The Lack of Everything
Running a small-to-medium business is one of the toughest jobs in the universe. It is a humongous challenge which can have spectacular returns if everything goes the right way, but unfortunately, things rarely go the right way. Due to the requirements of running an SMB, the stuff that is considered non-essential, such as HR, often gets neglected.
The first reason for this is the lack of time and money. SMB owners have seemingly more important things to take care of on a daily basis and they often feel like there are not enough hours in the day to ensure their employees are happy and productive. When they have to hire new people, they rush into it because they have no time to go through a comprehensive hiring procedure. They might consider hiring someone to do their HR for them, but they soon discover this is an expense they have no money for.
In addition to this, the lack of know-how can also be an issue. Namely, most SMB owners simply do not have the knowledge or the experience to handle their HR needs as well as professionals. It is the same case as with their IT needs or anything else that is too technical. The fact that SMB owners rarely have the time to brush upon their HR skills only makes things worse.
The Proliferation of HR Software
The interesting thing is that HR software has been around since the day the computers started finding their way into offices. Maybe the term HR software is giving too much credit to these programs. A better choice of word would be HR tools. When you think about it, one of the first applications of the early spreadsheet programs such as Lotus 1-2-3 or Microsoft Excel was to better organize employees working for a certain company.
As technology advanced, so did various solutions that were aimed at helping companies improve the way they do their HR. However, it wasn't until the internet became as widespread as it is these days that we have seen the real revolution in the way companies do their HR, including the small-to-medium businesses.
How Internet Changes Things
One of the most important traits of the internet that is very rarely talked about is how it makes previously expensive things extremely cheap. To illustrate this, we will take a quintessentially HR issue – discovering and engaging talent.
Before internet, a local medium-sized business was limited to the nearby area when it came to finding job candidates that would best fill a position within their organization. Perhaps they were able to reach out to their remote partners or put an ad in a nationally-distributed publication. Even if they managed to do it, it cost them serious money.
These days, any company can post a job ad on any of the online job markets that have people from all over the world checking them regularly. This makes it perfectly viable for a local medium-sized company to bag the perfect talent who lives thousands of miles away.
The advancements in internet, and other technologies as well, also enables SMBs to choose between more HR software options than ever before. No big software company has any monopoly on the SMB market. Smaller developers of HR software who would have found it impossible to compete with their products before can find their way to small companies who will be the perfect consumers of their product or service.
Finally, it is very important to point out the importance of software as a service (SaaS) phenomenon where small-to-medium businesses can save money on their HR software by subscribing to a service for a price that is only a fraction of what it would have been if they had to purchase software.
The gap is closing between the large corporations and SMB owners who are finally reaping the benefits of using HR software that they can actually afford. It is safe to say that things are only going to get better for SMBs in the future.
And this is a great thing.
Updated on 14. February 2019
Home Based Business Infonet