Small Business HR: Where to Start

Small Business HR: Where to start.

Running a small business often means you’ll be doing a lot more than just your job! As the owner of a small business you are responsible for a wide variety of tasks. If you’re operating with a small team of employees, it can be hard to know what tasks you need to complete regarding small business HR. 

The immediate needs that may come to mind are making sure your employees are paid accurately and on time, and ensuring you’re meeting any government or other legal requirements.

Essential HR functions fall into seven categories, no matter what size your business may be.

  • Recruitment & Selection
  • Training and Development
  • Performance Management
  • Employee Relations
  • Employment Law and Compliance
  • Compensation and Benefits Administration
  • Payroll & HR Systems

Who knew there were so many aspects to human resources? It can be quite a job for one person to manage your small business HR needs, let alone someone who has multiple hats to wear as many business owners do.

If you can’t do it all, here are the top five things to focus on if you want your small business to be successful.

1. Hire the Right People

Hiring can feel overwhelming, especially when you’re growing quickly and need competent people to fill important tasks. The best advice we have for small business owners?

Have a clear hiring process that begins with well-written job descriptions. Outline your interview process and stick to it (what questions should be asked, who does the initial interview and who else needs to approve any new hires), and don’t forget about background checks and references.

2. Monitor and Review Performance

Part of employee success, and therefore the success of your overall business, is making sure your employees understand how they are performing. Provide performance reviews and clear opportunities for growth for each employee.

For any performance concerns, make sure you have a formal discipline process or have a process for offering struggling employees the resources they need.

And, like many functions of HR: make sure to document, document, document. This brings us to the next item…

3. Create an Employee Handbook

“But we’re a small business! Everyone knows how things work at our company.”

When things don’t go as planned, having an employee handbook to lean on will be instrumental in protecting both the business and employees.

Your employee handbook should cover the overall expectations for employees and outline any policies around leave, benefits, termination, and standards of behavior.

4. Compliance

Taking risks as a small business could cost you in the form of penalties or lawsuits. File retention, local laws, state laws, ADA, ERISA, tax laws…we could go on and on about thousands of different regulations every business is required to comply with.

Your policies need to be clear and communicated to all your employees. Everything from hiring to how employees are classified and paid to how you terminate employees (and why) needs to be done with the laws and regulations in mind.

To make matters even more complicated, these employment-related regulations are constantly changing. If you’re not acquainted with the different regulations, it’s worth it to hire someone or make sure you’re partnered with a firm who can help keep you compliant.

5. Offer and Manage Employee Benefits

Don’t wait to put together an employee benefits package! Offering employee benefits can help you attract and retain top talent. It could be the difference between someone taking the job with you or looking for another position.

Consider the impact offering benefits might have for your employees and your company. Things like:

  • Health Insurance
  • Life and Disability Insurance
  • Retirement Savings Plan
  • Vision and Dental Coverage

Offering benefits does come with some costs, but there may be financial benefits to you for doing so – beyond employee productivity and engagement!

Trying to figure out what benefits to offer while meeting government requirements can be confusing. Working with a benefits partner like Advanced Benefit Solutions can save you a lot of time by handling all aspects of your benefits from paperwork to compliance to employee questions and communication.

Need a partner for your small business HR? That’s why Advanced Benefit Solutions is here.  We have helped small to medium size companies around Austin, Texas ensure they have the right benefits in place to help them be successful.

If you’re interested in talking about what employee benefits could do for your business, or if you feel like managing your benefits is taking up too much of your time, give us a call!