As a small business owner, you probably don't need a full HR team — but you probably don't want to waste too much time on HR yourself, either. The right HR software can help, supporting you with everything from talent acquisition to payroll, benefits management, and more.
There are a diversity of HR products on the market to choose from. Which one is best for you? There's no one right answer. The best HR software for your business will depend on a diversity of factors, from the size of your business to your budget.
This guide explains how to choose the best HR management tool for your small business.
Benefits of Human Resources Software
Some HR products are stand-alone solutions focused on a single task (e.g., payroll or recruiting), while others are more all-encompassing and cover a diversity of needs. A comprehensive software solution will offer various benefits that can boost your employee management, fostering a successful workforce and driving greater small business success.
Here are some reasons to consider investing in HR software for your business:
- Speed up recruitment. Finding the perfect employees to support your business can be tough. The right software can allow for automation of recruitment campaigns, create new vacancies, track and monitor applications, and more. An integrated system can even transfer new hires directly to your payroll.
- Simplify time tracking. HR software can also be used to manage workflows — for example, it can automate employee hour tracking. If you pay your workers by the hour, being able to combine time tracking and payroll is a huge benefit. An HR system can also keep track of team members' sick leave and vacation days.
- Expedite payroll. Payroll can be a time-consuming task for any business owner. However, it's imperative that it's done correctly and quickly. You don't want to deal with annoyed workers because they haven't been paid. A modern HR solution can also be integrated with payroll tools to make sure this doesn't happen.
- Streamline benefits administration. You likely also provide your workers with certain benefits, like paid time off or support for retirement savings or health insurance. Your HR software can also track employee benefits, which can help you and your team. For example, employees will appreciate updates regarding the number of vacation days they have left.
- Enhance employee performance management. HR software can be used to measure employee productivity, monitor key performance indicators (KPIs), and create comprehensive reports on individual performance. This can be useful when it comes to providing performance reviews and pinpointing areas for additional development training.
- Support successful offboarding. The counterpart to onboarding, offboarding refers to the steps you need to take when an employee leaves your company. You can't just send them on their way. There is legal and financial paperwork to deal with, from tax documentation to Social Security records. HR software can help here, too.
As you can see, from finding workers to ensuring they're promptly paid, software can simplify HR tasks at every stage of the employee life cycle. This can save you time, effort, and stress, leaving you with more hours for other valuable business tasks.
Popular HR Software Options for Small Businesses
Again, the exact capacities of an HR software solution depend on the provider. Some have an all-in-one approach while others focus on a specific task. Popular providers of HR software for small businesses include:
This list isn't exhaustive, and you aren't restricted to these names when selecting HR software. Every business is unique and has its own requirements when it comes to what makes the perfect software. There is no one "best" option that will fit every business's needs.
It's up to you to do the research and decide on the right tech solution for your requirements and budget. The next section explains how to go about finding the human resources management software that will best serve your unique purposes.
Choosing the Best HR Solution for Your Small Business
Your business needs will determine which HR tool is right for you. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind as you browse your options.
When shopping for an HR system, ask yourself what HR processes you need help with. As the list of benefits above makes clear, an HR management system isn't just a means of storing basic employee information. It can handle everything from applicant tracking to measuring employee engagement.
Make a list of what HR functions you want help with. These could be human capital management tasks that take up needless time and energy — or that you simply dislike doing. Basically, ask yourself which assignments you would love to outsource to an HR department. Then, look for an HR platform that can perform those functions.
Logically, the more you expect of your workforce management platform, the more it will cost. Less expensive solutions will likely not perform as many HR services. Read the fine print on pricing plans before buying. Some workforce management tools offer tiered pricing models, allowing you to start with a more cost-efficient option and then scale up as your business grows.
When comparing prices, also consider contract length. Some HR platforms offer month-to-month contracts while others may lock you in for a year. Also, note that some talent management platforms offer a free trial so you can give them a try before buying. This gives you a chance to test-drive the various HR features before making a larger investment.
An HR manager tool can come with integrations that allow for enhanced functionality. Examples of popular integrations include time tracking, new hire reporting, accounting (e.g., payroll software integration), and more. Some HR tools have hundreds of integrations, allowing you to customize your experience.
Note that there are also fully customizable HR technologies that can give you a tailor-made software as a service (SaaS) solution crafted just for your company. While these cutting-edge tools might be a logical investment for large corporations, they probably aren't necessary for small to medium-sized businesses. There are plenty of more affordable "out of the box" software solutions you can choose from.
Whatever human resource management tool you buy, make sure it's user-friendly. Investing in the most cutting-edge technology available won't help you much if it's too confusing or frustrating to use. Prioritize user-friendly platforms with an intuitive design. If you have the opportunity to take advantage of a free trial, use it.
Many administrative tasks fall under the human resources umbrella. Sometimes, it might be necessary for you to handle one of these duties when you aren't at your desk. In this case, an HR platform with a mobile app will prove useful. Many providers include a mobile app with the software package when you buy.
Last but not least, look into the customer service reputation of your favorite shortlisted HR tool before buying. Learning about new software can be tricky so be sure to have reliable support to fall back on if you need it.
Many modern HR software programs have various forms of customer support, including email, webchat, and telephone. It can also be helpful if the provider has an online knowledge hub with basic tutorials, frequently asked questions, and similar educational resources. All of this adds up to an improved user experience.
Stay on Top of Your HR Expenses With Skynova
While paying for an employee management tool may seem like an unnecessary expense, the time and stress a quality software will save you will make it well worth the investment. Make sure to keep track of your core HR expenses in case you can claim them as a deduction when tax season rolls around. Skynova's accounting software is here to help.
Skynova helps startup owners and entrepreneurs keep track of their finances with a simple and straightforward accounting solution. No gimmicks — just the functionality you need. From tracking expenses to chasing invoices, our platform gives you comprehensive oversight of your business's finances. Find out how we can help you.
Notice to the Reader
This article is meant as a general introduction to HR software for small businesses and may not apply to your specific situation. Always consult with a professional accountant to ensure that any HR software or accounting solution you use is in line with accounting best practices.