5 Advantages of using cloud-based HR platforms

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Efficiency is key to the smooth running of any operation, with a well-organised, motivated and engaged team of employees providing the backbone for any successful company.

The HR role within an organisation is often varied and complex and as a result, requires one of the highest levels of organisation of any of the core business functions.

For years, HR teams have relied on old systems of filed documents and paperwork to manage staff and maintain appropriate documentation, but this not only takes up valuable space, it’s time consuming, inefficient, insecure and there’s plenty of room for error. Thankfully, there is a solution in the form of cloud-based HR platforms, which could soon replace these out-of-date systems.

Still on the fence? Read on to explore 5 reasons why you should consider adopting a cloud-based HR platform.

Easy organisation & storage

With a cloud-based solution, all sensitive employee data can be stored securely online and in one place, rather than the old process of files manually handled to and from staff and HR.

By having all data stored digitally, the risk of losing physical documents is greatly reduced. Some companies are even taking the plunge and going completely ‘paperless’, so that there are no more forms to fill out and return to HR, nor are personal details lost such as references or planned leave.

By using a cloud-based HR platform, holiday and pay can be organised or amended instantly, speeding up the time it takes to process these requests, improving employee satisfaction and freeing up the HR team to get on with more pressing tasks. By using a form of ‘employee self-service’, cloud-based solutions can help staff to manage their own individual HR-related tasks, such as entering time sheets, submitting expenses and more. Once this would have been left for the HR team to squeeze into their already hectic schedule, but now effortlessly and instantly processed directly by the employee. Simple!

Mobility & access

With increasingly flexible working practices, remote staff, and the rising ‘gig economy’, not everyone is located in the same venue anymore.

The real beauty of cloud-based HR solutions is that employees can access files from wherever they are, whatever time of day they are working. As long as there is an Internet connection, cloud-based platforms can be reached from tablets, phones, or computers.

In a recent article on CloudPro, successful international business Velux revealed why it has become one of the latest companies to join the cloud. The company has a global network, but until recently, the firm used an old HR system which wasn’t providing sufficient connectivity between staff on both a regional and international level. Velux’s director for strategy and change, Jacob Kjeldgaard Olsen, stated, “like any other business we are becoming more and more global. But supporting that from an HR perspective also requires a process that is global. We didn’t have that… we had a very fragmented setup”.

For a multi-site, internationally expanding, business like Velux, the use of cloud-based HR platforms means that data can easily be collected and combined from the different localised HR departments. This provides a single, globalised view of operations, an essential requirement when making top-level business critical decisions.

Time saving

As already highlighted, a cloud-based platform enables HR departments to be more productive and efficient, by cutting time on those often smaller, but much more time consuming tasks.

Freeing up the HR team to work on more core HR tasks, such as training, development and employee engagement is much more valuable to the organisation than drowning in admin-related tasks. Even the process of recruiting new staff can take up significant amounts of time and resource. However, with a cloud solution, applications can be screened electronically, references can be collected and processed and all information to induct a new employee into the business can be handled centrally, at the click of a button. What’s more, all potential candidate details can be stored online. If they aren’t successful for a particular vacancy, you already have them on the system for future positions, which will save time on the next recruitment round.

Safety & security

Data protection is always a key consideration for HR departments.

Particularly because employee files include a wealth of personal information including bank account details, NI number, home address, health conditions and much more. If stored in a traditional filing cabinet, there is always a risk that this data will get into the wrong hands or that it could be destroyed through fire or flood. By migrating all HR data to the cloud, an organisation can ensure that all their information remains secure and only accessible by authorised personnel.

Different users will be given varying levels of access to data on the system, depending on their role and seniority, meaning that an organisation can precisely control exactly who is accessing what documents, when and why. By using a trusted cloud platform, an organisation can also ensure that all possible steps have been taken by the provider to ensure the system is protected from external threats and system bugs.

Cost effective

Using a cloud-based HR platform is likely to be far cheaper to run in the long run than relying on a computer-based software. This can be expensive to set up and can incorporate costly updates. It also usually requires some internal IT staff training to help keep the system up and running, again taking valuable resource away from the core business.

With cost-control remaining at the forefront for may businesses, it can sometimes be a challenge to persuade the Finance department to sign off the costs for migration to a cloud-based system, particularly if there is an upfront cost involved. However, it is vital that HR and business managers work together to put forward the full business case. Done correctly, it will reveal the many benefits that a cloud-based solution can provide, delivering substantial cost savings and efficiencies.