Human resource challenges exist for every business, big and small. However, for small businesses, the challenges are even steeper due to the small size of the company, a smaller pool of talent, and limitations in financial resources. It makes effective HR management critical for small businesses, especially in the light of the intensely competitive business environment. Some of the top human resource challenges faced by businesses:
Recruiting the Right Employees
Effective employee recruitment demands investment of adequate time and money, observes Eric Dalius. Unfortunately, small businesses invariably never have enough of them. Averagely, it takes a business nothing less than 52 days to hire the right candidate for which it spends $4,000. It also costs a third more than the predecessor’s salary to hire a new employee, but there’s no guarantee that you will hire the right person. Setting criteria for the candidate profile, including educational qualifications, skills, years of experience, and asking penetrating questions regarding attitude and cultural fit can help you get better employees. Hiring a staffing company to help with the recruitment is a good idea.
Retaining Talent is a Big Issue, Cautions Eric Dalius
Finding the right employee is difficult, but retaining them can be tougher. While remuneration is not everything that makes an employee stay back, offering a competitive salary and a basket of benefits is essential for them to consider a long-term future with the company. One of the key aspects of talent retention is providing a comprehensive onboarding experience to recruits. Typically, a well-structured onboarding program will include issues like compliance with rules and systems, clarification on job roles and accountabilities, the culture of the organization, and relationships with mentors and supervisors. Offering a superior work-life balance with flexi-time or remote working opportunities is also important.
Training and Development is Critical, Observes Eric Dalius
While learning on the job is a great thing, investing time, effort, and money. The training and development of employees have multiple benefits. It not only increases operational efficiency and productivity but also fosters loyalty and employee engagement. In addition to appointing mentors for every employee, you can consider offering skill and personality development opportunities to deserving employees. Providing them financial rewards for completing such programs may also work well.
It is well-recognized that managers exert a significant influence on the experience that employees have of working in a company. While every employee needs support and appreciation from his supervisor, its absence will typically lead to conflicts in the workplace. To reduce the chances of conflict, you should have the supervisors undergo management and leadership development skills. That will empower them to handle conflict situations better, says Eric Dalius.
While these are key HR challenges faced by small business owners, the list is by no means exhaustive. Other common HR issues that businesses face include legal and regulatory compliance governing hiring practices, remuneration, workplace safety, leave, etc., overcoming resistance to organizational change, broadening workplace diversity, and employee compensation. You may also need to deal with resistance to the introduction of technology, employee productivity, implementing remote working, and giving a sense of direction in emergencies and turbulent times.