by Susan Kreeger and Jill Krumholz, Principals of RealHR Solutions
As a small business owner you are likely to ask why and when you should invest in Human Resources for your company. Don’t let fear be the motivator for change. While non-compliance with federal, state and local regulations is not insignificant in terms of financial penalties and litigation risks, consider taking a proactive and common sense approach to HR and HR compliance. Such an approach eases the burden of compliance while advancing business growth and encouraging employee commitment.
Consider the value HR can bring by taking an informed look at what is going on in your workplace today. Keep it simple by looking at three categories of workplace challenges:
o Are you hiring and retaining the best talent?
o Are you focusing time and resources on the hiring process — tapping into the right candidate pool, vetting candidates, keeping candidates engaged in the process, asking the right interview questions?
o Are you making offers in time — before your best candidates move to your competition?
o Do you know if your salary and benefits programs are competitive with the external markets where you compete for talent?
o Are you compensating your employees fairly and in a way that is important to them?
o Are employees dissatisfied with or complaining about salaries and opportunities for advancement?
o Are you investing in training and development to grow and retain your internal talent?
o Are you losing your employees to competitors?
o Do you or your managers spend too much time sorting out employee relations issues?
o Do you properly classify your exempt or non-exempt employees and pay overtime when required?
o Do you have complaints filed against your company by current or former employees or have you received communication from the government?
o Do you have a process to know about employee complaints at your company?
o Are you confident that you provide required documents to new hires and current staff and maintain documents properly in employees’ files?
Here are some solutions that you can put in place to respond to the challenges, help your business run more efficiently, and go a long way toward keeping your employees engaged and committed.
o Develop a recruitment and hiring process that engages your managers and makes them responsible for the right hires.
o Create job descriptions and benchmark salaries of all or key positions to ensure external competitiveness and internal equity.
o Develop an employee performance process to evaluate and fairly reward employees for their work.
o Prepare a new hire package to use for onboarding new employees to include an application; offer letter; required forms such as Wage Theft Prevention Act (NY) and I-9; benefits summaries and enrollment forms; and important company policies with an acknowledgement form.
o Create an employee file checklist for retaining the proper documentation for all employees.
o Create an employee handbook to consistently communicate company policies.
o Check to see if all required posters are posted and up to date.
o Train your staff, at a minimum, in preventing harassment in the workplace and conducting interviews.
In order to implement solutions, you need to determine who will do the work. You can consider various options depending on your company’s priorities and bottom line. Here are suggestions to help determine the solution that works best for you:
Build internal capability – develop someone on your staff to take on the responsibilities for HR solutions (you may want to spread the responsibilities among different people such as your Controller, CFO or Office Manager).
Build external relationships – create partnerships with your benefits broker, employment counsel or HR consultant to handle all or parts of the process you are not able to build internally.
A new hire – consider hiring an internal HR professional, either full-time or part-time, to manage the HR function
Making the decision to spend time and resources on managing human resources is essential to growing your business. It will allow you to hire and retain the best employees, minimize the risk of penalties or costly employment litigation, and focus on the bottom line.
RealHR Solutions provides customized HR services that work with and support an organization’s business objectives. Helping a company design and establish a professional HR function, it then provides HR