When you’re first starting out in business you are usually the marketer, janitor, and the entire HR department. And at the beginning that’s usually completely necessary. But as you start growing and onboarding new people, you realize it’s hard to do it all.
For various reasons, including efficiency and legal reasons, you'll want to get your human resources management house in order as quickly as possible.
Here are just a few of the areas of Human Resources functions that should be getting done, but may not be in a growing and dynamic business (and areas where a good HR software for small business may really be able to help).
Understanding Labor Law and Why It’s Important
Labor law can be complicated. In the United States of America, there are laws to make sure people get treated fairly – equal rights legislation. There are laws to make sure that minors are working in safe and productive environments – child labor laws. And there are laws to make sure that people who aren’t citizens have the appropriate documentation to work in the United States – non-resident labor laws.
When you’re an employer you must follow all of these laws or you risk getting into trouble. Understanding what these laws do and how they apply to your business is crucial to running a healthy and compliant company.
Sometimes HR software will have explainers for these things in plain English (instead of legalese) which makes your job in running the company easier.
Paying Appropriate Overtime for Happy Employees and a Happy IRS
This is a place where HR software can really shine.
Overtime and overtime laws have a national component in the U.S. but also vary by state. Some states require overtime to be paid to salaried employees while other states have minimal requirements.
Complying with overtime laws is important for your company to stay legal, but also for employee morale – everyone wants to be paid fairly and get the money that is due them.
HR software can help you manage overtime more effectively.
Proper Employee Documentation Very Is Important
The IRS, the United States Government, and Local Governments all require very specific and accurate employee documentation. In many startups, it’s anyone’s guess if this documentation is done on time or accurately.
With HR software for small business, you can store all your documentation in one place and know it’s there at a glance.
Specific types of documentation that are needed include:
- Mailing Address
- Job Classification
- Residency Status
- Social Security Information
Employee Taxes – The Struggle is Real
With employee taxes, it’s important to classify your workers correctly and to make sure you are withholding taxes from their pay correctly.
HR software can help you do both with ease.
Keeping Your Employee Handbook Up-To-Date
In a small business, an employee handbook may be the furthest thing from your mind. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t important. If you have an employee that is breaking the rules, but you don’t have the rules documented then it’s hard to get rid of that person without risking a lawsuit.
Most HR software for small business will keep a current record of your employee handbook and record that the employee signed off on it which can be very helpful to keep all your ducks in a row.
The Best HR Software for Small Businesses
It’s amazing how many things are automated now that used to be manual. From advertising algorithms to food ordering kiosks at restaurants. And in the last several years we’ve been able to add in HR software to that list.
There are several HR programs that can make your life easier and save you time and money, which one you choose depends a lot on what you need for your business.
With all of that said, let's take a look at all of the different types of HR software that is available for your small business.
Here’s an overview of the top HR software suites and what’s included in them.
Namely: Namely is software that focuses specifically on midsize businesses of 15 to a few thousand employees. It has an impressive set of features including:
- Social News Feed to stay up to date with company happenings
- Workflows to automate all kinds of HR requests
- Calendar so everyone knows what events are happening
- Org Charts to instantly see where you and everyone else fits
- Time Off Tracking to easily manage requests and ensure appropriate coverage
- Custom Employee Profiles because every company is different
- Employee Database for a centralized and flexible system for employee data
- Mobile App for use anywhere at anytime
- Analytics so you can easily see what’s going on
- Field History and Auditing to can see what’s been changed and when it happened
Namely also integrates employee benefits information and has expert consultants to help you choose the right package.
If you’re a business with at least 15 employees and want a beautiful interface then Namely may be right for you.
Gusto: Gusto tackles the biggest two HR issues that cause people problems – payroll and benefits. And it does it well.
It has a host of integrations including QuickBooks, Xero, and FreshBooks for accounting, TSheets, Deputy, and Ximble for time tracking, and Expensify and Receipt Bank for expense management.
They also provide a licensed broker to help you pick out employee health benefits that will meet your needs and integrate into their system.
But payroll is where they really shine. Customers report spending 75 percent less time on payroll when using Gusto.
You can start with just payroll and add services as you grow, so it’s great for really small companies to keep costs down and to expand as they expand.
BambooHR: BambooHR has some really interesting features including an Applicant Tracking System. This innovate system brings hiring into your HR software and lets you post to job boards, rate, and filter candidates and leave comments for your co-workers all within the software.
Another feature is Employee Self Onboarding. This helps employees complete their own onboarding paperwork and makes introductions to the team for you.
Some of the other features include:
- Time-Off Management for easier scheduling
- Employee databases and records so you don’t lose these important records
- Performance management software to help know how your team is doing
- HR reporting
- Custom workflows to make HR requests easier
- Electronic signatures
Overall, this is a super robust platform that can work well for both small and medium companies.
HR can be a major time-suck for a growing company, but a quality HR software for small business can do a lot of the heavy lifting for you. It’s worth checking out!