What is Employee Self-Service Software?

Employee Self-Service (ESS) software is a web-based technology that helps employees help themselves. They can handle their HR and HRIS needs without the help of a dedicated HR person for support. It is also referred to as employee self support system. An employee self-service software is often made available through a company's intranet or web portal. Employees can use their employee self-service portal to accomplish a variety of job-related tasks, from reimbursement requests to personal information updates, and retrieving eligible benefits information.

With an ESS software in place, employees can carry out all such tasks which previously required HR assistance and were predominantly paper-based even before they finish one cup of their coffee!

But why is this a critical component of your HRIS? HR systems must adapt in tandem with changing organisational cultures. While this may appear to be a no-brainer, HR systems have taken a long time to adapt from the decades-old patchwork manual procedure. With the advent of self-service HRIS, the HR landscape is rapidly evolving toward a more rational and efficient approach.

So we've answered your "What is ESS software?" question, let's now look at what you can do with an ESS software.

What can you do with Freshteam's Employee Self-Service Software?

Personal profiles that speak for themselves

Every employee you add to your organization and your employee portal gets a unique profile and Freshteam account for themselves where they can fill in their information, update profile pictures for people to find them easily, apply for time-off, find other employees, take up different roles like Recruiter, Manager or Panel Member and so on.

Employee self service | Personal employee profiles with Freshteam Employee self service | Personal employee profiles with Freshteam

Information privacy - tick in the box!

As part of the employee self-service setup, you can set up the fields you want to be visible and editable for your employees. You can also set up permissions in such a way that only the employee’s HR Partner or Manager can view or edit the information. You get the best of both worlds, information from employees but with privacy as you wish.

Employee self service | Information privacy with Freshteam Employee self service | Information privacy with Freshteam

A complete, easy-to-update database 

Once your employees have a profile created in the ESS software, they can fill in all the information that is granted access to them by their HR Partner. Employees can provide information starting from basic details such as Name, Date of Birth to additional details such as Previous Employment, Educational History, Dependent Information, Emergency Contact, and Social Profiles links in simple steps.

Employee self service | A complete, easy-to-update database with Freshteam Employee self service | A complete, easy-to-update database with Freshteam

Common features of an Employee Self-Service Software


Typically, an HR Employee Self-Service (ESS) software should have the following features:

Benefits of an Employee Self-Service Software

When you have implemented a robust employee self-service portal, there are a good number of chances to see a steep increase in productivity and efficiency. Imagine half of your activities are cut off from your to-do list. Imagine this happens every day. This is exactly what HR personnel will experience when your company has ESS software in place. 

1. Employees are empowered to make edits to their own personal information

An HR employee self-service software allows employees to update their personal information, access their payslips and documents, enroll for benefits, enter details on tax withholdings, deductions, and so on, almost immediately, without the intervention of the HR team. The benefits of an employee self-service software are two-fold for an organization: First, since employees themselves can make changes to their personal information, managers don’t have to do it for them—they just need to approve it! Second, employees become data owners and hence they tend to be more careful when they know they’re responsible for their information.

2. Significant reduction in HR workload 

Self-service platforms make it easier for employees to get information, access benefits, and take care of their personal business with minimal effort. The less time HR spends on operations like scheduling health appointments and setting up payroll details—the more time they have to deal with big picture issues like employee morale or performance management. Staff who can handle their own administrative tasks tend to be happier since they aren’t waiting around on hold or sending redundant emails for simple requests.

3. Accelerated recruitment and onboarding

With an HR employee self-service solution taking care of most of the mundane tasks, it gives the HR team the luxury to devise and implement a recruitment strategy. They can look into the past results and look for ways to optimize the process. An Employee Self-Service software can also go a long way in the onboarding and orientation of new hires. It allows organizations to track and monitor new hires in their onboarding process, go paperless by eliminating all the manual data entry and signatures, create organization charts, etc. 

4. Benefits enrollment  

One of HR's most time-consuming responsibilities is benefits enrollment for new hires and annual enrollment for all employees. An open enrolment ESS solution gives employees a convenient, one-stop place to enroll and review their benefits. When employees visit their employee self-service page, they will be able to see all their health and life insurance policies in one place. They can also change their benefits selections from here, allowing them to easily choose which insurances cover certain aspects of their lives—such as dental insurance or disability insurance.

5. Manage time off with ease

With an employee self-service solution in place, your employees need not send multiple emails to book time offs. They can simply login into the portal, apply for time off and get the manager's approval automatically. Notifications are also sent out to all the people concerned and time off balances are updated. Employees only have to log in to the portal to plan and apply for vacations, view upcoming holidays and time off balances, and get approvals. 

6. Improved employee engagement

The employee directory in an employee self-service portal provides contact details of all the employees along with birthdays, work anniversaries, and other important milestones. This way, employees can interact with each other socially and improve the spirit of camaraderie.

7. Anytime, anywhere access to information

Employees can access company information from a variety of different devices and locations, so they’re always up to date. This has a few immediate benefits: less time spent searching for data, more time spent working productively, and—for workers on the go—fewer headaches about lost or outdated documents. In general, employees have greater flexibility in what they do with their time since they’re not constantly looking for information that would otherwise be right in front of them.

This is just the iceberg's tip. Modern ESS software comes with several other benefits. For instance, Freshteam is an Employee Self-Service (ESS) software that comes with a lot of smart features, built-in keeping the HR needs of every employee in mind.

Smart features of Freshteam

Powerful Employee Search

Just type in anything about an employee in the search bar, employee ID, designation, first name, just anything and Freshteam will fetch them for you.

Mobile App

The Freshteam mobile app enables your employees to find information about their colleagues even when they are on the go.

Free for up to 50 employees

Freshteam comes with a 21-day free trial. The product is forever free for companies with equal to or less than 50 employees.

Other features of Freshteam

Applicant Tracking System

Freshteam ATS, the powerful recruiting tool that you get with your Employee Self Service software for no extra cost, will change your recruiting game to unimaginable levels. With smart automation and integrations, hiring a great talent will become your only folks, leaving all mundane tasks to us.


The Onboarding and Offboarding modules of Freshteam complete your employee’s life cycle with Freshteam as a full circle. From enabling proactive onboarding to creating the most seamless exit, Freshteam takes care of it all.

Timeoff Management

You also get Timeoff Management in Freshteam, which again lets your employees to manage their time-off on their own. It enables your managers to approve time-off view team trends and also plan accordingly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


1. What is employee self-service in HRIS?

Employee Self-Service (ESS) software is an application that allows employees to access, modify, and update their HR, benefits, and payroll information in an Employee Database portal, like Freshteam. It is typically a part of the larger Human Resources Management System (HRMS). 

2. What activities can an employee complete using employee self-service?

Some of the activities that can be extremely simplified using an HR self-service application are:

3. What are the advantages of using an employee self service app?

Some of the advantages of an HR self-service application include:

4. Which self-service HR software is the best?

There are several employee self-service HR software available in the market today and some of the best ones like Freshteam has features like seamless onboarding, time off management, automatic notifications, and mobile application. 

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