Human resources departments play an instrumental role at major businesses – onboarding new employees, ensuring compliance with labor laws and managing company culture.
Many smaller firms, however, don’t have dedicated human resources staff, and these tasks can fall to personnel with little training or experience in workforce management.
Allan Jones, chief executive of downtown L.A-based Bambee Inc., said the startup’s software is designed to address precisely this issue, giving small business owners and their employees an affordable way to access the support and expertise provided by HR professionals.
“Most of these business owners are little guys,” said Jones. “No one’s helping them navigate the relationship between themselves and their employees.”
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, firms with under 500 employees represent more than 99% of all U.S. businesses and employ nearly half of all American workers.
Jones said many of these businesses can run into trouble when owners attempt to take on all aspects of employee management themselves.
“Think about the problems that can spout from that,” said Jones. “Harassment, discrimination, paying people under the table … those things are pervasive because these business owners don’t have the infrastructure and guidance to help them do the right thing.”
Bambee announced March 16 that it had raised $30 million in a Series C funding round led by QED Investors. Jones said the funding will help Bambee grow its team and enhance its two signature platforms: a human resources management platform called HR Autopilot and a Guided Payroll system that launched earlier this year.
Bambee said its HR Autopilot system, which the company offers to customers as a subscription service, is already used by more than 10,000 small businesses. The platform automates a range of tasks related to staffing and includes access to a dedicated human resources professional who can be consulted by both business owners and employees.
Jones said providing businesses with a real-life point of contact ensures there’s no confusion around some of the trickier aspects of workforce management.
“The HR manager is there to help them navigate the most complex parts of HR,” said Jones. “It’s as mundane as quick compliance checks and as intricate as intricate as nuanced conversations about how to best manage relationships with people on staff.”
With its latest funding round completed, Jones said Bambee is planning to bring on 150 new employees, including many new HR managers to support its growing list of clients. The company is also working to develop new features to better serve customers.
Since launching in 2016, Bambee has already made important adjustments based on the demands of clients, said Jones. The HR Autopilot product, for instance, was developed in response to calls from business owners for clear and rigid guidance on how to handle human resources tasks.
“They just wanted us to tell them what the most important practices were,” said Jones.