Picture this: summer is coming and you have a pile of vacation request forms stacked on your desk. Today you have to complete the tedious task of entering everyone’s vacation days into an excel sheet. Don’t forget, you need to bump up vacation allotments if an employee has reached the 5 year service mark, or prorate the entitlement for employees who started with the company part way through the year. However diligent you are, formulas within the cells get ruined or dates get input incorrectly. Discrepancies occur, the spreadsheet does not match the number of vacation days that the employee thinks that they have left leaving everyone frustrated. Perhaps your company is not ready to implement a complete HR solutions software, or the financial pressures of COVID-19 have tightened the HR budget further, but you know it’s time to ensure a better employee experience and be more efficient in the process. It’s time to automate!
Fortunately, there are a few free HR solutions out there that you can implement within your organization to improve the efficiency of your HR processes.
Jorani is open source software that you can use to track employees’ vacation and sick time. Employees are given a username and password. They can log in to request vacation time and sick time. The requests then go to the appropriate supervisor for approval. Employees can see a calendar that shows when everyone in their department is off.
Pros: Simple interface and easy to use.
Cons: Technical know-how or IT set up required. It’s limited in it’s use as it can only be used for time off.
Moodle is an open source learning management system (LMS). It is primarily used in education settings but its functionality can be extended to a corporate setting. For example, you could create courses for your new hires to complete their mandatory health and safety training within the system. You could also use it for internal training that you require employees complete. The software enables you to track the training that all employees have completed and give them feedback. You could also this tool as part of your training and development strategy to develop talent within your company.
Pros: Many different features that you can use depending on your needs. Intuitive user interface.
Cons: Technical know-how or IT set up required.
OrangeHRM is a Human Resources Information System (HRIS) that you can use to manage many aspects of the employment relationship. It includes vacation tracking, performance management and recruitment. There is a free open source product as well as upgraded versions that you can pay for that offers more features.
Pros: This is a basic tool to manage all your employee data if you are on a shoestring budget.
Cons: The free open source version of the OrangeHRM can be somewhat limited. For example, the recruitment function requires manual input of candidates and is not a full applicant tracking system (ATS), however upgraded versions will offer a fully integrated ATS and other features that allow for more integration with your other internal systems.
Considerations When Choosing HR Software
When you are deciding which software that you are going to implement across your organization (free or not), there are a couple of factors that you should consider:
- Privacy: maintaining the privacy of employees’ personal information is paramount. Ensure that the software that you select protects this data and that cannot be hacked.
- Integration: consider if you want the new software to be integrated with other software that you use such as a time and attendance system, payroll system or intranet.
- Support: does the software provide support or is it required that your own IT department support it. Which works better for your organization?
- User interface: is the interface of the software that you are implementing easy to use? Can users with varying skills levels of technology proficiency use the new software?
Many open source software websites allow you to check out their product in a “sandbox” environment. The sandbox is a test environment where you can see what the product would be like if you were to use it. This is a good way to let you play around with the technology to see if you like it and to know if you think that it will meet your needs.
Does your business need help figuring out what HR software is best for you? Essential HR can help you evaluate the available options and determine which solution is the best fit for your company.