May 29, 2013

Big, complex HR software for small businesses. WTF?

As of September of 2012, small businesses made up 99.7% of employers in the United States. Ninety-nine. Point. Seven. Percent. How crazy is that?

Even crazier is how many HR management software tools there are for all those millions of small companies. There are like, well, maybe 6.

Is bigger better if you’re small?

Now, you may google HR management software and find a lot more than six. HRIS and HRMS solutions are abundant to be sure. But, ya know what? They’re just not that consumable for small companies. Most tools have set up fees, take weeks to configure, and are pricey. What small company has tens of thousands of dollars laying around and a dedicated staff to configure an HR software system? Not any of the ones I’ve spoken to.

Of the remaining hr software solutions which are positioned for small businesses, they’re laden with complex features and focused almost entirely on the employer’s experience, rather than creating a mutual and, dare I say, enjoyable experience for employees. Even aside from their complexity and lack of empathetic UI, they’re  still difficult and time consuming to get up and running. I can’t fathom how a software company can feel honest charging a customer to set up a new instance of a web application. It’s not 1997.

Complexity isn’t what small companies need

When a small company is thriving and its founders recognize the need to do a better job managing their growing staff, where are they turning? To the only option: complexity. When I had the same problem a year and a half ago, the options were grim. Thus, the idea of Kin was born.

Running a small, growing business is difficult. Doing a good job at a few key aspects of managing a team shouldn’t be. I don’t understand why all these software companies can’t do what’s right for small business employers and, more importantly, employees by offering a simple, coherent web application which helps employers do a better job at the simple stuff.

I’m really excited about the impact Kin will have on small companies. Our core principles of fewer but better features presented in a simple, coherent UI means thousands of small companies will finally have an HR management tool built for them, their price point, and their needs.

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