How to Choose a Payroll & HRM System?

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In recent years, more and more Hong Kong enterprises have gradually started using human resource management (HRM) systems to manage their work. After all, many HRs have expressed headaches when dealing with staff management work, for example, recording the clock in/out time, late or early leave records, creating rosters in Excel, and approving employees’ leave applications. In these situations, HR seems to be doing 90% manual admin work than really caring for your people!

Many small enterprises do not have an HR department. They usually hire an admin person who takes care of everything. If an admin fails to do the job, the employer has to hire more people to handle the workload. Due to practical cost reasons, exploring an HR system that can free up HR’s time handling manual labor tasks should be a worthy investment.

A simple Google search shows that there are already a large number of HRM systems on the market, and the tagline is usually the same: “simplify the HR process and improve HR’s work efficiency”. 

But what processes should be simplified and what kind of efficiency can be improved? And how?

Choosing an HRM system is not that complicated, but the most important thing is to be flexible since HR policies of each company can be very different. Here are a few other aspects to consider when choosing an HR system.

1. Is the system flexible enough?

As mentioned above, each company’s policies can be very different, therefore, it is very important to select a system with powerful customization functions.

For example, who can approve employees’ leave or overtime requests? Can you set whether there is a buffer for each clock in/out record? How about whether Average Daily Wage (ADW) can be automatically calculated and tracked on a rolling basis? Can you customise how annual leave days are calculated and distributed to employees? These are just some very high level questions one need to consider when considering the “flexibility” of a system.

2. Does it comply with the Employment Ordinance?

Public holidays change every year, and laws and regulations are also constantly changing. If the vendor is not on top of these regulatory updates and consistently conduct system upgrades, companies are actually at risk of violating the Employment Ordinance.

3. How secure is the HR platform?

Data security and confidentiality is one of the most important considerations when  selecting a system. Generally speaking, the more well-known and proven cloud provider is AWS (used by big financial institutions like the Hong Kong Stock Exchange). If your enterprise is of a certain scale or in a more regulated industry (e.g. financial industry), then it’ll be necessary to consider the cloud infrastructure of your HR platform.

4. Is the after-sales service good? Is the pricing transparent?

Many people might have ask the question: “Why do I have to care about after-sales service when purchasing a cloud system just like when I do for an electronic appliance?”

This is because at the early stages, you can’t be entirely certain that the way you are using the system is correct. If you did something wrong, let’s say create a wrong leave policy, can you instantly ask for assistance via instant chat / phone / email?

How about the pricing? Is everything clearly laid out and offer you to subscribe and cancel your subscription in a self-service way? Are you forced to pay for hidden admin fees / maintenance costs / installation fees, etc.?

To sum up, when choosing a vendor for your HR & payroll system, it’s best advised to do the above research and answer all those questions before confirming usage. It’s better if you can do a free trial of the software to see if it really matches your company’s needs and expectations.

The best HRM system is not the one that costs the most and has the most functions, but the one that suits your company.

Workstem is a 100% cloud-based HRM system with a 14-day free trial. Our integrated platform includes HR core functions (staff management, rostering, time tracking, attendance management), leave management, payroll, MPF, tax filing, and powerful customization and report functions that can meet the needs of different enterprises. 

Since it is an all-in-one platform that handles HR’s manual workload, it can reduce the time HR spent on manual and repetitive work. By doing this, employers and HR can truly improve work efficiency and invest more time in caring for the company’s most important asset – its people.



(The article on this website is intended to be for reference and general information purposes only. Workstem does not warrant or represent that such information is complete, accurate or up to date. It should not be treated as a complete and authoritative statement of law or court practice, or a substitute for professional legal advice.)

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