The entertainment industry is one of our media-driven culture’s most rapidly evolving business sectors. As a result, human resources (HR) are now a necessity for small to medium companies as well as large corporations. Effective HR tools for the entertainment industry and well-developed practices can set the tone for the direction and vision of any organization, but especially for aspiring entertainment enterprises.
What HR Tools Can Do For Your Business
Entertainment has become an independent industry that includes mass media in various forms, such as radio, television, digital newspapers and magazines, voice over, gaming, music production, theater, and films. Whether you’re running a boutique production company or a global casting agency, HR tools for the entertainment industry provide services that can be invaluable, including:
- Human Resource Planning (HRP)
- Performance Evaluation
- Compensation Management (payroll and salary)
- Training and Development
- Employee Relations
- Anti-Harassment Policies
- Anti-Discrimination Laws
- Health and Safety
- Discipline Administration
- Grievance Handling
- Benefits and Services
Payroll & Project Management: The Right Tools for the Right Jobs
The number of entertainment payroll services and project management solutions is high, and each one will lay claim to offering the best deal. However, finding the right payroll service will depend on your needs and how much you want to outsource. Digital proficiency may be more important to you than the ability to work across mediums, so it’s essential to research and find the ones that suit your needs best. Some of the most popular entertainment payroll services include:
- Cast & Crew: A well-known and full-service experience. This suite of tools can run payroll for television, film, theater, music tours, and music festivals.
- CAPS: Part of Cast & Crew, this service offers accounting, electronic time cards, CAPSPay, digital tools, reports, and more.
- Entertainment Payroll Companies: This service can pay out your crew, act as a full-stack HR department, or anything in between.
- Greenslate: Offers a digital interface, timecards, email onboarding, and reporting. They can also provide printed checks on-site.
- ABS Payroll: This service is tailored for independent filmmakers, and their payroll and accounting staff can accommodate everything from live theater to small explainer video shoots.
- The Team Companies: This tool can cover projects from various mediums, such as live music events or a stand-up special. In addition to payroll services, they are experts in supporting residual payments. The service features software designed to manage your pre-production.
- Media Services: Run by veteran production accountants, this tool offers in-house and on-production accounting, entertainment payroll services, and 24/7 customer service.
- Entertainment Partners Payroll (EP): Handles onboarding, cutting checks, tax information, and production management software for budgeting and scheduling.
- Wrapbook: Serves casts and crews with direct deposit, electronic timecards, and invoices directly from your phone.
Project management for the entertainment industry is unique because complex logistics are involved and often short timelines to complete projects. This level of intensity needs constant communication during negotiations, planning sessions, development, reporting, and directing. The exact timing and hyper-detailed scheduling are often necessary for a tightly controlled, compact shooting time. All of this requires expert attention. Preparing for unexpected events, making financial decisions, and dealing with artistic challenges often require a combination of technical and administrative skills.
Specialized roles, such as director, producer, actor, and others, need experienced, knowledgeable, and talented people ready to take on their responsibilities. Small operations can get by with great software programs such as Airtable or Monday. In contrast, larger companies generally need a dedicated team, such as a PEO (Professional Employer Organization) or a PMO (Project Management Office).
What is a Professional Employer Organization (PEO)?
A Professional Employer Organization or PEO is an outsourced human resource provider. They perform various employee management duties, such as hiring, payroll, and benefits administration for a business. Some PEOs also have strategic services, but each is different, so it’s important to research providers and compares their capabilities.
A Standout Performance Needs a Smarter Process
Many compliance issues are unique to the entertainment industry, including copyright law, intellectual property rights, and anti-harassment policies. Maintaining a business in entertainment requires strict adherence to these issues and more, including:
- Tightened Job Classifications
- Non-Disclosure Agreements
- Background Checks
- Sexual Harassment Training and Policies
Education and enforcement relating to these issues are extremely important, as pointed out by the #MeToo movement. When you rely on HR specialists with the right tools, it frees you to focus on the people and the creativity needed to sustain your company’s growth. Many PEOs and HR specialists now do the updating and employee training that focuses on intervention and reporting through proper methods, making the industry a better and safer environment for everyone.