Top Benefits of Cloud-Based Solutions for the HR Industry
HR takes care of several key functions such as on-boarding, recruitment management, performance management and employee data management. A common feature of the various HR functions is that they are heavily data-processing-heavy. Until the advent of cloud-based solutions such as IceHrm, managers were used to handling key HR processes such as employee data management and performance management offline or on an internal platform.
The typical scenario was that while applications like IceHrm handled critical functions, a patchwork of other applications, many developed in-house, served to implement HR business processes.
Organisations had to deal with a multitude of data-related issues and suffered from sub-optimal process efficiency due to this type of IT architecture. In addition, the cost of developing and maintaining these IT systems was also high and required significant human resources. With the advent of the cloud-based HR software, there are a number of benefits for HR departments in terms of lower maintenance costs and reduced IT staffing requirements.
Let's take a look at the top 5 benefits of the cloud for the HR industry:
One of the core functions of HR is recruitment and on-boarding. Like most HR functions, the recruiting process is very data-intensive and involves processing resumes, scheduling interviews, collecting interview feedback and submitting job offers. Some processes, such as CV processing, have been managed by software applications for years, while other processes continue to rely on manual processing. Recruiters have become accustomed to errors, confusion and out-of-sync situations in the recruitment process.
Organisations can avoid many of these inefficiencies by using cloud-based software. Cloud-based software is designed so that the majority of data processing takes place in the cloud, with universal access from different types of devices. When using a cloud-based HR solution, companies can implement centralized applicant tracking, from receiving CV's to screening, scheduling interviews and sending job offers.
The use of cloud-based software also offers high-value data analytics. For example, salary data can be used for Salary Benchmarking process. Data on the last employer and the university can be used to draw conclusions about the connection between applicant background and length of stay. The sky is literally the limit for this kind of HR analytics.
Another area where cloud-based HR solutions can play a role is in automating many data-intensive processes. The list of such tasks and processes is very long. It includes submission of time-sheets, leave requests, performance appraisals, self-updating of employee data such as address and emergency contacts, income tax returns, W2 downloads, self-certifications such as code of conduct agreements, and information security policies. Enabling these functions via cloud software eliminates tons of paperwork, reduces errors and instances of incorrect data. It also improves employee satisfaction and overall business efficiency. There can be some tangential benefits that can be surprisingly drastic.
For example, implementing cloud-based automation can have a demonstrable impact on staff turnover. The second area is cost. Cloud software maintenance does eat up significant sums, but when you consider these costs in the context of the savings that can be achieved, the net ROI is quite high in the long run. Also consider the extent to which compliance requirements can be enabled by installing cloud software. With a single click, you can get a report that meets different types of compliance requirements, such as time-sheet compliance and employee self-certification compliance.
Most companies today are faced with a constant 'war' for talent on multiple fronts, trying to get noticed in the marketplace by potential talent, customers and prospects. Every tiny advantage you can gain is important, and very important. As a company, when you decide to implement a cloud-based HR solution, you set yourself apart in several ways. First, you are signalling to investors, customers, vendors, analysts, media and the general public that you are a serious player willing to invest heavily based on your vision for future growth. Secondly, it is a strong indication of your desire and ability to be at the forefront of the market. This leads to a significant strengthening of your brand and reputation.
Human resources is a function within the business that is extremely concerned with compliance aspects. A major benefit of using cloud-based solutions as opposed to on-premise hosted applications is that software updates are automatic and timely. This is of great value from a compliance perspective.
New corporate regulations pop up every year, such as employee data privacy requirements and overtime regulations. Most of these regulations require companies to produce comprehensive reports at regular intervals and also certify that the software they use is compliant with the latest regulations. Cloud-based solutions help with both of these aspects. Since cloud-based solutions are maintained by professional vendors, the corresponding applications are often updated based on the latest regulations. Since the applications also have built-in advanced reporting capabilities, generating reports for compliance purposes also becomes a simple task.
Companies signing a contract with a cloud provider for the first time are often sk
eptical about how secure their data will be in the hands of the provider. This is even more true for personal data, which is sensitive under data protection law and contains a lot of demographic and financial information.
The fact is that the security aspects of applications and data are much better covered by the provider when you engage them to deliver a cloud-based HR solution. The first dimension is that cloud software is designed from the ground up to be secure, with applications and data hosted remotely and encrypted data sent to the client side only when needed. The second dimension relates to managing and restricting physical access and ID-based access to data. This is also best taken care of by the cloud provider.