If there’s one thing HR knows, it’s that change is a constant.

From once being considered merely just an administrative function, HR has quickly evolved to play a vital strategic role in every organisation. From managing the end-to-end employee lifecycle and protecting the interests of both employees and business, HR is now also intrinsically linked to successful workforce engagement and the strengthening of company culture.

features hr futureproof

HR’s evolution has coincided with the advancement of HR technology. The software HR teams use isn’t just limited to the facilitation of daily tasks anymore (such as logging absences or managing payroll for example). Instead, it’s now central to every aspect of HR: including attracting, hiring, retaining and maintaining talent, supporting workforce administration and enhancing every aspect of workforce management.

It’s fair to say that HR technology has come a long way in a relatively short amount of time. And that evolution isn’t something that’s going to stop, either…

Great HR software is never finished

Despite HR technology reaching new levels of sophistication, it’s important to note that great HR systems are never truly finished. As your business evolves, you’ll need to adjust your HR strategy accordingly and adopt new processes to fit. Your HR system will play a crucial role in helping you do this, but if it can’t flex to fit your needs, or requires costly large-scale redevelopment, all the hard work you put into selecting your system in the first place will be wasted.

It makes sense then, that any HR software you choose should be fit for the needs of your organisation both in the present and the future. Here are seven features to look out for that can help futureproof your HR software and your precious investments.

1. Seamless scalability

As your company evolves, the size, location and make up of your workforce will change, too.

Your HR software should allow you to add or remove employees, managers, departments, business units, security roles, etc., whenever you want – all without involving the vendor or incurring additional development costs. After all, there’s nothing worse than having to approach key decision makers to ask for more money to modify your HR system just to reflect changes in your workforce.

For example, Cezanne HR is a monthly ‘pay-as-you-go’ HR SaaS. This means you only ever pay for the number of active employees (subject to a minimum monthly fee) and can scale up or down easily. You won’t be charged extra for overseas offices or language translations either. For organisations with bases in multiple countries, Cezanne HR includes 10 key languages at no extra charge.

It’s also important to pick a system that can expand to cover the complete employee lifecycle. You might not need all the features at the start, but once you’ve sorted out your key HR processes, you are bound to want to tackle the others too. With Cezanne HR, we find a lot of customers start with the core HR and absence management modules, and then add others, such as performance management and employee onboarding, later.

2. Accessible configuration tools

Every company is different. Therefore, every HR team will also have its own processes that ‘off the shelf’ HR systems might not be able to accommodate. Any HR system you choose should be adaptable to your different working practices – not the other way around.

Look for a software solution that includes flexible and accessible configuration tools. For example, that allow you to define your own approval cycles, create reminders, or set up multiple form types that reflect your own processes, so you can  collect and manage the information that you need – all without IT or vendor involvement.

With the ability to define different procedures for different groups of employees, you can reflect local working practices or even individual team needs.

3. Automatic and regular system enhancements

Time waits for no one… and no business! One of the most common reasons organisations look to invest in a new HR system is down to software becoming too expensive to update or simply obsolete.

You should avoid choosing a static system that doesn’t include regular software enhancements or updates as part of the service. Ideally, your HR software supplier should always have an eye on the future, keeping apace of developments in HR and looking for new and useful features to add.

In addition, your supplier should look to constantly seek your feedback to improve its product and services. For example, the Cezanne HR system includes a customer support portal. Here, our customers can find helpful guides and videos to help them get the best out of the system, and can also suggest areas for improvement based on their own user experiences. This allows us to roll-out regular updates and improvements that genuinely enhance the user experience for all.

4. Agile Cloud-based and multi-tenant infrastructure

Instead of having to spend an inordinate amount of time installing software onto employees’ computers, Cloud-based HR solutions only require a healthy internet connection. This means both you and your employees can login to their software anytime, anywhere.

The most up-to-date HR system take advantage of a multi-tenancy infrastructure, which offers three significant benefits. They are easier to implement, can be updated seamlessly so you never get left behind, and are considerably more cost-effective than older-style Cloud HR systems.

5. Brand adaptability

When you choose an HR software solution for your business, would you prefer something that can be modified to match your own unique brand identity? Or would you rather have just a bland, identikit third-party interface that doesn’t fit your company’s own visual style?

Of course, you’d choose the former….

Good branding permeates every part of your business: why should your HR software be any different? When you come to choose an HR solution, make sure it can reflect your own brand identity (including the option to use your company logos and colour schemes) as it will ensure a personalised experience for all your employees.

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6. Multi-company, multi-country

Any HR software you choose should offer the flexibility required to manage multiple companies, operating units and divisions. It should also be able to reflect different working practices and legislative environments between countries and regions. This means your HR system will help you adhere to local working practices or legislative requirements, wherever in the world your employees may be.

7. Deep dive data analytics

Reporting is one of HR’s core responsibilities. So, always look for an HR platform that will help you see data-derived alerts, trends and predictions that can help guide strategic objectives. Ideally, your choice in software should include features such as pre-configured reports, dashboards and metrics that you can build upon over time.

Good quality HR analytics can also help build truer pictures of historic, present and future workforce data. By being able to easily identify the patterns and trends in your data, you’ll be better placed to make more informed decisions and drive those all-important business outcomes.

Paul Bauer author image

Paul Bauer

Paul Bauer is the Head of Content at Cezanne HR. Based in the Utopia of Milton Keynes (his words, not ours!) he’s worked within the employee benefits, engagement and HR sectors for over four years. He's also earned multiple industry awards for his work - including a coveted Roses Creative Award.

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