Small Business HR Issues

Small Business HR Issues

Small business owners are endlessly busy. Besides keeping up with day-to-day admin, marketing, logistics, payroll, and oh, making a profit, there’s another major issue: managing HR.

Human resource issues can be the biggest challenges any small business owner can face. Although you’re bound to the same HR legislation as a large company, your budget isn’t anywhere near the same. Most small businesses simply can’t afford a separate HR manager, so they deal with it themselves – or try to!

It’s vital for business success that you take your HR responsibilities seriously. Failing to sort out issues such as a staff member’s leave entitlements or an update to your employee’s contract could result in nasty and very expensive problems.

These are some of the many reasons you need to face HR issues head-on.


Hiring new staff can be a time-consuming and frustrating process. Wading through a sea of unsuitable candidates is a major cause of stress for any business looking to hire.

Mistakes are often made during the hiring process that can result in serious harm to your business’s performance and growth. Common mistakes include:

·       Poor job descriptions and advertisements that don’t attract the right candidates

·       An inadequate vetting process, which results in time wasted on non-qualified candidates

·       A rushed interview process that means you hire people who aren’t fit for the position.

An HR specialist can help you through the nitty-gritty of recruiting staff. From creating an accurate job description through to advertising, shortlisting, and screening potential candidates, an HR consultant will help you find the right staff for the right position.

Health and safety

 Taking on staff is only the beginning of your responsibilities. No matter what business you’re in, the safety of your workers is entirely down to you. If you haven’t provided the right training, the right equipment, and a safe work environment, you run the risk of incurring a hefty fine for you as an individual, as well as for your business.

Around 60 people are killed in New Zealand workplace accidents annually. If you don’t have the right health and safety processes to train and safeguard your employees from injuries, the consequences could be dire. Even if you operate in a low-risk environment, there can be serious financial repercussions for not complying with safety legislation.

An outdated employee handbook or health and safety manual may make it difficult for your staff to comply with safety expectations and processes – which is where accidents can happen.

Managing performance

It’s vital to manage performance to ensure your business is at the top of its game. If your employees aren’t performing, your business isn’t achieving its full potential.

But managing performance is often fraught with many legal obstacles. Business owners can be wary of performance processes and worry how to manage the situation. If a performance process isn’t managed correctly, you can face a lengthy and difficult legal battle (and hefty bill).

Businesses should never be afraid of managing performance, especially if they have the right support. You owe it to your employees (and customers) to help your staff perform to their full potential. 

Bullying, harassment, and discrimination

Although most business owners would like to think bullying and discrimination doesn’t happen in their workplace, the truth is it happens everywhere. If one of your staff members is the victim of racial discrimination, sexual harassment, disability discrimination, or any other issue, you’re the one who needs to sort it out. Few small business owners can afford the costs associated with a court trial – or worse, the damage it can have on their reputation.

Keeping discrimination, bullying, and harassment out of your workplace begins with robust prevention measures. As an employer, it’s your responsibility to take steps to ensure employees are safe and free at work. Building a positive, respectful workplace culture is an important part of your HR policy.

Benefits and compensation

Small business owners are unlikely to be able to pay their employees at the salary level of larger businesses. Your employees may need other incentives to work for you. This is where benefits are so important. Health insurance, life insurance, remote working opportunities, and other ‘perks’ are invaluable for retaining employees.

Incentives and rewards are great for boosting morale and motivating employees to work more effectively. Employees who feel undervalued will likely not work as hard and do the bare minimum, especially if they’re already on minimum wage.

However, managing these incentives is the work of HR. Confusion over who’s owed what – or who’s eligible for what – can lead to all sorts of difficulties and misunderstandings.

Record keeping

Keeping paperwork in order can sometimes seem like a chore in itself! If you’re anything like most small business owners, your office desk is typically drowning under papers, notebooks, receipts, fliers … and the odd coffee mug. 

Documents such as employee contracts, payment details, and tax forms must be treated with care. They should be up-to-date, completed, and filed away in the right place so they can be retrieved whenever they’re needed. Again, this is where an HR professional comes in handy. They’re the ones who know how to organise those vital documents so you’re not wasting time searching for a lost form when you need it.

Phew – that’s a lot to think about! And it’s only the beginning of the list of tasks that human resource management involves.

Doing your own HR can seem like a way to save money. But if you run into trouble, it can cost you more. That’s where outsourcing your HR tasks to a company like Core HR comes in. You’ll not only save on hiring a full-time HR manager (who can cost around $120k a year) but also safely offload all those time-consuming tasks to an experienced professional who does it right the first time.

The Core HR team are experts in all things HR: recruitment, payroll, health and safety, and more. They take care of the people management and HR support in your business, so you don’t have to, leaving you time for all the other stuff you need to worry about in business!

If you’re looking to take the headache out of your HR, speak to the team at Core HR today.