The HR department plays a vital role in any business but it’s even more important for small ones. In small businesses, every decision has an even larger impact and you have less room for mistakes. Your HR department is just one department that makes major decisions for your company, such as who to interview for jobs and how to stay compliant with local laws, but it often doesn’t receive as much attention as your other departments, like sales, product development, or marketing.
If you feel like you’re not getting all you could out of your HR department, a few HR tips for small businesses could change that. By focusing on your HR for small business strategy, you can establish a strong foundation for the rest of your business. Below are the 5 key areas you should ensure that your HR department is focusing on if you want the best results.
First, there’s recruiting – the process of finding candidates for employment and bringing them into your company. As a small business, each employee on your team has a larger impact compared to that of larger companies. Therefore, it’s essential that you bring in the right people for each job.
When a job position opens, it’s not enough to wait for candidates to submit applications. The HR department should focus on identifying those that would be a good fit for the job and try to bring them into the company. To do this, HR departments can start by creating a fictional profile for the ideal candidate. Then, they can begin to search for people who fit this description, either by looking through professional networks like LinkedIn, making use of recruitment software or working with a recruitment agency.
Once they identify a few candidates, your HR department may need to convince these people to join your business rather than work somewhere else. Those in your HR department in charge of the recruitment process should always stay informed and relay the advantages of working for your company to the potential candidates. Some candidates may need additional incentives to join you, such as a signing bonus, but if you truly believe this is the right person for the job, then this is a good investment to consider. By recruiting the right people into your organization, the HR department can ensure you have a strong foundation for continued growth.
Onboarding and Training
After bringing in new employees, either through recruitment or some other process, the next important task for the HR department is introducing the new employee to the organization. This is a crucial step, as up to 20 percent of turnover takes place within the first 45 days. To introduce employees to your organization, you use a process called onboarding.
Onboarding is an essential process for a few reasons. For one, it helps employees feel more comfortable within the organization. Poor onboarding is one of the most common causes of people leaving their jobs shortly after getting hired. If you want to improve your employee retention rates and save yourself money by not having to go through the hiring process as often, you need a good onboarding process.
In addition to training new employees, the HR department can also oversee the training of the existing personnel. Through training, you can teach them how to be more efficient and produce higher quality work. This is a key factor in not only business growth but also in keeping your employees happy. Employees like it when their employers are invested in their long-term growth and regular training to improve their skills is one way to do this.
To get started, your HR department should first analyze its onboarding process, as this will allow new employees to get up to speed faster. After this, have them identify some areas where employees could improve. Focus on the most important skills that your employees need, then establish training programs to help them gain these skills.
Major parts of any HR for small business department are the basic administrative tasks that come with running a business. This includes things like overseeing employee healthcare benefit programs, administering payroll, or managing paid time off. Without someone taking care of these basic tasks, you’ll quickly find that your business becomes disorganized and that plenty of other issues arise.
Your HR department should have a strong system in place for handling all of its core responsibilities. This often includes setting them up with the right software applications, such as project management tools or accounting software. By setting up these tools early, you’ll make it much easier for your HR department to handle future tasks as your business begins to grow. For example, it’s much easier to add new employees to an existing payroll system rather than having to implement an entirely new system once your business reaches a certain size.
Chances are your business has some local, state, or federal laws and regulations it needs to adhere to. Failure to adhere to these rules could lead to some significant consequences, like a lawsuit or fines. One of the key responsibilities of your HR department is to not only know what these laws are but to ensure that your business is in constant compliance with all of them.
For example, if your small business has a warehouse, there are certain safety regulations that you need to follow. Without these safety procedures in place, if someone gets into an accident while at work, your business could face a lawsuit. The HR department would carefully research all of the safety regulations related to operating a warehouse, then go through them all with your warehouse team to ensure compliance. The same goes for other regulations related to healthcare, hiring practices, and workplace safety.
Finally, there’s the satisfaction of your employees. Keeping your employees happy will help to boost productivity and employee retention rates. In the long run, you’ll likely see higher revenues and decreased costs as a result, something every small business strives for. There’s a lot that management can do to keep employees happy with their jobs but HR can also play a big role.
One way that HR can help with employee satisfaction is by seeking feedback from them. They can make it a regular habit to discuss with the employee what they like about their jobs and what they don’t like. If something negative comes up that the HR department can handle – for example, issues between co-workers or a lack of resources – then the HR department can begin to implement solutions.
Make sure that your HR department lets your staff know that they are available at all times to discuss any issues. By doing so, they’ll encourage your employees to discuss their issues rather than ignore them. Another great strategy that your HR department can implement is administering company-wide surveys. With surveys, you can quickly learn more about how your team feels. The HR department can administer these surveys, analyze the results and keep a record of them for future consideration. For example, the HR department could send out a survey once a month asking employees how they feel, then track employee emotions over time.
Empower Your Small Business HR Department for Sustained Success
When we think of HR for small businesses, we might picture the department that just handles a lot of the paper. And while the HR department certainly takes care of this, they also have a lot of other key responsibilities. For a small business to continue to grow, it needs a strong HR department that’s focused on the right things. Hopefully, the above HR tips for small businesses were able to help you and you’ll be able to give your HR department some better direction in how it can play a vital part in growing your business.