From setting up payroll to providing benefits and performance reviews, human resources for small business involves more than just recruiting, hiring and retaining top talent. 


Managing human resources can present considerable challenges to small business owners who may already be over-extended by other responsibilities. Beyond keeping up with the pace of daily operations, it can be difficult to figure out how and where to recruit talent, let alone navigate all of the best practices for hiring and retaining employees for optimal success.    

The goal of HR is to improve the workplace and how employees operate within it, but not every business has a manager dedicated to the department. Consider the onboarding process of a single employee, which involves recruiting and hiring the right candidate, setting up payroll, and handling retention and performance management, among other things. 

Many companies are turning to small business HR outsourcing to help manage the otherwise significant investment of financial and human capital required to do it all the right way on their own.

Why get help with HR?

Many businesses need HR assistance to scale during periods of expansion or big projects, or to bring in specialized talent for unique needs. For example, a small media production team may typically operate with less than five full-time employees, but in the event of a project that involves something like a website buildout or more robust production needs, that same team may decide to bring in added staff or contractors to fill the immediate need.

Successfully managing your HR activities requires a commitment of both time and financial assets. Going it alone has the potential to consume more time and mental energy than many small business owners have to spend. Managing all these tasks can feel like a daunting to-do list. 

Outsourcing HR offers the opportunity for busy owners to pay more focused attention to other mission-critical tasks. In the case of the small production team, the core staff can pay vital attention to managing the account, drafting pre-production creative and ramping up for filming, while outsourcing other key activities to contractors and support staff.

What functions does HR serve? 

  1. Hiring

Hiring new employees is integral to your business. For many owners, onboarding even one employee can require too much time. This multi-step process – job boards posting, reviewing applications, coordinating interviews – is best undertaken by a qualified HR professional. In smaller companies, every hiring decision is critical. Streamlining your efforts reduces time and money spent.

  1. Retention

The time and money you invest into hiring quality talent will have greater returns the longer you retain them. The key to employee satisfaction is performance management. This sets benchmarks so that staff may advance their careers, broaden compensation options, receive skills training or, in some cases, get terminated.

Providing feedback and opportunities motivates employees. As a result, increasing the likelihood that they stay with the company. Conversely, failing to do so may result in wrongful termination claims. Here are some examples of areas in which outsourcing to a qualified HR professional can help:

Developing Employee Handbooks and Manuals

HR works with you to document, enforce and update various protocols, policies and expectations for your business. An employee handbook outlines these items for your employees, and keeps everyone clear on goals and expectations. Relating employee performance to concrete, real-world examples prevents internal conflicts and mitigates risk for all parties involved.

These documents also work to cover you in case of employee disputes, in areas such as sickness, annual holiday entitlement, and maternity/paternity. Owing to its legal importance, it’s wise to have an employment attorney review all documents to ensure compliance standards. 

Handling Compensation and Benefits

While your small business may not be obliged to do so, offering health insurance and other benefits attracts and retains talent. With the support of an HR professional, you can better identify exactly what benefits your employees desire. You can also choose a plan while cutting business costs. For example, HR can negotiate lower rates on a group healthcare plan.

Streamlining Training and Development

Establishing HR protocol with the help of a qualified professional allows you to do several things.  The first is engaging in performance reviews to gauge how your employees are doing. Additionally, you can determine if you’re working with the right talent. Last, HR can help show you how to set these individuals up for success. 

Assessing Risk Management

HR can put measures in place to improve and standardize workplace safety. Should a worker get injured on the job and argue that the workplace is unsafe, HR would have the appropriate compliance documents to help avoid incurring damaging costs. 

In keeping and managing records, a meticulous HR partner may be able to discover ways to lower standard workers’ compensation rates and unemployment taxes. Maintaining thorough employee performance records is advisable in the event of having to defend yourself or the company against any potential claims.

  1. Handling Termination

In facing the challenge of eliminating a staff member, an HR professional can offer advice on approaching that matter appropriately. They can help navigate best practices not only for recruiting and hiring, but also in the event of termination. 

  1. Assisting with Employment Laws

Many businesses are required by governing bodies to display certain notices, posters and information in the workplace. HR professionals will have knowledge about what kind of content to post and where to post it.  Additionally, they’ll know when to update important messages.

Employee Files

Each of your employees must have three files: an I-9 file, a medical file and an employment file. Keep these properly to avoid fines of up to several thousand dollars. HR professionals can assist with storing and updating, as well as keeping all of your important documents organized. 

Should you decide outsourcing your HR needs is the best solution for you, FINSYNC’s services network includes human capital management that helps small businesses get up and running  with professional, on-demand HR services on an as-needed basis. The network of experienced and fully vetted professionals are there to help when you need it.  This holds true regardless of the size of your team or customer base.