Small Business Levels the Playing Field: Using Web-based Human Resources to Increase Employee Satisfaction and Business Producti

TAMPA, Fla. - Small business owners are turning to the Internet to reduce HR paperwork while increasing timeliness, accuracy and convenience, according to National Payment Corporation, specialists in payroll Direct Deposit services for small and mid-sized employers.

"Small employers are always looking for ways to level the playing field with their larger competitors," says Jim Greenhaus, vice president, marketing/sales, National Payment Corporation. "Although the time required to evaluate technology options seems intimidating, results include increased employee satisfaction and improved business performance."

The U.S. Small Business Administration estimates that small businesses administering their own employee benefits programs spend from seven to 25 percent of their time on HR matters, typically at the expense of core business functions. By reducing this time, business owners can concentrate on profitability rather than administration.

Online HR options

Following is an overview of online tasks small businesses often implement first:

1. Payroll Direct Deposit: A paperless payroll can now be a reality for employers who choose to use services such as National Payment Corporation's EZStub. First, customers supply National Payment with employee payment information via modem or via the Internet using Web Direct Deposit, uploading data from their payroll system and transmitting it safely to the processing center. EZStub then delivers an electronic pay stub to employees via the Internet, reducing the need for employers to hand-deliver pay stubs to employees - a service of particular value to employers with staff in remote locations. In addition, employees can access a password-protected web site to receive their current period's pay stub information, as well as historical data covering the period in which EZStub was in effect. On payday, employees receive an email with a link to the EZStub web site as a reminder.

2. Benefits Enrollment: Online benefits enrollment reduces the costs associated with distributing materials while providing immediate access and convenience for employees in reviewing their benefits options. The enrollment information is sent directly to third-party vendors, streamlining communications with insurance carriers and eliminating duplicate forms.

3. Employment: Even small businesses receive many resumes for open positions, creating a time consuming process as the owner or HR person reviews them. Qualified candidates often find employment before employers call them. Web-based hiring systems allow small businesses to enter and update candidate information quickly, tracking actions taken and reducing the time and cost per hire.

"Particularly for small employers, these investments in streamlining HR processes can pay great dividends in bottom line profitability," adds Greenhaus.

Now celebrating its 11th anniversary, National Payment Corporation (www.directdeposit.com) is the nation's largest independent provider of payroll Direct Deposit products and services for small and mid-sized businesses. The Tampa, Fla.-based company, a pioneer in cost-effective Internet-based Direct Deposit services, now processes more than $1 billion per year on behalf of its clients and has recently introduced EZStub, an electronic pay stub that provides customers with the final element of the "paperless payroll."

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