4. September 2023

SMB HR: Which HR software is the right fit?

smb hr and employees talking about it

At many SMBs, HR is often unfairly relegated to being an afterthought. We'll let you in on a little secret, though: There is an entire world of productivity, efficiency and business gains that can come from focusing on HR.

In this guide, we’ll cover the main reasons why it might be time to invest in an HR software for your SMB. And, how to make a proper case for it...

What is truly holding your HR team back?

"Our old system, because of how non-digitised it was, became too open to human error.” - Laura Mohen, HR Business Partner at Core

Much like Laura at Ireland's Core, many SMBs are struggling with tools that cause a drag on productivity and efficiency. The problem is that HR systems should enhance productivity, not hold it back or make it more brittle.

Key insight: The issue is not old, outdated or manual systems (that's just one part). It's a lack of emphasis on the critical role of HR at any high-performing SMB.

Let's turn to Sarah Thomas, People Lead at Mindful Chef: "I wouldn’t be able to do any of the more added-value things without the automation Personio provides. It offered a great level of personalisation which meant we could design workflows suited to our unique processes."

The fact is that HR at an SMB is a leading indicator of overall business success. It helps determine how your business is run, how people and how people feel about where they work -- influencing culture, turnover, retention and long-term success.

Especially for companies who value scalability, this is key. Let’s explain a bit more.

Many SMBs might view an HR system or software as yet another cost. An investment that won't offer the right ROI or won't truly take root.

The fact is that an HR system offers the right value if your SMB prioritises:

  • Saving time and maximising efficiency

  • Offering user-friendly experiences

  • Safeguarding data and optimising data

  • Short-term gains and long-term business performance

An SMB's HR team, when buoyed by a great system, can do all of these things and more. As we've seen time and time again, HR teams, when properly enabled, are able to achieve amazing value-adding work to their businesses.

Key insight: The time it takes for your HR team to simply keep admin is time better spent focusing on your most important asset: your people.

What does this mean for an SMB's HR tech stack? Before you invest in any solution, it needs to reduce time spent on admin, so that both HR employees and employees across the organisation can focus on their work, and helping reach your goals.

Before we dive into the strategic implications of SMB HR systems and softwares, let’s talk about some of the key benefits of implementing an HR software in your SMB…

1. To maintain a clear overview of employee data

SMB HR - employee data management
Personio's all-in-one HR solution allows you to add, maintain, update and report on employee data, organisation-wide.

Data drives businesses forward. But, if you don’t keep data safe and secure, you risk untold amounts of liability for all involved. This is especially true when it comes to GDPR and data protection laws. Compliance is key.

A well-equipped HR system will include a place for all of your employee information, ideally organised into digital employee files that can be searched through in an instant. These files serve the same function as files in a traditional office — locked up and easy to access.

The benefits include:

2. To easily view analytics and generate reports

SMB HR - reporting and analytics
In only a couple clicks, Personio's suite of reports allows you to easily turn employee data into actionable insights.

One of the key things that SMB HR team’s feel like they don’t have enough of is data. Especially when HR deserves a seat at the table of executive management, bringing relevant people data to the fore is of the utmost importance. It can help colour and add context to just about any conversation.

So, for SMBs, having access to this data is paramount. Things like headcount, absence rates, salary progression, or attendance tracking, can all help a business understand what it is getting out of its people — with easy-to-digest reports to match.

Especially when it comes to those running the business, these insights can help power so much strategic decision-making, but the responsibility rests in HR to have that data ready. And, for that, they need a system that can compile the data in moments.

3. To stay on top of tasks and processes

SMB HR - hr management
Everything from tracking time, approving absences and running smooth onboarding can be managed from one place: Personio.

In the life of an SMB, and an HR department, there are a million tasks that often feel like they’re happening all at the same time: probation periods wrapping up, performance reviews coming along, or a contract that’s about to be signed for a key hire. There’s a lot going on!

A proper system takes all the HR tasks that would normally be scattered across emails, on post-it notes, or trapped in the air of conversation, and puts them in one place. Moreover, the right system can keep track of all your people-related workflows, where they stand, and where bottlenecks are occurring.

Especially for a team in a fast-paced environment like a growing SMB, having an overview of tasks with proactive reminders for key stakeholders can make or break a business’s productivity.

4. To keep your workplace tools up and running

HR SMB - integrations for HR teams
Personio's Marketplace means one stop for 200+ integrations to all of your daily workplace tools.

Did you know that the average HR team uses around 40+ applications to do their daily work?

That’s a lot of coordination and a lot of connecting that needs to be done across tools and teams. It’s best if your HR software can keep up by keeping everything connected.

An HR system that can be integrated with other leading tools, otherwise known as a best-of-breed strategy, is especially impactful for SMBs who want to keep a level of flexibility in their tech stack.

So, you need an HR system that can connect to the applications you use or the applications you might use in the future, to help your teams remain productive where they work best.

12,000+ organisations trust Personio for this reason

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Just like LUSH and Premier Inn, trust Personio's all-in-one HRIS to upgrade your people operations for now and into the future. Click below to learn more about us.

5. To find time for more people strategy

The most important thing that your HR system should be able to do is to save your team time. This time opens up room for more strategic projects, think diversity and inclusion initiatives, developing a people strategy, thinking about new ways to measure performance, and more to help businesses grow.

Especially with leaner teams and often one employee managing all of HR, their efforts could be so much better utilised by incorporating an HR system that gives back valuable time to focus on more strategic and value-adding topics.

An HR system can afford your SMB the opportunity to not only streamline processes but to take the time to make the core of those processes more impactful for employees. Especially in an age of focusing on employee experience and development, this kind of time is invaluable.

How do you choose the right solution for SMBs?

As an SMB, investing in an HR software is definitely going to be a big step. So, how do you know it’s the right decision and how do you make the right choice? Here are the key considerations we’d recommend.

First, you should have a clear mind for the top three things you want out of your system. Do you want to house employee information? Stay legally compliant? Manage absences? Recruit top talent? Identify the things you want the most, and seek out the best match.

Second, make sure that your HR system is a support system and not a chore to maintain. You don’t want your team spending hours simply managing it, you want your software to work for you and in the best interest of your business. It should allow your HR to function at its best, not stress their time further.

Lastly, you also want to make sure any system you use is user friendly. Especially for employees, and with a self-service element, you want to make sure that your entire company becomes your HR system’s top advocate, and that they use it so your people data is always clean and reliable.

Should your SMB invest in an HR software?

Do you want to enable your people, as well as your HR function, to do its best work? It may be time to think about an HR system that not only makes the grade but enables your HR to go beyond HR. To learn more about the key benefits of Personio as an HR software, please click the button below.

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