Delegation is often a sticky subject for many small-business owners. You know you should do it; in fact, you probably have to do it in order to get anything done. But when your business is your baby, and you know the ins and outs of how to do certain things, it’s often more comfortable, if not necessarily easier or more productive, to do it yourself.
When it comes to HR, though, the instinct to DIY and keep everything on your desk can prove overwhelming, or in some cases, disastrous. Sure, you might save some money, but as some small-business owners have discovered, the time you’re spending on HR tasks is usually better spent elsewhere, such as on working on actual revenue-producing tasks. Never mind that in today’s complex employment environment, handling HR without expensive knowledge of laws and best practices could end up being a costly mistake.
For many businesses, the solution is as simple as contracting with an HR consulting firm to help. If you aren’t sure that you need to delegate tasks yet, consider some of these common mistakes that indicate that you need help — and fast.
Mistake #1: Your Hiring Is Disastrous
Often, small-business owners start building their teams by reaching out to their own networks and through referrals. This is often a great source of talent, but as your company grows, you are likely to find that you need more people with specialized skills — and you don’t have the skills required to really evaluate them.
Other common problems that pop up in hiring?
- Making hasty hiring decisions because you need someone right away and don’t have time for a long process
- Taking too long to make a decision and losing out on great talent
- Receiving too many applications and feeling stymied by the process
- Unintentionally biased recruiting and hiring
- Inaccurate or incomplete job descriptions
- Ineffective interviewing skills
In short, there are any number of ways that hiring can go wrong if you aren’t an expert in recruitment and human resources. By hiring an HR consulting firm to help you through the process, you can avoid most of those pitfalls and have a much higher success rate with new hires.
Mistake #2: Policies? What Policies?
Your business probably has a list of dos and don’ts, along with expectations as to how to handle specific situations and comply with applicable laws. Unless you have everything in writing, you could find yourself in trouble should you reprimand an employee for his or her behavior or actions on the job. At minimum, you need an employee handbook outlining your basic code of conduct, communications policies (especially in a BYOD environment), employment and termination guidelines, compensation plans and policies, and your nondiscrimination policy.
However, complete HR policies go beyond the basics. What happens, for instance, to unused vacation time? How do employees accrue vacation time? Or how do you handle discipline? These issues are important, and you need to have written documentation of where you stand. Otherwise, it’s going to be difficult to remain consistent, not to mention avoid trouble if you need to discipline or terminate an employee. If you don’t have clear, up-to-date policies, a PEO can help you develop them, and get up to speed.
Mistake #3: Training Is Nonexistent
Not providing adequate training for your employees is a fast track to disaster. Not only does a lack of training contribute to higher turnover, but it also can lead to issues with customer service, or even lawsuits when your employees aren’t prepared with even the most basic skills.
The problem is that many small businesses approach training as a “one and done” session when new employees are onboarded without any ongoing attention. And training is usually focused on specific tasks for the job itself, and doesn’t address other issues such as sexual harassment, emergency preparedness, or workplace violence, which are all important issues to address. By working with an HR firm, you can correct these deficiencies, and feel confident that your team is prepared to handle most situations appropriately.
Mistake #4: We’re Compliant… Right?
Compliance with employment laws is complex. Many small businesses don’t even realize they are out of compliance until it’s too late. From misclassifying employees to failing to follow OSHA rules for safety, small oversights can lead to big fines. When you work with an HR consulting firm like National PEO, you can be sure that you’re compliant with all applicable regulations.
These are just some of the mistakes that small businesses make when handling HR that can cost them big time. So, while a DIY approach might work for some things, when it comes to HR, it’s best to work with the professionals at an HR consulting firm. Click here to learn more about how National PEO can be your go-to source for all things human resources, and keep you out of hot water and running smoothly.