Categorized | Human Resources

Back Office 5.9. Human Resources

Right now, you’re contemplating a shoestring venture that may just be a one-person virtual business. At some point, if your venture is successful, you will bring employees on board. It may be as simple as a general office gofer to help you with all the administrative tasks you cannot outsource. It may be as complex as a fully functioning organization with dozens of employees scattered about several departments.

Whatever the case, whether you have one employee or one thousand, you require human resources services. This broad category includes finding and recruiting employees, interviewing prospects, hiring, benefits, vacation, managing employee information, respecting laws protecting workers, and developing and training your employees to be of greater value to your enterprise. Human resources is, in short, the business of acquiring, retaining, and managing employees.

At first, you will just have to struggle with all these issues yourself. You’ll place an ad on Craig’s List (or Monster if you have the resources), get a ton of emailed responses, sift through them all weekend long, interview the best candidates, and probably end up hiring the person you feel best fits your needs. Then you’ll have to manage all the things that come with an employee: benefits, vacation, performance appraisals, and so on. So it behooves you to sit down and really familiarize yourself with the discipline of human resources―to that end, we begin our guide to outsourcing human resources with two highly informative Web sites. Because even if you end up outsourcing your human resources department―a very highly likely proposition―you still need to know what that outsource provider is up to. They are, after all, managing your employees.

As you grow your business, you will find that your virtual office offers several Internet-based solutions to outsourcing your human resources functions. We have included companies that specifically target small businesses or start-ups.

5.9.1. H-R Guide

As a comprehensive set of articles covering every aspect of human resources, H-R Guide is the place to start when you start taking on employees. In the first stages of your business, you are either going to be your own human resources department or you are going to outsource it. Either way, you cannot escape having to familiarize yourself with all the basic principles of human resources to get the most bang for your employee buck.

H-R Guide started in January 1999 and has grown to contain hundreds of pages of information and tutorials related to Human Resources along with a rich set of links to online resources, applications, and guides to human resources topics. Articles include

  • Overview of selection and staffing
  • Overview of staffing methods
  • Interviewing
  • Biographical inventory
  • Background selection
  • Recruiters
  • Job analysis
  • Performance appraisal
  • Benefits
  • Training and development
  • Equal opportunity laws and practices
  • Education programs

5.9.2. HR.Com specifically targets HR professionals and provides knowledge and resources in the field. They are a wonderful source for the best HR practices that the largest companies use. Particularly useful is the Vendor Consultant director―while many of these consultants target their practices to large corporations, you will find many useful consultant resources for particular human resources problems you may be facing.

5.9.3. ADP

ADP is the largest and most respected human resources and payroll outsource provider in the world; it owns most of the market for human resources/payroll outsourcing in North America and is a significant presence in Europe and Asia.

It enjoys such a large market share largely because it has perfected services for small businesses, offering high-quality, high-service solutions at reasonable prices (see for services specific to businesses with one to forty-nine employees).

ADP is more than anything else a payroll service and so more properly belongs in section 4.8. We consider ADP to be the payroll service of choice for any small business, but its services go far beyond payroll, thus making it a full-service outsource provider in human resources:

  • Payroll management
  • Tax compliance
  • Time and labor management
  • Workers compensation
  • Employee screening and hiring
  • Benefits

5.9.4. Taleo

Taleo is an eRecruiting solution, but does not provide HR services beyond helping you screen and select employees. Taleo serves over 350 organizations and 500,000 registered users working with 29 million candidates in one hundred countries. On Taleo, you can build a custom career site and manage applicants, resumes, and requisitions; you can also add custom fields, layouts, and workflows to match your processes. Total cost is an annual subscription that starts at $99/month per user. Taleo also offers HR systems consulting and employee training.

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