It’s difficult to hide pride and excitement of being in the HR technology business right now. A recent Forbes article made it clear: HR tech and its entrepreneurs are a new venture promised land. Drew Hendricks supported the article with hard data & prediction by industry leaders. The industry has been valued as worth over $15 bn. While that’s great news for software companies, our recent visit to #TRU London directed our attention towards small businesses and startups, which might not be able to implement costly, robust solutions.
How can they compete for talent with bigger players? The answer lies in the smart selection of lightweight, disruptive technology and the intelligence applied on top of it. For instance, this Valley-based startup, Perqy, delivers valuable employee discounts and benefits to SME employers, free of charge. The best part? A mobile phone is the only thing that an employee needs to access the benefits. Technology should also be social: the modern employees “expect to use the same type of social networking tools they use in their personal networks” – commented the President of Cloud and On-premise HR at SAP.
Small enterprises and young startups have an advantage of being able to build the company culture in a more innovative way from the beginning or rebuild their structure quicker. It’s easier to work with the other team members and departments. In a close-knit team, it’s easier for HR to make sure they are involved in determining which social collaboration software will be used. In bigger companies, this area is usually ‘owned’ by IT, who may not particularly care about people engagement. Another typical problem, commonly encountered at smaller enterprises is the lack of automation.
In an attempt to keep fixed cost low, companies deny departments useful software, and HR often falls a victim of this approach. To compete with global giants, decision-makers have to take the leap and provide HR with modern solutions they desperately need to adhere to ever-complicating regulations and improve results. For some small business startup executives, the choice is already clear: “If I need to put off 10 hours a week of administrative tasks, I can either hire another team member or invest a few thousand dollars in a piece of software. It’s an easy choice” – explained Heather Neisen, HR manager for Technology Advice. While technology is handling the basics, you can save on monotonous, laborious tasks, you can effectively hire a higher calibre candidate and offer them a more exciting, varied role.
Summing up, choosing lightweight and accessible solutions, remembering the social aspect of HR tech, and not being afraid to implement innovative solutions are the key tips for small business startup HR managers (and finance managers!). While a turnover of a small business startup is not counted in billions, good people attracted to innovative technology and saved time can prove to be invaluable assets and sources of competitive advantage.