These 4 Guys Kickstarted A HR Management Startup With Zero Capital


Startups are natural rule breakers.

You’ve got to ruffle a few feathers and disrupt the status quo if you want to build, or be, the next big thing. But there’s one area where startups don’t want to break the rules: payroll and HR.

Startups that don’t comply with payroll and HR laws can face serious legal and financial consequences.

When Nigel Lim and Terence Toh, both 25, worked in MNCs a few years back, they noted that the existing HR systems were “insanely difficult to navigate and use without any prior training”.

Nigel in particular, was working alongside his father; and during that short stint, many of his father’s peers – mostly SME bosses – were struggling to use Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and Microsoft Word documents to handle their daily operations.

It got to a point where Nigel soon became their “go-to IT guru” (he previously ran his own startup in the consumer tech space), and they often sought help from him.

This pain point spurred the duo to work on developing an all-in-one HR platform that is easy to use for both employers and employees.

Who Are The Payboys?

The Payboy co-founders / Image Credit: Payboy

Pumping in zero capital (“Yes, it’s possible.”), they roped in their friends – Ivan Poon, 26 and Henry Chua, 27 – to form the Payboy team in April 2016.

Prior to joining Payboy, Ivan held roles as a Chief Technology Officer at various companies, including BumBox and a website security firm. With his vast knowledge and experience, Ivan naturally knows how to manage and forecast tech operations; and he is also the man behind the robust architecture for Payboy.

With the development of this software, it is not overreaching to say that the four have successfully disrupted the traditional HR process.

Currently, many SMEs are still using Excel spreadsheet or legacy HR software to manage their HR-related matters.

“The former is prone to human error and very time-consuming to build and maintain; while the latter is complex to use, and users typically have to go through days of training sessions to learn the functions of the software,” said Ivan. “On top of that, their feature sets are bloated and they do not focus on the user interface and user experience.”

As such, Payboy hopes to eliminate the downsides of both these systems with their own software. With a core value of “employee satisfaction”, they want to make sure that their software is both efficient and user-friendly.

“When we purchase a new mobile phone, we don’t even bother to read a user manual [because the navigation is so straightforward]. Similarly, we want to design the most intuitive and simple payroll software in the market,” said Ivan.

The Struggle To Find The Perfect Solution Is Real

Since we are now living in the 21st century, companies need to keep up with the digital times and stop asking employees to fill out paper forms; and automate these processes instead.

But why are most SMEs still hung up on Excel and refusing to use HR software?

Nigel reasoned that one of the reasons why they choose to not digitise their processes is because “current solutions are too complex and hard to use”.

Another reason could be that SMEs still have a belief that the “cloud” is not a safe and secure enough platform for them to store important documents such as employees’ information and salary.

“This is when we need to step in and educate them on how vital it is for companies to adapt to cloud-based solution in order to stay lean and efficient. We need to convince them to make that uncomfortable first step, and help make that transition a smooth one so they will continue to use it,” he said.

According to Payboy, most SME managers struggle to find a suitable HR solution. Big brands are reliable but are often costly, complex to use, and not localised.

On the other end of the spectrum, SME solutions are affordable but there’s limited customisation, not scalable, and there’s a lack of customer support.

But here’s the pull-factor for Payboy: it is perfect for small businesses looking to scale.

Their solution offers scalability with extensive feature integrations, flexibility – you can customise workflow according to unique organisation structure, functionality, and adaptability, because the system automatically updates according to new regulations.

Since May last year, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) mandates all employers to issue itemised payslips, key employment terms, and keep detailed records of all employees – these are just some of the compliance portion of the HR.

A MOM legislation compliant itemised payslip / Image Credit: Payboy

“Payboy is updated to every changes in MOM regulations and statutory calculation to ensure that users stay compliant. When MOM, CPF or IRAS makes any changes, there are no calls made to the firms. SMEs and startups have to constantly or periodically check the websites,” said Nigel.

In addition, employers also need to know how to navigate these websites to locate the information they need. For example, to search for a change in maternity leaves, one must log on to MOM’s website, then click on Employment Practice > Leaves > Maternity Leaves to find out about the updated changes.

Payboy – which is on IRAS list of approved payroll software vendors – helps to eliminate these lengthy steps by setting a crawler on all the pages of the relevant government body websites.

“Once there is a change in terms of regulations, holidays or calculation, we will be immediately notified.”

A Win-Win For Both Employers And Employees

In a nutshell, Payboy is a “one-stop solution for HR needs”, starting from the onboard of new employees, all the way to the exits of current employees.

This saves them “50% of time and up to $150,000 a year”.

End-to-end management / Image Credit: Payboy

Some key features that are worth noting:

  • Simple payroll processing – Employers can easily upload monthly CPF contributions and yearly IRAS tax forms through the government payroll integrations, and pay employees instantly through the bank integrations
  • Streamlined HR processes – Employees can look up past information anytime they want, and automatically issue relevant email notifications regarding their wage payouts, attendance and schedule
  • Leaves and claims management – Employers can keep track of leave applications, and employees can submit their receipts and claims through PDFs or image uploads instead of hardcopy receipts
  • Attendance tracking –  Record and track employee attendance and duration by scanning fingerprints
  • E-scheduling – Schedule weeklyshifts for part-time or on-demand employees simply by allowing employees to bid on their preferred shift
  • Part-time friendly – Generate pay slips on demand so you can pay your part-time employees on-time

As Payboy helps to relief HR from mundane repetitive administrative work and compliance, HR can then focus on more important matters such as hiring skilled talents, strengthening their employee retention strategy, devising training and development strategies, coordinating employee benefits, and more.

While employers can save hours on manual paper work, increase operational efficiency and ensure compliance, the employee can also manage HR matters on-the-go.

“For the employers, we created an intuitive employee-interactive app for them to view their payslips, manage their leaves, claims, schedule, and attendance,” said Henry.

“Soon, employees can also view training and onboarding videos, access their employee benefits, appraisals, and more.”

Future Plans For Payboy

Payboy team / Image Credit: Payboy

Since its inception a year ago, Payboy has seen a significant quarterly user growth of 126%, and 150 companies use their solution now, including SecretLab, Vanitee, and Flixir.

Currently, Payboy is focused on creating a strong HRM core, but its next step would be to create an ecosystem, increasing value-added integrations and features that are beneficial for its users.

With regards to business expansion, the team said that it is looking to expand into the Asia Pacific region. Specific plans to do so were however not disclosed.

When asked to share a piece of advice for budding entrepreneurs, Terence said that they should start by “[erasing] those self-limiting beliefs.”

“You don’t need to have a huge funding to kickstart your idea and you don’t need to be extremely talented to come up with something. Don’t wait for the “right” time to start – all you need to do is take the right step.”

If you’re keen on switching up your HRM, you can get a 14-day free trial of Payboy here.

Vulcan Post readers also get to enjoy 15% off subscription for the first 6 months when you use this discount code: “VULCAN15OFF”.

Featured Image Credit: Payboy

 

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