Most business owners (me included) understand that Human Resources is an important department, but not everyone is aware of just how many responsibilities fall under the HR umbrella. Consequently, it’s easy for the owners of small and medium sized businesses to assume they can handle HR functions on their own — which is almost never the case. While it’s true that you should have a direct role in certain HR initiatives, you probably don’t want to spend all your time doing payroll or updating policies to comply with new legislation. After all, you’ve got teams to build; a company culture to shape — in short, a business to run!
Still, payroll and compliance are both necessary areas of work for any organization and ignoring them has obvious consequences. So, what’s the solution, short of spending money that probably isn’t in your budget to hire a bunch of internal HR professionals on a full-time basis? Or, to put it another way: when it comes to meeting your HR requirements, how can your business do more with less?
It turns out you’re not the only person who’s faced that particular dilemma. Thousands of small to medium sized business owners have been asking the same questions for years, and certain companies (like the one yours truly works for) are providing answers — in the form of user-friendly technology designed explicitly to address the issue.
First Things First: The Outsourcing Question (and yes, I am biased)
Before we get too deeply into tech talk, it’s no secret that one of the most popular strategies has been to outsource certain HR functions to a third-party company with the resources to make sure they’re done properly. This practice can actually be beneficial in many sectors — in fact, nearly 80% of respondents in a Deloitte poll taken across numerous industries expressed a positive outlook regarding outsourcing.
When it comes to HR, the argument for outsourcing looks especially convincing. Analysts predict that the global market for HR outsourcing will enjoy a compound annual growth rate of 8.69% between 2018 and 2022. They also suggest that one of the primary forces driving this growth will be technology. Simply put, new tech innovations that HR services companies are developing are making it easier than ever for small and medium sized businesses to outsource their HR functions effectively.
How Can Technology Improve the Transition to HR Outsourcing?
While traditional outsourcing can certainly be valuable, some business owners are uncomfortable with the idea of simply handing off functions like payroll and benefits to someone else. Although most companies that offer HR outsourcing take care to safeguard the employee information and other sensitive data clients share with them, it’s certainly easy to see why some business owners would worry about security. After all, storing that information in separate systems requires a lengthy process of copying, exporting, and importing data several times over. When you consider the numerous different applications and logins likely to be involved, it’s clear that a method with so many data entry points creates a lot of vulnerabilities — any of which could allow for a breach.
This is why we use the iSolved platform (shameless plug inserted). Seriously though, it’s a pretty simple equation, you need technology that works for the provider and the customer. It provides us and our customers a consolidated online solution that allows all vital employee information to be input and displayed via one comprehensive, user-friendly platform. Not only does this improve security by reducing the number of data entry points for an organization to a single source; it also increases efficiency by ensuring that information about time, payroll, and benefits are always in sync with one another.
Streamline the Hardest HR Tasks
Pulling compliance reports and coordinating multi-level performance reviews can be painstaking, but iSolved’s clear interface simplifies these tasks considerably. When it comes to payroll processing, our team can also see changes in real time and we can view processes while they are still pending so that any errors can be remedied before they are finalized. Because Obsidian focuses on outsourced HR, their customer service professionals are also available to provide support for these operations — turning some of HR’s toughest challenges into smooth, decisive solutions.
Save Time by Simplifying Benefits Enrollment
Benefits and time are two of the most time-consuming HR responsibilities — at least, they can be under traditional models. Setting up benefits for your employees is often a particularly difficult process, since it usually requires a lot of ongoing effort to keep track of enrollment and deductions. Add to that the time and energy required to communicate relevant life events to carriers in a timely manner, and benefits ends up being quite a headache for many small businesses. However, an overwhelming majority of workers say that benefits are an important factor to consider when deciding whether to accept a job — so competitive SMBs that want to retain top talent need to coordinate them correctly.
This is one area where the iSolved technology helps us shine. The platform allows clients to simply set up their benefits plans once, then keeps track of enrollment and deductions. The service also connects directly with carriers to ensure that significant life events are always communicated clearly and on time, which means that coverage is never threatened by internal delays.
Scalable Tech for Growing Businesses
One of the most important criteria any business should consider when evaluating outsourcing HR is the technology that that provider uses. iSolved offers numerous features to help our clients track new applicants and assist in the onboarding process. There’s also the options for learning management that allows teams to create training modules and allow employees to access them remotely — plus advanced dashboards and analytics reports that make visualizing metrics a breeze.
Efficiency Creates Stronger Leaders
Our services model paired with technology like iSolved provides our clients with impressive capabilities, but the real value they offer can be measured in time. Less time struggling with payroll and benefits means more time to actually shape the culture of your business and connect with your employees so that they can do their best work for your organization. Perhaps that’s why companies that leverage technology with HR tend to be 50% more financially successful than the average business. So, as we start off 2020, let’s make sure you’re thinking about the provider that has the tools that will give your organization a competitive advantage and turn your most aggravating HR problems into background noise so that you can focus on the big picture.
About Jordan Conley
As President of Obsidian HR, Jordan is responsible for the strategy, customer experience, culture and profitability of the business. Leveraging over 20 years of experience in the HR outsourcing industry, he brings a unique perspective to the evolving needs and definition of “HR” in the modern workplace. Prior to being appointed President of Obsidian HR, he was a founding member of ZeroChaos (now Workforce Logiq) and has held senior leadership roles at CoAdvantage (a large national HR outsourcing firm) and ProService (Obsidian HR’s parent company). As a natural entrepreneur, Jordan is passionate about seeing opportunities where businesses need help and partnering with leaders to protect their operations and make growth a reality. Jordan attended the University of Central Florida and Crummer School of Business at Rollins. He is married with three sons and currently resides in Denver, CO where he is an active car aficionado, an avid reader and connoisseur of Colorado beer.