is inherently sensitive. You don't want your staff's personal, contact, or financial details or your business, in general, to be accessible to just anyone. As such, securing human resources data and comprehensive company culture reports is vital.

For this reason, some people might initially feel some trepidation when considering allowing all of that data to be hosted by a third party. However, the truth is that these purpose-built Cloud software providers are often specialized specifically to keep employee profiles and general data safe.

While the level of protection will differ on a case-by-case basis, software providers typically know exactly what their responsibilities are when it comes to data protection, as well as the expectations that you have as their client.

An ongoing support team bolsters this level of assurance. As such, investing in effective data protection practices and technology is going to be part of a dedicated customer service team's services and expert guidance.

Some of the ways that HR Cloud software providers deliver mid-sized and large companies a secure user experience include:

  • A complete adherence to regulatory compliance practices and standards to ensure data integrity and security.
  • Storing data on industry-standard data centers that are not accessible to anyone but development staff and are carefully monitored at all times.
  • Data encryption, so that any data (like comprehensive company culture reports) you upload to that Cloud-based HRIS software is made inaccessible unless someone else has the same decryption key that the developers do (which they won't).
  • Multi-step verification for logins, so you can make sure that only you and your authorized staff are able to log in and access your tools and data. This can be applied to your current workflows' rudimentary tasks and data-driven insights documents.
  • Additional support and expert guidance to make sure that you and your team use Cloud HR software as safely and securely as possible.

The truth is that most small and medium businesses do not have the time or budget to secure their own data as effectively as a specialized Cloud software service provider could. As such, security should be considered one of the major advantages of Cloud software, not an extra concern.

Conclusion

It is almost impossible to refute the benefits of Cloud computing in the modern business world. The potential costs and overall investment associated with automation are negligible compared to the demands of traditional HR systems.

Cloud-based HRIS allows companies to take care of all of those key HR processes much more efficiently, securely, and cost-effectively. Hopefully, the points above show just how much of an asset it can be to your business agility and daily workflows.

The level of data-driven insights that recognized Cloud-based HRIS provides HR teams allows these professionals to create the most appropriate onboarding tools and management resources possible. Current workflows can then be augmented with this expert guidance while eliminating as many manual tasks as is appropriate.

Take the time to assess your business needs and which employee relations management advantages suit you best.

If you have an HR department that needs to be able to access the tools they use to work from any location and any compatible device, then Cloud-based HRIS might be what you and your engaged workforce need.

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