HR teams are often understaffed and overwhelmed with the mountains of work they must accomplish. And while they might have some HR software tools available to them, these tools likely don’t cover the many functions they serve.
As local governments look for online HR software to fulfill their needs, we’ve outlined some important tips for buying software and what to look for.
In the early days of HR software, there were separate systems for payroll, time-off management, benefits, etc. Thankfully, technology has pushed forward making it possible to get all these crucial features in one system.
Here’s a look at some online HR software must-have features to look for in your evaluation process:
- Central employee database or CRM: HR management software should make it easy to manage your employee database. Software that has a CRM built-in can help you input employee information for payroll, emergency notifications, and more. The great part is, it’s all in one central location and tied to important functions like payroll.
- Payroll management: look for a system that has HR payroll software That way, you can avoid moving data about hours worked or salary information from one system to another for added efficiency when preparing payroll.
- Time-off management: local government HR teams could spend all their time just inputting and updating employee time-off requests. Instead, make sure your HR SaaS software allows employees to input their own time-off requests. Good software can then route those requests to management for approval. These systems also keep a running tally of how much vacation time each employee has so that the HR team doesn’t have to be involved.
- Employee information self-service: when an employee moves, experiences a life event or needs to change their tax withholding information, most HR teams need to be involved. HR software solutions can make it simple and easy for employees to make these changes. Route those requests through the necessary approval channels and enjoy the freedom of not having to input that information.
- Performance management: the more employment information that’s available in one place, the better. Allow managers to input performance management reports and information into your HR system for simple documentation. Then, the HR team can pull reports on various teams and departments in aggregate to see how they’re doing. And don’t worry, these systems have different user views so that other employees can’t see their peers’ performance reports.
- Reports and dashboards: part of the role of the HR team is to provide the management team reports on staffing and employment information. Make sure that your HR software solutions make it easy to provide these reports.
- Timeclock: hourly employees need an effective way to clock in at work. And if your system doesn’t use fingerprints or video to ensure that the employee is , other employees could be clocking in for them. Having a timeclock that verifies time worked can save your organization tons of money by accurately documenting work time.
- Timely employment information: look for an HR system that also allows you to keep track of background checks, certifications, education level and more for your employees and prospects. Local governments find this information especially helpful as some government jobs require keeping this information on hand, such as information on teachers.
Tip 2: Discuss Data Transfer Before Signing Up
One of the most painful aspects of changing human resource software systems is moving data and information. Some software systems are more compatible for data transfers than others.
Before you get too far in the selection process, ask detailed questions about data transfer. Make sure you know what the transfer will cost and how long it will take. Ask about how you can continue using your existing software throughout the transfer period and what disruption there will be to your HR team and employees.
Some organizations can make it super simple to transfer data from existing software systems. Others might require that you do that all on your own or they might charge hefty fees for such services. Just be sure you know how that process will work before embarking on the project and how much this process might cost your organization.
Tip 3: Don’t Rush the HR Software Purchase
Purchasing software of any kind can be a long process. You need to create a list of crucial features your team needs, see demos and score your options based on criteria. Rushing the process can mean choosing the wrong software that’s missing important functions.
Set a timeline for each phase of the purchasing process from research to installation. But make sure you give your team adequate time for each step of the so you aren’t rushed.
The only thing worse than not having the HR software tools necessary for your needs is having to go back through the selection process.
Here’s a look at the process steps you should plan for:
- List organizational requirements in order of importance
- Evaluate available tools on the market
- View product demos
- Create a shortlist of possible vendors
- Price out your options and see what’s within budgetary constraints
- Leave time for installation, training and adjustment to the new system
Tip 4: Do a Feature Comparison for Your Local Government
Each online HR software is different and will have features you might not find elsewhere. Take your time to review this information to decide what’s most important to your HR team.
For some local governments, the features of the online payroll software will be more important than the performance management features. Others will care more about the employee self-service available. Choose features based on your needs and not the newest buzzwords in the industry.
Tip 5: Look for an All-in-one Government Software Solution
Because local government employees often have multiple areas of responsibility, changing between software systems can cost them tons of productivity. Instead of looking for a standalone payroll system software or HR system, look for one that serves your many needs.
BMSI is the all-in-one local government software solution. From permitting and work order management to billing and finance, our software helps you manage your government while saving you valuable time.