With small and mid-sized businesses, one person is the founder, CEO, COO and CFO all rolled into one. That means that they have a lot of work, responsibility and stress.
Invariably, the most complicated part of that multifaceted leadership role is dealing with Human Resources. HR is often overlooked in growing companies, but there are a lot of potential problems that can lead to direct costs (e.g., hiring replacements, litigation) and indirect costs (e.g., loss of efficiency, poisoned company culture) that can jeopardize the entire enterprise.
Everything in HR — recruiting, interviewing, hiring, paperwork, onboarding, basic policies, performance, company culture, compliance and more — starts and ends with people and how you deal with them.
1 Recruiting Talent
The cost of advertising, interviewing, screening and hiring can be excessive, and the process can take countless hours over several months. Don’t rush through the process. Make detailed and specific job descriptions to focus the search.
2 Interviewing Potential Candidates
It is essential that you are correct about your hiring decision. Replacing a salaried employee costs, on average, between six and nine months of salary. Establish a consistent interview process. Make sure to decide on some answers to these questions:
- How much time will you spend with each candidate?
- Who else will sit in on the interview?
- What questions will you ask?
- What skills does the position require?
3 Hiring the Best
Big companies may have a good reputation. Small companies can provide nice perks to lure top talent.
- Work from home.
- Flexible hours to take the kids to swimming lessons.
- Relaxed dress code.
- Small-group camaraderie.
- The chance to be there at the start of the company.
- Exerting influence and making a difference are often more important than money.
4 Completing Official Paperwork
The classic three-file HR system — official paperwork, personal paperwork and medical documents — is time-consuming and inefficient. Company management software allows employees to fill in their own information and update it whenever necessary. A physical signature is old school; an electronic signature is more efficient, faster and just as binding.
5 Get the New Hires Up To Speed
Don’t skimp on training because investing in employees is an investment in the company. Plan ahead of time to be most efficient: Who will do the initial training? Who will double-check the early work? After the initial training, it is definitely important to keep people up on the latest know-how and trends.
6 Company Policies
Small companies may not have an official employee handbook, but they should at least establish policies for work hours, dress code, social media use and other aspects of daily life in the company. More important regulations must also be in place, including risk management, Workers’ Compensation, dispute resolution and safety inspections.
7 Assess the Performance of the Employee
Regular feedback, hopefully, will fix any problems. But sometimes you just have to give up on an employee. When do you pull the plug? Does it take several people to agree with the dismissal? Or three unsatisfactory performance reviews? Whatever the guidelines, thorough documentation is protection against a lawsuit.
8 Dealing with Company Culture
When people are not happy, their productivity decreases, co-workers feel it and customers sense it. Do whatever you can to keep everyone happy: a random Friday off; a pizza party; a small bonus; happy hour drinks. Turnover is a killer. Any change in personnel affects the bottom line and the overall mood of the company.
The government and different organizational bodies are constantly considering and reconsidering laws and regulations. Posting federal and state notices is required. Make a list of all of the regulations that you need to follow, and make sure to stay on top of them.
10 General Know-How and Experience
There are a lot of more complicated questions that always come up for growing businesses. Do extensive research and find an expert to help. Is it better to hire a contractor instead of a normal full-time employee? Which retirement system is the best? Do you need a dental plan? How do you create a vesting program? Can you reduce your tax burden? What software is best for company management?
These are all important aspects of making a company into a success. Help is available. Worklio is a company that works hand in hand with Professional Employer Organizations to take care of all the day-to-day tasks that can make or break a business.