Employing Without HR: How to Hire, Train & Build Culture in a Lean Team

Business.com / Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

No HR department? No problem. Here are 10 tips and tools to grow and train your staff and build culture without a HR team.

Your business is growing which means it's time to grow your staff. Exciting? Yes. A bit nerve-racking? It doesn't have to be. Putting together, keeping, an motivating an effective team requires careful thinking, planning and execution.

As a small business with limited resources, this came seem really daunting. So how do you accomplish this without an HR professional on staff?

Here are 10 ways to help you wear a Human Resources hat with confidence.

1. Create job profiles

Create a profile for each role within your business. What the position entails, what skills are required and what you’re looking for. If you’re as comprehensive as possible, for example (i.e. what makes the current employee successful in that role), you can use it in multiple ways, like building out sourcing profiles for future hiring.

2. Track candidates

You could use an Excel spreadsheet, but with the software available to you now, that just makes no sense.

We suggest starting with a solid and scalable ATS (applicant tracking system) that's built for small businesses. Having your staffing plan will help you evaluate new products to ensure they meet your needs. Keeping track and contact with various candidates will soon become a big part of your routine, so find an ATS that can help you and your team do that. Check out the ATS on Recuriter box.

Related Article: 12 Best Tools for Screening Potential Hires

3. Have your paperwork in order

There are numerous forms from direct deposit forms to confidentiality agreements. But the top two you absolutely need to have onhand for a new hire are an I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification and a W4 Form.

An employee handbook is the centerpiece of an effective HR program. It explains your company's policies and procedures, and communicates expectations. A good handbook also helps to protect your company in the event of a dispute. Really Easy HR offers instant employee handbooks and other tools, you can try it free for 7 days.

4. Devise a salary structure

Compare and contrast the salaries for various functions within your business and those with fair market value for similar positions. Make sure to revise every six months to ensure you stay competitive. If your company offers other forms of compensation like benefits, stock options, profit sharing or a work-flex environment; make note of them but keep them separate from the salary structure document. 

5. Create a compensation and benefits document

A small business may not offer the same sort of traditional benefits as large companies, but that doesn't mean you don't a lot to offer. Get creative. Find out what you can do. Can you provide work from home opportunities? Can you buy equipment or offer discounted rates from benefits companies? With a little creativity and research you can have a benefits plan that’s attractive.

6. Know the law

It's almost impossible for a small business to keep up with the rules and regulations for required notices at the federal and state level. Happily, there are companies that can solve this problem quickly and inexpensively. For around $25.00 you can get a combined state and federal poster that keeps you in compliance with posting regulations. There are a number of companies that provide this service.

Related Article: Millennials In the Workplace: How Will They Affect Hiring?

7. Recruit holistically

You can of course post openings on your company website, but you need to get job candidates there first. A great way to get your openings out in the open in a big way is with Zip Recruiter.

You can post to over a hundred job boards with one submission. Zip Recruiter is packed with features like sharing, adding users, downloading, using your own company branding, candidate screening filters and more. FREE of charge.

You can also take advantage of integrated social network postings to reach job seekers on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Don't forget job specific sites that specialize in sales, IT, marketing etc. And, job fairs and forums are an ideal way to network with potential candidates without the internet.

8. Set up a training and develop process

Think about what’s in it for a new hire. Can you provide mentoring, support long-term career goals or leverage business partners or vendors for training opportunities (like webinars and white papers series)? Get your managers onboard and find out what training they may need themselves, so they can be good mentors.

Creating social leadership and creating ambassadors for your business from within is key to fostering a motivated and productive team.

9. Have a way to measure performance

Knowing how someone defines "doing well" and sets their goals will help new hires get acclimated. So, when creating your job profiles, find out how each person measures their success and make note of it.

Also, it helps you create the dreaded performance evaluation. Not all businesses have or enforce these, but they have a purpose, especially considering the surge of millennials in today's workforce. The key is constant and measurable feedback, rather than the typical year review.

10. Know when to call in an expert

Use outside experts to handle thorny workforce issues. You don't want to be guessing about how to handle a harassment complaint or a workplace injury. Have a human resource consultant on retainer to help provide guidance when difficult employee issues arise.

Now, put on your HR hat and hire away!





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