HR Vendors Are Discovering Small Businesses

Ten years ago when I spoke to HR technology vendors, they all said they were hoping to reach the CHRO of a Fortune 500 company.  That’s all very well, but I was a bit concerned that every single vendor was going after the same 500 people.

Since then we’ve seen an explosion of companies targeting the mid-market and now, I’m pleased to see some vendors targeting even very small companies.  For example, Know Your Company is an employee feedback solution that targets companies with just 25-75 people.

Of course, there are many vendors who target larger companies, but are suitable for smaller companies as well. One I happen to be familiar with, CoachingOurselves (I write training modules for them) targets large companies, but could easily work in the less than 100 employee range.

Still, if I were a small business owner I’d be particularly interested in solutions where I was the target market, and it looks like such owners will find more and more such solutions available.

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There are three questions every small business should ask before investing in HR technology. Find out what they are in Is Your Small Business Ready For HR Tech?

What is interesting?

  • Apparently producing and marketing apps is easy enough that it now is possible to go after the very small business market; a market typically thought to be too poor and too dispersed to be worth pursuing.

What is really important?

  • Companies with less than 100 people may not have an HR manager at all. Vendors may be able to build enough smarts into software that even small companies will have the equivalent of a team of highly educated HR pros on staff. Since most companies are small, this extra smarts could have a positive impact on the whole economy.

Note to my readers: I’m always interested in innovative firms that signal where HR is heading. I love these firms that are striving to make a difference, but many are startups and a mention does not necessarily mean they’ll be right for you

David Creelman, CEO of Creelman Research, is a globally recognized thinker on people analytics and talent management. Some of his more interesting projects included:

  • Conducted workshops around the world on the practical aspects of people analytics
  • Took business leaders from Japan’s Recruit Co. on a tour of US tech companies (Recruit eventually bought for $1 billion)
  • Studied the relationship between Boards and HR (won Walker Award)
  • Spoke at the World Bank in Paris on HR reporting
  • Co-authored Lead the Work: Navigating a world beyond employment with John Boudreau and Ravin Jesuthasan. The book was endorsed by the CHROs of IBM, LinkedIn and Starbucks.
  • Worked with Dr. Wanda Wallace on “Leading when you are not the expert” which topped the “Most Popular List” on the Harvard Business Review’s blog.
  • Worked with Dr. Henry Mintzberg on peer coaching, David’s learning modules are among the most popular topics.

Currently David is helping organizations to get on-track with people analytics.

This work led to him being made a Fellow for the Centre of Evidence-based Management (Netherlands) for his contributions to the field.



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