As your small or scaling business begins to grow and add more people, the complexities of day-to-day tasks and processes grow along side it — and that is especially true in the realm of human resources. Quick little manual processes that used to take a few minutes and occur once in a blue moon now take a few hours and seem to come up all the time.  These growth pains are typical in a growing business, but without the right tools coming in at the right time, the resulting chaos and complexity can stunt your business growth and taper success. We obviously want to avoid that, so what is the best HR software for a small to medium business starting to feel these pains?

Small business HR software can simplify the complex, streamline the time-consuming, and create a high performance culture the breeds success – because a happy team makes a thicker stream! (Ok lame joke). Moving on.

The best cloud HR software solution for your small business will meet your needs in the near term as well as support your continued growth in the mid to long term. Good in theory, but the trick is to know how to determine those needs. And then how can you tell which web HR software platform has the features and tools to match? 

This guide is designed to help you pinpoint the most important HR platform features to look for and provide tips on how to find the best HR software to suit.

Evaluating HR Software for a Small Business

If you’re like 99.9% of all other small business, you simply don’t need all the bells and whistles that an ASX 100 or Fortune 500 company might want from a HR software solution. Those solutions are too complicated, take too long to implement, and odds are you’ll only use the core functions anyway. So you firstly want to filter out all the platforms tailored for enterprise business. That being said, you don’t want the most basic HR software that won’t scale alongside your business. What you are after is that nice middle ground – a simple to use HR software with enough oomph to solve the spectrum of your most pressing issues.

The key to selecting the best HR management software for your business is to scope out what you need to be successful now and in the future. What do you need from your HR software right now? What will you need from HR software in a year, two years and beyond? 

So before you start shopping around for software, you should consider the following three items:

Immediate HR requirements

Typical requirements identified by small business include:

  • Reduce human error in data management
  • Reduce recruitment cycle time
  • Collaboration for data management and hiring process
  • Stay compliant
  • Efficient data entry
  • Efficient data retrieval
  • Organised and streamlined processes
  • Empower employees
  • Empower management
  • Manage multiple offices or international locations
  • Minimise distractions

Projected challenges 

  • Favourable applicant experience + improve applicant experience
  • Gain first-mover advantage when recruiting
  • Positive and effective employee onboarding experience (for everyone involved)
  • Insulate against risk and fraud
  • Remove bottlenecks and streamline approval processes
  • Proactive analysis and business insight
  • Measure your impact through reporting

Overall company goals

  • Help company make proactive decisions
  • Increase retention
  • Millennial outreach
  • Build positive employer brand
  • Build culture
  • Increase productivity
  • Fewer unplanned absences

Once you’ve identified which items are important for your business, the next step is to figure out what HR software features will help you address those challenges. For example, if enhancing company culture is an immediate challenge for your business, then creating a company announcements board could be an HR activity you want to list. If creating an efficient and high performing onboarding process is a projected challenge, then you may decide to list streamlining new-hire data collection.

OK this is a little tedious to do. Good news – we have done a lot of it for you on our “software selection guide”. By going through this important step of evaluating HR software for your business, you will select a vendor that will be useful for several years instead of one you’ll need to replace as soon as your needs evolve.

6 Important Features of HR Software for Small Business

OK so the leg work is done, and you have identifyed the key HR activities for your business. The next step is to determine what features will support those activities. For the majority of small businesses, the following six things matter most:

If we assume these things matter to your business, this further adds to the scope of your new HR software. But don’t be shy here, if you think you need other features to support your businesses unique requirements, go ahead and add them to your list – if they aren’t entirely usefully now, they maybe in the future. 

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