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HR for Big Business vs Small Business

HR work is challenging for any business of any size. From legal issues to employee benefits and time-sensitive hiring needs, the tasks vary and often come with a lot of documentation and red tape. 

Still, there are some distinctions between HR for big businesses vs HR for small businesses, and these differences often mean that small businesses will have a harder time managing their HR expectations, responsibilities and duties.

Below we’ll get into the key differences between HR for big and small businesses and what you can do to help make your HR life easier. 

HR in big businesses

Of course, larger businesses equate to more employees, more documentation, and more HR related issues, which might seem like ultimately more work for HR staff. But larger businesses also have more employees and, typically, more employee and HR management tools to help them spread their tasks.

What makes HR tasks more manageable and fulfilling in large business settings includes:

  • Larger businesses have the ability to share work, resources, and lean on your team and technology when you need it. Large companies typically invest in robust HR technology because they have to in order to automate and streamline the tedious processes surrounding HR (like reference checking). 
  • A larger HR team will typically come with more leadership/mentorship opportunities, which means you an develop your talent from within your company
  • Larger companies have the capacity and greater need to investment in robust HR technology that will help them automate and streamline their various HR processes 
  • The perception of HR at large companies is seen as more helpful than smaller companies because the processes are so automated and rigid. With smaller companies, some tasks might get delayed, isolated, or lack consistency, which can turn into frustration for your employees

HR in small businesses

HR for smaller businesses is often much more difficult than for larger companies. HR teams in smaller companies can be made of just one person, which means there’s no else to rely on if you get sick, are overwhelmed, or are simply having an off day. 

Below are some of the reasons why HR in small businesses can be such a challenge:

  • HR perception is difficult to overcome. A small HR team’s capability to meet employee requests and process documentations can take time, which makes employees frustrated and annoyed. Demonstrating a positive influence or attitude in the company is difficult without the resources and adequate staff to meet the coveted needs and benefits of employees
  • Smaller HR teams often don’t have the kind of technology that can streamline and automate many of the tedious tasks and processes that HR teams, large or small, encounter. This means that more steps need to manually be taken in producing payrolls, filling out forms, and managing employee benefits
  • The blame will feel more personal if something goes wrong. Because your teams are much smaller, most employees will know HR members by name and will interact with them directly throughout their work weeks. When something goes wrong, the blame will tend to feel more personal, which is added pressure to your HR team to get things right

Big Picture Advice for Small Business HR

HR teams in smaller businesses can find ways to make life easier for themselves. Below are a few ways that smaller HR teams can alleviate the pressure and more readily manage their day-to-day challenges. 

  • Learn from big businesses. Look at how bigger businesses manage their HR needs. What technologies do you use? You don’t need an all-in-one HR software in order to integrate a couple of helpful solutions that can help you mechanize your workload. 
  • Let robotic HR activities be done by robots to your best ability
  • Leverage the support of small business HR professionals in online groups, forums, and other digital resources
  • Control the perception of business employees by being more helpful than punishing. Work with team leaders to create approval and recognition programs to improve work culture
  • Strategies, guidelines, and plans should be established and made clear in the event that your HR team starts falling behind. Usually there are certain seasons or time of the months where HR gets busy, and having a safety net for unexpected events could help prevent HR gears from coming to a halt
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Everyone needs help from time to time, and you should encourage your HR team to reach out if they need to. 

The most important thing for small businesses is to create a plan and maintain a proactive approach to their HR needs. With a lot of communication, HR teams can make sure they have the tools and help they need if they fall behind. 

Crosschq can help 

One of the most demanding aspects of HR is recruiting and vetting new hires. This is where having an advanced reference checking software, like Crosschq, can save time and money by helping HR teams make smarter hiring decisions. 

Crosschq’s advanced reference check analytics, candidate referral networks, and pre-hire 360 candidate assessment checks will help your recruiters find the right fit for your organization.

Click here to learn more about how Crosschq can help take the guesswork out of hiring.

Noelle Davis

by Noelle Davis

Staff Writer

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