Small businesses across America are resilient, strong, and crucial to our communities and economy. And right now, they’re being put through the wringer. 

In the span of just a few short weeks, small businesses went through a journey that would typically take years for companies to experience (if ever)—layoffs, furloughs, terminations, hour and wage reductions, transitioning to fully remote workforces, business plan pivots, finding new revenue streams, and ultimately hiring and rehiring their teams. And they did it all while navigating a complicated, ever-evolving landscape of aid and shifting guidance. 

With so much hassle and heartache thrown at them all at once, business owners need strong partners who can help them each step of the way. As the payroll, benefits, and insurance platform for more than 100,000 small businesses (and their employees) nationwide, we’ve been alongside our customers from the beginning as they swerved with every curve of an uncertain and bumpy road to recovery. We’ve shipped 40+ new features within weeks to help businesses navigate the complexities of COVID-era relief, from building a lending launchpad that has enabled nearly $2 billion in approved PPP loans to creating a simplified PPP loan tracking system to building a resource hub that simplifies legislation. 

The next challenge small businesses face is to reopen and rebuild their teams quickly and effectively. Gusto’s data from May shows that hiring increased by 76% from the previous month. 

In ordinary times, it takes small business owners an average of 10 to 12 hours of work to bring on just one employee. That’s time businesses just don’t have. 

New features to save time and make hiring easier

To streamline how small businesses bring America’s workforce back to work, today we’re rolling out a new suite of hiring and onboarding tools

These new tools make it easy to automate and send customized offer letters, e-sign key documents, and set up software for new employees, all before their first day. Additionally, our cloud-based onboarding system enables small business owners to delegate tasks to their team—which can then be saved to make future rounds of hiring much faster: no more manual creation of documents, re-writing paper checklists, and writing email after email to new team members. Even the technology is simplified—no more Excel templates and no more switching back-and-forth between software applications. Everything is available in one, easy-to-manage place.

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Nearly 1,000 Gusto customers have been testing these new features, which has helped to cut hiring and onboarding time in half.  

Jenny Widmaier is the VP of Administration at Bill Good Marketing, a coaching service for financial advisors. She is the first and last person on the hiring line and needed a way to cut down on hiring and onboarding time, while still making sure new employees have everything taken care of on day 1. After recently using Gusto’s new hiring and onboarding tools, Jenny shared:

“Investing the time to ensure new hires have a positive onboarding experience is important in setting them up for success. To do it right and process all of the necessary paperwork for just one new employee can take up to two days of a workweek—which is valuable time that could be spent on meaningful impact elsewhere.

Getting our employees enrolled in benefits, sorting out their 401(k)s, handling their training modules, and taking care of personal touches—collecting everything from their snack preferences to their professional goals—all in one place via Gusto’s checklist is an incredible timesaver for both us and our new employees. I just onboarded two people in the same day and was able to take care of every step. It took me so much less time that I double- and triple-checked to make sure everything was done properly, which of course it was.”

Creating a great employee onboarding experience 

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Time savings can’t come at the expense of a personalized experience that sets employees up for success—even when done remotely. With Gusto, all state and federal documents (W-4s, I-9s and more) can be shared, signed, and safely stored online. Onboarding best practices are pre-populated in the checklist, so it’s easier to create a high quality experience that delivers a great first impression in a fraction of the time.

Finally, we’ve made it easier to connect, set up, and manage the software your employees need to work. Business owners can now connect their software tools and set up accounts for teammates, all from Gusto. It makes it easy to manage accounts and remove access once the account is no longer needed. This is a major time-saver, and it allows you to keep your data secure. We’ve started with the software tools that are most-loved by small businesses and simplify remote work—G Suite, Microsoft Office, Slack, Zoom, Asana, Box, Dropbox, and GitHub—and we’ll continue adding new integrations that help businesses adapt to the era of remote work. 

With so much at stake for small businesses and a “new normal” on the horizon, it’s more important than ever to lighten the load and remove roadblocks on the way to recovery. We’re here with small businesses and their employees for the long haul. 

– Lexi Reese and Tomer London

Tomer London Tomer is the co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Gusto. He is responsible for the development and execution of the product vision — reimagining how modern payroll, benefits, and compliance should operate.
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