As a small business owner, managing costs is everything, and professional services like HR support can seem like a ‘nice to have’ rather than a necessity. But if you have ambitions to grow your business it could be a very wise investment, even in the early days.
It’s never too early for small businesses to invest in professional HR Support services. Along with fulfilling basic HR functions and keeping you compliant with employment law, an outsourced HR team can help to establish a strong employer brand and attract the right talent to scale your business.
We may be biased, sure, but we see so many small businesses thrive when they nail their company culture and recruitment strategy from the outset. It attracts the right kind of people and, crucially, they retain them.
If you are tired of a continuous turnover of staff who are not engaged with your vision, then it’s not just bad luck – like all aspects of business, it requires strategic planning. Your ideal people are out there, and OutThere can help you to find them!
Do small businesses need HR?
If you are an ambitious small business owner looking to grow your company, then it’s likely that you will have to recruit more staff as you expand. While it may be manageable to fulfil the necessary HR administration with a handful of staff, it’s not just the basics like payroll, absenteeism and holiday allocation you should be concerned with.
Without proper thought given to the Employee Lifecycle, you could find that your new employees become disillusioned and dissatisfied. It’s essential to manage employee relations, with proper thought given to onboarding, training and development.
If your small business is to achieve success, everyone in it must have a clear understanding of your company’s vision and their role in it. Else you could find that office life becomes difficult, quality of work declines and you exit staff as fast as you hire them.
We truly believe that it is a false economy to overlook professional HR advice for the sake of cost saving. If you neglect even the basics at the beginning, then you face a world of pain and expense fixing it later on down the line.
What is employer branding and why is it important?
You have no doubt given your company’s brand some serious thought, to establish your reputation in the market and stand apart from your competitors. But it’s not just your consumer brand that forms the image you present to the world.
Your employer brand is of equal importance, i.e. how you portray your company as an employer in the recruitment process. If you do not pay attention to, or are not in control of, the dialogue about your business when recruiting, then you risk attracting unsuitable candidates and letting the right ones slip through the net.
Then begins an unfulfilling and costly cycle of what OutThere have named ‘The Conveyor Belt’. In HR speak, we mean a high rate of employee turnover. It’s almost impossible to achieve your objectives for growth if you are constantly searching for that elusive perfect candidate, and hiring the wrong person time and time again.
To nail your employer branding, it’s a case of owning the recruitment process and telling your story accurately and professionally. At the same time, it’s important to nurture the culture of your organisation, so that the reality of what it is like to work for your business reflects your vision. That way, you will build brand advocacy and the right type of candidates will soon come knocking.
What size company needs an HR Department?
There’s no hard and fast rule as to what size company needs a professional Human Resources department. There are key numbers where Health & Safety support becomes a responsibility and where Employee Relations matters (let’s call them HR Issues) become a full time job and a vital function for any organisation.
Its important to acknowledge that HR should be “Transformational” for your business and not just “Transactional HR”
For small businesses and or a growing business. It is tempting to want to take HR on in house, by adding the responsibility onto an existing role (commonly the Office Manager or Finance Manager). But it’s crucial to remember that HR is a specialism.
It isn’t just a case of using the latest payroll technology and organising the odd team building day – all employers have a legal and moral duty to prioritise employee wellbeing.
Without consideration of issues such as ethics, health and safety, diversity, employee benefits and legal compliance, you could land your company in deep water.
So even if you are in the planning stages of growing your business, then it’s prudent to at least get some professional HR advice and lay the groundwork for a robust HR and recruitment strategy.
What services does an outsourced HR professional provide?
Outsourcing HR functions can save your small business valuable time, hassle and money in the long run, along with helping you to scale faster. OutThere offers HR Support services for the entire Employee Lifecycle including:
Employment law compliance
Navigating employment law is a tough gig. Like all legislation it is complicated and open to constant development.
With an outsourced HR specialist in your corner, you can relax knowing that you are compliant with all aspects of employment law and have a professional ear if contentious issues do arise.
Learning and development (L&D)
Training employees is not just a one time event, it should form part of a continuous talent management strategy, to keep your employees motivated and aligned to your goals.
A professional HR team can conduct a skills gap analysis to find out which areas of knowledge are lacking, then devise and deliver training sessions. We can also help you to establish a performance review process to keep everyone on track.
Your outsourced HR team can ensure that you get to grips with the latest HR software, such as payroll and benefits technology. Payroll is one of the most critical tasks for small businesses and the right technology will ensure you pay your staff accurately and on time.
Employee health and wellbeing
“Wellbeing” is a much used word these days, especially in the HR world. And for good reason, when you consider that a huge 1 in 7 people suffer with their mental health in the workplace.
The advantage of outsourcing wellbeing is that it offers staff and leaders an impartial and anonymous sounding board to voice personal issues.
We’ve already discussed the importance of recruitment in this article, but we can’t stress enough how much an HR specialist can transform the success of your recruitment strategy and employee retention.
We can help with all aspects of recruitment including employee branding, marketing, psychometric profiling, screening and interviews – whether it’s light touch advice or a full on Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) programme.
Once you’ve found the right candidates, it’s vital to engage with them from the off. Small businesses can sometimes neglect the onboarding process, but it’s an important stage in ensuring employees are aligned with your vision and know what’s expected of them.
Your outsourced HR specialists can help with all areas of onboarding, such as handling employment contracts and creating an employee handbook.
It’s possible for even the most dedicated employee to lose sight of the bigger picture during the hustle and bustle of the working day. Regular performance reviews are an essential way to renew focus, as well as highlighting any strengths and weaknesses that need to be addressed.
As a responsible employer, this should be a two-way process to assess how your leadership style and company culture is received.
Health and safety policy
Ah, the old health and safety – often met with an eye roll and a sigh. But all employers, even small businesses, have a legal duty to provide a safe and comfortable working environment. Failure to do so can lead to absenteeism, reputational damage and even legal action.
An outsourced HR team can help you to understand the legislation around health and safety and implement a robust strategy to protect your employees and also, your business.
Benefits of outsourcing HR for small businesses
An outsourced Human Resources department can act as an extension of your small business to save you time, money and keep you compliant, among other benefits.
#1 Save time and hassle
Managing HR is time and energy consuming and is very much a specialism. You could go about taking it on yourself, but it can very quickly become a full-time job! We can take on the everyday administrative tasks involved in HR, along with the loftier strategic planning, freeing up your time to concentrate on running your business.
#2 Expert advice at a fraction of the cost
You could, of course, go down the route of an in house HR department, but to hire the expertise your small business deserves, it’s going to be expensive. Outsourcing HR is much more cost effective and gives you access to the knowledge of highly qualified professionals.
#3 Peace of mind
Employment law is vast and complex and you don’t know what you don’t know! When you outsource HR to a qualified professional such as OutThere, we can cut through the jargon, save you hours of research and keep you abreast of legal changes to maintain compliance.
You can rest easy knowing that it’s all in the hands of professionals.
#4 Grow your business faster
To scale your business at the rate of your ambition, robust recruitment, onboarding and training strategies are essential.
An HR professional can help you to recruit faster, smarter and retain employees for longer.
#5 Build your reputation
Your employees can be your biggest advocates – but also your biggest detractors. Good HR procedures will help build brand advocacy and position you as an elite employer.
#6 Save money in the long run
HR support may seem like an unnecessary expense for a small business in the early days, but if HR is neglected for too long it’s going to take a lot of expense and time to fix things further down the line, when you have tens of staff all pulling in different directions.
#7 Find the right people – and keep them
Your people are your biggest asset and employee retention should be way up on your list of priorities. Dissatisfied employees will eventually seek a new employer – and if they don’t, then they are hardly going to help your company to thrive in a job they’re unhappy in.
Most successful small businesses have a strong company culture based on their vision and business goals. An HR consultant can help you to define your unique company culture and implement it to create a happy, productive workforce.
What does an HR business consultant do?
We could try to answer this in a snappy paragraph, but it’s probably best to read our recent article! The short answer is, a lot!
How much does it cost to hire an HR consultant?
This is a tough one as human resources is so broad, and the level of service could range from ad hoc HR advice, administrative HR tasks to a full-on external HR department. Some HR consultants will charge hourly, and some have fixed rate packages.
At OutThere, we understand that your small business has to use their budget wisely, and so we offer a tailored HR solution based on your needs, to offer you the best value for money.
Is it a legal requirement for a small business to have an HR team?
It is certainly not a legal requirement for a small company to have an HR team or HR manager, internal or external. But consider it an investment in your company’s future.
People really are your most valuable asset when you are looking to grow a small business, and finding and retaining the right talent can literally make or break you.
An HR consultancy can be so much more than hiring, firing and payroll. They can act as a business partner to support your company’s growth.
OutThere – professional HR services for small business owners
We hope you’ve found this helpful to understand the importance of HR support for small businesses. An investment today can pay dividends in the future, as well as helping you to grow and gain the competitive advantage.
So how do you find the right HR support for you?
Not all HR firms are made equal. Most will only handle your HR requirements and have to defer to a recruitment expert to find you the right people.
OutThere are different in this respect as we are the full package! We are The Employee Lifecycle Experts. That’s recruitment experts, HR experts and L&D experts. In a nutshell we can offer you the best return on your investment.
We are a highly qualified team with diverse strengths and knowledge, enabling us to offer HR support for every part of the Employee Life Cycle.
For new small businesses, we can help lay the foundations of your HR strategy and take on HR administration such as payroll and recruitment.
For more established companies, we can undertake an HR audit to understand your needs and build a small business HR package around your needs.
To find out whether we would be a good fit for your business, please contact us for a free initial consultation.