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What Is HR Software?

What is a dedicated HR software? What can it do and more importantly how can it help your practice?


What Is HR Software?

At its most basic, HR software moves paper-based employee transactions and record-keeping tasks to a digital format. When HR software was first introduced in the 1970s and 1980s, that’s about all it did. 

However, today’s HR software is far more powerful. It doesn’t just digitize processes — it automates them. That means fewer human hours spent on data entry and transaction processing. Office managers can now focus on patients with confidence, knowing non-exempt team members such as optical techs and dental hygienists are able to input and update their own records, with the office manager’s final approval. 

The most popular HR software is cloud-based, which reduces the need for on-site hardware. Further, it is typically offered through a subscription, so organizations can spread the cost out over time, rather than making a large, one-time investment. That’s important for small practices that need a budget-friendly pricing plan. 

HR software is customizable, so it can meet the needs of any size business in any industry. Better still, these platforms integrate with other systems, so HR professionals and office managers don’t have to transfer information from one to another manually. 

What Does HR Software Do?

There is a long list of things HR software can do. The particular capabilities of a given platform depend on its features, whether and how the software was customized to meet organizational needs, and the installation of updates. Examples of HR software capabilities include: 

  • Managing on-boarding and off-boarding tasks 
  • Managing employees’ personal data 
  • Creation, tracking, and storage of performance documents
  • Tracking timesheet and payroll information
  • Ensuring compliance with state and federal payroll requirements
  • Automating transaction approval processes 
  • Managing training completion data for compliance purposes 
  • Measuring, analyzing, and reporting elements of employee engagement
  • Benefits administration and automatic tracking
  • Maintaining an audit trail for sensitive transactions 

The primary goals of HR software are to reduce the need for creating, completing, and storing paper forms, as well as to automate HR processes. As an extra benefit, digital storage lends itself well to automated analysis and reporting, which gives HR professionals in-depth information on previously invisible aspects of their workforce. For example, would a different method of scheduling reduce the amount of overtime your vet techs are working? Is one of your Bill and Account Coordinators frequently late? With the right HR software, you’ll know right away. 

What Are the Benefits of HR Software?

The biggest benefit of HR software is the time it saves thanks to automation. HR professionals and office managers can offload data entry and other administrative tasks, so they can turn their attention to training, developing, and engaging their team.

Here are other benefits of implementing advanced HR software: 

  • Increased accuracy of employee data 
  • Improved insight through automated analysis and reporting 
  • Improved organization, storage, and retrieval of employment records for compliance purposes 
  • More efficient HR workflow 
  • Reduced overtime expense with same-day overtime notification
  • Real-time monitoring of attendance, tardiness, and early clock in’s
  • Automatic benefits calculation based on timeclock data 
  • Digital signatures with timestamps for all data entered into the software
  • Employees empowered to enter and update their entries
  • Approval function ensures management review of any changes made by employees

All these benefits can reduce expenses, from the costs of keeping a large HR staff to avoiding fines for violating wage and hour rules or employee claims. Many healthcare practices determine that there is a strong return on their investment in HR software. 

Types of HR Software

Most HR software is intended for a specific HR function though it can generally be combined with other platforms to create robust end-to-end HR solutions. Examples of general HR software categories include the following:

  • HRIS (Human Resources Information Systems) — This type of HR software forms the foundation of an HR system. It collects and maintains applicant and employee data, and it can often manage payroll and benefits functions. Some HRIS platforms are all-inclusive HR solutions, while others integrate with complementary HR software to meet all HR needs.
  • Performance Management — There are a lot of documents involved in managing performance evaluations, skills assessments, performance feedback, goal tracking, and disciplinary action. HR software dedicated to performance management can handle them all. These systems automate the creation, transfer, and approval of performance management documents. 
  • ATS (Applicant Tracking System) — This type of HR software handles the staffing function of the business. It manages job postings across online job boards, collects and stores applicants’ information, and automates the pre-screening process. In many cases, it manages the flow of candidates from the start of the process through hire. It automates tasks like approvals and interview scheduling on behalf of staffing professionals and hiring managers. 
  • On-boarding — HR software for on-boarding picks up where ATS software leaves off. It supports a smooth transition from candidate to hire, and it handles the many forms necessary for compliance with employment regulations. On-boarding software introduces automation to the on-boarding process to reduce paperwork, remove the need for human intervention, and collect/store electronic signatures.

HR software offers organizations of all sizes the opportunity to offload data entry and transactional tasks. These platforms automate basic HR functions, which saves time for HR professionals and office managers.

Recommended Reading: The 6 Best HR Software Platforms for Healthcare Practices



Did you know that we at HR for Health monitor all the specific laws and regulations that affect your practice? If you have questions about compliance issues, please reach out to us. Schedule a call, call (877) 779-4747, or email compliance@hrforhealth.com now to learn more.

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