10 Ways The Cloud Can Improve Your HR Processes

Dec 14, 2014
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The cloud is here and that is a good thing for HR professionals. The difficulty is that it forces HR to wade into a new technology—and that takes time. This white paper helps HR quickly get on track by exploring 10 reasons that are driving the decision to move HR processes onto the cloud.

To set some context, the move to the cloud is part of a broader trend to bring technology to most HR processes. What matters most is good processes. Technology enables that, and the cloud is a substantial advance in technology.

This white paper can be used in three ways:

  1. Identify what matters most. Usually business decisions are driven by one or two issues that override other considerations. There may be a long list of relevant pros and cons, however the first step is to identify the few factors that are likely to tip the balance.

  2.  Use the list for due diligence. HR needs to have a fact-based opinion on each of the ten items on this list. HR has to be sure there are no issues that could derail a project.

  3. As an educational guideline. The list points to many of the issues relevant to cloud-based HR; use it as a guide for exploring the topic.

For convenience, we break down this top ten list into three categories:

  • Valued-added reasons

  • Financial reasons

  • Risk mitigation reasons

Now, let us dive into the detail.

The Value-added Reasons

  • While cost and risk are important, the most exciting reason to move HR processes to the cloud is that it will make HR work better. Here are three value-added reasons HR may want to embrace the cloud.

  • It might be the only way a process will be automated. In the real world of limited time and constrained budgets, the choice might be between a cloud-based solution and no solution at all. Cloud-based solutions can be implemented quickly with little IT support. If the reality is that an in-house solution simply will not happen then do not beat around the bush; make the case that a solution is needed, and let the cloud get you there.

  • Because it supports the employment brand. The sizzle of cloud-based solutions is that they have the look, functionality, and mobile-accessibility that employees (and their managers) have come to expect. People are impressed when an organization has the latest tools and disappointed if tools feel out-of-date. A sizzling employment brand may not be the primary reason to go to the cloud; however it can be a powerful supporting argument.

  • Improved ability to measure. In the past, organizations would launch a process and hope it improved outcomes, now there are constant demands to measure those outcomes. Any move from a manual to an automated system should improve reporting, and in this realm, cloud-based software has good measurement, analytics and reporting baked-in. That improved ability to measure can seal the deal for a cloud-based application.

  • Universal access. We are in an era where employees expect to be able to access tools from home and mobile devices; cloud solutions typically have this capability. This is dramatically illustrated in cloud-based onboarding solutions where new employees can begin the onboarding process before they ever set foot in the office. And lest we think onboarding is merely a nice-to-have, recall that “research on new employee onboarding shows that when onboarding is done correctly, it leads to: higher job satisfaction; organizational commitment; lower turnover; higher performance levels; career effectiveness; [and] lowered stress”.1

Read about the financial and risk-mitigation reasons to move to the cloud in second half of the white paper. Read More!
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1. Bauer, Tayla Onboarding New Employees: Maximizing success. SHRM Foundation, 2011
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