How to Choose the Best Employee Benefits Software for Your Business

An HRIS will manage all your HR and employee benefits software needs by combining benefits, payroll and more into an all-in-one solution.

Key points:

  • Running an efficient benefits program is critical to keeping employees in today’s tough job market.
  • Employee benefits software manages all of your employee benefit plans in an efficient, easy-to-understand, and secure way.
  • Understanding the size and scope of your business, the needs of employees, and your budget will help you choose the perfect employee benefits software.

Companies are turning to benefits as a way to attract and retain talent in today’s tight labor market, where open jobs still outnumber available workers. In fact, according to WTW, organizations with exemplary HR practices are nearly 3 times more productive than their peers, and are 90% more likely to report low employee turnover. Last year, 63% of organizations recognized the need to improve employee wellbeing, including investing in benefits software. Yet, running a competitive benefits plan is easier said than done. 

Your HR department may be struggling to keep up with eligibility, carrier connections, and effective dates for all of your employees’ coverage. A human resources information system (HRIS) will manage all your HR and employee benefits software needs by combining benefits, payroll functions, and more into an all-in-one solution. Some even offer benefits broker services to further streamline the process. This leaves your HR department free to manage every aspect of employee benefits through one program. Plenty of employee benefits software exists on the market, but navigating their features can be as time-consuming and painful as sending a benefit enrollment form by PDF. This guide will help you understand all the benefits of employee benefits software, determine whether an HRIS makes sense for your business, and help you make the right choice. 

What are the advantages of employee benefits management software?

One of the easiest ways to inspire loyalty in your employees is to get rid of all the messy paperwork around benefits administration. If they can visit the dentist, see a doctor, or depend on their retirement income without worrying about yet another call from HR, they’ll feel valued. 

Employee benefits software allows your company to ditch the confusing forms and multiple rounds of mass HR emails for a single, centralized employee benefits program that also satisfies all your HR and payroll needs. Here are some of the bonuses of benefits management software: 

Saves HR professionals time

SHRM says the top challenge for roughly 70% of HR professionals is executing day-to-day processes like employee benefits usage and other paperwork in a smooth and efficient way. Thanks to employee benefits software or an HRIS, you don’t have to block off hours of your day to keep your company’s benefits program above water. You can digitize and automate routine tasks and turn your attention to helping your workforce be the happiest it can possibly be—a problem that an HR professional is best suited to solve. 

More control

Benefits management software puts employees in the driver’s seat. Do they need dental care for their school-aged children? How about more information on their premiums? With a few keystrokes, they can learn about all their payroll deductions down to the cent without ever needing to email HR. 

All employee benefits data in one place

Gathering benefits information for every single employee into the same HRIS means no searching through cabinets, drawers, or manila envelopes for documents. It all exists in the same system. Keeping all benefits data in a secure HRIS also reduces the risk someone will lose (or steal) highly sensitive employee health data. 

Keep up with complex regulations

An HRIS makes it easier to stay on top of regulations like the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), and Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act (COBRA). Instead of having to spend hours scouring government websites for the latest changes to these laws, your HRIS will include the latest tweaks to the law in its regular updates, and let you know whether your benefits plans are still compliant. 

Do you choose employee benefits software or an HRIS?

For some organizations, a simple standalone employee benefits system may be all they need to manage benefits paperwork, process claims, and ensure compliance with local, state, and Federal laws. An HRIS is somewhat more expensive, but may ultimately be worthwhile. If you aren’t sure whether employee benefits software or an HRIS is worth the money, consider these two questions: 

  • How many employees do you have? A sole proprietorship or small business with just a handful of employees might be able to use a simple spreadsheet to keep track of benefits. But such a system will not do for a fast-growing startup or large enterprise employing hundreds or even thousands of staff. 
  • What is the size of your business? Think about the benefits costs paid by your company. Do employees need significant or complex plans because of the nature of your business? Are they working in several jurisdictions with differing legal requirements for benefits coverage? Is your HR team overworked? If the answer to any of these questions is ‘yes,’ employee benefits software or an HRIS are worthwhile investments

Define a budget

Generally speaking, the more all-encompassing the software solution you need, the higher the final bill. 

If you (or your CEO) is on the fence about buying employee benefits software or an HRIS, consider how much time your department spends staying on top of benefits information every month. Consolidating it all into a single, easily searchable system that syncs with all your HR and payroll processes is well worth the purchase price. 

Determine the best employee benefits software for your organization

Benefits plans on the market vary widely. Depending on the sector your company operates in, new hires may expect certain benefits. This is especially true if you work in a high-demand field, or if your employees are represented by a union. Some examples of benefits your company could offer include: 

  • Medical, dental, and vision care
  • Short- and long-term disability insurance
  • Parental benefits
  • PTO benefits 
  • Pension and retirement contributions
  • Pet insurance
  • Wellness benefits

Research benefits software providers

The HRIS market is extensive, expensive, and sometimes quite confusing. Providers may tout all of their latest features and options without necessarily explaining how they’ll make life better for employees at your company. As with the human resources field, HR tech has a jargon all its own. 

When evaluating a benefits software provider, don’t forget the needs of your business and its employees. Be wary of marketing buzzwords. If a provider can’t explain the value of a feature in a way someone outside the HR department could understand, it may not be a good fit for your company. 

Some benefits software features to look out for

As you put together your shortlist of potential HRIS providers, keep a couple of key product features in mind. They include: 

  • A well-designed benefits dashboard for desktop and mobile 
  • An easy-to-use employee self-service benefits portal
  • Comprehensive benefits record management for HR professionals
  • Good connection with third-party benefits carriers
  • Total compensation statements for employees and managers
  • Straightforward Affordable Care Act reporting

Keep employees happy with the best benefits management software 

In today’s economy, benefits are some of the best ways to attract and retain top talent. Employees value companies that reward their hard work with excellent medical coverage, maternity top-ups, and retirement plans. A benefits software system can deliver all of these perks on time and error-free—leaving you to help your team succeed. Speak to a Product Expert about benefits administration software with SentricHR.


The Sentric Team

The Sentric Team

At Sentric, we help businesses make people management easier with industry-leading technology and standout support.

Sentric HR & Payroll Insights

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