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How to choose an HR system in 2021: The ultimate guide for HR and People leaders

Recent events have massively shifted the HR landscape and agenda – and that’s probably an understatement.

72% of HR leaders say the crisis has helped them demonstrate their value, and 57% of the c-suite now see HR as equal leadership partners, our research found.

However, HR’s newfound ownable space has come at the expense of a bigger workload, with 60% of HR leaders experiencing an increase in both administrative and strategic tasks.

To meet the needs of tomorrow, HR and People leaders need to look to find newer, more agile ways of managing their people, so that their workforce can flex and align to shifting priorities, along with new ways of working to adapt the ‘new normal’ as seamlessly as possible.

That’s where HR technology comes in. The right HR tech is vital in supporting HR’s new agenda, to enable HR leaders to deliver actionable insights, provide and utilise trusted up-to-the-minute data, reduce admin so HR they can focus on strategic tasks, and create great employee experiences that attract and retain the best talent.

In fact, 67% of HR leaders want to invest more in HR technology and digital transformation today. So, if you’re also looking to invest more in HR tech and on the search for a new HR system, it’s important to find the right one that supports your HR team and employees, too.

‘How to choose an HR system in 2021: the ultimate guide’ covers everything HR leaders need to know about choosing the right HR system. Here’s an overview.

When is it time to invest in a new HR system?

HR tech can provide a vital helping hand. With a whopping 74% of professionals expecting remote work to stay, and businesses having to quickly shift and adapt to ever-changing priorities, HR data has never been more important for the whole c-suite to drive insight-based business decision making.

Often, it can take something like a merger or an acquisition, or the arrival of a new business leader to be the final catalyst for much needed change. However, progressive people-focused companies don’t leave it that late. They want to get ahead now.

Take a look at the eight pain points below – are there any that sound familiar? If you’re nodding your head in recognition, then it’s probably time to look at a new HR system.

  • Your workforce feels disconnected

How a cloud HR system can help: it enables globally dispersed teams to be connected wherever they’re logging on from and makes company-wide communication easy and seamless.

  • You have a lack of workforce visibility

How a cloud HR system can help: it gives you a complete and visible picture of your biggest asset – your people – at any one time. The days of needing disparate systems are gone.

  • There are challenges managing your remote workforce

How a cloud HR system can help: it means you can understand your workforce better and design better ways of working, tailored for different groups of employees, such as by region or role.

  • Your employee engagement rates are low

How a cloud HR system can help: it provides employees with one central self-service hub for a consistent experience for requesting leave and managing their own data, along with company communications.

  • Your team isn’t as productive as it could be

How a cloud HR system can help: it streamlines processes and improves ways of working through automation and consolidating all your data into one single version of the truth.

  • Staying on top of compliance has become a headache

How a cloud HR system can help: you can stay on top of multiple regulations through predefined policy rules.

  • Your HR team is drowning in admin

How a cloud HR system can help: Freeing up HR and People teams to focus on the strategic tasks, it streamlines processes and creates consistency through built-in automation.

  • You can’t react as quick as you’d like to ever-changing employee needs

How a cloud HR system can help: it provides real-time, accurate People data from across your global network to enable the organization to act on insights in a more agile manner.

What HR leaders should look for in an HR system

So, we’ve looked at the signs to look out for to know when it’s time for a new HR system but what do HR leaders need from cloud HR software? Here are five key things HR leaders should consider:

Focus on tech that supports great workforce experiences

Organizations thrive when employees are engaged.

To do this, you need to create the best possible experiences for them – keeping them connected, informed, and aligned. This is where tech can add real value.

Look for an HR system that puts your employees and their experiences first, so they can view and amend personal data, make requests for leave, and access company information through an employee self-service portal.

You’ll also want to find a system that supports your HR team with flexible pulse surveys and continuous conversation tools, and provides you with data driven insights so you can understand employee sentiments in real time.

Consider how you can get the best workforce visibility

The days of spreadsheets and disparate systems should be far behind us but unfortunately, still, many organizations rely heavily on them for getting glimpses into their workforces’ behavior.

It leaves HR leaders trying to pick numbers out of a sea of data making guesses about their workforce rather than making informed choices based on data.

The right cloud HR tech means HR leaders can achieve a full picture of their workforce through one system with up-to-the-minute, reliable data with built in People analytics.

It means HR leaders can understand what drives their workforce, who the top performers are, which teams struggle with productivity and how long it takes them to hire great talent. It means you can also take these insights straight to the c-suite, providing them with the top figures they want to see.

Find tech that benefits all

One of your measures of success from an HR system will be return on investment, and this starts with user adoption.

In an ideal world, you’d want 100% of your workforce using your brand-new HR system so, to do that, you’ll need a user-friendly system that has a similar experience to apps they already use at home and outside of work.

Equally, for you as an HR leader, you don’t need a system that takes hours to figure out how to use and then more hours training everyone else, so finding tech that’s easy to use is key to success.

Boost business resilience with flexibility

Just 29% of HR leaders told us they were organized for speed, agility, and adaptability – and that was before the global pandemic. In reality, it means that just one in three HR and People leaders were well equipped to act when the pandemic hit.

Finding more agile ways of working are key in surviving and thriving in this new landscape of business. Look for a highly flexible system that will allow you to easily configure workflows, create custom fields, and tailor reports, communication, branding and more, all managed by you through clicks not code.

Increase workforce and HR productivity

HR’s remit is now bigger than ever. There are new pressing priorities and there’s still a lot of admin to do. So, choosing HR tech that can streamline processes and improve ways of working for the whole HR team is essential.

A cloud HR system liberates HR team from time consuming admin and paperwork, enabling you to concentrate on building better experiences for your people. The right HR system will enable you to consolidate all your People data into a single version of the truth to manage your workforce more effectively. Also, look out for technology that can automate onboarding and talent acquisition to speed up the recruitment process.

Create great experiences for all with HR tech

Ultimately, no matter what HR software you settle on, it should be there to support you as HR, but most importantly your people.

By recognizing what your people need from an HR system, it’ll help you choose the perfect cloud solution for your organization, so you can deliver on all the points we’ve discussed and so much more.

Ready to find your next HR system today? Explore our eBook, ‘How to choose an HR system in 2021: The ultimate guide’, to find out more about how to choose the right software that will benefit your entire organization.