Employee Self-Service Portal: Key Features, Integrations, and ROI Factors
In web portal development since 2005, ScienceSoft advises on employee self-service portal planning and implementation.
Employee Self-Service Portal: the Essence
An employee self-service (ESS) portal is a secure platform that allows employees to access relevant, structured corporate data, collaborate and request HR, IT, or facility-related services. Often, an ESS portal is a part of an HR management system.
- Viewing and editing onboarding forms.
- Signing key employment documents.
- Reading and acknowledging policies.
- Connecting with other new hires.
- Having an online onboarding tour with personalized content, streaming videos and more.
Employee and labor relations management
- Adding / updating personal information (employee photo, phone number, email address, location, etc.).
- Uploading / attaching documents to the profiles (training certificates, qualification records.
- Submitting complaints / suggestions.
- Notifications to employees on updates of corporate forms and agreements.
- Notifications to employees on scheduled personal data updates, agreement re-signing.
- Employee satisfaction survey.
- Time tracking.
- Scheduling and editing shifts.
- Automated manager notifications about schedule changes.
- Tracking a manager’s approval of schedule changes.
- Room and resource reservation calendars.
- Enrolling to training courses.
- Vacation scheduling, time-off request and scheduling (e.g., sickness, annual leave, study or parental leave).
Compensation & benefits
- Bank account information update.
- Access to time sheets, W-2s, 1099-S forms, etc.
- Charitable contributions.
- Automatic savings management.
- Travel expense reimbursements.
- Benefits management (viewing benefits info; benefits enrollment; choosing packages).
Corporate knowledge base
- Corporate handbooks, guidelines, policies.
- Corporate training materials.
- HR announcements and events.
- Media galleries.
- Discussion boards (to follow discussions, pin the best answer to the top of the discussion, vote for an important topic or a helpful answer).
- Multi-factor authentication.
- Content retention and deletion policies.
- Permission levels to access and edit employee data.
- Employee data encryption.
- Compliance with internal and external (e.g., SOX, PCI DSS, GDPR) security standards and regulations.
Central employee Help Desk
- Requesting HR, IT, facility service.
- Tracking the status of all requests.
Key Portal Functionality Illustrated
Employee self-service portal + HRIS (Human Resource Information System)
– to automatically apply to the HRIS system data entered/changed by employees (personal data, working time, benefit enrollment, scheduled vacations, life events (marriage, divorce, child birth/adoption).
Employee self-service portal + accounting software
– to provide payroll data in the portal profile.
Employee self-service portal + ticketing software
– to automatically pull issues from the employee self-service portal to the ticketing system (to automate provision and return of uniforms, parking passes, computers, email addresses, security badges, and alike).
Employee self-service portal + time-tracking software
– to automatically export approved hours and schedules, performance and service quality information.
Employee self-service portal + health monitoring system
– to inform employees about health and safety rules and regulations, and provide workplace safety trainings to employees.
Ease of use
The employee portal layout, information architecture, UI and interaction design should minimize the time an employee needs to find answers and accomplish tasks, otherwise, they’ll opt for traditional HR-assisted support.
Convenience of access
Employees should have an opportunity to access the portal at any time and on any device.
The employee self-service portal should provide only regularly reviewed and updated content to stay useful and support employee satisfaction.
Security and confidentiality
For employees to feel confident submitting personal information, the portal security features should allow only authorized users to access, update and share sensitive data. The portal should also offer convenient mechanisms to urgently report identity theft.
- Saved time of HR teams due to reducing the number of simple requests and repeated questions from employees.
- Improved productivity of employees as they spend less time on administrative procedures due to facilitated access to corporate knowledge.
- Reduced downtimes in the working process due to unified data about schedules and shift changes for employees and managers and automatic update notifications.
Best for: small to midsize businesses
A platform by Microsoft, who was nominated Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Content Services Platforms three times in a row, as of 2019. SharePoint-based employee self-service portals provide the following capabilities:
- A knowledge base with all the necessary information for employees.
- Employees’ personal pages (profiles).
- Ticketing to handle employees’ service requests.
- Requesting vacations, reporting sick leaves.
- Surveys to measure employee satisfaction.
- Gamification capabilities with badges, leaderboards, etc.
- Cloud and on-premises implementation.
- With features for small and mid-sized businesses: $5.00 user/month (annual commitment)
- With capabilities for enterprise: $10.00 user/month (annual commitment)
- With advanced services for messaging, document sharing, compliance and management features for IT: $20.00 user/month (annual commitment).
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Human Resources
Best for: midsize businesses
Part of Microsoft’s market-leading Enterprise Resource Planning suite, which is among Top 4 ERP platforms, according to Gartner.
- Updating personal employee information.
- Viewing/signing up for benefits.
- Reporting sick leaves.
- Submitting vacation request.
- Security, privacy and compliance based on Microsoft Azure.
- On-premises and cloud implementation options.
- $120 user/month (if it’s the first Dynamics 365 app).
- $30 per user/month (if it’s a subsequent Dynamics 365 app).
- $4 user/month for employee and manager self-service only.
- $8 user/month for extended HR management functionality.
Best for: midsize and large enterprises
Featured in Top 20 Talent Management Software (2019) by Capterra.
- Updating personal data.
- Recording attendance and viewing balances, overtime, and premiums.
- Automatically calculating time and pay, according to each employee's profile, viewing payslips and IRP5 tax certificates.
- Applying for leave.
- Viewing/signing up for benefits.
- Pro-active alerts and notification.
- Ticketing to handle HR requests.
Starting from $6.30 user/month.
Platform-based employee self-service portals should be customized to comply with specific HR management processes of a particular company, which can significantly increase solution costs. Also, the cost of the subscription to a platform, as a rule, depends on a number of users. Thus, businesses opt for custom employee self-service portal development when they need to satisfy numerous specific business requirements or have large teams onboard.
With 16 years in web portal development, ScienceSoft provides consulting and delivers platform-based and custom employee self-service portals.
Employee self-service portal consulting
- Retrieve business and user requirements.
- Define portal functionality and tech stack.
- Develop a business case.
- Estimate the portal ROI.
- Design a portal architecture.
- Deliver UX and UI mock-ups.
- Provide an implementation scenario, project cost & time estimates.
Employee self-service portal development
Our team offers:
- Business analysis and portal planning.
- Custom or platform-based portal development.
- Integration with third-party systems.
- User training.
- After-launch support.
- Continuous portal management and evolution (on demand).
ScienceSoft is an international IT consultancy and software development company based in Texas. Having 9 year experience in HR automation and 16 years in web development, we ensure best-in-class employee portal structure and workflows. Our web portal development services include professional business analysis, modern UX and UI design and delivery of complementing Android and iOS apps. As the holder of ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 certifications, we rely on mature quality management and guarantee the cooperation doesn't pose any risks to the customers' data security.