Important HR Tips for SMEs

26 October 2021

This has been shown to be a mistake in the long term because not paying attention to people management can hurt profits and prevent your business from growing. This is critical because unfortunately, the statistics show that 20% of small and medium sized businesses fail within the first year and, half fail by the end of the fifth year. 

Small business owners can provide their organisations with a better chance to thrive by developing the parts of the business that fall under the HR umbrella. 

Depending on your industry, finding and retaining talent may be one of your biggest challenges. There is a global shortage of talent in operations, logistics, IT, sales and production to name a few areas. Hiring the right people for these kinds of roles may prove difficult. Focusing on HR and developing a robust recruitment process will provide you with the best chance of finding the right people for your small business.        

Small and medium sized businesses are often started by entrepreneurs and like-minded people who are passionate about the work they are doing. As your business expands, it is easy to forget to outline what working for your organisation entails more formally. 

Spend some time developing an employee handbook so the policies, procedures and benefits of working in your business are clear to employees. Statistics from the US bureau of labour statistics showed that only about one in four small businesses had an updated employee handbook

Ensure new recruits can hit the ground running by having their IT setup prior to their start date and having an induction programme that begins as soon as possible. Induction programmes are going to vary by organisation, but most include:

  • Overview of being an employee in your business including the employee handbook and any benefits like health insurance or a pension scheme.
  • In many countries it is a legal requirement to provide employees with information on their health and safety regardless of working environment
  • Provide a tour of the business premises 
  • Introduce colleagues to help employees feel welcome
  • Arrange induction meetings with key stakeholders for their role

It is critical for smaller businesses with limited resources to leverage HR technology as much as possible to deliver a joined up experience for employees. HR professionals in SMEs should use a specialist package to:

  • Manage the interview processes
  • Store employee files
  • Comply with employment law
  • Provide employee feedback

Although resources may be stretched, seeking HR advice may be worth it, particularly if you feel your business is struggling in this area. Any business is only as good as its people so having a strong HR department is intrinsic to your company reaching their business goals. 

By focusing on elements like a robust hiring process and creating a positive working environment will help develop a company culture to be proud of. In the longer term, this will play an important role in the growth of your business.    

If like many SME’s reaching your business goals requires sending employees overseas on international assignment, provide them with access to international health insurance designed to meet the unique needs of SMEs