When your company has been growing, the number of projects multiplies and more new staff is required to complete them in time. At a certain moment, you may realize that your current HR software doesn’t cope with your requirements, slows down your performance, and even influences some critical KPIs. For example, some repetitive and time-consuming workflows may still be performed manually, the system may lag and it is almost impossible or even not value for money to add new features. Managing the software that was initially designed to facilitate business processes becomes more and more non-rational and translates into tangible money loss for the company.
How do other companies deal with such kinds of challenges? Let's explore the case study of our client, the global enterprise, with 15000+ employees in 7 countries.
Reasons to Build a Custom HR Portal
Our client decided to develop a custom HR portal after considering some well-known disadvantages of ready-to-use HR software which are not be addressed individually for each customer:
- user functionality and interface may be not intuitive to end users (product may look and feel like it was built 20 years ago), there may be too many dashboards;
- data sharing between modules may be non-seamless, dashboards may not populate the correct data;
- modules may be unexpectedly clunky and difficult to use, there may be too many individual steps to accomplish one task, and so on;
Another essential reason for creating a customized recruitment software or Project Management software is the goal to get full security and control over data. Mostly, it’s hard to obtain by using somebody else's software. It's about assurance in the safety of personal and company data inside such system, namely:
- encryption of user data,
- internal security controls,
- controlled access of data to prevent unauthorized access,
- physical security of user data and more.
To avoid such shortcomings and to get the functionality that strictly matches their business needs, our client preferred to build custom HR software and was looking for software engineering companies.
HR Portal Development as a Solution
We have created an HR portal that has managed to resolve all the business challenges of our client by automating the following processes:
- Gathering and tracking HR data to get full visibility of the staff capacity.
- Allocating human resources to save managers' time.
- Prioritizing projects to avoid the wrong resource planning and allocation.
- Requesting new hires to close skill gaps and deliver projects in time.
How does the HR Portal Work?
User roles within the Human Resource Management system:
- Mr.Promy - a project manager who is responsible for planning, managing, and delivering projects.
- Mr.Deppy - a department manager who is responsible for managing the team and allocating employees to projects.
- Mr.Biggy - a top manager who is responsible for resolving all high-level questions.
To perform their tasks, all the managers need full visibility of their current workforce capacity.
For that, the HR portal has the employees' database that gets updated regularly. Having all the data gathered in a single dashboard, the system gives full visibility of employees' availability and facilitates talent management, their contract end dates, workload, financial details, etc. All resources are systemized for easier management.
Let's picture a typical situation for our client. They get 2 overlapping projects - "Alpha" and "Beta" - that must be completed within 2 months.
Mr.Promy creates a project "Alpha" and determines resource requirements: 5 seniors, 15 middles, and 10 juniors for 2 months.
An algorithm automatically assigns the requested roles among the available resources by matching the indicated criteria. Mr.Deppy gets this information and checks it. If he disagrees with the automated distribution, there is an option to adjust resources manually. Either way, the work on the project "Alpha" gets started.
Then, Mr.Promy creates a project "Beta" and requests 5 senior and 17 middle-level specialists. The software detects a Conflict when several projects need the same resources for the same period of time, but the amount of resources is insufficient. This is when Mr.Biggy, who has a full picture of concurrent projects across the company, gets involved in prioritizing projects and optimizing resource allocation.
Mr.Biggy opens a custom application built by our team from scratch. He can see all the concurrent projects, including our "Alpha" and "Beta" projects, together with the amount of available and required resource units. Mr.Deppy re-assigns available resources among the concurrent projects, leaving project "Beta" without 6 specialists.
Now Mr.Deppy can see that the project "Beta" cannot be completed in time due to the lack of resources. He creates a request for a new hire that goes to the integrated system for the HR team.
After hiring a new specialist, the information about a new employee gets from HR database into the HR portal with all the collateral data. That's when a new employee becomes available for current projects. And Mr.Deppy can use him for the project "Beta".
In the meanwhile, Mr.Deppy notices one more available specialist who has finished another project and can be used for the project "Beta". He assigns a task to this employee. However, the system detects that the project term is outside this employee's contract term. So Mr.Deppy automatically gets a notification with a contract extension request and details.
Smart and streamlined human resource management saves managers' time and stakeholders' money by automating the most time-consuming, repetitive processes in allocating and prioritizing resources and projects.
The major outcomes of using the resource management software for automating repetitive and time-consuming tasks in planning projects and allocating resources:
- projects are delivered in time;
- human resources are used smartly, without under- or over-use;
- the number of project and department managers is optimized;
- employee retention has grown;
- significant budget saving is achieved.
The Process of HR Portal Development in Details
When the client realized that we were the partner they needed, we agreed on all legal questions, signed an NDA, and could proceed to the project details.
Why did the Global Enterprise Choose Belitsoft?
The global corporation expressed interest in Belitsoft as the long-term partner due to some solid reasons:
- Positive experience in the past. The enterprise already collaborated with us and was very satisfied with the result.
- Competitive price for software development services. Belitsoft's prices are 2-3 times lower than in the EU where the client is based.
- Ability to start the project quickly. As our company has a large team of in-house developers, we could kick off immediately.
- Flexibility and scalability. Enterprises with a fast-changing and scaling array of tasks and ideas need a partner that can adapt to any client's idea quickly.
- Transparent and effective project management. Belitsoft's experts with 10+ years of experience in building and managing teams for clients' companies have elaborated their own best practices that have made the mutual work highly effective.
Gathering project requirements and estimating the cost
Our Business Analyst and Business Development Manager talked with the company's top managers to get a comprehensive project vision and gather project requirements.
Taking into account the received information, we agreed on a Time and Material cooperation model when the client doesn't pay monthly salaries to the development team. Instead, they pay only the time and resources spent on the project.
In addition, we guaranteed the client to retain the same specialists in the project to minimize industry-specific knowledge sharing and to avoid downtime and lower productivity.
Choosing Agile project management methodology for fast and productive work
We stick to the most flexible Agile approach in projects like this where a client is constantly coming with new ideas, and the project scope is changing. Turning software development into an iterative process guarantees frequent and regular results delivery.
So the entire development process looked like an iterative cycle with a well-defined series of steps in pre-defined periods of time (2-week sprints):
Step 1. The Project Manager passes our solution (prototype or description) to the Client for further approval.
Step 2. After getting approval, our team starts working on the task(s).
Step 3. The result is delivered to the Client.
Step 4. The Client gives feedback. And our team adapts the result accordingly if needed.
For meetings and daily communication, we mostly used Slack and ClickUp. Other online means suitable for both parties can also be applied.
3 Phases of the Development Process
As the client came to Belitsoft with its proprietary legacy HR software, the initial request was to increase its functionality.
At first, we switched from JQuery to VueJS.
Afterward, we refactored the software to find and fix bugs.
Both steps let us increase the functionality of the app at a significantly higher speed.
At this stage, our team passed from customization to custom software development of new features and even integrated apps from scratch.
Our experts precisely detected the business challenges of the client and suggested corresponding solutions.
Challenge 1. Smart project prioritization in conflict situations.
Solution 1. A new custom app, smoothly integrated into the HR portal, was built to detect conflict situations and automatically pass them to the company's top managers for resolution.
Challenge 2. Time-consuming manual resource allocation.
Solution 2. The new custom Auto-assign feature was developed from scratch for automated resource allocation based on predefined criteria.
Challenge 3. Rigid and scarce management permissions for all user roles.
Solution 3. The possibility to assign user roles with unique and flexible permissions to different managers was added.
Challenge 4. Management of a rapidly increased number of projects.
Solution 4. A new custom feature was added to plan activities within projects daily, not weekly for adding more flexibility and handling the overload.
Having resolved its business-specific challenges, the company thrived even during the harsh pandemic times.
Migration to the Cloud
The infrastructure of the enterprise was growing in line with the functionality of the HR portal. Finally, the company faced some serious issues: slow page loading speed and troublesome access to the portal.
And migration to the Cloud looked like the most cost-effective and logical solution. The client opted for Azure as they already used Microsoft infrastructure.
Here is how we performed the smooth migration:
Step 1. Assessment of expenses and scope of work.
Step 2. App optimization before migrating to Azure.
Step 3. Migration to Azure.
Step 4. Further optimization of performance and minimization of expenses.
The enterprise quickly reaped rewards after the migration, which proved the validity of the decision - access problems were fully resolved, the page loading speed was reduced twice.
Features that Can Be Implemented in Your Custom HR Portal
Each company interested in a custom HR portal development, needs some unique features based on the specifics of their business. The enterprise has chosen a list of features to make its business thrive. And your business may need completely different functionality.
That's why we have summed up all the major features that our team can suggest to you in a single list:
Recruitment and hiring management:
- Job requisitions and descriptions
- Job board posting
- Job applicants filtering
- Applicant Tracking System (ATS)
- Onboarding module
Employee data management:
- Employees database
- Employees performance and job history
- Employees salary history
- Extra details (insurance plans; banking details)
- Scheduling work shifts;
- Clock in/out tracking;
- Overtime tracking;
- Holidays and sick leaves management;
- Notifications about schedule changes.
- Allocating employees on projects;
- Tracking employees workload within a project;
- Prioritizing projects.
- Payroll management;
- Compensation and rewards management;
- Accounting and budgeting administration.
- Integration with LMS, LXP, and TMS for learning;
- Performance tracking;
- Professional certification management.
If you see that the available HR software lacks the features your business needs, let us suggest you a custom solution. Contact our business development specialist to estimate your idea.