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How Small Businesses Get Big Returns From HR Tech

In a December 2023 updated report, Ernst & Young (EY) found the average cost per manual data entry made by an HR professional increased to $4.78. Read about EY’s latest findings for more information.


Heavy is the head that wears all the hats, but that’s just life for a small business owner, right? Wrong!

What if you could give some of those hats to people (or even applications) who have the tools to perform those tasks efficiently and effectively?

If you ever find yourself fixing, updating or re-keying information already provided by your employees, you’re spending time that could easily be reclaimed by allowing HR tech to work its magic. Employee self-service tools let them handle entry of their personal data, and when other routine processes are automated, you can devote your time to growing the business. Goodbye, hats! Hello, productivity!

Here are four considerations small business owners should make when exploring an HR tech solution for their business.

Payroll execution

Paying your people accurately and on time has far-reaching implications for your business. Manually executing a payroll requires a great deal of time and attention each pay period, and errors only add more time and stress to the process.

You’re also subject to a host of employment regulations that are always changing. In many cases, a failure to follow these regulations can result in costly fines and penalties.

As the chief executive everything of your operation, you’re always looking for a way to do things better, and HR tech offers a way to shore up one of the most essential processes in any business. When your self-service tech feeds into an employee-driven payroll experience like Paycom’s Beti®, you’ll find new ways to limit errors, minimize the time invested in each pay period and give your HR team the freedom to pursue those high-level initiatives your business needs to succeed.

Lowering costs

The concept is simple, but many small business owners might be surprised at how many ways the right HR tech can drive dollars back to their bottom line. Every manual HR task takes time, whether it’s executing high-level strategy or updating an employee’s address. When repetitive, tedious tasks can be handled automatically, your staff has more time to tackle those needle-moving projects that help you get ahead. Need proof? According to a study from Ernst & Young, every instance of manually entering HR data carries a cost of $4.70.

Finding the best talent

A study published by the Society for Human Resource Management determined the average cost of finding, recruiting and onboarding a new employee can be upward of $4,000, and that doesn’t factor in the opportunity cost of missing out on top talent because your hiring practices are less than efficient. When you liberate your staff from dealing with routine, time-consuming HR tasks, they are free to be more effective at identifying and signing the best candidates. HR software offers tools that can streamline or even automate the recruiting process with useful features like applicant tracking, self-onboarding and the ability to identify valuable tax credit opportunities. Once that recruit joins your team, your HR tech already has their vital info, saving you the time of having to once again enter it into the system.

While we’re discussing recruiting, employers should take note of the findings from a 2021 OnePoll survey. It found that 77% of workers are frustrated with outdated technology in the workplace. If top talent’s first contact with your organization is through a modern and effective talent acquisition system, they’ll see that your organization has a forward-looking attitude toward workplace tech and you’ll stand out as they evaluate prospective employers.

Automating routine tasks

Automation can help reduce costs, but that’s not the only benefit when it comes to eliminating manual HR processes.

When you aren’t chasing down forms, updating benefits information or double-checking time punches, you’re able to spend your time on initiatives that will help move your organization forward. Being a small business owner often extends well past 40 hours in a week, but what could you do if you had more of those valuable hours back?

Take scheduling, for example. Even though it’s a predictable, routine task, it’s essential to the operation of nearly all businesses. Applications like Paycom’s scheduling tool can automate the process of routine scheduling and in some cases make employees accountable for requesting time off or trading shifts. Now that your labor needs are met, you’ve got time to focus on achieving your goals.

Because payroll is a regularly recurring process in virtually every organization, it represents a ripe opportunity for the application of automation. Again, employee-driven payroll like Beti can deliver efficiency through the automatic building of each scheduled cycle and keep approvals moving with automated reminders to employees and managers.

HR tech could provide that next leap, allowing you to take your organization to new levels of success. Taking the time to find the application that most effectively meets your needs will allow you to realize those benefits and fuel your next organizational transformation. Download our free Small Business Guide to Smarter Growth or explore our complete small business toolkit to see how HR tech could revolutionize the way you conduct business.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided herein does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional legal, tax, accounting or other professional advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional adviser who has been provided with all pertinent facts relevant to your particular situation and for your particular state(s) of operation.