Very often we have a client ask for an in-house HR generalist or representative to come on for a term to cover a gap caused by the departure of an incumbent. This absence could be for many reasons including FMLA, temporary transfer, or departure from the role. Provided with a concrete job description, we can easily match a good resource for that role and in short order – problem solved!
What about that Small Business client that has only one employee or in some cases NO ONE dedicated to HR? What can be done to support that business as it grows and navigates the seemingly complex path of employment compliance?
If this is you, you may feel alone but you are not. Businesses of this size represent the majority of employers throughout our nation.
For these organizations we most often find that the executives designate someone from the administrative staff to “do HR”. All the while not knowing what is truly required, the depth involved in managing it, and how incredibly important it is to manage your human resources appropriately from the get go.
When we talk to small business owners about Human Resources support, questions range from, “How do I know what I don’t know?” to “What can you do for me? “
When a company is small, say under 40 employees, generally there is not a trained HR professional to ensure effective on-boarding, compliance, standardize compensation, coupled with good training and development of staff. At the same time the HR function needs to be flexible and competent enough to proactively develop programs and credible enough to manage issues as they develop. Allowing HR to fall into a reactive function can only lead to unwanted issues down the road. If your organization fits this description, let us share with you a template for effective support. Here is a list of the key domains in HR that affect your organization.
Compliance Initiatives: Harassment, Anti-Discrimination Policies, Safety, EEO, Health Care Insurance Policy
Onboarding: Proper personnel file management, effective integration into the company when hired, benefits & compensation
Job Descriptions: outlining job responsibilities, domain control and reporting responsibilities
Compensation & Benefits: equitable and reasonable pay structures, develop, manage and comply with benefits programs
Employment Practices: Performance Management, Discipline and Reward, termination process
Handbook: central location for policies and procedures for employment within the organization
While this list may seem extensive (more could be added), the correct level of HR needed for your business will best be determined through a needs assessment. For a nominal investment, this audit can help you determine the immediate HR needs and help you develop a strategy that suits your growth and anticipates issues that could develop along the way. Results of the assessment can help best determine the level of HR professional you need, through a direct hire, or an HR consultant.
If this is you or you would like learn more about how we support clients like you, please contact me at:
Brendan King is the CEO of King & Bishop a full service HR consulting and Talent Acquisition firm.
He serves on the Board of Directors for the Smaller Business Association of New England (SBANE) an affiliate of the National Small Business Association (NSBA).