CiviHR: Where we are and where we're heading

Written by Charlotte - 20 Dec 2017 Category: Feature

As we approach the end of 2017, I thought it would be a good idea to do a roundup of where CiviHR has got to and where we are heading in 2018.

As we approach the end of 2017, I thought it would be a good idea to do a roundup of where CiviHR has got to and where we are heading in 2018.


The system currently consists of the following modules:

  • Staff profiles: store key details such as job contracts, emergency contacts, and right to work. Update job contracts to reflect a recent pay rise or search through the history of past revisions.

  • Leave management: staff can request leave, sickness and overtime and managers can approve online. Flexible working patterns are supported.

  • Tasks & Workflows: define your own workflows as a series of individual tasks. Set due dates on each one, and assign them to the relevant managers. Track progress through the dashboard so you can make sure that everything is finished on time.

  • Reporting: choose from a list of standard reports or create your own interactive tables and charts using our drag and drop pivot table reporting.

  • Self Service Portal: staff can log in to the Self Service Portal at anytime, from any location, and on any device.

The front end follows the Shoreditch design, now with sharper colours and contrast that conform to WCAG guidelines.

Staff Profiles

These hold contract details, relevant documentation and other essential HR information for each member of staff. Job contracts and job roles are stored here, along with all personal details such as emergency contacts, bank details and career history. You can update job contracts for any change of terms such as pay rises or increased holiday allowances,  and you can view a history of past revisions.


Staff can request Holidays, Sickness, Overtime and TOIL via  the Self Service Portal, with requests specified in hours or days. You can update leave entitlement for staff and create different working patterns per contract. For example, if an organisation has two members of staff working to one FTE role, with one person in Monday-Wednesday, and the other working Thursday-Friday, these different working patterns can be recorded in the system and the appropriate leave entitlements automatically calculated for each person.

Tasks and Workflows

Tasks consist of individual actions, and multiple tasks can be grouped together as one workflow, similar to those used in CiviCase. Joining and Exiting workflows are built into the system by default so that these admin-heavy processes can be streamlined, with everything recorded in one place.  Keep track of documents like passports and visas, store copies, and generate reminders of when they need to be renewed.


We’ve made reporting data quick and simple, thanks to a pivot table design.  Easily monitor headcount and leave, query the underlying data and summarise in a pivot table or chart. Create custom reports and save new configurations by dragging and dropping field labels to display results using colourful, engaging displays like heatmaps, bar charts or line graphs.

Self Service Portal

Staff can view their personal details and edit contact information for themselves  and their emergency contacts. They can apply for leave, read policy documents, look up staff in the directory, and view any tasks assigned to them.


Our focus for 2018 is split two ways; the first priority is to improve  the user experience, the second priority is to add new features to boost functionality.

Making CiviHR Simpler to Use

  • Contact actions: scheduled for January, HR relevant actions will be added to the current available options. This means you’ll be able to perform many more HR tasks without having to leave the Staff Profile screen.

  • Dropdown lists: all dropdown lists will be directly editable via a shortcut that appears next to each list, so new values can be added without having to leave the active screen.

  • Configure menu: all configuration settings will be grouped according to module in order to make each one easier to find. Those settings that are of no particular value to HR Administrators will be hidden.

  • Setup wizard: when HR Administrators login for the first time, the wizard will run through the main default settings for the site so that these can either be confirmed or changed to something more suitable.

Adding New Features

  • Payroll export: the ability to extract payroll relevant data from CiviHR in a form that could be sent to a payroll bureau for the processing of salaries and the generation of payslips.

  • Appraisals: manage the appraisal process via a new workflow that will be included in CiviHR by default. Keep track of what’s been completed and by whom, and what’s outstanding.

  • Recruitment: advertise internal vacancies and have staff apply online via CiviHR.


Take a look at CiviHR via our demo site or start using it today by completing the signup form.

Managing Documents in CiviHR

The Tasks and Documents screen
Written by Charlotte - 21 Nov 2017 Category: Feature

Keep track of all your documents, assign them to particular workflows or staff members, and stay compliant with your organisation’s retention policy.

Keep track of all your documents, assign them to particular workflows or staff members, and stay compliant with your organisation’s retention policy.

Organisations are required to monitor HR records and store documents within a secure system where they can easily be retrieved to ensure compliance with relevant legislation.  According to the CIPD, it is good practice to establish a document retention policy so that documents are only kept for as long as necessary. The CiviHR Documents module can help with this.

We’ve added a display panel to the Documents homepage so you can see at a glance which documents are due for review and which are outstanding. There’s also the option to search for documents by date or status.

All columns are now sortable; you can filter documents by contact and type, and choose to display records assigned to you or to others. You can specify the documents you need from someone, and add the request to a workflow. The module also allows you to assign documents to other staff members for completion. For example, you could assign the validation of a passport to a new joiner’s manager so that they can take a copy on the first day and upload it to the system. 

Filter Documents

 You can send a request to staff asking them to upload documents from their self-service portal. When a staff member uploads a document, it triggers a notification.  You can then review and approve or reject the uploaded file. For example, new joiners will have a series of tasks to complete as part of the onboarding process, including evidence of their right to work. You can create a task to slot into the new joiner sequence which asks staff to upload a copy of their visa.   

We’ve also updated the Remind Me function. With the Remind Me checkbox enabled, the system creates a reminder around the document with the expiry date set as the due date. A copy of the document is sent to the assignee as a reminder the day before the record is due to expire. Managers can then follow up with relevant staff to renew the document - for example, by uploading a new copy of a visa or passport - or be prompted to delete the record if it is no longer needed.



New feature: now it's easier than ever to manage HR documents

The Tasks and Documents screen
Written by Frank - 14 Jul 2017 Category: Feature

The exciting thing about being in the (fairly) early phases of a project is that new features come at us pretty fast.

The exciting thing about being in the (fairly) early phases of a project is that new features come at us pretty fast. Following on from our brand new UX design and just a little before the rebooted Leave and Absence module, this month we've implemented a new way to manage documents like P45s and passports. This is done through the Documents function. This is a type of Task (which you can read more about here). As with any Task, you can create a target contact and an assignee, make it part of a larger Assignment and set a due date. This makes documents easy to track and manage, even when you assign responsibility for them to other staff. You can also upload files, by drag and drop.

In order to make it easier to manage documents with expiration dates, such as passports and visas, you can now set a reminder that alerts you before the document expires.

This reminder will automatically create a new record for the replacement document, with all its key info. This both makes it easier to manage documents and helps you ensure that your organisation meets all of its legal responsibilities.

But wait! There’s more!

We’ve also added better ways of managing documents to the Self Service Portal (SSP), with two new windows. Firstly there’s the Documents window. This separates Documents out from other Tasks, allowing you to quickly upload documents and to check whether uploaded documents have been approved by your line manager.

The Documents window on CiviHR's SSP

The second new window also appears in the SSP. We've creatively named it the Documents Manager window. This is only visible to admins and managers, and it looks like this:

The Documents Manager window

This window allows managers to see the status of Documents they’re responsible for, including due dates, and to upload, check and approve new documents.

We hope you’ll find these features useful! They’re more examples of the ways we’re working to reduce repetitive data input for HR managers in the non-profit sector and beyond. If you’d like to find out more about this or anything else to do with CiviHR, get in touch via

About CiviHR

CiviHR is a project to create affordable HR software for non-profit organisations. By developing open source technology the benefits can be shared with non-profits everywhere.


CiviHR is a project to create affordable HR software for non-profit organisations. By developing open source technology the benefits can be shared with non-profits everywhere.