Leadership & Productivity

People technology and solutions for growing businesses

8 min read

20 July 2017

Whether you need new skills to help you develop, or temporary and seasonal staff to work at busy times, getting the right employees onboard quickly and easily is crucial.

As your business grows, it’s likely you will need to take on more employees. This can be a challenge as you need to find, manage and also organise a larger workforce. As you scale up, investing in the right systems and support for your people can help ensure your employees are an asset to your business, rather than a drain on your resources. We take a look at the options that are available to help you bring in and take care of your people as your business grows.

People technology: The recruitment and onboarding journey

Recruiting good staff is one of the most important elements of growing your business. Whether you need new skills to help you develop, or temporary and seasonal staff to work at busy times, getting the right employees onboard quickly and easily is crucial.

Recruitment can be expensive and difficult to get right. One solution could be to use a recruitment agency to help you source suitable candidates. Recruitment agencies work in different ways, so it pays to carry out some research. Some will send you candidates, others may sift and manage applications for you. But this all comes at a cost, so it’s important that you weigh up the fees they charge against the value to your business.

On the other hand, you could recruit directly and invest in recruitment software. Recruiting directly means spending time away from your core business while you process applications and assessing candidates, so this can also be a drain on time and productivity.

Technology can help you streamline and manage both recruitment and onboarding new employees. For example, having access to a central resource for job descriptions, roles and responsibilities can help speed up recruitment.

People technology: Software to manage onboarding

Onboarding starts from the moment the role has been offered. A system that supports your business by using templates for offer letters and contracts, and that helps you communicate with successful candidates means they can be onboard and up and running with your organisation much quicker. This also ensures you don’t lose good people because of delays in your process and your new starters are engaged much earlier in your business.

The onboarding process is the first introduction to a business and having a clear and well-planned induction process to go alongside this will help new employees get off to a great start. This will minimise the time it takes for them to become effective.

It all comes down to admin and paperwork

There’s a lot of administration and paperwork involved in recruiting, onboarding and managing employees in your business. Using Word documents and Excel spreadsheets may have sufficed as a startup, but will not be robust and efficient as your business grows.

As legislation changes and you have more people working for you, updating and managing their data can grow into a full time job. One solution is to create downloadable templates, forms, policies and documentation to speed up your administration processes.

People technology: All-encompassing HR software

HR software packages can help ensure that you’re fair and consistent in dealing with your employees and that all the necessary employee data is accessible. Sharing data, particularly through online and cloud-based systems can also save you time and reduce errors, as you should only need to input employee information once.

Managing time, absence and performance

As more people join your business, managing their time becomes complex very quickly. Trying to manually track employee hours, holiday requests and work schedules manually, can be a massive headache. Having systems in place to help you manage, track and approve holiday helps to maintain a happy and productive workforce.

Online software can often be useful when you have a larger number of staff, as employees can enter their own time sheets or request time off. This can save a lot of time dealing with questions and clashes.

HR software can also help you manage people performance, allowing you to track productivity and key performance measures. Having this kind of data easily available makes it easier for you to address any issues before they become serious challenges to your business costs.

People technology: Let’s not forget payroll

However large or small your business, you need to make sure you pay your employees accurately and on time. As your business takes on more employees, it may take many hours to check and process your pay run if you’re doing it manually.

With legal obligations to report and track how much you pay your employees payments and calculations to determine things like minimum wage, student loans, maternity, sickness and holiday pay, manual processes can be complex and prone to errors.

Payroll software ensures your employees are paid correctly and the appropriate deductions are made as well, while saving you time processing your pay run.

People technology: Take steps and plan for your people

Every business is different, so what you need from people management systems will vary too. As your business grows, it’s important to keep track of employees’ skills, time and performance. Investing in the right solution can ensure your business benefits from productive and effective employees rather than them becoming another demand on your bottom line.

It’s good to start at the beginning and initially think about the first impression that takes place during onboarding that a new candidate will face as part of a new business. Onboarding isn’t a new term but there is a new way to do this. For a fast and simple way to manage onboarding, take a look at webonboarding.com

This article is part of a wider campaign called the Scale-up Hub, a section of Real Business that provides essential advice and inspiration on taking your business to the next level. It’s produced in association with webexpenses and webonboarding, a fast-growing global organisation that provides cloud-based software services that automate expenses management and streamline the employee onboarding process.