SCORE

If you’re thinking about hiring to build your business, you might be wondering how much you need to know about human resources. The care and keeping of your employees can take up some time out of your usual routine, but doing it well can ensure a strong future for your growing company.

While you might not be ready to hire an HR specialist for your business, you should be prepared to handle a few key aspects of human resource management.

Planning employment needs

What staffing needs can you anticipate for your business in the next six months? What about next year or three years from now? Does your business need seasonal help during busy periods? Even solopreneurs should think about support needs before your business needs to grow.

Focus on specific tasks you need help with rather than trying to recruit a jack-of-all-trades. And be sure to reevaluate job descriptions periodically to make sure your plans match up with reality.

Recruiting and hiring

When it’s time to bring in help — whether a 1099 contractor or a formal employee — hiring the right person is a task that takes great care. From reviewing resumes to checking I-9 documents, it’s important to take your time to make sure you’re committing to the best employee for your venture.

Managing salaries and benefits

First things first: Having employees means following federal and state employment laws. Your region may require certain pay rates or benefits, like sick time, to be provided to employees.

Beyond the minimum required support for employees, robust benefits packages can help you foster happy, engaged staff members.

Evaluating employee performance

Criticism can be hard to hear, but yearly or quarterly performance reports can help your employees — and yourself — grow. Developing a strong, competent staff can only help your business reach its goals. Regular check-ins can help your team work more efficiently and help spur innovation.

Written feedback is more likely to be adhered to than verbal discussions, so be sure to keep records of these meetings for reference.

Communicating with staff members

When communicating with staff, use the same consideration you would with your external communications. Be consistent, and don’t get hung up on boring legalese. Instead, focus on clear language that’s fair and steady throughout memos, announcements and requests.

By anticipating human resource management tasks before you hire your first employee, you’ll be better prepared to tackle all the related tasks when the time comes. A SCORE mentor can also help you navigate the details of human resources.

About the Author(s)

Bridget Weston Pollack

Bridget Weston Pollack is the Vice President of Marketing & Communications at the SCORE Association.

Vice President of Marketing & Communications, SCORE
human resources