by Karen McCandless
Published on 30 January 2018
You've already made an investment in cloud-based HR software and things are going smoothly: you're happy with the software vendor and their service, the product works well for you, your users are happy, and you've seen a return on investment (ROI). You don't want to switch to another HR solution, but you feel like you need more from the product.
At this point you'll want to consider upgrading your HR software to a more expensive, but fully featured plan. Maybe you chose the most basic plan to suit your small business with limited resources, but you've since experienced rapid growth.
In this article, we'll discuss how you know when the time is right to upgrade your HR software.
In a small business, HR resources are limited and you might not even be able to afford a dedicated HR professional. As your company grows, you'll have to work out how to best structure your HR department and how many staff to employ.
If you're struggling to manage your employees' HR needs, instead of hiring more staff, you can upgrade your HR software allows you to automate manual processes, and give employees access to the system so they can carry out task themselves.
"If there are too many employees to manually manage, HR professionals can upgrade their plan to give their employees self service access to the system, allowing employees to book holidays and record expenses, etc," said Sat Sindhar, managing director of People HR software.
It's normal when you're a startup or small business to spend the least amount of money possible on your HR software: you have a limited budget and you aren't sure if you'll need all the features included in more expensive software plans.
As your business starts to grow and your employee count and profits increase, you'll realize that you can afford to spend more on your HR software. This could involve adding extra features, or even extra modules.
Maybe you started out with a basic core HR software plan, but your software vendor also offers performance management, recruitment, employee engagement, or learning management functionality. Instead of forking out more for separate solutions, you can get it from your current provider.
At GetApp, we expect forward-looking companies to overhaul the candidate experience in 2018, and you might need to upgrade your HR solution to keep up.
"Some of the reasons HR professionals change from our starter plan, towards our elite package include the budget having increased along with company growth," says Sindhar. "A starter package is great for helping companies hit the ground running or get their offices back in order. If the budget increases HR professionals can invest more into strategic HR, or a better employee experience."
Your budget might not have increased, but you might instead find that the amount of time you are spending on the manual processes that aren't covered by your basic HR plan is costing you more than it would to upgrade your HR software.
Cristian Rennella, VP of HR and co-founder of financial product comparison website elMejorTrato.com, explains the process his company went through when deciding to upgrade their cloud-based HR software plan.
He said: "At elMejorTrato.com, we have a culture of saving and smart spending. However, after years of using the basic version of our HR software, we finally decided to change when manual labor was proving to be more expensive than upgrading the plan.
"In our company we measured absolutely everything and for three years it was cheaper carrying out some parts of the work manually (especially with Excel spreadsheets).
"It was not until a few months ago that this manual work generated a greater operational cost than it would cost to upgrade our SAAS plan. We believe that this is the right moment and the right indicator to make the decision to upgrade."
It's become somewhat of a cliche, but people are the lifeblood of any organization. If you want to attract and retain the highest quality of talent, you'll need to invest in your HR processes, people, and software. Sadly, this often isn't the case at many companies.
If you are an HR professional, and you want to invest in your people and show them that you are appreciated so they stay loyal (and refer other high quality talent), then upgrading your HR software can help demonstrate to the powers that be the importance of treating your employees well, as well the importance of the HR department. As an HR professional, it can also free you up to do more engaging and interesting tasks that benefit your workers.
"The job has become stale, higher management isn't taking them seriously and they want to engage in more strategic HR and produce more engaging reports," says Sindhar. "They opt for a plan with more functionality to allow them to further showcase their progress in HR."
If you've upgraded your HR software recently, we'd love to know what factors were behind that decision, and how it has affected the business (positively or negatively). Let us know the comments below, by emailing me on firstname.lastname@example.org or by connecting with me on Twitter.