A growing high-tech West Auckland company hopes to emulate Xero and become another Kiwi software company which makes a big impact in the world of cloud computing.
MYHR, based in Avondale, provides cost-effective and comprehensive online human resources support for companies with up to 100 staff which don’t have the need or resources for a full HR department.
Thanks to the help of ATEED West Area Office research and development specialist Grant Hemmings, MYHR received R&D funding from Callaghan Innovation to make substantial developments to the its software programme which it says is unique in New Zealand.
ATEED Business Growth Specialist Gill Ellis has worked with MYHR to explore growth opportunities and networks for potential clients.
The company’s co-founder Jason Ennor, who has held a number of senior corporate HR roles, believes MYHR’s software is superior and has more features than the small number of international rivals: “Nothing else really does quite what we do, in the way that we do it”.
The company was formed in 2010 by Jason and long-time punk band and surfing mate Sean O’Brien – who is a designer and small business owner. They launched the business in April 2013. The duo felt there was a strong need for quality and affordable HR support for small businesses and an online service was the best platform for delivery.
MYHR has exceeded the owners’ expectations in terms of client growth with 103 users at the end of year one.
Jason says MYHR adds value by removing an administrative burden from businesses as well as adding value. The software allows clients to input information which is turned into individually tailored documents – including employment agreements, recruitment documents, job ads, interview questions and reference checks. MYHR also covers performance review, disciplinary processes and leave applications.
“Our support takes away a huge amount of administration and is done in a way that is legally robust so clients get quality advice plus administrative efficiency. And it is all stored online in the clients’ secure account for them to access,” says Jason.
“We are able to support small businesses with the equivalent of a large HR department and deliver big gains in productivity,” he says.
Jason says the R&D grant has allowed MYHR to redevelop its software for international use, and he is excited about the system’s export potential. Australia, South Africa and the US are initial targets, and MYHR has already been used by Kiwi companies with Australian workforces.
“The full MYHR version used in New Zealand uses an operations team familiar with the local human resources laws. So fully rolling out our system in other countries would require a local operations team with specialist knowledge. Plus they’re developing a version that can be used by local HR consultants and lawyers.”
Jason says the ATEED West team has defied his pre-conceived ideas about working with a Council-Controlled Organisation: “Working with them has been really impressive”.
“Grant Hemmings was honest and open throughout the R&D grant discussions and made the application process as smooth as possible. He has great attention to detail and asked intelligent questions which helped our focus.”
“Despite us imagining R&D meant people in white lab coats, Grant was great at helping us understand how our product development could qualify for R&D funding” says Jason.
The funding meant MYHR was able to achieve necessary product development in months rather than years. He says it was hugely encouraging to discover a business growth framework – with ATEED programmes linked in to government funding – which proactively support small ambitious businesses.
With ATEED’s help and links to New Zealand Trade & Enterprise networks overseas, Jason and Sean hope MYHR can take its place alongside Xero as world-class software which all New Zealanders have heard of.
“We are only a year old, but we are pretty certain that in five years we can be a household name,” says Jason.
Speak to ATEED West area office about how R&D funding could help your business succeed. Phone (09) 354 0068.