What Does HR for Small Business Look Like?


In the best of times, running a successful small business requires a careful balance of operational efficiency, exceptional customer service and healthy profit margins. Add a pandemic to the equation, though, and you’re looking at a host of challenges that threaten to disrupt this balance at any moment.

But do you know what can, and should, remain a constant through the good and not-so-good times – and can actually keep your business on steady footing? Human resources, or HR. With strong and consistent HR practices, you can improve employee engagement and performance, enhance workplace culture and protect your business legally – all of which can help you achieve your goals and ride the waves of change. Plus, you can turn to efficient, user-friendly employee management software to make HR management easier and more accessible than ever.

Although the concept of HR doesn’t change, how you handle it if you’re a small business vs. a large one certainly does. Large companies often have dedicated HR departments with dozens of specialists responsible for hiring and firing, training, payroll, and compliance. Midsize companies, on the other hand, may outsource some HR responsibilities, such as payroll and accounting services, while keeping employee management duties in-house.

Small businesses, however, rarely have the ability to specialize or outsource, which means everything resides with the owner or a few assigned managers. And although you may be tempted to relegate HR to the bottom of the list, or cut corners to focus on other matters, this is a risky proposition.

Your business can achieve a few key benefits by prioritizing HR tasks on a daily basis:

  1. Enhanced recruiting and hiring — Hiring good employees is getting more competitive these days, especially if you’re looking to fill high-demand positions like web developers and e-marketers, for example. So at the very least, you want your job candidates to have a positive experience as they go through the application and interview process, since they may be comparing you to other companies with more robust HR departments and elaborate recruiting tools.
  2. Retention of current employees — Of course, you also want your current employees to have a good experience. Most employees share some basic and reasonable expectations: They want to understand what the company policies are. They need to know how much time off they have and how to request it. And they expect to be treated fairly. So again, with consistent HR processes or resources, you can create a positive dynamic for your most valuable resource, your employees.
  3. Labor law compliance — A resounding reason HR matters to all businesses – even the smallest ones – is because of the vast array of labor laws that you have to comply with.  Whether you have one employee or 1,000, every employer must follow certain laws at the federal, state, and even local levels. So, you want to implement legally sound processes and tools that take those laws into consideration and eliminate the risk that certain laws will be overlooked.

Fortunately, your small business can now turn to web-based HR software to manage your ever-growing responsibilities and achieve these benefits. Furthermore, by migrating more of your outdated, paper-based HR processes to online resources, you can:

  • Save time and effort
  • Enable employee self-service for additional time savings
  • Access information anywhere, anytime (which is ideal for today’s increasingly remote workplaces)
  • Reduce paper waste and office/file cabinet storage
  • Shift attention to business-building and revenue-generating objectives

Greater HR Efficiency Begins with Online Recordkeeping

It’s easy to move your employee management responsibilities online with HRdirect Smart Apps. Each app is designed to solve a specific employee management task – from hiring, onboarding and recordkeeping to attendance tracking, performance management and posting/policy compliance. Working together or independently, HRdirect Smart Apps give your small business the ability to customize your HR solutions and reduce the overall burden.

To get started, check out the FREE Employee Records app. In just minutes, you can set up and add your employees, then maintain essential documents and personnel information in one central, secure location. Not only is everything at your fingertips, but you can also allow employees to update their own details. It’s the perfect foundation to a strategic, forward-thinking online approach to HR.