How small businesses can use HR technology

No matter what you’ve heard, there’s no reason small business HR teams can’t do nearly everything that large business HR teams can do. The trick to emulating their larger counterparts lies in doing a few key things differently.


Scaling down

There are many examples of how big businesses with large recruiting budgets attract talent. Smaller businesses can implement many of the same strategies, but they will have to scale them down to fit their size and budget.

Smaller HR teams often have individuals doing multiple roles. That’s why the first step to emulating large companies’ recruiting strategies at a small business is recruiting and hiring HR talent with the ability to react and adapt quickly to the changing needs of a growing business.

In many ways, technology can help level the playing field. Small businesses must embrace, leverage and fully utilize the amazing amount of HR tech available to them. Unfortunately, small businesses tend to assume they can’t afford the best HR tech, and that makes scaling down and hiring top HR talent more difficult.

While businesses can use HR technology in many ways, these three are the most important to highlight:

1. Automation

Many HR teams are still using a tangled web of spreadsheets and manual processes to manage critical HR functions like sourcing new talent, tracking applicants and more. There is a new world out there. Monthly subscription services for software have made HR technology much more affordable. HR teams can automate regularly scheduled daily or weekly tasks, opening their time up to focus on more business growth-oriented work.

2. Aligning with business objectives

Large businesses with large budgets can purchase technology that does nearly everything for them. They don’t have to pick and choose which functions or processes to automate. Scaling for a smaller budget, however, means smaller businesses may have to make a choice. That decision should be based on business objectives.

For example, imagine a company that only has the budget to invest in one type of HR technology. If the main business objective includes a plan for explosive growth in headcount over the next year, a quality applicant tracking system should probably take precedence over other HR technology options.

3. Fully using or expanding current technology applications

One surprising fact about many businesses is that, even if they’ve invested in HR technology, they’re probably not fully using all the features they’re paying for. This often happens when there’s a change in HR staff after the initial implementation. HR teams in small businesses should be fully aware of everything offered with their investment and utilize it to the fullest. HR employees should be encouraged to regularly touch base with their technology providers to get updates regarding new features and take part in advanced training sessions, if available.

Many small businesses also don’t realize that for just a few dollars more, their current technology could be expanded to meet an even bigger need. More HR technology companies are offering starter packages in the hopes that they can grow with a small business. A few bucks can get you a feature that can greatly reduce the amount of manual work an HR team is doing.

Consider the above three methods as a starting point, and then scale from there.

The future of HR technology

HR technology is only going to get bigger and better. Companies are going to continue automating many of the traditional HR tasks that bog down smaller HR teams. Businesses that assume they can’t afford technology — or have other reservations about doing things a new and different way — are going to struggle to grow and innovate.

Your budget may not allow for a robust HRIS system, but it may allow for basic payroll automation that tracks several manual processes and costs one low monthly fee. The key is to assess your need, research options and invest in the area that makes the most sense for the business.

Great HR technology doesn’t have to break the bank. Check out CareerBuilder’s Value Plans to find the features you need at a price you can afford.

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