In today’s climate, planning ahead is critical to long-term success.  The business landscape is evolving more rapidly than ever, and it may seem as though we’re all reacting to change rather than proactively managing.  Utilizing nimble HR marketplace solutions help small business owners prepare for the unknown and work more effectively by leveraging smart, contextual tools that meet immediate needs and long-term goals.

Every small business should consider what it needs from an HR perspective to serve short and long-term goals. COVID-19 won’t be with us forever, but this can be a moment in time when smaller companies make lasting changes that yield positive results, all while making it easier to manage and automate HR functions with solutions that perfectly suite a company’s distinct needs.

For small businesses, every person on the team is critical to the success of the company—this is especially true as the company grows.  Instead of a one-size-fits-all HR platform, discover what the team wants, and which services they feel are needed to serve the clientele.  HR plays a vital role in the day-to-day lives of all employees; marketplace platforms allow for broader customization and better management of staff once a company discovers suitable solutions for its unique needs.

Examine the HR workflow and how it can be improved

Shutdowns across the globe affect most businesses, be it supply chain woes or staffing issues as workers have had to contend with working from home.  Does staff have access to a platform that enables them to examine their benefits?  With a dispersed team, an HR platform that allows employees to access their own employee data like time off, 401K information, and benefits can be important when the opportunity to discuss those things with someone in a face-to-face setting is unavailable.

If the business is still hiring, how do existing products or services for serving customers or clients fit into the current workflow?  When tooling can be streamlined, or any parts of the process (like electronically signing documents) automated, now is an excellent time for small businesses to find onboarding or recruiting tooling that works best—and consider a different solution when things normalize.

Flexibility matters, and so does a company’s expenditure on services.  A monolith HR service may offer more than you need and cost more than businesses should be spending, and platforms that encourage granular customization can serve staff better and save the company money.

Pay and financial wellness matter

Finances are among the first things companies and staff worry about in a downturn, so this is another opportunity to examine how a robust HR marketplace may better suit the company’s overall needs.

Remote team members may still need to track hours via a secure, remote time management portal.  Ensuring an HR platform has such functionality may ease tensions of hourly employees working from home.  Similarly, tenured staff might have concerns about 401k or other investments.  Access to a real-time digital platform that provides a holistic view of their investment portfolio can help them manage it on their own.

Providing staff with more immediate access to pay may also be more important than we know in these times.  Many were caught off-guard by the change in the business and employment climate, and accessing their pay on-demand could be an important benefit to relieve financial stress while increasing engagement and job satisfaction.

Scheduling, management, and communication

HR platforms can do far more than handle pay schedules or health benefits, and companies of all sizes should take advantage.  If there’s a need for compliance, performance evaluations, or continuing education, smaller companies can find peace of mind with a platform that handles those time-consuming tasks.  Contactless self-service methods allow businesses to try services without having to interact with a salesperson, and can assist small teams with little free time find appropriate solutions much faster.

Remote teams communicating on platforms like Slack, or Teams, may desire a more straightforward experience for getting the answers they need.  Great HR marketplaces offer quick and painless ways for employees to use those platforms to ask questions regarding pay or benefits.  Employees also thrive on communication and evaluations. These typically one-on-one meetings may be better served with a digital-first approach for creating a reliable inter-company feedback loop.

Effective HR platforms handle much of the HCM needs small businesses have and offer the option to trial a service without committing to a long-term purchase.  Discovering a nimble platform which provides granular control over your HR-related services is key to success.  In fact, self-purchasing and implementation is often considered a priority to small businesses, as it allows them to navigate their own unique processes.

Small businesses are wise to take this moment in time to examine their HR platform and identify how new tools may assist in automating or streamlining HR functions.  Experimenting with new solutions, platforms, and services that help a company discover the flexible architecture of products that work best for the business and its unique needs is not only desirable, it may be necessary.

Craig Cohen is the DVP and general manager of ADP Marketplace, a digital HR storefront offering a growing ecosystem of HR apps. Under Craig’s leadership, thousands of HR professionals have turned to ADP Marketplace to help meet their top HR challenges and the storefront’s transactions have grown over 150% since July 2018. His team-driven approach and passion for digital sales innovation have helped him drive company successes in his 18+ years at ADP®. Craig is based in San Diego, and when he’s not working, he loves to golf, spend time at the beach and go camping with his daughters.

SaaS program stock photo by Panchenko Vladimir/Shutterstock