An Introduction to Online HR

online hr

Bob Teasdale, General Manager of gives us some insights into the world of online HR software systems.


Online HR gives small and medium sized organisations a great opportunity to benefit from what until recently had been the preserve of only large corporations and recent research from Constellation has highlighted that online human resources systems are one of the most popular cloud based apps currently being adopted by business.


So how does it work?


Essentially, HR packages are a database of employees with some tools attached. At its best, it offers easy-to-use functions for managing simple data and records as well as reporting tools and some management tools (for instance performance management can be supplement with online tools – although not replaced!).


Most systems over “self-service” functionality; so that employees can manage (at least some of) their own data.


Generally such systems offer a “hosted” service, with the application sitting on the cloud and so there is no need for the user to store or manage data.  This ‘always on’ environment ensures ready access from anywhere, at any time.  It allows your system to be up and running and rolled out across your enterprise far faster than conventional deployment, particularly if your organisation has multiple locations.


Most of the newer packages follow a “Software as a Service” business model (known as SaaS) – the software equivalent of “pay as you go”.  Instead of having to buy the software outright, you buy a user licence based on the size of your workforce; typically on a monthly basis.   Generally there is often no up-front cost and if you choose to leave, you are able to just give notice and walk away.


…. So what are the key benefits?


Empowering & Personal:  You deliver seamless self-service tools to your employees.  They get to control their own data.  It also allows tasks to be completed at the most appropriate level, saving you time and effort.


Powerful communication channel: It streamlines communication between management and employees allowing accurate, timely and tracked workflow.


Access:  Your workforce are never far from being able to access vital records – not just within the office but home and out in the field.


Costs: It offers you costs that are both flexible and scalable.  You will be paying only a fraction of the cost of the development and infrastructure costs compared to doing it for yourself or buying in a bespoke system.  As your staff levels change so do your costs


Reliability and Security: With someone else focused on the development of the system, infrastructure and backup, you can focus on what you need to do.


Sheffield based employment law solicitor Jon Curtis, who designed the key features of myhrtoolkit was bullish about the future of online HR software: “The future looks good for systems like myhrtoolkit and clearly the market is developing quickly.”