There’s a very clear answer to this question in that one is a person and one is a bit of computer code that has been brought to life but there are ways that the two can work together to complement each other.
A HR system is a piece of software that helps a business to automate and manage a number of its core HR processes through workflows and quick access functionality. A HR system is populated with an individual record for each member of staff which contains personal and work-related information. Various levels of users then have access to the system including the employee who will use it in a self-service way to request holidays, view documents and update any of their details as needed. There will also be a line manager or other higher level user who has a wider range of access to the system so that they can manage their team or the whole company depending on its size. That user deals with checking and approving requests, uploads documents and can also typically run reports on the data held in the system. Basically the HR system replaces many manual tasks and records, it improves efficiency and frees up time for you and your team to get on with the things that you do best.
A HR system will not provide you with advice, it will not listen to you and guide you to make sure that you are compliant with employment law and it won’t be on the end of the phone when you want to cry or vent about that certain person who’s gone and messed up… again! All of that and more is where a HR consultant, an actual human being, comes in. A HR Consultant will work with and get to know you and your business so that they can help you to deal with any employee relations issues that come up but also to help you to engage with your staff and make your business the best place to work. A HR Consultant will also be able to make use of the information that is held in your HR software so the two can work in tandem. By having a system that records and reports on absence your HR Consultant can identify trends and if staff have hit absence triggers, or they might use data from the system to analyse your turnover rate and work with your business to review retention.
Having a great HR Consultant or a fantastic piece of HR software will benefit your business, having both will transform it.
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