When you start and run a small business, there are many large costs to focus on, like office space, inventory, marketing campaigns, website development, and more. However, one thing not enough new entrepreneurs think about is the costs they pay by choosing the wrong team members.
Sadly, not getting recruitment right can cost companies money, while also negatively affecting staff morale and productivity. If you choose the wrong employees, you have to find replacements, then spend weeks or months at a time training them, all while hoping you chose right this time around.
Many startup founders also find that stressing about, and learning how to complete various HR tasks makes them less focused and productive themselves. Lots of entrepreneurs have never hired, trained, managed, or promoted staff members before, and struggle to know how to do so effectively. Some people even put off hiring their first team members for years because they don’t want to be burdened with the task.
If you want to be able to grow your business though, you must be able to handle personnel jobs. Happily, advances in technology mean you can now turn to computer programs, apps and other software to streamline and automate HR tasks. The HR tech market is currently worth billions of dollars and continually growing. If you’re keen to save time, money, and stress this year on human resources functions, read on for some ways to take advantage of technology.
For starters, you should use technology to take some of the pain out of recruitment. For example, writing effective job ads is an important part of finding suitable new employees. This can take a lot of time and research though, and be very painful, particularly if you’re not particularly skilled at, or enjoy, creating content.
Thankfully, search online and you’ll find programs which use artificial intelligence to help entrepreneurs come up with better job listings. The Textio app, for instance, analyzes each word you include in an ad to see how attractive your post will likely be to potential candidates. It then provides suggestions on how to strengthen certain sections or phrases. It can also be used to ensure you eliminate any subconscious gender bias you had when creating your post.
Once job applications come pouring in, there are also recruitment-specific products designed to sort through resumes and other documents for you. They’ll help you find candidates who best meet the pre-determined criteria you choose to set. These systems are typically very flexible, allowing users to input various search terms, such as those covering degree qualifications or other training, past role keywords, candidate address locations, etc.
In addition, if you have a shortlist and numerous roles available, there are tech programs which can analyze inputted data to match applicants to the best positions, based on their skills and experience. Then, once you have a team in place, don’t forget that there are fantastic payroll software programs which can automate much of that HR function.
When it comes to your workforce, it’s important to keep people’s skills and knowledge updated, and their engagement levels high, through training. Thanks to technology, you don’t have to worry about organizing separate training sessions for teams spread out around the country or world; online programs can be rolled out to all staff members at once.
Another benefit of online training programs is they can be customized to suit individual needs, which means employees can reap the most benefits possible from their training. Online study can also be completed as and when it suits workers, so they can concentrate on modules when they have time, and/or feel most alert and able to focus. This increases understanding and retention, and makes your training programs much more cost- and time-effective.
Communication and Performance Management
Lastly, when you’re trying to make your team more productive, consider how they communicate, and if there are any issues with this, as well as how you communicate with them, especially if they’re not all in the same office as you.
With the advent of digital communication tools, communication is easier than ever. You and your employees can get questions answered more quickly; key information can be shared in a flash; conversations can be recorded so you have a digital record later if required; and mistakes and potential staff or organizational issues can be picked up more quickly.
If you’re not already using video conferencing tools for effective meetings, take a look at Cisco distributors in your area that can help you set up feature-rich software to suit your needs. Also consider using project management software so your team can update each other on jobs and share data easily; and performance management programs, which will help you keep track of each person’s work and goals progress through the year.