Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the UK & Ireland feel that HR requirements are overwhelming vital resources, according to a survey commissioned by Birmingham-based HR tech company HR Duo.
In its survey of over 300 SMEs it was found that almost two-thirds (64%) say that trying to keep on top of all elements of HR in their business is extremely challenging. But despite the difficulties in the current business environment, just 10% say their HR function is likely to decrease in the next 12 months, with 45% predicting an increase. This is leading to a perfect storm, where HR requirements are continually increasing while a majority of SMEs feel that they are already overextended.
The survey identified that the lack of suitable HR technology for SMEs is central to their struggle to manage the HR workload. Three quarters (74%) feel that automation of manual tasks would be of major benefit to their business, with 66% saying that there are lots of paper processes in need of digitisation.
Yet roughly the same amount (67%) feel that addressing HR challenges is very different in SMEs compared to large organisations, meaning that existing options don’t address their needs. Indeed a majority (60%) of SMEs feel that HR tech platforms generally are geared towards the needs of larger companies, and adapting these to the needs of SME would be too onerous, with 70% believing they need a lot of expertise to set up and use effectively.
The result is time and resources wasted by SMEs in conducting routine HR tasks, which would be better utilised running and growing the business.
Jerome Forde, Founder and CEO of HR Duo, commented, “SMEs are the driving force of the UK economy, employing over 16 million people – or three-fifths of the total workforce – and generating half of the turnover in the private sector. But so much time and resources are being wasted on outdated manual tasks, meaning less opportunity to grow the business and hire new people.”
Unsurprisingly, two-thirds (64%) of SMEs said that increased productivity through better use of automation and tech is a priority for them over the next 12 months. Recent entrants to the market are making this more of a possibility for SMEs and challenging incumbent brands that prioritise larger organisations.
Jerome continued, “From speaking to SMEs around the country, it is clear that here is a huge need for a simple but innovative software solution that works for them straight out of the box – time is critical for them and they need a service tailored to their needs. With this in mind we developed HR Duo, a cloud-based platform that automates 80% of routine HR tasks, with the remaining 20% serviced by an expert team to help with more complex issues. unlocking capacity that can be better used in their business.”
HR Duo’s easy to use, low cost, and ‘always on’ proprietary software make it ideal for its target market of SMEs with 50-1,000 employees, acting as a bolt-on support to HR personnel, or indeed as a HR back-up for companies without a dedicated HR department. With subscriptions starting from as little as £10 per employee per month, the service can be scaled up or down as the business requires, with no lengthy, onerous contracts.
While HR tech solutions tailored to SMEs are now finally available, this does not mean they intent to reduce or eliminate HR capabilities. Indeed, feedback received during the survey revealed that SMEs don’t want a simple ‘set and forget’ solution – instead, there is a strong desire for a system to build institutional knowledge, with 85% wanting a HR platform that adds to their knowledge base. What SMEs desire is not a silver bullet, but a long-term partner in helping with their HR needs, freeing them up to build and scale their businesses into the future.