Is free HR software worth it?
2nd February 2016
In order to maximise your profit, you need to cut unnecessary expenses. Do you really need those high quality ground coffee beans for your employees? Could you save a bit of money by doing your own office cleaning? What about your HR expenses?
It’s not difficult to find free HR software – online services and downloadable programs that let you keep track of your employee information. Why, then, would anyone pay a one-off or monthly fee?
What free HR software can offer:
Don’t you just love advertisements?
Are you a fan of brightly coloured banner ads that obscure parts of your screen and cover important messages? Do you like video adverts that play automatically, causing a song to echo out around the silent office environment? What about adverts that fill the whole screen temporarily, or slow down your computer whilst they’re loading?
Whilst some HR software might be offered completely free of charge, you’re more than likely to find that ‘free HR software’ is actually ad supported. Advertisers pay for a banner, a video slot or a link that will appear whilst you’re using the software, which is how the developers get paid for their work if they’re not charging a monthly subscription fee.
Online adverts can be intrusive and frustrating, but are easily avoided if you’re happy to financially support the piece of software that you’re using.
Viruses and Unwanted Programs:
If you’re trying to download free HR software, then be careful what you’re actually installing.
Many of these free programs are hosted on separate download sites, rather than their own website, and it can be particularly hard to work out whether you’re clicking a genuine download link. Often, generic download sites are filled with files that could potentially harm your computer. The genuine download link might be a small text link that’s hidden at the bottom of the page, whilst a brightly coloured ‘DOWNLOAD NOW’ button sits in a prominent position at the top.
When you’re downloading free HR software, it can be all too easy to select the prominent download button without realising that it leads to a completely different piece of software. Usually, these are marketed as ‘download managers’, pretending to be a program that you need to install in order to access the software that you actually want. Meanwhile, your ‘download manager’ is filling your PC with viruses.
When you’re running through the installation process of any free HR software, you should also make sure that you’re carefully reading each and every screen. Some will be inviting you to install a completely irrelevant piece of additional software that could spy on you or slow your computer down. Screens for irrelevant software are often designed to look like privacy agreements or terms and conditions pages that you might accept without reading thoroughly.
What free HR software doesn’t always offer…
Your HR software will need employee data to function. You’ll have to input employee names and addresses, salaries and other pieces of confidential information. What would happen if that data found its way into the wrong hands? For your business, and for your employees, it would be an absolute catastrophe.
Some free HR software providers have cut corners in order to cut costs. Creating a secure and reliable piece of software takes a lot of time and experience, and that’s what you end up paying for. If someone can offer their software completely free of charge, can you be sure that it’s free from bugs and security flaws?
Isn’t it reassuring to know that you can easily access support if there’s anything that you don’t understand? When you choose paid-for HR software, the likelihood is that there will be someone to contact if you need advice or guidance. Many of the best online HR software companies have dedicated customer service providers that can be contacted online or by phone.
Free HR software is often made available and then left alone. It’s not updated regularly with new features, there will be nobody to listen to your suggestions and you’re left to navigate the program on your own.
If you need support, you’ll probably have to find third party forums or work everything out without help.
Up to date information:
For your HR software to be completely reliable and dependable, it should be regularly updated with new tools and features to meet the ever-changing needs of HR managers. You’re unlikely to find truly free HR software that people are still improving.
Usually, free HR software is a one-time creation that requires no further work and could have been sitting online, completely untouched, for half a decade or more!
What should you do if free HR software isn’t the best option for your business?
Don’t assume that the leap from ‘free’ to ‘paid’ is a huge one. With Staff Squared HR software, for instance, prices start from as little as £3 per month. A small investment – a little contribution to cover the costs of the software that you’re using – can make a big difference to your experience. £3 a month could be the difference between out-of-date software, virus downloads or intrusive banner adverts and a smooth, secure and well supported piece of HR software to download or use online.
Instead of taking a risk with your computer, or your employee data, by starting out with free HR software, why not instead choose a free trial of subscription software for your HR tasks?
You can see what Staff Squared has to offer, with no charge for 14 days – we won’t even ask for your credit card details!
If the Staff Squared software isn’t right for you then you can simply leave and choose not to return. If it is right, you can enjoy permanent access to online HR software from Staff Squared for as little as the price of a monthly cup of coffee.