Picking an Employee HR portal software: a checklist

What can you achieve through an HR Employee Portal?

You want to be sure that employees are equipped with all the information and tools they need to best perform their jobs. However, you also want to be sure their needs as humans are also met – HR’s domain. Hence an “Employee HR Portal”. As you consider setting one up, it is pertinent to consider the various benefits that may derived.

  1. Onboarding. New employees need to provide various kinds of information to the HR department – about unique requirements, insurance, salary etc – so that they are fully and formally inducted in the system. Moreover, they need access to trainings, videos and documents so that they fully imbibe the company’s culture and processes. An Employee HR portal is a central place for a new employee to be lead through onboarding steps, and given access all the forms, videos, schedules and documents to get up to speed and be productive as soon as possible.
  2. Corporate communication. Corporate communication is the term used to everything that is done to disseminate the company’s mission, culture and goals throughout the organizations. An employee portal is the hub where the top management communicates with the workforce through messages, recognition and announcements.
  3. Company schedules. Here, HR can publish information about important upcoming events, holidays and trainings to make sure noone misses anything.
  4. HR Workflows. An HR employee portal is a place where workers can find all the tools they need for HR specific processes – expenses, vacation requests, salary etc.
  5. Training. Employee portals can be used as the place where important training events are streamed, videos and documentation published for self paced training, and where employees can find about and register for upcoming training events.
  6. Motivation. Recognizing employees through awards and programs like “employee of the month” go a great way towards making employees feel appreciated and motivating them. An employee portal is a great place to publish such recognition.
  7. Team Building. Beyond their work tasks, it is important to make employees feel like they are contributing as a team to a larger cause. An employee portal can have a company chat room, where everyone bonds at a human level outside of their work, which helps improve team spirit. This is also a place where videos and pictures of company events can be published.

What tools should you be looking for in an Employee HR Portal?

Ideally, your Employee Portal should have the following capabilities.

  1. Customization. For maximum effectiveness, information needs to be presented to employees in context so that it is visually appealing, easy to understand, and reflects the company’s brand. It is a major turn-off if you are landed in a document folder, and you are supposed through folders upon folders of files and templates. Landing page customization tools allow you to present information in the exact format that reflects your organization’s requirements.
  2. Document Repository. A lot of the information you want to share with employees will be in the form of documents. It is important that these documents are able to be uploaded and shared with employees.
  3. Tasks. There will be times when an employee will need to perform a sequence of tasks for HR. One example is onboarding to-dos for a new employee. Tasks capabilities help you handle this.
  4. Scheduling. Scheduling tools help you display information about company events, holidays, trainings etc.
  5. Workflows. An employee HR portal should allow for the automation of HR workflows like vacation requests, expenses, conference room booking etc.
  6. Group chat. Group chat is a place where all employees can get together and bond at a human level beyond work tasks, and foster team spirit.
  7. Employee social network. An employee social network allows employees to look at other employees’ profiles, backgrounds and the projects they are working on. This helps employees form connections beyond their immediate work group.

HR Portal Options

Your options are basically the following:

  • Build your own. Though you can make this as customized as possible, this is likely to be a very expensive proposition.
  • Get a cloud solution. Ideal for small to medium sized businesses because it is very afforable, and brings a good balance of simplicity, feature depth and customization. HyperOffice Atlas is an example.
  • Get an on premise solution. This is the ideal proposition for large enterprises because these solutions bring tremendous feature depth and customization. However, you will likely need to hire experts to build and manage your solution, and will likely run up high costs. Microsoft Sharepoint is an example

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