The Role of a Recruiter and HR in Small Business

You’ve launched your business and it’s humming along. Like most entrepreneurs, you wear plenty of hats, including chief human resources (HR) and recruitment officer. Here’s the problem, though: You can’t handle all your employee-related responsibilities forever. If you do, you could find yourself in trouble.

The issue isn’t just that you’re going to spread yourself too thin. A bigger concern is that you could make a major, costly mistake. Unless you’ve received training on the ins and outs of HR, you might wind up hurting your company. For instance, you could be fined for being out of compliance with labor regulations. 

You can’t just push off HR tasks to another worker, either. As a Docebo Report showed, nearly one-third of employees admit they feel underqualified to do their jobs. Adding more to a team member’s plate could be just as risky as handling all HR-focused duties solo.

The better option is to accept that you need an individual or group to concentrate on your recruitment and HR needs. That way, you can explore ways to scale your business instead of dabbling in an area you’re not trained to manage. For example, you could decide to hire an in-house HR professional or name someone to be the HR point person. Or, you might outsource all of your HR responsibilities to a third-party provider

No matter what you choose, make sure that your HR solution covers the following key roles.

1. Sourcing and onboarding new employees

The Great Resignation has proven to be a huge shakeup for organizations of all sizes. However, it’s been an opportunity for startups and small businesses to snag talent from larger counterparts

Having a dedicated HR arm can help you find and attract candidates for open positions. Your HR person or provider can cover everything from advertising jobs and interviewing applicants to completing salary negotiations and maintaining paperwork. HR can even take care of routine training, ensuring a legally compliant and bias-free candidate journey.

This doesn’t mean you and other team leaders can’t have the final say in bringing employees aboard. You can. The difference is that you don’t have to be involved in every detail or be able to recite the Fair Labor Standards Act backward and forward.

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2. Handling all aspects of payroll

Most business owners learn quickly that employees expect to be paid correctly on their agreed-upon dates. They don’t appreciate having to wait for their salary or having to deal with a payroll mistake.

If you spend hours every payroll going over your employees’ information, you’re not alone. Founders spend around 21 days yearly ensuring their payroll taxes are correct. Yet they could just as easily free up their calendars by hiring an HR pro and investing in sophisticated payroll software.

Small business payroll software isn’t just for extremely small startups. Even enterprise-level professional HR teams rely on tech payroll systems to streamline the process of keeping worker pay up-to-date and accurate. One of the side benefits of having all your payroll data in a centralized repository is that you can extract it at any time for reporting purposes.

3. Creating a vibrant corporate culture

A great workplace culture matters, especially to today’s workers. Hinge Research Institute’s 2020 Employer Branding Study indicated that 57% of job hunters put culture on par with pay

Small businesses and startups have the chance to create unique, exciting cultures. Those cultures must be fostered and nourished, though. That’s where HR and recruitment employees and teams can help.

HR can be tasked with keeping stats on how employees feel about their jobs and their workplace in general. With the help of employee satisfaction surveys and exit interviews, recruitment and HR leaders can better identify cultural gaps. As a result, you can brainstorm ways to bridge those gaps and construct a responsive, positive culture built on employee engagement.

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4. Offering ideas to stay ahead

When you’re a startup, you can make a big splash in your industry. All eyes will be on your organization. After a while, though, you won’t be the “new kid” on the block anymore. You’ll have challengers, which makes it important to keep upping your game.

An individual or team from HR can provide wonderful access to creative ways to stay ahead of your competition. For instance, a recruiter may tap into a different pool where you can source amazing employees. Or an HR manager might recommend that you consider offering an emerging type of benefit or perk.

Remember that experts in the field of HR are trained to problem-solve. As such, they’re good at coming up with answers to big issues. Make sure you use the HR personnel in your business to keep your corporate edge.

5. Updating your handbook and associated collateral

Does the thought of pulling together a written employee handbook sound antiquated? Even though you’re running a company in a digital age, you should still have a handbook. 

A handbook can serve a multitude of purposes. First, it outlines your expectations as an employer. Without having those expectations in writing, employees would have no guidelines for their behaviors. Secondly, it gives you the chance to explain how you deal with employee relations matters like disciplinary actions. Finally, it serves as an evolving reflection of the protocols and rules that steer your business.

HR usually maintains and disseminates the employee handbook for a company. However, you can certainly have a hand in what it says. Plus, you can decide how it’s delivered. A PDF sent annually—or whenever changes are made—is acceptable as long as all your workers receive an updated copy.

When you’re first stepping into the startup world, you sometimes can’t avoid absorbing HR and recruiting functions. After a while, though, you need to let go to give your company the best future. Like so many other activities, this is one that’s well-suited for outsourcing. And you, your brand, and your workers will only be strengthened by your decision.

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