What's up everyone, I've come across a lot of businesses in my line of work (business automation and analytics) that spend huge amounts of time with HR (human resources) related work when they're growing. Since a lot of small businesses have unfortunately had to lay off a lot of people due to COVID-19, a lot of small businesses will have to rapidly hire and onboard again once they make it through this rough patch. Automating HR related work really frees up time and lowers costs since you don't have to hire a bunch of people to do it and you don't lose weeks of productivity while a new employee sits idle.
The 10 areas you should look at automating are:
- Onboarding new employees -Having a standardized system that handles information gathering, training, and provides a centralized location for employee materials takes the burden off of you and the employee to get up to speed on day-to-day responsibilities.
- Gathering and keeping track of Employee Data (like contact information, role, salary, etc.) – Configuring a system that holds all of your HR data with compliance control can save you from headaches in the future. Headaches like compliance and security issues and accessing critical employee data in short periods of time (like an emergency contact)
- Payroll – Spreadsheets are prone to errors, plus there are hundreds of automated payroll solutions that are very cheap. Use one of these and you'll be get historical payroll data, dashboards, and hours saved per week.
- Managing and recording vacation time/leave – You need to track employees vacation time and leave to make sure you're complying to local ordinances and accurately paying people. An ideal solution should be: employee submits request in a form, you get a notification with an approve button, then the employee gets an email with your approval.
- Securing and maintaining vital records associated to legal or tax purposes – Unfortunately there's always a chance you get audited or legal action is taken against your business. For this your life will be much easier if you have historical records of all your vital information.
- Ongoing and end-of-year taxes – If you have payroll, expenses, and revenue synced into a single system, you'll be able to extract exactly how much you owe in taxes weekly, quarterly, yearly, etc. with ease. No more lost weekends or huge Accountant expenses to get this done.
- Employee benefits – As an employee, you'll want to have your benefits information at your fingertips when you have questions. As a small business owner, you don't want to answer the same question with all your employees at separate times. So having a place they can go to see this info is invaluable.
- Time management and scheduling – Some small businesses have full-time schedulers or spend hours and hours every week scheduling employee shifts or planning projects. Depending on your industry, there are automated scheduling tools that automatically put people in the shifts they need to be in while optimizing the schedule and providing redundancy in case people call out.
- Financial reporting related to employee costs and revenue – Similar to the ongoing and end of year taxes, if your systems are tied together, you should be able to get answers to employee costs, revenue, and margins in less than 5 minutes. If you're not then you're wasting time that could be spent getting new customers and growing your business.
- Offboarding – A tough activity for all parties involved, you need a secure way to close an employee out of your business. There are high risks with stolen data and equipment, offboarding interviews and paperwork, and uncertainty in timelines. Having this automated takes the personal guilt away from the person performing the offboarding and keeps things standardized for legal purposes on behalf of the business owner.
Tools you can use for these types of automation are plentiful. Look at platforms like Zapier, Automate.io, Office 365, Quickbooks, Square Payroll, Kissflow, Bamboo HR, and the list goes on and on.
You can find more details on each bullet point here if you'd like to read more in depth: 10 Ways You Should Automate Your HR Process As A Small Business (disclaimer: this is my company's blog).
If you all have any questions feel free to ask in the comments or over PM, I'd be happy to help guide you.