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Five signs your HR software isn't working for you (and how to correct it)
Blog //03-02-2020

Five signs your HR software isn't working for you (and how to correct it)

by Alex Arundale, Chief People Officer, OneAdvanced

In today’s changing recruitment world, HR teams need the right software, and mindset, to remain competitive as a business. Here are the five signs that your HR system is not working for you, along with some tips for how to rectify the situation.

In this era of rapid change and digital automation, skills shortage and increased competition, your business needs to increase productivity, employee engagement and talent retention, while improving recruitment and staying on top of compliance. It’s important to make a difference for your people, your customers, partners and other stakeholders, and to drive business excellence to be able to respond to tomorrow’s challenges, fast.

To do all this, you need the right software. But, crucially, you also need to think and act differently to support it — technology is only an enabler, not a solution in itself. Most importantly, you need to focus on human-centred approaches. But what should the right HR system do? And how do you know if the software you have is working for you?

Let’s start by listing the things it should not do and the impact these shortfalls are having on your organisation. Then we’ll offer some solutions for how to rectify them so you can focus on people, not admin. Here are the five symptoms that your HR software is not working for you.

1. Productivity is stalling

If productivity is falling or has stagnated, you may have too many paper-based systems, outdated IT software or rigid admin processes within HR. This means your employees are spending too much time on repetitive, laborious low-value HR admin activities. Also, old systems often pigeonhole HR teams into working in a certain way, which blocks success.

The solution here is to provide staff with automated, self-service tools and apps with natural-language conversational functionality, such as chatbots, for filling in timesheets or booking leave. This reduces manual HR tasks so employees can focus on the high-value tasks they were hired for. HR teams, also, can use the time they save to invest in workforce learning and development, mobility and talent progression.

2. Compliance is a constant (time-consuming) worry

If, as an organisation, you spend too much time worrying about the latest workforce legislation, and too much time manually producing the reports you need to comply with them, your HR software is definitely not working for you; outdated technology restricts teams from fulfilling legal requirements. This includes legislation like GDPR, the apprenticeship levy and gender pay gap reporting, as well as HMRC regulations and statutory reporting requirements.

The time spent on manual compliance is time that could be better invested elsewhere. The antidote here is finding HR software with in-built compliance functionality, such as a dedicated GDPR module.

3. You lack ‘people insight’

If your HR team lacks the ability to instantly retrieve, analyse and make the best use of employee data, it’s another sign that your HR software is not working for you. This lack of a single (and accurate) view of people data is often caused by two things: too many data silos and limited analytics capabilities — often payroll, HR and finance sit in individual silos with disparate systems; and the software used to examine data is not up to scratch.

This means too much time is spent gathering, manipulating and consolidating data, which often means correcting inaccurate data in the process. And this lack of insight means HR teams can’t get an accurate, up-to-date picture of valuable metrics like employee engagement and performance. Nor can they spot workforce trends, forecast the risks or mitigate them.

The remedy here is getting rid of information silos and investing in the right cloud-based HR software with customisable dashboards and unified reporting (plus integrated analytics). This means you can create a single view of people data, which gives you the ability to instantly report on trends and competencies so you can track and invest in people.

4. You’re unable to recruit and retain the best talent

If you find it hard to match staff expectations, keep up with workforce trends, or change recruitment tactics to appeal to younger generations — or if simply meeting the needs of different personalities, generations and employee types is challenging — you could be using outdated HR software. Often, with the wrong software, HR teams don’t have enough time to focus on understanding how to tackle this. High staff turnover could be a serious consequence.

The bottom line: if you can’t recruit and retain the best talent, you can’t future-proof the business. The answer here lies in a cloud-based HR solution which supports the entire employee lifecycle so you can invest in their career progression, learning and development.

5. Employee engagement is low

When staff are disengaged, they are unsatisfied, unhappy and have low wellbeing. They are unmotivated and certainly not acting as brand ambassadors. Part of the cause can be a lack of digital engagement and poor employee experience. If employees face outdated, manual processes that necessitate too much intervention by HR — rather than seamless intuitive, self-directed digital experiences — engagement will plummet.

The cure here is mobile, self-serve functionality and interactive, natural-language
chatbots, powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning. These technologies improve employee experience, engagement, talent attraction and retention.

There’s another advantage here: visual analytics dashboards within integrated cloud-based HR solutions enable HR departments to emphasise their worth to the broader business.

An old solution to a new set of problems

‘Focusing on people, not admin’, should be the mantra of all organisations these days. While it may sound obvious, adopting a human-centred approach to managing human capital is the secret to success for all organisations. And it is the defence against so many threats, from so many sides, in today’s constantly changing world.

Finding the right HR software systems which enables teams to do all this.

Blog Human Resource
Alex Arundale

Alex Arundale


Chief People Officer, OneAdvanced

Alex joined OneAdvanced in February 2016 with a track record in senior HR positions. She has been responsible for innovative strategies to lead the company’s talent management.

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