How to avoid HR mistakes as a small business

You’ve got to be a multi-tasker as the owner of a growing business – but this also means that you can’t be all things to all people. We’re all human, and mistakes do happen. Because HR is involved with the aspect of people though, it can get complicated or costly if you make HR mistakes – so here are some things to watch out for, and some things to avoid:

1. Rushing the recruiting process

Everything is done at lightning speed as an entrepreneur, we know this. But this speedy attitude shouldn’t apply to the recruitment of new staff, as this is one aspect you need to invest time in, and do methodically. Hiring the wrong person can cost you in legal fees, your time spent on administration and paperwork, and can also dent the morale of your team.

Create a recruitment process and then follow it through each time you hire someone new. Also bear in mind that this person needs to fit in with the culture of your small team, so sourcing other existing employee’s opinions (besides your own) is vital. In order to attract the right sort of talent, you may want to offer attractive benefit packages as well, such as pensions or medical aid options.

2. Messing up salaries

There can be no quicker way to upset your employees and derail your business than by paying staff late, or paying them the wrong amounts. Clerical errors like paying them too much can be a big administrative hassle, and underpaying them because you are struggling with cash flow is another huge no-no. Ensure that your monthly remuneration processes are slick, that you’re communicating about any variations and that you ALWAYS pay on time.

3. No training

Training takes time and budget, and often small businesses don’t make this a focus, but this is to their detriment. In fact, it’s precisely in a small business where people are playing multiple roles that they often have large gaps in their expertise. You may ask your bookkeeper to play Financial Manager too, but perhaps they don’t have sufficient training to make strategic decisions? Training also motivates people, makes them more innovative and creative, helping them think of alternative solutions to issues or opportunities.

4. No documentation

It’s easy to let your paperwork slide as a fast-growing company. But you’ll regret this three months down the line when you find yourself at the CMMA with no documentation that lists performance grievances, for example. Document everything, from when your staff take holidays, to when they are ill, to performance reviews and specific issues, if any. Ensure that your other employees/managers are also aware of these processes and what’s required of them.

5. Not knowing the law

Because you’re the boss (and not an HR professional), you may not know the ins and outs of employer law. But it’s crucial that you’re aware of things such as what the minimum maternity leave requirements are, as well as the minimum amount of leave employees need to legally have, plus minimum wage (although you should be paying more than that!). It’s your responsibility to ensure you are running a business that complies with the laws in your country, so if you feel like you need guidance on any of these matters, pay for a consultation with an HR professional.

Provided by Fedhealth.

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