The key to the success of any business, a point reiterated by practically every corporate thinker out there, lies with its people. Your employees can make or break an organisation and no matter how much time, money and effort you put into developing an innovative new product or service, without the right people to help you realise your goals you’re going nowhere.

Finding individuals who can work together smoothly as part of a team as well as excel by their own initiative is a hard enough task on its own, but how do you keep track of their progress and success and use the information to devise plans and strategies for growth?

Reclaiming the day

Time is of the essence when founding a startup. Most of it will likely be getting burned up trying to launch those shiny new products and services ahead of the competition. Chances are you’re operating on your own or with a very small team early on, meaning that you’ll be taking on the role of sales manager, leader, finance director, marketer, maybe more.

Is there really time to add ‘HR expert’ to that list of skills? It’s therefore so important to streamline the hiring process as much as possible and ensure that getting the right people on-board at this early stage of the business is as smooth and pain free a process as possible.

There are HR software providers out there geared specifically towards start-ups, focused on areas you might not have thought of such as employee law. Jonathan Richards, managing director of UK-based HR systems provider breatheHR says: “Implementing HR software into a small business is a great way of demonstrating to your staff that you take people management seriously.

For example, performance management features makes it easy to share company goals with your team and then link their objectives to their goals.  This enforces a sense that every single member of your team is critical to meeting those goals. It’s why HR software is key to getting a small business off the ground.”

Growing pains

It’s the same story for many successful start-ups. An initial flurry of interest means that growth and development comes quicker than expected or indeed planned, so suddenly the need to employ more people to deal with that demand becomes ever greater.

The people that work for you most likely won’t want to work the 16 hour days you’re having to in the early stages of a new business; they’ll want to take holidays, have sick days, need training etc. If you’ve got no real knowledge or experience about handling HR issues then how are you going to cope on your own?

Streamlining the process

This is where HR software can help. Keeping a record of all human resources needs on one centralised platform that employees can interact with and update themselves will prove to be a massive weight off the new entrepreneur’s shoulders. It sounds like a tedious aside to the running of the business, however many providers are blazing a trail of innovation to bring life and passion to this part of running a business.

Allocate each member of your team their own profile on the software so that they can log in and book time off themselves, approved by you, rather than taking time out of your day to day activities to deal with it manually. Employees are alerted of your decision instantly and can even add the time off directly to theirs and your email calendars. Simple!

What’s more, you can set the permitted time off for any given period, meaning that everyone has to play by the rules.

In a similar fashion, time off through sickness can be logged centrally against each employee and used to create reports when those appraisals come around.

Most HR software providers also allow you to assign training requirements to each employee on the system, meaning that you know who’s learning what skills and when; very important when it comes to assigning the rapidly expanding portfolio of tasks to your people and knowing that they can do the job well. And that’s the key to any successful business!