As more and more businesses ‘go global’, and HR teams support staff across borders, having the global HR software in place to facilitate this becomes business critical.

It’s no mean feat to create a piece of software that is truly global. Even the banking industry with its strong investment in technology still often requires international customers to log into different portals for different countries.

Global software people holding hands around globe

Choosing a global HR software provider who offers a true global product puts businesses ahead of their competition. But, what does a global HR software system really deliver?

1. Full data view

If you’re managing a business with staff in multiple locations across the world, you want to be able to see your full workforce in one platform. This allows you to slice and dice your reporting as desired, and enables cross-border succession planning.

A full, global data view allows HR-related issues to be easily escalated to a head office if a manager needs help or isn’t available to deal with a problem. It also gives line managers and their employees the flexibility to work in different countries – with the right system in place, and access to the right information, inter-country management barriers are broken down.

2. Help with compliance

One of the most challenging aspects of managing a global organisation is the number of different compliance requirements you need to adhere to. Manually administering different regulations and legislations is time consuming and open to human error. It can also be difficult to give your people access to the right compliance information at the right time if you’re not using a global HR software system to deliver resources, such as compliance handbooks.

Organisations are increasingly complex in their international structures and they need to be matched with a sophisticated global HR system. The right software won’t dictate what you need to adhere to, rather it will enable you to input what’s relevant for the different countries you work in, allowing you to tailor your operations to specific locations.

3. Flexible functionality

Any global HR software system worth its salt will be able to flex to fit a variety of local nuances. It needs to feel seamless for each country it operates in and fit multiple ways of working. It should accommodate differences in terminology, formatting, automated messages, processes etc. All of this functionality should also be easy for HR to manage.

Local calendars enabling accurate absence management is one of the top requirements for a global HR system. For international organisations, absence management that includes public holidays specific to regions is a must. This should also include different working patterns and holiday management allowances. At any one time, the administrator of the system needs to be able to log in and see their workforce’s deployment at a glance.

4. Peace of mind

If you’re currently comparing global HR software systems, make sure you consider the software in terms of privacy, security and usability.

Key questions to ask are: where are the cloud software and data hosted? Is it a tier one host that can be relied on? What are the guarantees around performance? Can you lock your information down depending on job role and location?

Professional global systems will allow you to restrict roles on the platform, so you can limit access as needed. The right provider will also understand that you will be relying on their software and they should have guarantees in place around performance and up time.

If you’re currently researching global HR systems, make sure your new software addresses all of the above, and is easy to use across the globe. A cloud-based HR system is ideal for facilitating a joined-up, efficient experience for all of your employees.

Shandel McAuliffe author image

Shandel McAuliffe

Now based in sunny Australia, Shandel is prolific writer and editor - particularly in the world of HR. She's worked for some big names, including the CIPD and the Adecco Group. And more recently, she's been the Editor for new HR publication HR Leader.