7 HR Tools and Resources for Small Business Owners

By Annabelle Smyth

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Are you missing out on valuable tools and resources? 

If you are, this article should help bring you up to speed so that you can save time and resources that you can redirect toward new growth. The workplace has changed a great deal in the last few years and business owners can’t afford to neglect their most valuable resource -- their employees.

Small businesses have unique human resource needs for their own small-scale situation. Here are seven useful HR tools and resources for seven small business scenarios.

1) For Hiring Good Talent

As a small business, your employees are one of your greatest assets. Hiring the best and the brightest to help grow your business and perpetuate your company’s values should be a priority. Start off on the right foot by being specific in your job descriptions. Then, be clear about your expectations so your candidates will have the best chance of meeting them.

Tool: An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a simple way to track, share, and evaluate applicant information.

Resource: The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission offers extensive information to employers regarding obtaining background checks for potential new hires. Eliminate possible discriminatory actions by following all guidelines in your request for and use of background information.

2) For Easing Employee Evaluations

Regularly scheduled evaluations are an important way to document employee performance and determine upward changes in titles and compensation or decide when it’s time to let an employee go.

Tool: Using Performance Management Software will decrease the time it takes to submit and assess evaluations. It will also increase the amount of valuable feedback and performance measurements.

Resource: If an evaluation shows that it is time to terminate an employee, the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) will help you through the process legally and strategically.

3) For Determining Fair Compensation

One of the trickiest parts of Human Resources can be determining how to pay your employees a fair compensation. Improper pay practices can trigger violations and accompanying fines, which can be costly.

Tool: Payroll Software Solutions will keep track of compensation, taxes, bonus amounts, reimbursements, hours worked, and requested time off.  

Resource: An Employer’s Guide to Equal Pay (https://www.dol.gov/sites/default/files/documents/featured/equalpay/equalpay-employer.pdf) from the U.S. Department of Labour explains the law and how you can review your own pay practices to ensure you are in complete compliance.

4) For Offering Ongoing Education and Training

If your employees aren’t fully trained for their first day of work and well beyond, your small business may be wasting a substantial amount of money as well as losing business opportunities.

Tool: Employee Onboarding Software can help new hires assimilate quickly and be better prepared with everything they need to know for their new job.  

Resource: The Society for Human Resource Management has an entire section devoted to Learning & Career which offers seminars, webcasts, virtual events, and certification prep geared specifically for your HR team.

5) For Writing a Useful Employee Handbook

An employee handbook is a must as it serves two purposes: 1) Communicating to your employees your expectations of them; 2) Protecting your business if a dispute arises with one of your employees.

Tool: HR Reporting Software can make it easy for you to create detailed reports on and analyze the results of almost any data in the system. For example, if an employee disputes disciplinary action, you’ll have the means to show a trend of past violations of company policy.

Resource: For guidance on writing your small business’ employee handbook, refer to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) who instructs on writing about every topic from dress codes and attendance to employment classification and insubordination.

6) For Keeping Current with Laws and Regulations

The federal, state, and local government each have their own set of laws, regulations, and reporting requirements. It is critical to keep abreast of them all in order to keep your business license.

Tool: Employee Database Software can be customized to efficiently track compliance information.

Resource: For a free and confidential safety and occupational health on-site consultation for your small businesses, contact the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

7) For Keeping Data Secure

You have a responsibility to your employees to keep their information safe from data breach, computer viruses, and identity theft. Also important is backing up your hard drives so information doesn’t get lost.

Tool: Human Resource Information Systems are used to store and protect your employees’ personal and confidential information, taking extra precautions to provide enterprise-level security.

Resource: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has free data security resources for businesses of any size.

To summarize, by using the following tools, your HR reps will have everything they need to navigate the complexities of managing your employees:

  • Applicant Tracking System (ATS)
  • Performance Management Software
  • Payroll Software Solutions
  • Employee Onboarding Software
  • HR Reporting Software
  • Employee Database Software
  • Human Resource Information Systems

For even more convenience and value, utilize an online HR System that includes all of these tools in one easy-to-use software suite.


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