by Abby Perkins, Managing Editor at Talent Tribune
Think HR only matters to large companies and corporations? Think again. Start-ups and small businesses need HR, too. In fact, start-ups and small business often have more of a need for dedicated HR personnel than larger organizations.
The only problem? Human resources is an expensive investment that not every small business can afford. But that’s not to say you need to hire an entire HR department. Just investing a little into HR can go a long way.
Chances are, the most crucial human resources functions can be handled by a small team or even single employee – and that can save you big in the long run.
HR Isn’t One Size Fits All.
HR varies depending on the size of a company and the industry it’s in. The more employees a company has, the more complex its HR needs become. Many companies do require an entire HR department with various functions assigned to various personnel. But that’s not necessarily true for start-ups and small businesses.
Many start-ups and small companies can get by with assigning HR functions to a single person. Often, an administrative support employee or office manager is also tasked with handling HR. Other times, a single employee is taken on to exclusively handle HR. In still other cases, companies cobble together an HR solution with a combination of outsourced services and advanced software.
Which option is best for you? That depends on your company, your budget, and your unique HR needs. One thing is certain, though – regardless of your size or industry, you should be allocating some of your resources to HR.
The Role of HR in Start-Ups and Small Businesses.
The role of HR in a start-up or small business is essentially the same as in a larger organization – there’s simply less volume to cover. That’s why you need to establish a clear HR solution from the start. The things that HR handles – from compliance to payroll – can’t be put on the back burner or handled haphazardly.
Consider the specific tasks that HR handles on a daily basis, and you’ll quickly see why an HR solution should be a top priority for your small business.
Chances are, you don’t want your employees to come directly to you with concerns about pay, benefits and other issues. First, it’s a waste of your time. More importantly? You’re probably not the right person for that job, anyway. You’re going to want to designate someone as an official point of contact for HR issues. When employees know they have a specific place or person to turn to for help, they’re more likely to be efficient, productive and content.
Recruiting and hiring.
Hiring and recruiting is incredibly important – and incredibly time-consuming. And even though most small businesses and start-ups have fairly simple recruiting and hiring needs, it’s still important to put in the time to find the best possible candidates. A dedicated HR employee who can spend his or her time recruiting, screening applications and setting up interviews will save you time and money when it comes to finding and retaining the best employees.
Orientation and training.
When you hire a new employee, you need to train them for their position, as well as bring them up to speed on company culture. And that’s a big responsibility – one that your other employees likely don’t have time to take on. After all, as a small business, you only have so many employees, and each one has his or her fair share of responsibilities already. With an HR presence, you can establish an official orientation and training process, ensuring that each new hire is on-boarded effectively and efficiently.
Employee files and paperwork.
A lot of paperwork is associated with each employee in your organization. There are employee files, 1-9 forms, and medical files. There are performance reviews, issue resolution forms and a myriad of other files that need to be organized, tracked and constantly updated. In fact, some forms are even legally required to be stored or filed in a certain way. Someone needs to stay on top of all that, and HR is the most obvious choice.
By law, certain state and federal notices must be posted in every workplace. These and other compliance issues change and evolve over time – and if you’re not on top of the regulations, you could find yourself on the receiving end of big fines or costly lawsuits. You need someone who’s well-versed in workplace law to keep track of these changes and to keep your company out of hot legal water – and that person is likely an HR professional.
Payroll and benefits.
Something else that needs to be done accurately – and in compliance with federal and state laws? Payroll and benefits. Sure, it’s fairly simple to outsource things like payroll and benefits administration. But it’s also important to have a designated person in your organization who understands the intricacies of each one, as well as how to handle employees’ issues and concerns about them.
The takeaway? There are a lot of functions that simply require a dedicated HR presence. Rather than deal with HR issues as they come along, hand over the work to a designated HR team or employee. By doing so, you’ll free up other employees to focus on what they’re trained to do – and you’ll get HR tasks done more effectively and efficiently.
Do you have HR in your small business or start-up? What do you think?
Abby Perkins is Managing Editor at Talent Tribune, a SoftwareProviders.com blog dedicated to all things HR.