Human resource departments have long been the backbone of successful businesses. They help with hiring, firing, discipline and advice. Since employees are a company’s most valuable resource, having expertise on that aspect of running a business is crucial to success.
Smaller businesses, however, often start and grow without the help of an HR staff member. With today’s technology, it’s even possible for businesses to grow into larger organizations without a full-fledged HR team in place.
But there are pros and cons to outsourcing the management of your business’ most valuable asset to software. Here are a few things to consider before choosing one of the many popular cloud-based human resources packages on the market.
Outsourcing Payroll and Benefits
For many professionals, the accounting aspects of human resources are the most unpleasant. Payroll is a necessary part of employing people, however, and keeping track of payroll-related details can be extremely time-consuming.
Cloud solutions like Zenefits, which can sync with QuickBooks Online (not desktop), make it easy for even the most mathematically-challenged people to manage payroll processes. You can automate pre-tax deductions and set up payments. You can even sign your workers up for medical benefits using the software. While you’ll still need someone to enter the information, the easy-to-use forms will make it easier to track and pay employees.
Outsourcing Employee Reviews and Feedback
Employees perform better when they know what employers expect of them. Receiving regular feedback on whether they’re meeting those expectations is important, yet setting aside time to evaluate each employee can be difficult for a busy manager. Whether you have an HR professional in place or not, you’ll be expected to handle this part of the process on your own.
By automating the performance feedback process using a tool like Reviewsnap, you can set up notifications to ensure evaluations are completed on a scheduled basis, as well as let parties know when something needs to be signed. Job-specific templates give supervisors a head start on writing reviews, and real-time statistics give businesses an overview of performance among varying teams.
Outsourcing the Hiring Process
Hiring can be a daunting process that includes posting job ads, sorting through resumes and interviewing numerous candidates before making a final decision. Recruiting software like Greenhouse lets you outsource the hiring process without paying fees to an expensive professional recruiter.
The software walks you through the process of identifying the type of person you want for the position, then helps you put together an interview kit that helps you find a person who fits your desired requirements. No software will replace the value of physically communicating with various candidates to find the right person, but automation will help you ask better questions and seek better answers from potential hires.
Automating Time Tracking
For billing purposes, some businesses track the hours employees spend on various tasks. Attorneys, consultants and other professionals who bill hourly need to log every hour they spend on every task. They may opt to manually track their time, but this can easily lead to either under- or over-billing.
Time-tracking tools like Toggl (also integrates with QuickBooks Online) let you start a timer when you begin an activity, then stop it when you’re finished.
For a more comprehensive time-tracking experience, an app like RescueTime might be the best option. RescueTime runs in the background at all times, noting every activity that takes place on a device. Employees can run reports on where time is being spent each day, which can boost productivity and help workers identify where they can make improvements.
Be aware, however, that time-tracking apps can make some professionals feel stifled and “watched,” especially if they are mandated by a supervisor. Make sure you choose the time-tracking tool that works with the company culture you’re trying to create.
Time and Attendance
Whether your employees are hourly or salaried, you likely need to track time and attendance in some form. Time and attendance software like TSheets will allow employees to request time off and complete their timesheets from a PC or smartphone.
Supervisors can approve timesheets and requested time off, with alerts keeping processes moving back and forth. The app also integrates with popular payroll software, including QuickBooks, to save additional time.
For businesses with employees, automation can save time and money. The right tools will eliminate tedious administrative tasks, allowing entrepreneurs and human resources workers to focus on more important duties. Whatever help a business needs, there are likely a number of great software solutions on the market to help.