In public sector HR, bureaucracy and red tape are pretty much a given. With a complex web of rules and procedures, often inherited as the legacy of past policies that are no longer relevant to the current day, and which grow increasingly long-winded over time, effective HR admin and strategy can be a real challenge.
Fortunately, growing numbers of public sector human resources departments are implementing HR software to minimise bureaucratic admin, boost productivity, and transform HR into a more strategic and less administrative department. How exactly can HR software achieve this? Let's identify some of the key ways that human resources software can reduce bureaucracy in your public sector workplace.
Reduce your reliance on paper (or eliminate it entirely)
HR software is key for the digital transformation of public sector organisations, allowing teams to reduce their reliance on physical paperwork and shift to a more agile, efficient way of working.
Digitising paperwork is a game-changer for the public sector -- instead of needing to search through filing cabinets, wait for paperwork to arrive by mail, or waste time printing and scanning documents, all employee records, HR policies, and compliance documents are stored securely in a centralised HR system. This not only reduces the physical storage requirements for public sector organisations, but it also means that documents can be accessed and processed faster with minimal delays.
With a centralised HR database, employees can access the information they need from anywhere at any time, with multiple administrative staff and departments being able to access the same documents simultaneously. In addition to reducing the risk of misplaced or lost documents, this also benefits remote working, allowing essential public sector organisations to continue working effectively even outside the office.
HR software also allows for seamless collaboration across departments, reducing the need for employees to physically move documents from one office to another. Consequently, HR teams can reduce data silos and increase connectivity between different parts of the organisation, bringing human resources, payroll, recruitment, and more together in harmony to benefit all.
You may also be interested in: Whitepaper: Digital transformation and HR
Manage data more securely and efficiently in line with GDPR
One of the main ways that GDPR-compliant HR software can help reduce bureaucracy is by automating the collection, storage, and management of employee data. With HR software, public sector organisations can streamline the process of collecting and managing sensitive employee data, such as personal identification information, employment contracts, and performance management records. This automation reduces the time and effort required to complete these processes and minimises the risk of errors, inconsistencies, and security breaches.
In addition, GDPR-compliant HR software can help public sector organisations comply with GDPR regulations by ensuring that employee data is collected and processed lawfully, transparently, and with minimal risk of unauthorised access. It also streamlines data deletion policies, which automated reminders for deletion of employee data triggered after a period of time. Some HR software providers such as XCD even offer data deletion services as an add-on with their software.
This compliance can help public sector organisations avoid costly penalties for GDPR violations and maintain the trust and confidence of their employees and stakeholders. Equally importantly, payroll and HR software that has these data compliance capabilities built in is a great way to reduce bureaucracy and time-consuming data management tasks for HR professionals.
You may also be interested in: GDPR best practices for HR
Recruit faster and more effectively
With a war for talent and a candidate-driven market meaning that it's harder than ever to hire the best people for your vacant roles, speeding up the recruitment process and reducing long-winded bureaucracy is key.
By automating the recruitment process, HR software can help public sector organisations reduce the time and effort required to find and hire qualified candidates. With powerful recruitment features such as applicant tracking, automated screening, and candidate profiling, HR software can quickly and efficiently match job openings with suitable candidates. This automation can reduce the burden on HR staff, minimise recruitment-related paperwork, and ensure that the recruitment process is fair and transparent.
HR software can help public sector organisations manage compliance-related tasks in recruitment and onboarding such as background checks, eligibility verification, and benefits enrollment. With features such as automated workflows, compliance dashboards, and reporting tools, HR software can reduce the risk of non-compliance, ensure that all necessary paperwork is completed accurately and on time, and minimise the time and effort required to manage these recruitment and HR processes.
Finally, using e-signature technology, new hires can sign contracts which are instantly stored securely in the cloud and ready for access whenever necessary. This reduces some of the time-wasting bureaucracy involved in printing and mailing physical documents, waiting for their return, and filing them, allowing new employees to get started in their new role more quickly and seamlessly.
You may also be interested in: How HR technology can improve the recruitment process
Improve payroll with automation
With a variety of payrolls, pay periods, and pension schemes to manage, it can be difficult for public sector organisations to keep track of all the necessary information and ensure that employees are paid accurately and on time. Complex payroll needs means a greater risk of errors, which can lead to delays in payment and dissatisfaction among employees.
By automating the payroll process, HR software can help ensure that all data is entered accurately and that all calculations are performed correctly, reducing the risk of errors and ensuring that employees are paid on time. HR software can help by automating many of the tasks associated with payroll management, including data entry, calculations, and reporting. Similarly, with multiple pension schemes to manage, HR software can help ensure that all calculations are performed correctly and that all necessary contributions are made on time.
You may also be interested in: Why payroll and reward is better on single software
Reduce HR admin with self-service
Finally, HR systems with self-service capabilities are a great way to reduce the administrative burden on HR professionals and shift responsibility for these essential HR processes onto the workforce. Self-service HR allows employees to complete HR-related tasks such as updating personal information, requesting time off, or submitting expenses quickly and easily. Moreover, employees can easily use the intuitive self-service portal to do everything from checking their payslips to submitting their performance management self-assessments. By shifting ownership of these HR processes such as leave requests and performance management onto employees, individuals can become more engaged with their own HR admin and save hundreds of hours for the HR team.
By allowing employees to update their own information, self-service HR reduces the risk of errors that can occur during manual data entry. This improves accuracy, reduces the risk of mistakes, and ensures compliance with HR policies and regulations. Meanwhile, self-service HR provides employees with greater visibility into their HR-related information, such as pay, benefits, and time off. This can help to increase transparency, build trust, and reduce bureaucracy by empowering employees to take ownership of their HR-related tasks.
You may also be interested in: How to boost self-service adoption with HR and payroll software
Public sector HR software: The bottom line
With digital transformation at the top of many public sector HR experts' priorities list, the time is right to use HR software to tackle the bureaucratic nature of many local government, education, and healthcare organisations. With remote and hybrid work now the norm following the Covid-19 pandemic, the public sector has had a shake-up that has revealed the need to become more agile, flexible, and less bureaucratic.
Human resources information systems like XCD's cloud-based HR software has been designed with the complex needs of public sector organisations in mind. Boosting efficiency and offering substantial cost-savings, XCD HR and payroll software is a centralised single source of truth for all payroll and HR processes. Built on the Salesforce platform, our cloud-based HR software provides robust security features that help protect sensitive HR data, ensuring compliance with data protection regulations such as GDPR. This is particularly important for public sector organisations, which handle a large amount of sensitive data.
Fully scalable, XCD HR and payroll system is ideal for the ever-shifting nature of the public sector, allowing the addition of new users and features when needed. This flexibility can help public sector organisations to adapt quickly to changing HR requirements and to scale their operations as needed.
Want to find out more about how XCD HR & payroll software has helped public sector HR departments transform their administrative systems, save time, and achieve an outstanding ROI? Check out our case studies of Eastleigh Borough Council or Peterborough City Council. Or, see our powerful software in action by booking your demo today.