Most start-up businesses will talk clearly about their marketing plan, social media
approach and their pricing strategy. But ask them how they will manage their Human
Resources and most will be dismissive, vowing to tackle that sometime in the future.
If the business plan is sound, the start-up will grow very quickly. Suddenly, you need
to employ people and there is an urgent need to give HR the attention it requires.
It could be argued that it is even more important to have robust HR management in
smaller businesses than large corporates, as an underperforming employee or lack of
legal compliance can be very costly to the small business. Whereas a larger company
may find it easier to absorb the additional cost.
Here are five tips to help you position HR as an important and integral part of your
1. Assign HR responsibility
There should be a main HR contact in the company who should be a senior
decision maker to ensure it is given the important focus it requires. This person
does not need to be an expert in HR, but they do need to know the business
and be aware of the day to day issues and future plans.
2. Systems and processes
Put in place effective and robust HR systems and processes, which should be
regularly maintained to ensure they meet all the necessary statutory
requirements. Regular maintenance also ensures that they are not an
3. Salary and benefits
Look around at the market place to benchmark against your competitors and
locality. Doing this helps the salary and benefits you offer to be appealing,
attracting and retaining talent. Do this exercise whenever you need to review
salary rates, holiday allowance and added benefits, such as staff discounts and
4. Training and development
This is essential if you want your organisation to continue to grow, achieve
strategic goals, and retain talent. The training you provide should be focused
and specific. Continuously assess the training for quality and return on
investment, and work closely with your training providers so they get to know
your business to provide targeted learning for maximum impact. Also, use the
expertise within the company to mentor and pass on knowledge and skills.
5. Ensure you stay legal
This one is the main headache for most small businesses as it constantly
changes, posing a costly risk if it is not given the necessary attention. Be aware
of the statutory and legal requirements, and ensure you are compliant. It’s also
important to plan for future objectives in your strategic and operational business
For more information about HR in small businesses or any other HR services,
please contact Mandy Brearley.