Businesses have increasingly looked outside their organizations to help handle many of their human resources functions. Small and mid-sized businesses especially find that using an HR provider can help streamline processes, save time and money, and provide information on employment-related laws and regulations.
It's important to review your options and find an HR solutions provider that can meet your company's needs, and scale with your business as it grows. Here are four key features to look for:
1. Professional support
HR teams have many responsibilities, and often it can seem that there isn’t enough time or resources to complete all your HR initiatives. Consider expanding your HR team by using a provider that offers access to highly trained HR professionals to assist at various levels of service. They can get to know your business and share their specialized knowledge — whether it’s a quick answer about a job description or new regulation, or if you need more in-information on creating an HR program for the company.
Employee inquiries regarding payroll, time-off requests, and personal information updates can overburden HR teams. Both time and paperwork could be saved if employees handled the bulk of these tasks themselves, without needing HR to get involved. An employee self-service system is an online portal, accessible through internet browser, tablets, smartphones, and desktop apps, that enables employees to perform a variety of HR-related tasks on their own, without needing to file paperwork with — or even contact — HR.
Some HR providers may even offer self-service systems where employees can elect benefits and add dependents, review their performance evaluations, and adjust their 401(k) contributions. You can also get detailed analytics of employees’ use of the portal, with information on the most- and least-used tools (see below).
3. Centralized data administration
You may currently have employee data housed in multiple systems; some files could even be split between hard copy and electronic format. Without one central online database, many processes can become inefficient and costly, and it can be difficult to gain accurate HR insights without data analytics. Today’s leading HR providers offer a single, centrally located online HR management system that makes it easier to share data and communications. Look for an option that lets you generate and maintain reports, including total compensation summaries, census reporting, and more.
4. Compliance expertise
With an increasing amount of new as well as amendments to existing employment-related laws and regulations – the Fair Labor Standards Act, workers’ compensation insurance, OSHA guidelines, state unemployment insurance, COBRA, and more – it’s in your business’s best interest to keep up to date. Keep in mind that ignorance of the law is no protection to you as an employer. Failure to adhere to applicable laws could result in heavy penalties and fines.
Look for an HR provider that can proactively monitor employment laws and regulations to help you stay aware of changes that could affect your business, whether you want to minimize your risk of penalties, or are looking to automate human resources compliance tasks.
You may have many things that you’re looking for in an HR provider, but these critical features can serve as a starting point as you begin to compare your options. The right provider can ultimately help with your team’s growing number of HR administration tasks so that you can focus more time on helping move the business forward.