For large organisations with the resources to match, having an HR department to deal with the day-to-day business of managing the people in the company to get the best out of their capabilities is par for the course. However, for small or medium-sized enterprises, finding the money to invest in dedicated HR support can be nigh-on impossible.

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the company has to go without any kind of personnel management support. As a growing number of software and online services spring up to allow proactive management of a range of employee issues, companies are increasingly turning to software to stand in the stead of HR professionals.

What can be done?

Software and online solutions are now available for a range of different HR processes that can turn what would otherwise be a complex and time-consuming set of organisational administrative tasks into a streamlined way of managing people in the company. Managing timekeeping, sickness absence, recruitment and performance management can all now be done electronically at the touch of a button.

Depending on the size of the company and the type of issues that seem to be presenting the greatest challenge, there are plenty of tools to choose from. The great news is that some of them are even free to use.

Recruitment and selection

At the start of any employee’s relationship with a company is interviewing them and hiring them. While in the past advertising, selecting and appointing employees has been a time-consuming and complex process, with online talent management applications this can be greatly simplified.

One tool that’s growing in popularity is Smart Recruit Online. This one-stop electronic platform allows small businesses to advertise their positions online, search through candidates that have suitable skills and experience and even shifts CVs and application forms for shortlisting, sorting them in the likely order of suitability. This can save a huge amount of time and money in a hard-pressed company.


Timekeeping has moved on a bit since then.

As a company expands and takes on additional employees, managing the attendance and timekeeping of those staff members can become increasingly complex. Add to that any number of complicating factors such as variable service demand or multiple shift patterns and the growth in staffing numbers can lead to a real headache.

Thankfully, there are affordable attendance programmes that allow small or medium-sized businesses to monitor staff attendance and plan for changing demands. Online services such as ProTime allow the recording of attendance, paid and unpaid leave, the use of absence codes to analyse absences and a range of other tools that help businesses plan their workforce.

Performance Management

Make sure your employees aren’t sleeping on the job.

As the workforce expands, it’s important to make sure that all members of the team are doing the job to the best of their ability. Performance management of individuals within the team allows for the setting of goals and planning of training and development to ensure that everyone is on target.

This is one area where there is a goldmine of online tools that can be used by small and medium-sized businesses. Appraisal forms, objective-setting templates, self-testing questionnaires, policies and procedures are all available with just a quick search and all for free. Then, once training needs have been identified there’s a whole host of basic training from IT skills to health and safety available online for nothing to help get the team up to speed.


Having an HR professional in the organisation is a massive boon but not one that all companies can afford. Fortunately for organisations without a Personnel Manager or department, there are many software or online tools available to help small businesses manage their teams effectively.

If you’d like to learn more about HR Technology Tools and how they can help your business please get in touch.

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