Any business that is taking on, paying and dismissing employees is practising human resource management. The key issue, however, is doing this correctly, which is the motivation behind Softline Pastel Payroll’s introduction of a new automated HR software solution specifically for SME businesses.

The software has been designed and developed by Pastel Payroll to be used either in conjunction with the Pastel Payroll system or completely independently so that any SME company may use it, whether they have payroll software or not. However, where users of Pastel Payroll software also want to implement the HR solution, it does have the same look and feel and can synchronise with the payroll software to import all the non-financial information of the existing employees to eliminate tedious manual recapturing of the details.
With HR software, companies can achieve far-reaching benefits by focusing on the outputs and information derived from the software rather than the inputs. “Training, education, salary, benefits, incentives, career-path and performance criteria are important and often critical to the individual,” says Pastel Payroll managing director Grant Lloyd. “Implementing HR software confirms the employer’s equally serious commitment to these aspects of the employer-employee relationship.”
The new HR software is affordable, can be easily and quickly deployed and provides a pathway for quick return on investment. Lloyd says the developers focused on ease-of-use and suitability for any type and size of business in the SME sector.
“Users don’t need an HR degree to work with this software. It is easy to implement and control and it will help SME businesses to avoid costly CCMA cases and wrongful dismissals requiring compensation. It provides a formal employment contract template at no cost and enables all-important performance reviews to be easily and regularly conducted. A focus of the software design was to enable SME employers to manage, motivate and retain their most valuable employees.”
Business, tax and labour legislation has changed considerably over the past decade and automated HR software ensures that employee disputes and disciplinary actions are conducted and recorded completely in line with legislative requirements.   
The automated software simplifies disciplinary procedures. It is able to process 66 typical disciplinary scenarios, each with its own offence level, and indicate the required disciplinary procedure from verbal warning to written warning and final written warning. All relevant information is held in the system and can be easily accessed in preparation for any disciplinary hearing or CCMA dispute in the Labour Court.
Disciplinary actions have to be recorded to comply with employment legislation and the HR software enables employers to link any relevant document, whether it is a document scan, audio or video recording or photographic material, to an employee’s disciplinary record as evidence for any wrongful dismissal or other dispute under the Labour Relations Act and the CCMA.
Performance reviews are imperative but can be very time consuming and difficult to conduct. The software ensures that performance reviews are done correctly and accurately. Once the template has been set up it is easy to complete reviews of employees by selecting the appropriate review, loading the scorecard, entering the rating scores and printing the review for the employee and supervisor or manager to sign.
There are standard HR forms and templates that can be printed for a range of HR processes. The software is also able to track company assets held and used by individual employees such as company cell phones, laptops, vehicles and the like. The purchase date, original purchase price, replacement and disposal dates can be recorded as well as whether the asset needs to be returned to the company on termination of employment. Pictures of the equipment can also be linked and stored.
Tracking and reviewing of HR processes is a necessity, but often complex task to record. The HR software allows printing of a timeline of events to view in sequence all HR processes pertaining to any employee. Company vacancies and the specific requirements of the position can also be tracked through the system.