When you’re a small business the last thing on your to-do list is creating your HR department, but it should in fact be one of your top priorities. Whilst many businesses with less than 50 employees won’t have created a HR department just yet, the duties HR executives implement are essential and extremely valuable to any company, no matter what size it is. Small businesses need to be their own HR professionals and cannot afford to overlook HR responsibilities simply because they are only just starting out.
Here is an exploration of the strategic functions of HR which any small business or start-up should endorse. Bear in mind these thoughts and values when considering recruiting the first of your HR team too. It is vital to get it right from the start.
Recruiting human capital
HR professionals are responsible for locating new talent and attracting candidates to job roles – for candidates to find a job in Hawaii, Florida or any other location. If you are a small business lacking a HR representative to engage with prospective employees, you must proactively implement a recruitment strategy yourself. Consider these HR values to create the optimum workforce for your business:
- Organise and enforce effective hiring procedures.
- Ensure candidates are a suitable calibre by thoroughly checking qualifications and experience. Delve into their own ideas and aspirations for career progression to make sure they will be a committed member of your workforce; essential for small businesses looking to grow.
- Be able to recruit efficiently to fill any gaps in your workforce. This is particularly essential for small businesses who may have employees with many responsibilities. If multi-duty employees leave, this could lead to major problems around the company.
Maintaining rules and regulations
Launching and maintaining a business involves plenty of organisation and planning, particularly regarding legal practices involving staff about the workplace. HR is responsible for keeping these regulations on track. As a small business, it is your duty to identify and manage these practices initially until your HR team is firmly in place as they are essential to enable functionality. Start-ups and small businesses need to make sure that the company is compliant with a number of official practices, including health and safety, employee termination and even something as trivial as staff dress codes; they are a business necessity.
HR is also responsible for managing recruitment and salary budgets effectively. Infant businesses will of course be aware of the importance of financial awareness as money can be tight at this early stage. It is therefore vital that small companies take on board the responsibility of HR initially or there may be complications for the future. Consider these factors if you want to be HR-savvy:
- Keep planning for your business’ future. Evaluate the overall cost of recruitment and training, and therefore make decisions about hiring more staff or simply upskilling current employees.
- Similarly, create and remain involved with an employee map so that you are continuously aware of the employees you have and the essential roles you need to fill in order to avoid unnecessary recruitment costs.
- Use the employee map to remain aware of employee status, career progression and staff wages.
Training and development
HR is also responsible for providing learning and development opportunities for staff. Small business managers need to take on HR’s responsibility and invest in training schemes if they want the company to experience continued growth and success. Here’s how this HR responsibility helps businesses:
- With technology advancing at an exponential rate, it is important to keep staff up-to-date with its progress too. If staff are not trained appropriately in tech developments they will remain in static positions and so will the growth of the company.
- Recruiting new staff may be essential at varying stages of your business’ growth, but it is important to evaluate and consider upskilling current staff, which can be significantly cheaper in the long run.
- Providing training and development opportunities also strengthens employee retention. By showing that you are investing in their career welfare, they are more likely to commit as an employee long term. Dedicated staff are extremely valuable for small businesses.
As a small business, it is vital that you take on one of HR’s key roles: staff performance evaluation. It is crucial to determine whether employees are maintaining the standard of work expected and simultaneously, if staff are satisfied with their place of work, or you could be left with some adverse side effects. A proactive HR professional carries out performance evaluations by:
- Surveying employees to ascertain the level of morale, ideas on progression and general opinions.
- Creating management meetings to discuss departments and staff members and evaluate productivity rates and problem areas.
- Composing exit interviews to understand improvements to be made.
- Assessing staff output to detect potential issues. This may lead to investigating whether the employee doesn’t fit the business, if they need upskilling or require a department change.
Creating an image
In order for small businesses to grow, they need to attract candidates. It is the roles and responsibilities of HR that bring in the talent and help strengthen employer branding. Small businesses should take a leaf out of HR’s book and invest in savvy schemes that promote employee welfare and job satisfaction. These opportunities and services result in businesses gaining plenty of recognition for valuing their staff. It is these means that create a solid brand, attract candidates and thus enable business growth.
HR is therefore one of the core cogs to any business, even if it’s just the duties rather than an official department to begin with. Small businesses ultimately need to be their own HR executive before they can invest in the real thing and no compromises should be made in fully endorsing the roles and responsibilities of HR from the start. Looking after and carefully managing staff is of great importance too. By proactively implementing the values of HR, small companies can experience business success in no time.