Why HR Spreadsheets Stunts Growth
Digital spreadsheets were originally designed for accountants, but quickly spread to other professions, too. Teachers, engineers and salespeople all found ways to get their hands on digital spreadsheets. They were invented and made popular somewhere between 1961 and 1981.
But let’s focus on HR spreadsheets today. As spreadsheets are nearly 60 years old now, and still have some practical uses, I’m not convinced that HR is one of them. Yes, HR spreadsheets are a fast and cheap way of getting started with HR admin if you run a small business, but most organisations eventually find that spreadsheets complicate HR workflows further down the line. Let’s just go through few issues below.
It’s time consuming
As your business begins to scale and the headcount is now exceeding 50+ people, you will start facing real challenges. It’s time consuming to maintain the spreadsheet, update it, make corrections, and field back-and-forth emails in an effort to piece together who wants time off, and when.
They can take at least an hour a day to look after. It can dent your HR staff’s productivity, and caused them to neglect other important areas of the business.
Mistakes can spiral out of control, with little to no audit trail
If you think that lost time is the only problem HR spreadsheets can cause, you are wrong!
One other major issue with using HR spreadsheets is that mistakes would spiral out of control. When you manually enter data into cells, there’s a massive chance you’ll make errors. And the worst part is, there’s no safety net since there’s usually only one person working with the spreadsheet. This can lead to financial loss via human error, penalties or fines via data breaches, and even missed talent via a slow recruitment process.
We really do recognize the speed and flexibility HR spreadsheets can give you early on in your business journey but the speed spreadsheets give you early on is misleading, and they make you slower and slower, the bigger you get.
There is a common misconception that HR software is only suitable for bigger organisations. There was a time when this was true – once upon a time, the only type of business software that existed, was characterized by a gigantic, on-premise solution that you had to install, deploy and maintain via your server room.
But while these solutions still exist, the HR software market has changed considerably. In this year 2020, we’re living and working more in the cloud than ever before. And thousands of businesses are now using cloud-based HR softwares right from the start.
Why do they do it? Well, it’s because they want to work faster and better. And cloud-based HR software is as scalable as it gets. But it’s also affordable, fast, and even easier to set up than a network of HR spreadsheets.