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Small firms are embracing ADP tech tools to help them compete alongside big corporations

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Michael Pires, VP of ADP HR solutions.
Michael Pires, VP of ADP HR solutions. - (ADP)

Small firms are increasingly embracing technology tools like those ADP offers to help them compete alongside big corporations, says Michael Pires, vice president of ADP HR solutions.

The company, ADP HR solutions, a division of ADP, provides technology-driven human resources outsourcing solutions, including hiring and talent management, to thousands of small businesses nationwide.

Pires, an entrepreneur himself, founded and built his own HR outsourcing company, then sold it to ADP in 2009. He learned during his years building a business that small firms strive to level the playing field with the big guys and snare the best workers so their businesses can grow.

Small, nimble and cutting edge firms may not have the money to provide the same level of pay or benefits as big corporations, but they are trying to attract individuals who are looking for creative employers offering flexibility and a challenging career.

But when it comes to hiring, without technology tools, small firms have trouble competing with big firms that have “the depth of resources in their organization, the brand and the talent management organizations that can really build the pipelines and go out and attract that kind of talent.”

He said these firms “are leaning on companies like ADP to help them provide access to tools to make it easy to attract talent more quickly, bring those folks in and keep them engaged and keep them productive and employed.”

He said a small firm can tell a prospective hire, “You can go and walk in the corporate line or you can come here and have flexibility, the ability to really create and help make us the success that those (big) business have become.”

He gave an example of a small company that is using ADP’s hiring tools to help find a sales person.  The applicants were asked to post a 30 second video of themselves reading a script for a sales pitch.

“The employer can watch that video in 30 seconds. If you are looking for someone who can present, you can find that out in 30 seconds. The power of that, compared to a paper (resume) is incredibly more effective.”

ADP does a report on private sector hiring and in recent months has seen growth in small business hiring.

Pires said, “Sentiment from small business overall is pretty positive. A lot of them are saying they do plan to hire and they are expecting to grow.”

But he pointed out that the kinds of efficient, online hiring tools that ADP and others provide are in demand by employers, regardless of the state of the economy.

That is because throughout all economic cycles “turnover doesn’t go away,” he said, and businesses have to constantly replace people who leave. They need to invest in HR tools that improve the engagement of the current staff and help keep them on board.

An employer “has to continue to keep talent or bring talent in. That is always there no matter what the economic cycle looks like,” he said.

ADP is a leading payroll and HR services firm headquartered in Roseland, and its client roster includes 425,000 small business clients with fewer than 50 employees. Of those, almost 325,000 are clients of RUN powered by ADP, which bundles payroll processing with HR outsourcing services, including recruiting and hiring employees, benefits, the employee handbook, incentive programs, and communicating company policy on issues like social media.

The company that Pires built and sold to ADP had a flagship product, HR 411, which provided businesses with a suite of online HR tools. After, he joined ADP and integrated his products with the ADP RUN platform.

Pires works in Florham Park, where ADP’s small business services division is based. He pointed out that just because a business is small, its founders and leadership don’t necessarily think small —in fact, they are often determined to build operations that rival their bigger competitors.

“Small businesses are really maturing, particularly when it comes to the importance of (recruiting) talent and the engagement of that talent in their organization,” he said. “They are realizing more and more that they are in the same war for that talent out there as the large companies. They are trying to find those same talented sales and marketing and programming professionals.”

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Beth Fitzgerald

Beth Fitzgerald

Beth Fitzgerald reports on health care, small business and higher education. She joined NJBIZ in 2008 after a 34-year career at the Star-Ledger and has been reporting on business in New Jersey since 1978. Her email is beth@njbiz.com and she is @bethfitzgerald8 on Twitter.

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