For most small businesses, getting cloud-based software to handle the analytical and transactional aspects of their businesses is an easy decision.
Modern software saves hours of time and prevents errors when it comes to tracking cash and products.
However, many small business owners are still missing out on the power of cloud-based software for other super-helpful options, including managing their employees.
Managing human resources can be a time-consuming, detail-oriented job, from keeping track of employment records or making schedules. HR cloud systems can handle much of this kind of work easily.
Even better, the best HR programs can integrate with your POS and accounting software to make business ownership even easier — and provide more helpful insights.
Here are seven HR cloud system features that can save your business time and money.
Employee Records Management
Let’s start with perhaps the most obvious benefit of HR software: It allows you to keep all of your employee information and records, including emergency contact info, payment info, and other related documents in a secure, easily searchable, central place.
Most modern HR cloud systems also have self-service portals that allow employees to log in and make updates themselves, which can help improve the accuracy of your records and the efficiency of your system.
For example, if your employee changes their email address, phone number, or mailing address, they can simply log in and make the change on their own with no additional work needed on the administrative end.
Scheduling retail employees and then managing those schedules has traditionally been one of the more difficult and tedious tasks that store managers have to contend with.
Manually making a schedule that takes everyone’s needs and preferences into account and makes sure that the right employees with the right skills are filling out each shift can easily take hours. Plus, schedules can shift and change at a moment’s notice when employees get sick or fail to come in.
With staff scheduling tools, employees always know their schedule because they can check it online at any time — plus, they can get automated reminders of shifts and alerts for changes.
They can also use the tools to request time off (which keeps automatic records). If they have to call off for a shift, scheduling programs can suggest and contact potential replacements and begin contacting them right away. Employees can even swap shifts on their own through the software with no need for management to get involved.
Some tools have an auto-schedule feature that factors in sales forecasts, bookings, expected foot traffic, and more.
These programs may also take fair employment laws into account to make sure that your business stays in compliance with them.
Time Clock / Punch Clock / Timesheet Management
Tracking employee check-ins and check-outs and tallying up total hours is the perfect job for software. There are plenty of simple programs that specialize in timesheets alone, but the most powerful programs come baked into more robust HR cloud systems with the features we just mentioned.
With many of these programs, employees can check in and out online with a convenient app. They also make it really simple for managers to review and approve timesheets, and can alert managers to potential overtime issues
Time clock software should also integrate with the program that handles your payroll so that issuing checks based on hours worked is simpler than ever. These programs can even account for regular hours, overtime hours, and double overtime hours and change the pay rate accordingly.
Hiring and Onboarding
If you run a small business with multiple locations or are experiencing a burst of growth, hiring can start to become a very distracting and time-consuming job.
In this case, you might really benefit from an applicant tracking feature in your HR software.
Some HR Cloud Systems, including Bamboo HR, make it easy for hiring managers to post jobs, track applicants, communicate with applicants throughout the hiring process, and send official job offers.
After the employee is hired, these programs may automatically take them through onboarding too. With these features, employees can electronically sign legal agreements, submit their banking and payroll information, and enroll in benefits.
Some HR cloud systems can also integrate with payroll or accounting software so that new employees are automatically added.
If you’re interested in the onboarding features without the hiring and applicant tracking features, onboarding features may be available soon in your scheduling program: Deputy, which is an industry leader in scheduling, is working on releasing onboarding features.
And, of course, all hiring and onboarding records and legal documents are stored securely online.
These HR cloud systems certainly don’t stop being useful once an employee is hired. Some of them actually make it easier for new employees to learn the ropes.
For example, the HR cloud system Planday integrates with an app called Flow, which offers training modules for common services industry roles such as bartender and server. New hires can use these modules to learn about cocktails and wine, for example. New servers can learn the basics about how to set a table, plate a dish, take orders from customers, and more.
However, in other cases, training new employees simply becomes easier with the help of a cloud-based POS system, whose electronic interface can take employees through new processes step by step and guide them along the way.
Task Management and Performance Management
Many HR systems have features that allow managers to track what employees have accomplished during each shift.
For example, Deputy has a task management feature that assigns tasks per shift and monitors which employees complete them.
If you connect your HR software to your POS system, you can see reports that combine sales and personnel data. This can lend additional insights into how many products employees sell per shift, for example, or how much revenue in sales each employee brings in over time.
Finally, HR programs like BambooHR even incorporate automated performance management tools, which can make the review process much less painless.
Letting an employee go might be a relatively simple (yet never easy) task for most small businesses.
However, those with a growing number of employers will certainly appreciate the ability to offboard employees in a streamlined, compliant way in their HR Cloud System.
Certain tasks have been checked off the list when employees leave. For example, their keys may need to be collected, and they may need to have access to software disabled. There are also documentation requirements for departing employees that you might want to keep a record of in your system along with the employee’s other data.
Do You Have Questions?
A small retail or restaurant operation with just a few employees might not have a pressing need for all of these HR features.
But if your goal is to scale up, add locations, or hire more people in the future, at some point the cost of handling your HR work manually will become so great that investing in an HR cloud system will be a no-brainer.
HR cloud systems can be well worth the investment for rapidly growing businesses.
If you have more questions about how HR cloud systems integrate with point of sale systems, marketing software, inventory management software, and more, please reach out to us at Cloudscape Technologies. We specialize in helping restaurateurs and retailers choose and implement the best software systems on the market today and would be happy to discuss your business software needs.