For many small to midsize business (SMB) employees either working remotely, on their feet with customers, or out-of-office seeing clients, mobile is the easiest way to access information and complete quick tasks. Employees need access to human resources (HR) data constantly, particularly on personal time when away from their desks, and the newly released Zenefits for Mobile iOS app puts key HR functionality in employees' pockets.
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Zenefits is one of the more popular HR platforms out there—the start-up has racked up $583 million in funding and counts more than 20,000 U.S. small businesses as customers of its freemium cloud-based HR software—but until now it lagged behind on the mobile front compared to alternatives like PCMag Editors' Choices BambooHR, applicant tracking (AT) platform SuccessFactors Perform and Reward, and most of the other players in the HR space. While Zenefits is definitively late to the party on HR mobile apps, this release goes a long way in making up the distance.
"Before Zenefits for Mobile, these tools were simply out of reach for small businesses in terms of cost and complexity," said Itai Turbahn, Director of Product at Zenefits. "Ironically, it's often small businesses that need them the most. According to the nonprofit small business group SCORE, HR-related work consumes 25 percent to 35 percent of a small business owner's time. The Zenefits platform streamlines HR tasks for businesses and their employees. By giving employees greater access to their information via mobile, they can find information about their benefits coverage, FSA balances, etc. on their own. For business owners and operations managers that oversee HR, this time savings is a game changer."
Inside Zenefits for MobileZenefits for Mobile includes much of the feature set you'll find in the desktop app, broken down into a few main tabs: People, Time Off, Insurance, Pay Stubs, and More. The People tab gives users access to an employee directory to view departments and roles, search for coworkers, and contact them by phone, text, or email.
The Insurance tab gives employees access to important benefits summaries and policy information when visiting healthcare providers. There's also a feature to view HSA and FSA flexible spending account balances and commuter benefits with a digital representation of their HSA/FSA spending card. Then there's the Pay Stubs tab, which is integrated with the Zenefits Payroll feature access current and past pay stubs, income, and deductions.
The feature Turbahn called particular attention to is the Time Off tab, which is built with an automated approval flow. The feature includes links to the company holiday calendar and time off policy, and a real-time count of accrued vacation time and balances before submitting requests.
"People love the new [paid time off] PTO feature. For many companies, requesting time off is still a very manual process; fill out a form, get signatures, email or fax—yes, people still fax! With the Zenefits mobile app, you can make a request in a few swipes and the approval process is automated," said Turbahn. "We're bringing the information and ability to act when you need it most, whether that is requesting PTO when planning a trip with friends, checking your benefits information from the doctor's office, or reordering your commuter benefits card while you think about it on your way into work."
Turbahn said having a great mobile experience is critical for Zenefits because people use their mobile devices for virtually everything, both at work and at home. Zenefits for Mobile is currently available in the App Store, and the company said it plans to add additional capabilities throughout the year and release an Android app in fall 2016.
"Many of our users are not in front of a computer all day," said Turbahn. "They are helping customers in restaurants, dental offices, and retail stores, or out in the field making sales calls or working on construction sites. We will continue evolving the mobile experience to give users greater access and control over their personal details and benefits information, and more opportunities to take action from wherever they are to save time."