Human resource issues for small businesses are a world apart from the concerns a company like IBM or Apple might face in this field. For startups with few employees, human resource (HR) tasks and challenges are often a matter of a few brief conversations with the owner or supervisor. While there are complicated issues that can arise in small enterprises, the organization's size usually makes it easy to resolve conflicts, hiring decisions and legal issues on a more informal basis.
The most common way small businesses handle HR issues is by hiring family members. Relatives are much less likely to sue their employer, are able to discuss any HR issues that arise in a family-friendly way, and tend to know how to make hiring decision based on the owner's desires. Questions of pay, vacation time, and new employees are all in the family when small business owners employ spouses, sons, daughters and other blood relatives. Of course, being so close can also strain a small business, especially as it grows. Make sure you are working with relatives you trust and who you know will be fair.
One of the key advantages for small business owners when it comes to HR issues, is the ability to make all decisions without consulting anyone else. In a micro-business that only has three or four employees the owner can simple meet with the entire staff and dispense decisions about vacation time, sick leave, new hires, and all other HR issues.
Even in small businesses that employ 20 or 30 workers, the owner can sit down with each person and take care of HR matters one-on-one. When there are only a few people involved in the entire operation, small companies can deal with HR issues as they arise, and on a person-by-person basis. According to discrimination laws in New Jersey and other states, small businesses should be aware of federal hiring and minimums for all employees.
Human Resources issues can become involved and highly technical within large companies. Fortunately, small organizations have the advantage of working one-on-one with employees when problems arise. Vacation time, sick leave, new hiring decisions, terminations, and more areas within the HR field can usually be handled by one or two people in a small company. This more intimate approach is becoming popular in U.S. businesses that employ fewer than 10 people. When there is no need for a designated HR department, management is able to spend funds on other, more essential components of the business.
By: Eileen O'Shanassy
Eileen O'Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter @eileenoshanassy.