Basics of HR Automation for Small Business

The automation of HR processes allows “machine startup” at the beginning of the procedure and the different stages are executed one by one automatically

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Basics of HR Automation for Small Business

Faced with the limitations of the current entrepreneurial environment, more and more companies are turning to digital business. Reducing errors, saving time, improving profitability, increasing productivity, improving performance... These are all advantages of creating an HRIS in small businesses.

Automation of HR processes, what is it?

Most of the company's services operate through a series of rules and procedures to be implemented: deadlines to be respected, validation of signatures to be collected, etc. It is particularly concerned with the accounting, finance and human resources departments.
For example, the appointment of an employee requires specific and mandatory tasks under penalty of liability of the company: declaration of employment, medical visit, drafting of employment contract, fixed-term contract to be awarded to employees within a specified scope, and so on.
The automation of HR processes allows the machine to be “started” at the beginning of the procedure and the different phases are executed one by one automatically (workflow). It is also possible to automate the drafting of documents, letters or business contracts.

Automation of HR processes, available to whom?

Automation is available to all businesses, regardless of size. The solutions available on the market offer tools that are easy to set up, without technical knowledge: software in SAAS mode, a platform that can be accessed via the Internet, and perfectly suited to the contract, they perfectly adapt to the needs of companies (modules, selective functions, etc.) and to their budget .
Thus, all actors of the HR function can invest in this automation and benefit from its advantages: lawyers in social law (company, law firm or accounting expertise), RRH, DRH, directors, managers ...

HR automation for small business

For a small company, the HR function can be handled by a small team or a single person who also has other responsibilities. For example, a human resources manager in a small company might also handle training, processing expenses, payroll, and other administrative tasks. This is why automating HR processes is just as critical in a small business environment as it is in a large organization. The productivity gains that automation brings have a greater impact because HR has fewer resources and smaller budgets.

What are the top HR automation basics for small businesses?


1. Choose the right solution for your small business or startup

“Choosing the right solution is critical to the future of your small business. Making the wrong choice can increase your money burn rate by having software that is not fit for purpose and cannot support you as you scale.” Alyssa Mistry, HR Manager at CharlieHR
Choosing a solution that responds to your current problems at an affordable cost means that you can continue to pay for them over the years and as you go - so how do you choose the right software for your business?
You will first need to decide how much you can invest - this will allow you to eliminate some of the options you may have considered and come up with a logical shortlist according to your capabilities.
You'll also want to choose a program that's simple enough to set up right away and that you and your team members can use without the need for training—an instinctive platform is key because you won't necessarily have the time or resources to plan a workout.
This is why you should avoid complex solutions that automate your work from top to bottom, as they will be very expensive and hard for everyone to understand.
Let's take a look at what it might look like in practice. If managing leave means manually updating leave allowance or requests in a spreadsheet and calendar, the program gives you the opportunity to automate all of that.
Have team members submit requests through the platform and approve or reject requests with a single click - leave overlaps are automatically flagged and allowances reset as you go.

2. Keep your team up to date on variables

"Change can be intimidating when it comes to work. That's why you must set the right pace to inform your team every step of the way." Alisa Mistry, HR Manager at CharlieHR
From the point you start considering implementing changes until the date you roll them out, there are some instances when you have to make sure your team knows what's going on.
Here is an example of a communication plan to send to your team:
  • Whether it's in a meeting or via email, clearly state that you're looking at changing your HR processes and mention those processes - indicating there will be a follow up on this when you have more details to share
  • Once you know more about it and select the right program, let your team know about your choice and that you'll be sharing more information about the rollout soon.
  • When you are fully familiar with the new system and processes, communicate the date and plan when changes will begin - this can be a company-wide meeting if it's a massive change (changing HR software for example). You can give a live demo or for smaller changes, it can be a recording or an email. Whatever method of communication you prefer, as long as it is clear to everyone.
  • Finally, when everything is straightforward, remind your team members that you will be available for any question and that they can provide you with feedback on how the new process is going.
This is not a communication plan that you have to follow every time, but it is an example of what your team can expect from you.

3. Prioritization

“You need to know in detail what will make a big difference to your small business before you start automating processes, or you may end up with more problems than solutions.” Alisa Mistry, HR Manager at CharlieHR
As a small business or a startup, you don't necessarily have the time to focus on the way you manage human resources - mainly because you're already very busy, but you still need a solution to be more efficient in your daily life.
When it comes to optimizing your HR processes, you may want to start automating everything at once to make sure nothing gets in your way.
However, the first piece of advice I would give is to identify three of the most difficult and time consuming aspects of HR processes and focus on automating these aspects.
It could be as simple as making a list of all your responsibilities, categorizing them by degree of complexity and how long it takes you to complete them one by one as you go along until you find these three processes.
Once this is done, the work can begin. In general, here are what the three main weaknesses of small businesses and startups are:
  • Get all your HR documents in one place - Collecting and storing employee information can be a hassle when you're in many different places and it's often far from secure.
  • Manage your team's leave - As your team grows, a simple process that can easily be done in minutes turns into a heavy workload, filled with spreadsheets that are prone to lots of misformations and human error.
  • Onboarding New Team Members Between sorting out all the admins and making sure team members feel welcome, it's hard to keep track of it all. Making a good first impression and getting the support you need to expand is crucial.
Depending on the type of business you're running, there are probably other items that come to mind, but in my experience these three are definitely a good starting point.

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