Why Small Businesses Need HR

Written by Andrew Johnson - Tue 28th Jul 2020

As your business grows, you will inevitably start to consider the prospect of taking on staff. This can be as exciting as starting the business, but it does bring its own worries. 

Don’t be fooled into thinking that you don’t need HR processes and procedures in place from the start. 

Regardless of how small your team is, you need to start as you mean to go on. 

Remember, it’s unlikely that you are an expert in this area so if you don’t seek advice, you could be setting yourself up for a fall. 

You need to get it right from the outset. Even from interview stage.

I recently worked with a company who took on a staff member with the best of intentions. Their business was growing quickly, and they were excited to expand. 

They knew the personality they were looking for and made the decision to go it alone. 

As a fun brand, they didn’t want to do things in the usual way. Even at interview stage. They didn’t design any specific questions; they just had an ‘informal chat’. 

This set the scene for the future. Offering this applicant the position, they created a fun and flexible culture. 

Sounds ideal?

In an ideal world perhaps but that’s not how to run a business. 

Of course, it was fantastic at first. The employee thought that they had walked into an extremely flexible role, she could work from home when she wanted, she had complete trust from her employers, but it wasn’t long before her work deteriorated. 

The business owners had tried to deal with the mistakes on their own. They had implemented changes, held regular 1-2-1’s with the staff member but when it came down to it, things didn’t improve. 

When they finally sourced outside help, it was apparent that they had let this go on for far too long, at a detriment to their business. 

The staff member should have been subject to disciplinaries long before now which made the process much more difficult. Had they sourced expert advice early on, the matter could have been dealt with quickly and efficiently. 

Of course, we did resolve the issues quickly because I am an expert in my field but whilst these small business owners thought they were doing the right thing for the employee, they were doing the wrong thing for their business. 

Before this happened, they didn’t feel that they needed outside help. They were financially restricted and under the impression that it would cost a huge amount of money. 

Now, they realise the value in having someone on their side. The cost was minimal and compared to what it cost them to have an unproductive staff member for over a year, they know that it’s well worth the ROI. 

Why is this important?

Because I see this mistake happen time and time again. There is a myth that outsourced HR advice costs the earth and therefore many business owners want to manage it in-house. 

However, if you get it right from the start and work with the right people, your business could expand quickly and most importantly efficiently.

Having someone to hold your hand in an area that you’re not an expert in can be extremely valuable and it allows you the time to do what you do best. 

Here’s my top 5 reasons as to why SME’s should invest in HR

1 – It will save you money in the long run. 

There may be a small investment but imagine what it will cost your business if you do not get the right team in place. It can be catastrophic. 

A HR expert will find you the best people and know how to get the best from them. 

2 – Legal guidance

HR isn’t something you can do half-heartedly. You have a legal responsibility to your employees and your company, and you need to know the law. 

A HR expert can guide you and make sure you are following the correct processes and procedures to avoid future mistakes. 

3 – They will help you grow

A HR expert understands the value in staff. They are in fact, your most valuable asset. Having someone to help you with your team means that they can show you how to train and develop, hold regular 1-2-1’s, performance management and create career prospects. 

4 – They will source the best team

You may know the type of people you want to work in your business, but interviews can be tricky. An applicant will behave in a way that they think is appropriate and without an expert on hand, you may not be able to identify what’s real and what’s not.

A HR expert will know what questions to ask, they will be able to spot the signs. They have seen it all many times and know how to find the talented team you need. 

5 – Reassurance

Above all, having a HR expert on your side gives you constant reassurance. It means that you can pick up the phone and speak to someone about the smallest issues before they advance to something bigger. 

A HR expert will advise you on how to nip something in the bud quickly and effectively and ensure you get the right outcome for you and your staff. 

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you are too small to have a HR expert in your business. The second you consider employing staff, you need someone there to hold your hand. 

Always here for advice.