Take Human Resources (HR) Past Payroll and Turn It Into A System That Grows Your Business

For many small businesses, the definition of Human Resources is that ‘stuff’ – payroll and benefit paperwork – that Alice (feel free to sub in the name of the poor soul in your business charged with this function) does when she’s not handling the other five roles that she’s responsible for. It’s a function that’s only thought of as you approach payday or hire a new employee, which are two things that Alice shivers thinking about. Why? Well, because Alice knows that she’s going to have to dig through piles of paperwork, or wrestle with an excel sheet, to get all of her information put together so that she can process these functions…and she knows it’s going to suck up more time than she really has to offer.

In this day and age, when we hear CEO’s and business owners touting that good employee’s are the greatest asset within a business, why do we not see HR as more of an employee (or asset) management process versus just a financial or benefit function? Well, there is one company that believes that’s exactly what we should be doing and they are building a comprehensive suite of HR applications to do just that!

We recently had the chance to speak with April Escamilla, Director of Product Management for the HeartBeat solution at SilkRoad Technologies. SilkRoad is a provider of cloud-based HR solutions that nurtures the employee experience from recruiting and onboarding, through learning and career development; encompassing all employee milestones from pre-hire to retire.

“HR is more than payroll and finance”, says April. “In my mind HR is positioned to see and develop the direction of your resources. Did you hire the right people so your company can grow in five years? If you spend all your time faxing forms, worrying about wrong addresses and cobbling together reports, then you aren’t focused on strategy.”

April knows that HR is not the first thing that small businesses focus on, especially when starting out, but knows that as most businesses grow, the desire to automate core HR functions through the use of technology begins to fall to the forefront. Manual processing of HR functions is time consuming and with new regulations coming into play with the Affordable Care Act, which requires businesses to report on benefit offerings and their affordability, businesses face more processing and reporting and failure to report accurate information could lead to additional time and cost ramifications.

“Companies above 50 employees begin to deal with a lot of information and a need to move information back and forth from employer to employee. Add in that many companies operate today with remote workers, it becomes extremely hard to track and keep all the information you need to remain compliant with current regulations in one place without becoming completely overwhelmed. This is where automation becomes critical”, says April.

The suite of applications from SilkRoad, known as Life Suite, allows companies to not only manage the core functions of HR (payroll, benefits, etc.), but allows them to go a step further and manage other aspects of the employee lifecycle, including recruiting and training.  The suite consists of the following SaaS applications:

  • OpenHire: Social recruiting software with tools to attract, screen and hire the best talent globally.
  • RedCarpet: Onboarding software that generates HR efficiencies and employee retention and offers an average company savings of $800 per new employee.
  • Heart Beat:The human resource management sofware that offers automated processes, online payroll management, report generation and salary management.
  • GreenLight: A comprehensive learning management system (LMS) that manages, tracks and reports all employee’s learning / training activities.
  • WingSpan: Software that brings every element of employee performance management into one platform.

Combined, the products not only manage standard employee HR information, but allow a company to develop employees so they are a greater asset. As April pointed out to us, “People think of HR as a back-office function that isn’t critical, which means that HR doesn’t typically get the $$ when it comes to budgeting. The reality is that HR can really be a tool to grow your business”.

By engaging in more of these human resource practices, businesses of all sizes have the ability to capitalize on the greatest asset they have – the employee. In turn, they become more attractive to employees, which increases employee retention and reduces significant costs involved with employee turnover.

How do you handle HR in your business? Are you still handling everything manually or are you using technology to automate processes? Are you covering just the bread & butter (payroll & benefits) or are you investing more in developing your employees?  Let us know!



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Carolyn Crummey is a business and technology strategist and the owner of VirTasktic (www.virtasktic.com), an agency dedicated to providing high-level virtual services to small businesses and entrepreneurs. A lover of technology and small business, Carolyn has built a career on the intelligent use of technology to increase business efficiency and productivity, which ultimately leads to greater profitability. Carolyn works closely with her clients to understand their challenges and helps them integrate the best technology solutions into their businesses so they too can enjoy great successes. You can follow Carolyn on Twitter at @CarolynCrummey or @VirTasktic.

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