No matter the size of a business, the human resource department, even if just one person, is tasked with caring for and managing a company’s most important resource – its people. The department’s daily workload might include recruiting talent, hiring workers, onboarding new hires, managing payroll and benefits, along with many other personnel tasks. As a means of improving efficiency and streamlining duties, many HR departments utilize human resource management systems (HRMS). These clusters of software solutions allow HR departments to automate routine tasks and free up time for staff members to focus on areas that require more personalized attention.
Serve Core HR Functions
The most basic component of a HRMS serves the core HR needs – such as payroll, benefits and workforce management – made up of activities and processes for managing large numbers of hourly employees. It can involve programs that handle tasks such as:
- Scheduling shifts
- Recording attendance
- Tracking absences and sick days
- Clocking time worked
Some programs can also differentiate between union and non-union workers or employees and freelance workers, and make appropriate payroll calculations based on these distinctions. Benefits and employee contributions can also be easily tracked. All of an employee’s vital information is organized in one easy-to-access file that is managed much more efficiently by the HRMS than by manual processes.
Facilitate Talent Management
Other types of programs are designed to help HR departments manage their talent, or the actual employees within the company. This can cover a broad range of tasks including:
- Processes for recruiting new staff
- Performance management and evaluation
- Training and professional development
In some cases, a system may allow an HR representative to create a job posting online, view incoming applications and track candidates through the hiring process.
Increasingly, orientation materials such as filling out payroll information and other paperwork are being relegated to online applications so HR staff are not required to be physically present to handle some of the basics, freeing them to do other work. Once great employees are on board, other components work to track performance metrics and provide professional development to retain top performers.
Encourage Employee Engagement
Some HR departments may extend their HRMS tools by also utilizing social media and online applications to engage their employees and stimulate interaction within the corporate environment. Through these channels, employees can:
- Collaborate on projects
- Learn more about the corporate brand
- Refer qualified friends for job openings
- Respond to company surveys designed to measure job satisfaction
- Make corporate announcements and policy updates
Meet Compliance Standards
Industries that operate in financial, health, insurance or public sector capacities are required to follow specific regulations and are subject to reporting and compliance standards. An HRMS component specifically designed to keep track of frequently changing regulations allows HR departments to stay on top of the necessary record-keeping and reporting requirements. Automated maintenance informs the HR department when background checks, licenses or continuing educational requirements need to be updated and assures that the company is operating in compliance.
Analyze Corporate HR Trends
Particularly in larger companies, analytics are increasingly important to upper level managers and HR departments. Programs that track the effectiveness of HR initiatives and recruitment methods help key executives pinpoint what works in attracting new talent to the company. They can also compare salary levels within the industry and make adjustments if needed. Data that is compiled from the fluctuating workforce also helps leaders gain a better understanding of turnover trends, such as why employees move on to another company or how to improve worker retention.