June 17, 2019

Running your HR processes on a budget

When you’re running a startup or small business, you probably won’t have the time or money to have a full-time dedicated HR function. In this article, we show you how you can run implement your HR processes on any budget.

Spread the HR function among your team

Even if you can’t have a full-time HR person, core HR tasks will need to be done, ranging from the strategic such as planning hires right to the administrative, such as payroll and processing leave. You’ll need to find the right people within your organisation who can take these HR processes on. Usually, I’d recommend splitting this between at least three people. If you have someone already performing the administrative tasks, you could hand them the admin side of HR. If you have someone who has rapport across the organisation, then it would be appropriate put them in charge of counselling. And, if you have someone who’s good at process-driven tasks, you could place them in charge of the HR processes and policies. For example, working out the schedules for training programs and performance reviews. You could also choose to make supervisors into champions for each of these areas, so their voices are heard further up the chain of command within an organisation.

Get your policies and procedures right

The most important thing you can do is have solid HR policies and procedures in place. If you do have a HR budget allocated, even if it’s small, this is the first area to spend it.

Take time drawing up the HR frameworks and foundations that will cover everyone in your business. This includes having clear and concise employment contracts, transparent bonus schemes, as well as outlining all the appropriate HR policies and processes.

For my mind, any business’s HR framework should include a minimum of:

  • A termination and disciplinary policy
  • A standard process for recruiting and hiring
  • A social media, mobile and internet usage policy
  • A flexible working policy
  • A leave policy, covering requirements for sick leave and annual leave
  • A bullying, harassment and discrimination policy
  • A  flexible working policy, and
  • A workplace health and safety policy.

With these in place, your managers should at least have the tools they need when it comes to the day-to-day of managing their teams.

Take charge of your budget by taking charge of your own recruiting

One area you can save money is around recruiting. A recruiter can charge a fee of up to a quarter of that person’s salary. Whilst this fee may be worth it if you’re recruiting a high-level member of staff, it’s not always money well spent if you’re going to use a recruitment agency for all positions available in your organisation. At Catalina Consultants, we’ve developed our own six-step process for hiring staff.

This includes:

  • An informal chat
  • A hygiene call
  • Two interviews
  • Psychometric testing.

Our process also involves some solid reference checking where we ask former colleagues and bosses the hard questions. We find the process doesn’t just consistently deliver great staff, it also saves money which we can direct towards growing our business.

Use a virtual HR consultant

Where you’re most likely to need HR assistance, is when you’re faced with a challenging situation. For instance, what happens if you want to terminate someone’s employment. Worse still, what if you want to terminate their employment and they’ve made an allegation of bullying or harassment against you What if there has been a workplace incident which you can’t move beyond the “he said/she said”? Or what if an employee has a long history of calling in sick and you’re unsure what to do? Getting these kinds of situations wrong can cause long-standing reputational and financial damage.

The good news is that you don’t always need to pay someone full time. These days, a virtual HR consultant can be on call to deal with the difficult HR issues that business owners can face. And, at the same time, you can save money by keeping in-house the functions your people can perform in house.

It’s not always worth cutting corners

While it’s important for any small business to save money and follow a budget, cutting corners or failing to address HR issues properly is always likely to cost you more in the long run. If you’d like to know how an HR consultant can help your business, get in touch with the Catalina Consultant team today.

say hi to our author

Merilyn founded Catalina Consultants in 2012 on the belief that all organisations, regardless of size, should have access to top quality bespoke HR services. She enjoys working closely with her clients and believes that the best results are built on relationships of rapport, trust and authenticity. Growing up, Merilyn had her sight set on stardom and dreamed of becoming an actor. She also sang and played the piano, but ended up studying accounting and HR. Whilst she hasn’t won her Grammy just yet, she still loves a good karaoke night. Merilyn loves to travel with her family, with South Africa being one of her most memorable destinations.

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