5 Hiring Tips for SMEs in Singapore

hiring-tips-for-SMEs-payrollhero

Why Take Your Time Before Hiring

Since small businesses share a lot of work among fewer people, the stakes are higher. Business owners need to take their time and figure out who they are looking for before hiring.

Not only, does it risk handing responsibility too someone who is not ready for it, it could become a financial burden as well. Even without severance pay or lawsuits, firing someone is an expense. You would much rather spend that time and money creating a thorough and fool-proof recruiting process.

If you’re an SME in Singapore, we have a 5 actionable tips for you:

1. Make a List of Tasks That Need to be Done

write-a-list-hiring-payrollhero

As a business owner, you might be taking up more than your share of work to keep things moving forward. It is a good idea to write down the tasks that fall by the wayside because you are focusing on the next most important thing. Go through the list and figure out if tasks can be pooled together to make a new job position. This also makes it easier to write an accurate job description while posting your ad on job boards.

2. Sell the Uniqueness of Your Business 

Big companies have a strong brand name to sell the position. This makes it easier for them to attract talent. They can offer higher pay and better benefits than a small company could.

SMEs in Singapore will naturally find it harder to create attractive job positions with that kind of competition which is why you have to showcase what makes you special.

Business owners need to find a new angle to attract top talent. This could be in the form of perks like working from home, flexible schedules and more autonomy. Free lunches and a Kindle book monthly stipend are simple perks that can attract millennial employees.

These are just a few of many ideas that can make working at a small company look attractive.

unicorn-unique-business-payrollhero

– What makes you unique — like a unicorn!

Remember, a small business can make decisions faster, is more agile and less bound by rules and regulations. These are attributes that business owners should rally behind in order to attract talent.

Find your ‘unicorn’ quality and sell it to job applicants!

3. Training

An important way to ensure that your new hires stay in the company is to spend time and money on training them. Either a written manual or a program over a few days where the new hires interact with people in the company will help the new hire understand the way things work and align expectations with reality.

meeting-training-payrollhero

It would be best if this were done before solidifying the position. The mantra “Hire slow, fire fast” may be useful for small business.

4. Learn from your Competition

competitor-payrollhero

Your competitors are in the same boat as you. Try and learn from the way they sell the same position your are hiring for. Fresh ideas are always welcome, even from your competitors. Don’t forget that this includes multiple platforms: newspapers, online job boards, LinkedIn, everything.

You should be on top of all sources of media to learn from other companies on how they are hiring top talent.

5. Don’t Stop Searching for New Hires

handshake-payrollhero-hiring

Always stay on the lookout, even if you are not actively looking to fill a position. It’s always great to hire people who show spectacular skills or drive to work. You will be able to find work for them or at least keep their resumes with you so that you can pull them out later, when you really need to fill a position. Staying on the lookout also keeps you updated on what the hiring scene looks like at any point of time.

The most important thing to remember for SMEs trying to hire talent is that the cost of hiring and then firing an employee is too high to go through the process multiple times. It makes sense to spend time, develop a program and go through the recruiting process deliberately in order to be efficient.

If you want to learn more awesome tips to help your business, feel free to subscribe below. Get fresh tips weekly, straight to your inbox!

What Payroll Period Suits Your Business Best?

employees-getting-paid

Payroll periods are generally categorized into 4 types:

  1. Monthly: Payroll is generated and usually paid out on a monthly basis. It occurs 12 times a year
  2. Semi-monthly: Payroll is generated twice a month and paid out either on the 1st and 15th of the month, or 15th and 30th of the month. It occurs 24 times a month.
  3. Bi-weekly: Generated and paid out every two weeks, bi-weekly payroll sounds a lot like semi-monthly but runs 26 times a year. We’ll go through the differences further into the post.
  4. Weekly: Payroll is generated and paid out once a week, leading to 52 cycles a year.

Type of Business

Why are there so many different payroll periods? Depending on the type of business, employees and employers find it easier to keep tabs on over time, social security contributions and erratic work schedules if the payroll period is shorter than the usual one month period.

Generally, as a business owner or a payroll head at your business, you generate reports monthly so it seems practical to generate payroll on a monthly basis. However, this may not be suitable to employees, especially in the construction, F&B or retail business where work is valued on an hourly basis.

Type of Employees

Frequency of payroll depends on the type of employees in your business. Usually, full time employees are open to monthly salaries because they have a stable income.

However, part time workers with erratic schedules prefer a shorter pay period so they can manage their finances better. Since hourly workers are most prevalent in industries like F&B, retail and BPOs, markets that we work with very closely, we know that employees favour biweekly or even weekly pay in order to stabilize their finances.

For example, if an employee works 50 hours one week and 10 the next, she might want to be paid weekly in order to cushion the next week’s dip in work.

Costs of Generating Payroll

As a business owner, you also need to track how much it costs to pay all your employees, Many payroll vendors charge on the frequency of payroll generation, in which case, monthly payroll makes sense. But, if the costs are not too high, it may be prudent to generate payroll more often.

It is easier to calculate over time over a shorter pay period. You are less likely to make mistakes. Another cost that is important to look into is the opportunity cost of calculating social security deductions more frequently.

Usually, contributions are calculated monthly, so it is definitely a hassle breaking it down to a semi-monthly, bi-weekly or weekly basis. The most error-prone would be bi-weekly, with 26 weeks to account for where payroll may be generated twice or even thrice a month.

Finally, the frequency of payroll generation depends on a set of factors: the share of employees working part time versus full time, the costs of generating payroll and the kind of business that you own.

Weighing the costs and benefits and communicating with employees on what suits them best are the first steps to take before settling on a pay period. Do let us know what kind of pay period has worked best for your business!

4 Tips on Financial Practices for Business Owners

Financial-Practices-PayrollHero

As a new business owner, it can be tough to figure out what you need to prioritize to generate revenue and profits. If you are a chef owning a restaurant for the first time, and with no business experience, this can be a lot harder.

Luckily, we have some tips for you to refer to when it comes to dealing with finances. So let’s dig in!

1. Product costing

This is essential because you cannot run a business in a sustainable manner without knowing what your products cost. You need a break down of what each product is made up of and how much it costs to get it from your suppliers. This includes material, labour and overheads.

With the information about costs, you need to find your breakeven point: where revenue covers all costs (Revenue – Costs = 0). This is the minimum revenue you need to run the business.

2. Maintain a record of expenses

This is a good practice that is easier said than done. All too often, we start the year enthusiastically, taking not of expenses and filing them meticulously to find ourselves a month later struggling to keep up with our expense records.

It is easier with some help. Apps like Expensify or Mint help you keep track of your accounts, expenses and income. If you are a small business owner, these apps are a good place to start.

Of course, as you grow bigger, you will have to move to accounting software that can keep up with the growth of your business.

3. Understand your seasonal cashflows

This is imperative if you own a retail store or a restaurant. It ties back to points one and two. During the year, your sales will not be static. It will depend on factors like when people get their wages or special festivals and holidays. Sales could change on a monthly, or quarterly basis.

Most seasonal changes are calculated quarterly. This is important to monitor because you will have to manage inventory accordingly. It also helps in setting prices based on expected demand.

4. Inventory management

Like we mentioned in the previous point, seasonality affects inventory. A small business owner should keep close track of inventory in relation to seasonality because inventory costs can run up to exorbitant amounts despite the fact that it can be managed.

TradeGecko is an app that can help you with that. The cool thing about this app is that it gives you real time data on your phone. You can access your inventory data from anywhere in the world with a few clicks.

Whether you are in Singapore, the Philippines or anywhere in the world, these tips are important to know as a business owner. Keep in mind that delegating traditional business practices to apps is a great idea because it frees up time for you to focus on your core business.

Also, keeping up with technology doesn’t just make you efficient, it prepares you for the inevitable conversion to tech-based apps that all business will have to make at some point.

Time Management Secrets for Busy Business Owners

time-hacks-for-busy-CEOs-PayrollHero

As the owner of a restaurant, retail business or startup, your priority is to move your business forward every single day.

Running your own business is different from working for a company because the line between professional and personal life is blurred. In this case, it is essential that you make the best use of your time and we have a few tips to get you started!

Cut down on meetings

Meetings can often be directionless and unreasonably lengthy. You may find yourself spending an entire day running from one meeting to the next and ending the day having done nothing significant at all. Whether the meetings are with your subordinates, potential clients or investors, it’s worth pressing the pause button, going through the goals for the meeting and deciding whether they warrant a meeting at all.

Meetings with your subordinates might occur too often, with no significant change in the status of their work. Meetings with clients may involve work that can be done on your own time. It’s important to cut these meetings down if most of the time is spent going back and forth on decisions that have already been made.

A good way to do this is to outline the goals of the meeting beforehand and go back to these goals at the end of the meetings and check if they have been met.

Going through emails

Through the day, you’re bound to get emails from friends, family, business partners, advertisers, clients and others. Keeping up with emails is one of the most time consuming tasks of the day. But this can be simplified.

There are a bunch of apps that help you. Gmail has a priority inbox folder that sifts through your mail and categorizes them for you. SaneBox is another app that cleans up your inbox so you focus on communicating with important people instead of missing out on their emails under all that spam.

Whatever you choose, make sure you are on top of it over the first few weeks as you get used to how the app prioritizes your mail.

Another important point on emails is to prioritize your replies. If your reply requires only two minutes, you should do so immediately. It saves time by preventing you to archive emails that really just require two minutes of your time.

If an email requires more time for you to think over your reply, you should move it to a whole new folder (maybe create a Priority Replies folder). This marks down the emails you need to go over again before you choose to reply.

Building a playbook

When you’re doing a task multiple times, you can write down the task step by step in a Google Doc and standardize the process. This makes it easier to delegate the task to someone else so that you can focus on more urgent matters.

Many CEOs and managers recommend creating a playbook because standardizing the task saves time, makes it fool proof and works as a guide for future reference. We do it at PayrollHero too and it helps getting new hires up to speed with how we work through tasks.

Advising your team

Many managers propose engaging with their team on a regular basis to find out what they need. They say that walking through your office and stopping by your employee’s table and asking them questions about their day really builds morale and productivity. Some of the questions you can ask are:

  1. What roadblocks are you facing today?
  2. How can I remove some of the roadblocks for you?
  3. What resources would help you move faster?

All these questions help the employee focus on moving forward by identifying barriers and removing them. By paying attention to your employees’ roadblocks, you can gauge what you can do to help them be more productive.

Altogether, these steps are simple to implement and quick to produce results. You should be able to free up you time to prioritize on core business activities that you can make the biggest impact on.

Hope this helps, and let us know if you have time-saving secrets that you would like to add on!

Biometrics VS Selfies – Which is Best for Your Business?

selfie-biometrics-PayrollHero

Restaurants and retails stores usually generate payroll by multiplying their employees’ hourly rate with the number of hours worked by each employee.

The number of hours worked is measured by a time sheet that employees punch in, a biometric device or (if you’re one of our awesome clients) the PayrollHero app that lets your employees take selfies to clock in and out.

We get a lot of questions about why businesses should change from biometrics to anything else. Some say that the biometrics system is already ideal… that it’s fast and accurate. While all of this might be true, we have a strong argument for why biometrics may not be the best option for your business.

The PayrollHero app – an all in one solution

Biometric devices work as a standalone system. You need to get a whole new software for processing information from the device and integrating it into the software that calculates attendance. Often, you need another system to monitor scheduling, manage leaves and generate payroll.

On the other hand, PayrollHero’s TeamClockMyClock app records all the information you need to know about your employee on the cloud. It is an end-to-end solution that relieves you of the hassle of integrating multiple systems together.

The only device you will ever need is either of the following: iPad, smartphone (Android or iOS), or a computer (PC or Mac). PayrollHero’s apps are compatible with these devices so you are assured to have a streamlined process from start to finish.

PayrollHero-Blog-Ads

Wear and tear

The biometric device is subject to wear and tear. If you have hundreds of employees using a couple of biometric devices, you are more likely to face this issue. However, MyClock or TeamClock are is accessed within an iPad / smartphone (or computer),  which is less likely to undergo the kind of wear and tear that biometric devices are prone to.

Software updates

The PayrollHero app updates from time to time to give the user a better experience and introduce new features (for example, we have just introduced leave management! Check it out). The app is always improving and finding ways to make time and attendance easier for businesses, whereas the biometric device can only go so far in it capabilities.

There are other issues with the biometric device too. Biometric devices lead to manual calculations when there are minor infractions where employees come just a couple of minutes early or late.

We handle this problem by implementing thresholds within which these infractions are excused. This frees up time for your HR manager to do more important things, like finding the best talent for your company and managing employee relations.

Altogether, the biometric device may be faster in recording clock ins, but the time wasted by the HR manager in fixing the inefficiencies in the device is far more.

So if you’re ready to let go of your biometric device and embrace the selfie clock in, contact us at sales@payrollhero.com or visit our website to learn more.

Recap: SheSays Singapore Event

Screen Shot 2016-01-30 at 6.10.20 PMI had the pleasure of sitting on a panel at the latest SheSays Singapore event held at the amazing co-working space, JustCo.

The women’s only event was called – Make It Happen: Your Career – and was standing room only. The event was described as “Whatever stage you are in, job hunting, changing industries, looking for growth opportunities at work or wanting to finally take the plunge into building your own business, you want solutions and you want clarity. If you’re looking for direction, guidance and an answer to – “What do I do next?”, this session is for you!

Screen Shot 2016-01-30 at 6.09.44 PMThere were four panelists including myself. The other three were;

Mina Lee – Former Chief of Staff at Xiaome
Mina Lee was most recently Chief of Staff for Xiaomi Southeast Asia, helping them set up and expand in the region and was Acting GM of Xiaomi Indonesia.

Andrea Edwards, Director of Content Marketing & Training at Novus Media
Andrea is a globally award-winning communications professional with more than 20 years’ experience working all over the world, including 12 years in Asia Pacific.

Stanimira Koleva, Senior Vice President at Software AG
Stanimira, oversees the business of Software AG in the region of Asia Pacific and Japan. She joined Software AG as Senior Vice President in July 2015.

The event was a success, with lots of questions from the room and the moderators about career paths, finding your vision, personal branding, social media, and constant learning. Meera Jane Navaratnam, one of the SheSays organizers in Singapore wrote a great recap of the event.

SheSays hosts events every month. Check out their Facebook page for details of their next one if you are interested in attending.

If you are looking for a new role, we are always hiring. Join us!

12512576_829325120528137_6708558776183321603_n

Why Assuming Payroll Is A Big Mistake

What is assuming payroll? Does your company do it? How much does it cost you?

Assuming Payroll

Assuming payroll is a term we use when a company pays employees in advance of the completed pay period, assuming the employee will make it to work between payment and actual calculation of payroll.

For example, Wayne Enterprises pays Bruce a whole month’s salary on January 25 assuming that Bruce will work the next five days. On January 27, Bruce had an emergency situation which led to him missing work. Since he already had been paid, Wayne Enterprises will have to deduct his salary in the next month, to make up for him missing work.

Why is it done?

Since this is clearly a complex way of paying employees, why is it done? Firstly, it gave companies time to go through the tedious calculations for generating payroll. Secondly, back in the day when Wayne Enterprises handed cheques to its employees, Bruce had to go down to the bank and cash it in. Since all companies paid their employees at the end of the month, employees would spend hours at the bank just to cash in a cheque. Paying them in advance solved the problem. The opportunity cost of deducting an employee’s salary next month was far lower than paying after generating payroll.

Today, in the twenty first century, that argument does not hold anymore. Wayne Enterprises uses GIRO and other electronic payment methods to pay its employees. The opportunity cost of deducting from the next month’s salary is now much higher.

Some companies still stick to the old way of doing payroll. When we dug a little deeper and asked our clients why they did it, they said it was because their board of directors had left the rule as it was made many years ago.

Let’s help fix the problem

Our client success head, Kieran Peppiatt, has seen through a number of companies changing their system of Assuming Payroll to the regular kind:

“Many of our customers have seen cost savings by changing from the assuming payroll method to the regular one. It’s more efficient, easier and more accurate.”

PayrollHero calculates deductions but we always advocate doing payroll the regular way. It eliminates any chance of inaccuracy and makes the payroll process smoother for your HR manager. When you have a high churn rate, it is even more important to adopt the regular method.

Download a one page Assuming Payroll info sheet below:

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 8.42.31 PM

Why You Shouldn’t Assume Payroll – PayrollHero

FREE Payroll Kit for All Employees

payrollhero-ultimate-payroll-guide

If you’re an employee and you’re reading this, then you’re in luck!

The PayrollHero team prepared the Ultimate Payroll Kit that answers all your questions and concerns regarding the following topics:

  • How to Compute 13th Month Pay
  • How to Compute Holiday Pay & Rest Day Pay
  • How to Compute your BIR Taxes
  • How to Compute your Government Deductions (SSS, PAG-IBIG, PhilHealth)
  • How to Compute Night Differential Pay
  • How to Compute Your OT Pay

All these and more for FREE! Click here to download your FREE Payroll Guide in the Philippines.

Aside from providing smooth and efficient HR, Time, Attendance, and Payroll processes to businesses, we also provide a wealth of information for employees regarding matters concerning their payroll.

So if you always found yourself making a Google search on “How to Compute 13th Month Pay” or “How much is my SSS deduction”, then our free PayrollHero Kit will do wonders for you.

payrollhero-download-button

You won’t have to Google about these payroll concerns in the Philippines ever again. Simply get the guide, keep it in a folder (It’s in PDF format), and consult it whenever you want to know something that concerns your payroll.

Not only do you get a more clear and defined answer to your questions; you also won’t have to bug your company HR with trivial questions anymore. You will be well-equipped with all the basic and necessary info about your payroll. Sounds awesome, right?

So download the free PayrollHero Kit now and learn everything you need to know about your payroll today!

payrollhero-download-button

The Future of Work Conference | Singapore

I was asked to speak at The Future of Work Conference in Singapore that Microsoft and Questex put on at the Marriott Hotel the other day. The conference was dedicated to the future of; HR, offices, scheduling, sales, and marketing.

I was asked to speak on the topic of HR and how technology can be an enabler to maximize productivity as well as attract and retain talent. So, I spoke from our experience.

Here is a quick recap:

1. Reasons for Employee Turnover – most reasons employees leave are related to something the company has direct control over.

Screen Shot 2015-11-21 at 6.04.04 PM

2. Adventure Engineering – We talked about PayrollHero’s #AdventureEngineering program and why it came about. Basically, we were looking for ways to compete for talent in a highly competitive worldwide market. Here is the video that we made that explains the program:

3. We chatted about how we work to get feedback from our teams, how we have made some products to help our clients do the same and how transparency helps us build our company culture. Some of the tools we talked about were PayrollHero’s DailyPulse, Xray Insights and tools like 7Geese.

4. Finally, we talked about how our jobs page is laid out on our website. How it is very specific about each role, how the company works, the rhythms we follow as well as a few easter eggs that some applicants find and mention in their cover letters.

After I was joined on stage with a few HR professionals for a panel discussion about HR and the future of work.


 

11204944_10156273943655243_5059367209308172994_n 11140227_10156273943645243_2861131463441778668_n 11248253_10156273943530243_8663731015921121590_n 11062002_10156273943560243_1475013398595700301_n

Improve Your Restaurant Performance with HR Analytics – FREE Webinar from PayrollHero

webinar-screenshot-payrollhero

Whoever said that nothing in this world is free was lying!

Because on December 8, 2015. At exactly 11 AM (UTC +8), Singapore Standard Time, we’ll be hosting an epic webinar that talks about leveraging HR Analytics to improve restaurant performance.

signup-webinar-payrollhero

In this webinar, restaurant owners will learn about the following:

  • Learn how to respond to business in advance using predictive analytics for HR
  • Improving organizational performance
  • Optimizing talent supply chain
  • Benefits of HR Analytics to your restaurant’s sales performance
  • Data-driven decision making

And many more! 

We don’t want to spill too much info, but we’d really love it if you could join our webinar

If you’re a restaurant owner, or an HR director / manager of a restaurant, this is a webinar that you definitely shouldn’t miss. 

We’re going to provide content that you can implement and leverage right after the webinar.

The best part about this webinar is that you will have instant learning in just 27 minutes of content!

webinar-27minutes

^ It’s really that simple. You’ll be able to implement your learnings immediately and make a direct impact to your restaurant’s positive performance.

So to all restaurant owners / HR personnel, do spread the word and save the date:

December 8, 2015 (Tuesday), 11:00 AM (UTC +8) Singapore Standard Time

This webinar will surely be worth your while. Save your seat below!

save-my-seat-payrollhero-webinar

We’ll see you there!