What is HR Reporting and Which Suites Do It Best?

November 19th, 2019

Today’s post was written by Cally Conklin, guest writer for TrustRadius.


Have you ever thought about humans as capital?  This is a newish concept to me but after having spent the last several days reading about this approach, I find it fascinating.  I mean, what could be more valuable capital than humans and the skills we have to offer?  I love the idea of monetizing and quantifying these assets.

The conundrum with trying to fit human beings into a mathematical equation is that ultimately we are human.  We have good days and bad days; we get sick; we have families and laundry and vacations.  This is where the brilliance of human resources (HR) comes into play. The HR department of an organization manages anything employee-related such as recruitment, hiring, retainage, payroll, benefits, leave and termination.   

What is HR Reporting?

The complexity of managing humans necessitates the need for HR Reporting.  If you are an amateur when it comes to the world of human resources (like me!), HR Reporting is an analytical tool designed to compile data, statistics, and metrics on employees.  For instance, HR Reporting aims to collect information such as personal details, position in the company, skills, and salaries of its employees. To execute this strategy, HR managers purchase specific software to compile this data (discussed in further detail below).  In summary, HR Reporting is an instrument used by companies to manage the information of their employees.   

What Are the Goals and Functions of HR Reporting?

The main goal of HR reporting is to optimize workplace performance.  Imagine you are the HR manager of a law firm that represents victims of domestic violence, amongst many other types of Family Law cases.  In one specific month (let’s call it November) you are analyzing the employee leave reports and notice a 25% increase in sick days used. Your job as an HR manager would be to look at the trend and try to answer the question of why?  Was the office hit hard by the flu this month?  Was there a multi-day music festival in town? Or, maybe, just maybe, there have been more victims of domestic violence as clients in the office this month? 

As an attorney who used to work in this realm, I can tell you that is mentally and emotionally taxing to work on a domestic violence case. I found myself taking work home with me and I couldn’t stop thinking about my clients whose families were suffering so greatly.  Pretty soon, I wasn’t sleeping well and I found myself consumed by my cases and not feeling like myself at all. A good friend of mine (who is a social worker) recommended a course for professionals working with victims of domestic violence and I quickly signed up. The information was so invaluable that I insisted that HR we get the presentation on-site for everyone at our firm.  We all learned valuable tools for self-care, professional compartmentalization and leaving work at work. There was such an increase in employee productivity and less sick days used; it was absolutely a win/win for everyone.  

Why the long-winded story having nothing to do with HR Suites?  It gives you an insight as to why HR Reporting is so important. More goals of HR Reporting are:

  • To flag potential problems or issues within an organization 
  • To predict possible solutions for those problems
  • To attract recruits
  • To keep tabs on the pulse of the company
  • To cultivate employee productivity and corporate culture

At its core, HR Reporting is a data-driven system.  Therefore, its main function is to make the data quantifiable.  This data allows for valuable insight into the inner workings of a company.  But when all the data is collected, what should be done with it? How do you use it to create a more productive workforce?  I think the main function and best asset of HR Reporting is enhanced communication between all departments (some call this function a “Dashboard”).  If a company can measure Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) as an outcome of the data, it is a huge win for overall productivity. In addition, another important function of a reporting suite is that the interface is accessible for employees and easy to navigate.  It should also have seamless compatibility with other office systems and interfaces to be considered top-notch. So, which are the best?   

We’ve listed the top 2 HR management suites for reporting, as well as the top point solution for HR reporting and analytics if you don’t need a full suite. To be included on this list, the product’s reporting feature must be rated above 8.0 and have HR management listed as its primary category on TrustRadius. Visier is also listed as the most highly rated product with its primary category listed under Workforce Analytics.

Top 3 HR Reporting Tools

Ultipro

 A suite from Ultimate Software, it is best known for its employee accessibility and is a comprehensive HCM Suite solution. This software also features “traditional compliance, employee record-keeping, and employee analytics.  It also includes strategic HR functions such as talent management, learning management, employee engagement surveys, and workforce management.”  

In terms of its reporting, this particular function gets rave reviews.  Its other two highest-rated features are employee self-service and payroll management.  It is most used by the hospital/healthcare system and financial services. 

Zenefits

Zenefits is an HR management suite with a focus on the needs of small and midsized businesses. It includes core payroll, time tracking, and systems of record capabilities, as well as performance management. It is also praised highly for its ability to integrate with external HR data sources (8.7), which is uncommon for HR suites to be rated highly on– this is normally a weak point!

One area reviewers consistently criticize is Zenefits’s customer service. If you’re sold on the robust reporting for a smaller-scaled product, it may yield dividends down the road to invest more in implementation on the front end. Making sure your deployment is optimized the first time can minimize the chance of needing customer support in the first place.

Visier

This suite is considered a Point-Reporting/Analytics solution if your company does not require a full HCM product.  Its focus is on people and it “gives answers to hundreds of pre-built, best-practice workforce questions, and translates these insights into plans and business outcomes.” One reviewer lauded Visier for its efficient reporting and data collection skills.  In addition, this suite’s highest-rated features include workforce analytics collection and a “visualization tool for data exploration and analysis.” 

You may also find this blog post on different types of HR software useful. If you’re not sure what HR management software actually is, check out our overview of HR management software! If you want to do your own exploration of your options, take a look at users’ reviews of the full list of HR management software.