Integration of systems and the sharing of data is key to running a successful business, no matter how big or small the company. HR is no exception, and HR systems should connect to others for both reporting and triggering actions. A useful suite of standard reports configured by HR software should include:

  • HeadcountHR
  • Employee turnover & stability
  • Departmental salaries & payroll
  • Absence costs by department
  • Objectives met and outstanding – individually and within department
  • Training needs met and outstanding – individually and within department


Such reports are only as good as the quality of the information within them. All too often, reporting in a business is full of errors, due to a failure to cleanse and update data on a regular basis. Once the integrity is questioned, it is very difficult to get confidence restored in the system.

Training is also important. Make sure that everyone who needs to know how to use the systems in your business receives adequate training. For example, Finance should be trained on how to run reports from the HR system in order to run cost and budget reports, which are affected by HR data such as headcount etc.

After reporting, your business should also consider triggered actions. Actions which are automatically triggered could include appraisal dates, probation review, sickness absence reports, etc. Triggered actions can help to reduce the admin workload for HR and are useful in helping busy managers ensure that work gets completed as it should.




In today’s challenging business environment, many businesses are turning to outsourcing as a way to reduce costs. It is not uncommon for firms to outsource functions such as IT, payroll, back office functions etc. Now, however, firms are beginning to consider the potential of outsourcing human resources (HR).

The benefits to a business are simple: lower operational costs and increased efficiency, as the outsourced provider will generally commit to a service level agreement (SLA). However, is outsourcing HR really a viable business solution?


Reduced Costs

A business can save money by outsourcing HR: tax contributions, employee benefits, desk space etc can all be saved as a result of removing the need for direct employees. In the quest to secure the best value for money, some businesses outsource their HR function to offshore firms that have considerably cheaper labour costs than the UK. This saving can then be passed on to the client.

More Efficient Service

Because of the specialisation of these third-party service providers, the quality of service required by a company can be met consistently.

In an outsourcing scenario, front line services would still need to be delivered in the UK (assuming this is where the business is based). However, customer service, back office functions etc can be delivered efficiently from offshore locations using high speed internet connections, phone systems, video conferencing, email etc.

Just like any other aspect of running a business, outsourcing HR has its positives and negatives. The positives, as we have identified, are the cost savings and increases in efficiency. On the negative side, outsourced HR people do not know the business as well as an in-house HR team would. As a consequence, they won’t understand the strengths and weaknesses of the firm’s team and may struggle to deliver real value.