People® – the Story of a Daringly Different HR System

I’ve built more than a few HR systems during my career. When I first thought about building People®, I knew that it had to be different. Otherwise, what would be the point in building it?

The six pains of human resources professionals

In 2012, I sat down with a small group of very smart people. I’d worked with these people for many years, and I knew they had the brains to help me crack the challenge I was trying to solve: What could we give HR professionals that they don’t already have?

It had to be something useful. It had to be something that addressed real HR concerns. And it had to be done right – I had already vowed that this was the last system I was ever going to build, and nobody wants to finish their career on a flop.

Here’s the list of HR pains our original team came up with:

–          HR can be boring. Why isn’t there a system out there that makes it more fun?
–          Nobody helps HR professionals do their job. Why does everybody else in the business expect you to know everything all of the time?
–          Spreadsheets lack impact and efficiency. Why are we still stuck typing numbers into boxes and generating lifeless pie charts?
–          Work can become a lonely prison. Why should we be chained to our desks by paperwork and manual processes?
–          We rely too much on IT. How many times have you been unable to process holiday requests because the systems are down?
–          Good technology is too expensive. Smaller businesses can find themselves priced out of the market.

This became our roadmap for development. We put each of our collective brain cells to work, finding a way of solving each six of these pain points.

And so, People® was born.

How People® solves the six pain points our team identified

Here is what our refined roadmap looked like, and how it guided the way we developed our software.

People® should make a dull job fun

HR professionals are ambitious. And so, the first thing we did was add a fun way to fuel this ambition, through an achievement mechanism. We called this “Missions”. Each Mission gives HR professionals a set of steps they need to take to reach a big business goal, such as reducing absence or improving health and safety. It lets users challenge themselves at work, and they earn a nice little badge and title for every Mission they complete.

People® should help HR professionals make smarter decisions

HR professionals are smart people. But sometimes, there is a lack of guidance and support available to help them out when things get tough. There’s also not much out there to help you remember key dates or tasks! We added our “Follow Me” functionality to address this. The software analyses common processes followed by different HR professionals, and helps other users work out what to do at certain points. This could be a reminder to inform payroll of a salary change, for example.

People® should deliver stats with impact

Instead of expecting our users to battle with yet another spreadsheet-based HR system, we built it into a very appealing user interface. This makes HR administration easier, but also gives users a different way to generate reports. For example, our software includes a set of pre-designed infographics that tell stories using real workforce data.

People® should be accessible from anywhere

We optimised our software for smartphones and tablets. This means you can literally work from anywhere you like! You can sit at your desk in your office if you really want to… or you can work from a train. Or your living room. You could even work on the beach.

People® should not burden a company’s IT department

We chose to build People® as a cloud-based application to relieve pressure on IT departments. Smaller companies don’t often have a dedicated IT team, and bigger companies have better things for their IT team to do than fix system issues all day. We maintain everything in the background, to help businesses work smarter in the foreground.

People® should be affordable for everyone

Some HR systems have it all. But they are very expensive. Other systems have the bare basics. But they don’t always do a great job. We decided to make People® affordable for everyone, with a flexible pricing plan. There are options to suit even the smallest of budgets, and customers can upgrade their plan as their business grows.

About the author
Sat Sindhar is managing director of People®. He has more than 25 years’ experience in business operations, human resources and HR software.

During his career, Sat has helped to bring several successful HR systems to market. He has also led the charge with other software projects, from personal apps through to full-blown systems for business.

Sat calls People® his ‘brainchild’, and says it is the one project in his career that he is most proud of.

You can learn more about how People® helps you grow your business and make a difference, by visiting their website here.

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