5 HR Tools Every New Start-up Needs

April 28, 2023
5 HR Tools Every New Start-up Needs

Starting a new business is an exciting time, but hiring your first team members and being responsible for an employee’s financial wellbeing and work-related health can be a daunting experience.

In the first few months and years in a start-up, you want to be focusing as much of your time and efforts as possible on growing the business. And often it’s the day-to-day business chores that can take over our working days!

Whilst it might be tempting to scrimp on software subscriptions in those early days, it actually pays to have the right systems in place to maximise efficiency – especially when it comes to managing your people.

So, to get you started, here are five HR tools that every new start-up would benefit from.

Applicant tracking systems

The success of your start-up will hinge on the success of your early hires.

Recruitment is a time-intensive endeavour that most large organisations have dedicated teams to manage. As a new business, it’ll likely come down to the founders to source, filter and select their first new employees.

If you need to hire multiple roles at once then an application tracking system, or ATS, is going to come in handy.

These systems work by grading applications based on skill matches and years of experience. This is a great way to quickly rank and sift through applications to find those potential superstar employees.

Onboarding platforms

You’ve found your dream first employees – now it’s time to get them onboarded.

Onboarding is a critical time in the employee lifecycle and it can make or break the success of the hire.

Data from Brandon Hall Group found that great employee onboarding can improve retention by 82%, though only 12% of new starters say they had a great onboarding experience!

The issue for most start-ups is the amount of work that new starters are expected to do to get up to speed, and the initial legwork required in manually managing that process.

Onboarding platforms take the ongoing pain out of the process by formalising and automating the onboarding process.

New starters can be easily assigned logins, share their contact information for accounts, and get up to speed with training and internal documentation – all within one dashboard, ready to go when they are.

Self-service portals

What’s the experience of a new start-up manager really like? Lots of Whatsapp pings about needing a sick day, or emails requesting a week off the month thereafter, or staff members needing to update their contact details.

Self-service portals help to clear the inbox of these important but time-consuming distractions by providing a centralised system whereby everyone can request time off, enter sick days, update their information, request a manager meeting and even track their hours.

These types of systems are also extremely popular for remote workers who don’t want to be clogging up Slack channels with random holiday requests and can’t just nip into HR’s office to log some sick days.

Recognition programs

Employees who feel valued and recognised are 2.7x more likely to be engaged in their work. This is absolutely critical for a new business where every employee is likely pulling the weight of 1.5 – 2x the normal expected workload and putting in the long hours to help turn the start-up founder’s vision into a reality.

Without feeling seen, valued and rewarded for their extra efforts, employees can quickly become disillusioned and start looking for opportunities elsewhere.

Modern employee recognition programs alleviate the burden of rewards and recognition on management by engaging all employees in the recognition conversation. Through peer-driven social recognition platforms, all staff members can recognise one another for the great efforts they see every day.

This gets the recognition conversation flowing amongst the workforce in a way that doesn’t require leadership to constantly be igniting the conversation.

Employee recognition programs are especially important for hybrid, dispersed and remote teams where the opportunity for an impromptu ‘thank you’ or ‘well done’ in passing is limited.

HR chatbots

The final point on our list is a bit more of a luxury but the advent of AI is becoming really popular in the HR space.

HR chatbots live within an organisation’s internal systems – such as a self-service or HCM platform – and allow employees to ask quick questions and get even quicker answers.

This is a great way for organisations to reduce the burden on HR, payroll and admin teams where employees can get what they need or at least be pointed in the right direction. For example, documentation on how to set up an email or send a recognition, create an account on the self-service portal or indeed how to make the most of their onboarding platform.

These chatbots do take a little time to set up. But, if your start-up is growing rapidly and taking on lots of new hires in one go, then they can be influential in helping to speed up and support other HR processes and leave human staff more time to focus on the big stuff that’s helping the business grow.

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