Building an effective human resources department from scratch can be an intimidating prospect. But with that challenge comes opportunity. By following a thoughtful, informed process, you can position your business for success with a department that helps attract and retain top talent.
Over the years, I've advised many small businesses on the steps to take before even posting that first job description. Here are a few to keep in mind:
Draft an employee handbook.
Unless you're a company of one, your business needs to lay out company policies in clear terms. Employee handbooks are in everyone's best interest. In drafting one, be sure to tap legal expertise to cover everything from disciplinary procedures to safety plans.
Sketch out a staffing plan.
When an owner of even the smallest business is ready to start hiring, he or she should map out potential future positions and a management structure as well as draft job descriptions with the skills, knowledge and abilities essential for each.
Plan for pay structure and benefits administration.
Determining salaries is just the beginning. Management will also need to think through potential benefit offerings, from paid holidays and personal time to disability insurance and retirement plans.
Consider how you'll approach onboarding and staff development.
Regardless of experience level, new employees can't hit the ground running until they have a complete understanding of your business' culture, history, operations and expectations. How will you provide initial guidance and plan for ongoing training?
By the way, for an excellent source of guidance, toolkits and sample employment forms, visit the Society for Human Resources Management website.