When a business gets a taste of success, the next logical step is to expand operations. However, while growth is undoubtedly better than the alternative, scaling up comes with unique challenges. One of the most significant is maintaining a reliable and consistent human resources process. HR processes affect all areas of your organization, from recruiting and onboarding new employees to satisfying and retaining existing staff. Your expansion plan can quickly fall apart if the right people are not in the right positions, fully equipped, and ready to assume new responsibilities. So, how do you know your HR system can handle growth? Here are 6 indicators of a scalable HR process.
- Automated payroll
- Automated timesheets
- Remote working preparedness
- Modernized recruiting
- A multi-user HR process
- A dedicated HR team
HR scalability indicator #1: Automated payroll
When your business got off the ground, it might have made sense to track employee pay using spreadsheets. After all, you probably had a handful of employees and could keep everything organized manually.
Payroll tools are among the first software options that small enterprises acquire.
However, managing your team through spreadsheets becomes a burden as you add more people to the payroll. Besides being more time-consuming, it lends itself to payment errors
that can lead to frustration and decreased morale. Payroll tools are among the first software options that small enterprises acquire. In fact, studies indicate
that 42% of companies that buy payroll software have fewer than 50 employees.
So, regardless of your current size, you can find a cost-effective solution to support your business as it grows. Consider the tips below when automating your payroll.
- Get the timing right: Timing is everything in payroll, and even a 1-day delay can lead to unhappy employees. Make sure your solution can accommodate your company's pay schedule.
- Choose the right features: In addition to processing employee payments, today's payroll software offers various features, such as tracking paid time off and managing benefits. Go with a solution with the features you currently need and the option to add more as you progress.
- Integrate with other software: Payroll services work best when it integrates with other relevant applications, most importantly your accounting software. Otherwise, you will have to waste valuable time transferring data manually between different platforms.
HR scalability indicator #2: Automated timesheets
When tracking work hours, many small businesses take the casual approach of letting employees self-report their times using spreadsheets or paper time cards. Unfortunately, while this system can work in the early stages, it is unscalable and may translate to significant losses as you grow. The impact of manual time tracking on growing businesses is severe. In addition to increasing errors, it exposes your business to a greater risk of intentional time theft. If you are using manual tools to track employee time and productivity, it is time to switch to an automated system. Below are 4 factors to consider when making the transition.
- Consider your business needs: Not all time-tracking tools are created equal. When evaluating your options, look for features such as GPS tracking, automatic breaks, and overtime alerts. Also, choose a solution that integrates with your payroll software for a seamless workflow.
- Prioritize user experience: Ease of use is essential for any software solution you implement in your business. However, it is especially critical for time-tracking systems. If your employees find the tool difficult to use, they will likely resist using it.
- Get employee buy-in: Once you have selected a time-tracking tool, start getting employees on board. The best way to do this is to involve them in the process from the beginning. Let them know why you are making the switch and how it will benefit them and the company.
- Define clear policies: Finally, ensure clear guidelines regarding time-tracking tools. Address aspects like how and when employees can clock in and out, what to do if they forget to clock in or out, and how to deal with time-tracking errors, among others.
HR scalability indicator #3: Remote working preparedness
Remote working has opened up a world of possibilities for businesses of all sizes. Employers relying solely on in-office employees can now cast a wider net when recruiting talent. That way, they benefit from a more diverse workforce while rewarding employees with greater flexibility and work-life balance. An HR process that supports remote working can be a game changer for your growing business. Employees happy with their work-life balance
are more engaged and productive, which leads to better business outcomes. Making your HR process remote-ready is not as difficult as it may seem. Here are 3 key steps to take:
- Communication is key: Communication becomes even more critical when employees work remotely. Ensure you have the right tools to facilitate communication between employees and managers, regardless of location.
- Foster a culture of trust: A remote working arrangement requires a high level of trust between employer and employee. Employees need to trust that their employer will support them and not micromanage their every move. Meanwhile, employers need to trust that employees will be productive when working remotely.
- Track employee progress: Productivity can be more challenging to track when employees are working remotely. Invest in a suitable software solution that can help you track employee progress, collect feedback, and identify issues early.
HR scalability indicator #4: Modernized recruiting
Your HR process affects all levels of the employment process, including the application stage. So, when you advertise an open position, you essentially put your brand out there for prospective candidates to see and compare with the thousands of other companies they could join.
Your HR process must include the modernized recruiting process necessary to support it.
Therefore, if your recruitment process
is outdated, you will likely turn off talented candidates looking for a modern, forward-thinking employer. If you are gearing up for growth, your HR process must include the modernized recruiting process necessary to support it. A straightforward application, an applicant tracking system, and a solid employer brand are some of the most critical components of a modern recruiting strategy.
- A straightforward application: The application process is typically the 1st point of contact between a prospective candidate and your company. Keep it concise, and only ask relevant questions.
- An applicant tracking system: A quality Applicant Tracking System (ATS) will automate the sorting and tracking of job applications. It will also help you reduce unconscious bias when choosing candidates.
- A solid employment brand: Your employment brand is the reputation you have as an employer. It is what prospective candidates think of when they consider working for your company. Create and maintain a solid employment brand by being consistent in your messaging and ensuring that your recruitment process is positive and transparent.
HR scalability indicator #5: A multi-user HR process
The most obvious way to hinder your HR's scalability is to have processes, tools, and systems that only accommodate 1 or a handful of users. While employee privacy and data security are important considerations, an HR process accessible or usable by only a few users will not keep up with the needs of your growing business. A multi-user HR process can be used by many users simultaneously, from anywhere in the world. It could include an online self-service portal where employees can access their HR information and perform various tasks independently. Alternatively, it could be a cloud-based HR system that allows multiple users to access and update employee records in real time. Consider the pointers below when designing a multi-user HR process:
- Simplicity and intuitiveness: The simpler and more intuitive your system is, the easier it will be for employees to use.
- Flexibility and customization: Allow for some customization so that employees can tailor the system to their needs.
- Continuous training: Gradually training people as your business grows will help ensure deadlines are met and critical tasks are always done.
HR scalability indicator #6: A dedicated HR team
As your company grows, so will the demands on your HR team. If you want to maintain a high level of service, it is vital to have a dedicated HR team in place. This team should be able to handle all aspects of HR, from recruitment and onboarding to training and development. While it is possible to outsource some or all of your HR functions, this can be costly and may not provide the level of service you need. A dedicated HR team will give you the peace of mind that your HR process is in good hands and can scale with your business. Below are some tips for establishing an HR team from scratch.
- Start with the basics: Begin by hiring an HR manager and a few HR generalists. You can add benefits, payroll, and compliance specialists along the way.
- Build a solid foundation: Ensure your HR team has the necessary skills and knowledge to support your business. Provide ongoing training and development opportunities so they can stay up-to-date with the latest HR trends.
- Define HR goals: Working with your HR team to set realistic goals will help you measure their progress and keep them on track to meet your company's needs.
- Diversify your team: A diverse HR team will bring different perspectives and experiences to the table and boost innovation. Consider hiring employees from different backgrounds and with a variety of skill sets.
Achieve sustainable growth with a scalable HR process
Small businesses face numerous challenges as they strive to scale their operations. Among the most prevalent is updating and streamlining their HR processes. As a growing enterprise, you want a scalable HR system that can:
- Adapt effectively to changing business needs,
- Offer a high level of service to current and new employees,
- Ensure compliance with employment laws and regulations, and,
- Support the development of your workforce.
Ticking these boxes requires your HR system to score highly in the 6 scalability indicators we have discussed. Use them to create an automated, modernized HR process, and set your business up for sustainable growth.