Blog: Why we chose a cloud-based HR system

HR manager Helen Blackmore talks about how she dealt with a workforce that doubled in a matter of months, and the effect of a switch from manual to computerized HR

Blog: Why we chose a cloud-based HR system
By Helen Blackmore, HR Manager at blur Group
Professional organizations are closest to nirvana when they have talented, high-performing employees to match their innovative products and services. Without one or the other, a company's ceiling will effectively remain capped. But we are now seeing a third element enter the picture – technological infrastructure. Technology is a core enabler for businesses, unlocking a world of new of efficiency and possibilities.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in human resource functions.
In 2011, Deloitte predicted that human resource processes operating out of the cloud would be "inevitable." Three years later, it's been proven that traditional, manual HR systems can’t scale, they jeopardize data integrity, prevent easy reporting and push administrative tasks on HR professionals, giving them less time to fulfill the "human" aspects of their job (i.e. interacting with and counseling employees).
This is where cloud-based HR systems come in.
Choosing Cloud HR
blur Group’s headcount doubled over the previous six months. Could our manual HR system work as well with 5,000 people as it did with 50? Or would the system of spreadsheets we’d built only become more opaque as the company grew?
When a report on employee data took half a day to pull together and absence info was in calendar, it was really time to realize that our existing system was unworkable, we needed something that would simplify our HR processes and work with all existing offices, in the US. and UK, and any others we added in the future. It has to be scalable.
As a fast-growing, global tech company, we also needed to exercise finesse when choosing a software-as-a-service, cloud-based HR system. After getting the buy-in of the CEO, we communicated openly with the company about how the HR system would change our organization. We chose a secure solution that would work in sync with our existing internal systems and evolve with us over the next several years. We wanted to be able to add “extras” as our employees and managers become more familiar with the system. Collaboration and communication across the HR and technology function was key to its success.
It was also important for us to adopt a cloud system, but to do so with an innovative company, not only because our own online marketplace (the Global Services Exchange) runs entirely in the cloud, but because we look to our partners to share the ethos we strive to encompass in everything we do: Driven, Different, Disruptive. Working in the cloud is second nature to us, almost like a blood-line which runs through all policies, processes and projects. It’s an integral aspect of our culture...and so blurNation was launched.
Seeing the Transformation
Since migrating HR processes to a centralized cloud service, our HR function has completely reshaped the way it operates by giving control to our employees. Users now have instant access to vital HR statistics, including information about recruitment and onboarding, employee performance, payroll, time and attendance - everyone can book holiday on their phone or update their personal details - wherever, whenever.
We've also seen HR become more tangible, by allowing us to produce reports on employee productivity (i.e. statistics about absence and attrition). This is data that we have never had before - suddenly human resources can show its value! We now know our global attrition is 4% and our sickness is below 1%, this gives a benchmark for moving forward and understanding our blurNation; which has never been so important.
During the onboarding process, our HR system allows employees to fill out their records electronically with their personal and financial information - no longer is it a first day chore, it is done before someone even joins so they can concentrate on what’s important…joining blur, meeting colleagues and soaking in the culture! Over the years, the system will develop and they will be able to access and change more and more information quickly and easily, without using any paper.

Human resources should ultimately be about people, not spreadsheets. By reducing the administrative burden on our HR professionals and giving employees better access and onus with regards to their own records, we've been better able to tap into our most valuable resource - human capital.

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