Human resources is one of the most important functions in a business. That’s because these individuals are responsible for hiring and retaining employees, who constitute the backbone of your business. It’s not an easy process.
With so much competition from other companies, employees have more options. They don’t have to accept the first job offer they receive or even stay at one job for years and years. This puts a great deal of pressure on your HR people. Not only do they have to create a solid hiring strategy, but they have to put processes in place to enhance the employee experience.
If you’re a small business, creating the ideal employee experience can be challenging. Small businesses have smaller budgets and fewer resources. But there are still ways HR can help a company succeed. From understanding employment law to having the right payroll software for a small business, here are seven tips your HR team should embrace:
1. Hire the Right People
There’s a reason this one seems obvious. A high turnover rate isn’t good for any department. Not only can it result in low company morale, but it can also be costly. Advertising a job, interviewing candidates, and training them once they’re hired can cost $1,000 to $5,000 or more.
Your HR department’s job isn’t just to hire and train employees — it’s to hire the right employees and train them effectively. To enable them to do that, make sure you know exactly what you need.
When creating job postings, make sure to specify not only the job’s technical qualifications but also the necessary soft skills. You’re not just seeking a task-completing automaton; you’re looking for the newest member of your team. In addition to their code-writing or number-crunching skills, you’ll want to make sure candidates have the ability to communicate and collaborate effectively.
When you interview candidates, include other team members with whom they’ll work. Current front-line employees will have invaluable insights on which applicants will be a good fit for your company culture.
2. Streamline Payroll
If you’re a small company, you most likely don’t have money to burn. But while it’s smart to cut costs where you can, you don’t want to risk the happiness of your employees. If payroll is constantly mismanaged to the point that checks are being pushed out late, your employees won’t be pleased. Look to tech to solve the problem.
Processing payroll manually is not only inefficient, it increases the likelihood of errors. Fortunately, there are budget-friendly payroll solutions for small businesses that can create paychecks, send direct deposits, withhold taxes and benefit premiums, and more.
Modern HR software solutions can manage benefits and payroll in one basic platform. And instead of HR staff having to fuss with new hires’ paperwork, these solutions allow new employees to self-onboard 100% online.
It’s true that automating payroll will require an initial investment. But it will take the load off of HR so they can focus their attention elsewhere. Better still, it will ensure employees are getting paid on time for their hard work.
3. Create an Employee Handbook
Every company needs an employee handbook that provides a detailed overview of the business and its policies. If you’re a small business, there’s a chance you might not already have one. Now is the time to create it.
This handbook saves HR time by answering employee questions on everything from PTO policies to dispute resolution processes. Not only are employee handbooks beneficial for new hires, but they also keep long-term employees up-to-date with any changes. Just make sure you’re continuously updating the employee handbook when there’s new information.
4. Understand Employment Law
One of HR’s chief roles is to ensure a company is in compliance with state and federal employment law. The last thing you want is to run afoul of regulations regarding fair hiring, leave policies, or tax requirements.
The list of federal employment regulations businesses must abide by is long, and there are state requirements to account for as well. Fortunately, there are resources available to help HR professionals keep your company in compliance. Employment laws change constantly, so it’s vital that employees are always up to date with the right information.
5. Hire Remote Employees
There are several reasons why small businesses should consider hiring remote employees. For one, it saves money. By not having to supply new hires with physical office space, companies save on overhead.
More importantly from an HR perspective, though, is that it lets your recruiters hire the most talented people for each role. When you’re not confined to location, you have a wider candidate pool. Instead of only receiving applications from employees who live near the office, you can access talent from all over the world.
6. Digitize Everything
One of the most beneficial habits HR can adopt is to digitize everything. While small businesses might not have as much paperwork, the goal is to eventually grow.
In preparation for that growth, it’s a good idea to keep information in a digital HR system. Storing candidate cover letters, résumés, and assessment results online will be much more efficient than having to sort through files and piles on desks. Materials will stay well organized for your current HR team members and the ones who come after.
7. Have a Feedback Process
The only way for a business to grow is if its employees are doing good work. That’s where feedback can be helpful. According to a study, employees respond well to feedback. In fact, employees who regularly communicate with their managers are almost three times more engaged than those who don’t.
That engagement, in turn, makes your HR department’s job easier. Engaged employees tend to stick around, and this improved retention lessens the hiring burden on HR.
Does your small business have a process in place to provide employees with feedback? If not, create one. If an employee is performing well, they should know so they can keep up the good work. If an employee is performing poorly, they should know what steps they can take to improve.
By integrating the tips above, your HR team can help onboard the right hires, keep them informed as needed, and enhance employee engagement. All these things will help your business succeed.