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It is undeniable that today, HR, even at smaller firms, operates on a truly global landscape.

And, at the biggest firms, a global solution can be an absolutely necessity. For these firms, the baseline requirements of any HR software is flexibility, inter-connectivity, easy-to-use interfaces – that appear the same wherever the log on is – alongside rigorous security and audit controls.

When HR Grapevine spoke to Michael Howard, Owner & Managing Director, Frontier Software, they explained that with the above being so important, as well as compliance with core local requirements, HR systems must be able to deliver in a flexible manner for truly global firms. 

Michael said: “Multi-country, multi-company, multi-currency and language are all needed to deliver a global solution. However, the software must also be adaptable to the working practices of each country, especially for those core elements of HR administration such as holidays, managing leave, compensation payments and specific in-country legislative reporting requirements.

“The software must provide an accurate, up to date view of data from a single source to ensure consistency across the organisation, regardless of real or imagined borders. Consistency and reliability will foster trust in the data and the software.”

However, if your business is considering a global approach to HR there is much to consider – and it’s easy to get caught up intricate parts of the software or roll-outs that didn’t go to plan in the past.

Which is why Michael explained what the baseline deliverables should be when choosing the right software for your HR function.

HR Grapevine has listed these below:

  • Is it a single database for all employee data regardless of their location?
  • Is the software intuitive and easy to use for an effective roll-out to HR staff?
  • Can routine tasks be automated and documents produced and stored by the system?
  • Can data be stored and accessed from your company network or the cloud?
  • Is user access controlled by security features within the software?
  • Is the software scalable to meet the demand for new layers of organisation structure and flexible enough to scale without high consultancy costs?
  • Does is cater for a country specific approach to absence including different entitlements, rules and public holiday plans?
  • Is reporting integral to the system for production of real time, accurate data analytics when and where you need them?
  • Is the software adaptable to store unique country data requirements?
  • Is the vendor willing to deliver a proven, secure solution with no risk of failure for the customer?

Of course, there is one important element of this that shouldn’t be forgotten either: cost. Yet, Michael doesn’t believe an outlook that is global in nature should come at an unaffordable cost.

“Thinking global doesn’t have to mean spiralling costs for maintaining the database and infrastructure. The delivery of global HR software in the cloud means there is now a platform for software access and a vendor should be able to offer either a licences approach for software usage, or a subscription model of pricing - an affordable option for all.  “Global capability without large investment and complexity is here today and Frontier Software is leading the charge,” they added.

This article was published in HR Grapevine April 2019