Craig Bryant and Kin HR: The Flashlight For Small Businesses

There are plenty of well developed and robust HR software tools on the market, but those worth paying attention to will always make the employee experience a priority. KinHR is an online platform launched in July 2013 that makes onboarding, time-off management, and dealing with employee contracts hassle-free by getting rid of spreadsheets and email clients. Kin HR was conceptualized by its founder Craig Bryant while at the software and design firm We Are Mammoth, where he created a way to simplify and enhance the hiring and onboarding process for new employees (read more here).

“One of our primary inspirations for Kin was the profound impact our own improved onboarding process had on productivity with new hires,” says Bryant.  “We thought ‘if this worked for us, maybe other companies could use some help too.’”

The services and interface offered by Kin are comparable to the HR management systems used by much larger companies that start ups might not have access to. In the stage of a company’s life where growth is critical to success, Kin allows new hires to have all documentation signed and be in the know before walking in the door on day one.

Kin was borne of a small business atmosphere and employee-centricity remains a focus today. “My vision,” explains Bryant, “is to empower employees with the technology to manage an ever larger share of employee operations.” Kin represents new ways in which technology can help employees influence the organization of small companies, but the software is not exactly meant to replace HR managers in the workforce. Rather, the service was designed to help team leaders manage and communicate with their employees.

To understand this aspect of kin, you need not look further than their logo. “Our logo tells a story. The teal color represents employees; the purple, the employer,” explains Bryant. “The blending of the two colors in the rest of the logo represent the community and culture that are a result of both sides interacting, building, and succeeding.” 

This week, Kin announced a new partnership with ZenPayroll, which will allow employee information to be transferred seamlessly from one app to the other for businesses that have accounts with both. Now, when an employee is onboarded through Kin’s service, all of their information will also be added to Zen’s system, similar to how Facebook’s “share” and “like” functions can be embedded into practically any post on the web.

For many startups, and especially in the tech industry, it can be somewhat difficult for small businesses to differentiate and express a clear culture to employees, and that’s where Kin is able to make an impact on a company’s management style.

“I’ve always thought, like many, that HR was a bad word. I thought it needed a new reputation at smaller companies,” Bryant reasons. “Most of a small business’ resources go into product-service development and whatever it takes to gain revenue and market share. With Kin, we want companies to learn how big an impact a well-organized workplace can have on their profitability and productivity.”

Now, according to the wealth of positive feedback that Kin has received this year, Bryant has truly made an impact on the companies he is proud to call his clients. Kin has succeeded in not only providing a valuable and innovative HR service, but leads its clients by example in creating strong professional relationships.

“Our clients see us more as a partner than a piece of software. They realize we’re a small business and we have the same struggles and growing pains as they do,” Bryant explains. “They tend to look at us as thought leaders in workplace management; we’re kind of like a flashlight at times.”


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