How HR Tech can Help Startups Grow


HR technology is kind of a big deal. It aids HR functions across the board, from recruiting and hiring to talent management. It’s a burgeoning field, and it’s available for you. But you might wonder what purpose HR tech serves for a startup. While there are many answers to that question, the main one is that HR tech can free up time and resources for you to spend on the growth and development of your business.

“HR tech is often overlooked, but it can make a huge difference in employee experience and productivity, especially for startups,” says Adam Godson, chief technology and product innovation officer at Cielo Talent. “What was once a back-office function that people wanted as little as possible to do with is now an exciting space — and companies of all sizes are seeing big gains from it.”

Here are three ways you can leverage HR technology to make the most of your startup’s growth.

HR Tech Relieves Administrative Burdens

Administrative tasks can be a startup’s kryptonite. These things have to get done, but they sap your strength. Luckily, many of these tasks — such as payroll, benefits and recruiting — can be automated to some extent. “Employing technology to help operate HR allows founders and young teams to focus on the work that’s really important to them, the work that’s going to make them special,” Godson says.

Also, consider the employee experience. Many of your employees may have come from bigger organizations where they were used to accessing HR elements online. Don’t turn them off with a process that requires them to ask you to sort through a spreadsheet to check their past pay stubs. “Employees are used to being able to change their benefits easily or view their pay stubs online,” Godson says. “You have to be sure that you’re protecting that experience and often automating is the key to that.”

Startups Have More Flexibility

Experimenting with tech is actually ideal when you’re in the early days of business. Why? Because startups and small companies can play around with different software options. Large companies often use older, clunky systems, but startups can be more flexible. “Small companies have the opportunity to use lighter systems,” Godson says. “These systems don’t necessarily have all the enterprise functionality and they aren’t as complex, but they often have much better interfaces and provide a much better user experience.”

As long as the tech meets your needs, he says, it doesn’t have to be over-the-top. When shopping around, a streamlined user interface should be a top priority. “You don’t want to end up with 10 tools that do 10 different things,” Godson says. “Ideally you want one tool that can do 10 things.”

Fit the Tech to the Process, Not the Other Way Around

Keep in mind that HR tech is here to support you, so don’t let it push you around. You don’t have to define processes based on the tech’s capability — and you shouldn’t. “When integrating HR technology, you should approach it from a process-first perspective,” Godson says. “If there’s a process you want to execute, you should make the tech fit and configure to that.”

The best way to do this is through design. “You should outline the process you want to achieve,” Godson says. “Having a road map is key to thinking through the processes you want to solve and solving for them one by one.” You may not get perfect results the first time, but putting your process needs first will give you more consistent success than trying to change your needs to fit the technology.

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