Just two reasons why do small to medium business need HR!

Human Resources

Firstly, when I speak to SME business owners one of the biggest issues they face, is they feel that they are spending too much time managing their staff rather than focusing on managing other elements within their business.  Usually when business idea is put into practice it is because the director or owner has specific skills in an area and they have identified a gap in the market. 

As the business grows, the owner then is required to develop skills in other areas of running and managing a successful business.  These can include accounting, information technology, marketing and sales.  To add to this list, as your business grows you tend to start employing people and this is when you can start to get value from Human Resources.

Business owners which I have spoken to said the two areas of major pain.  When they had to recruit someone and when they had to manage an employee.

 The biggest touch points for recruitment were; they were lost and didn’t know when to start, they didn’t want to pay the recruitment agency fees, they needed assistance actually identifying the needs of the role, and, where was the best place to advertise.

The next issue was the time and skills which it took to sieve through the applicants and then schedule in the time to interview them.  But it doesn’t stop there; you then have to do reference checks, and then medicals if required.  One owner stated that he didn’t realize just how long this process took and felt that it had to borrow that time from some other element of his daily work schedule.  Sometimes you feel in a bind, because you are so busy you need help, but to get help is going to take time and effort.

The issue here is, recruiting the right person for your company is very important.  A company must ensure that not only the skills and abilities of the applicant are what are required; you need to also focus on the cultural fit.   Because teams in SME’s are usually small, cultural fit is an integral part of your recruitment choice.

The second pain point was when business owners had to manage employee performance.  There always seems to be confusion on what process they need to follow.   Some employers are tolerating unacceptable performance and behaviors because they either are not sure how to deal with it or they are too scared that employees will lodge a complaint with Fair Work if they do address the behavior.    

So, these are just two reasons why SME’s may have a need for HR.  So what is HR? Human Resources comprises of many facets; it is managing or helping you manage anything to do with your employees - from recruitment, induction, managing, and exiting an employee and more.   A Human Resource specialist can help you manage your HR risk. 

Melissa Behrend

Director at

I am a Human Resources professional with over 20 years HR experience, and specialise in assisting small and medium size businesses. Specifically aimed at SME's without in-house HR departments. I have worked across many industries from manufacturing, mining, call centres, marketing and advertising businesses. HR On Call's Services can be tailored to any business, industry or not for profit organisation.

Comments (2)
Phil Khor

Phil Khor, Founder at

Great article. I couldn't agree more how critical the HR function to SMEs, but the big elephant in the room is that many of us in SME can't afford a full time HR person especially the smaller businesses, so it is important to have a flexible option of engaging HR specialist as required, similar to how your rate card is laid out on your site, which is awesome. Thanks for sharing Melissa.

Paulette McCormack

Paulette McCormack at

When you reflect back on the fact that the cost of a determination by Fair Work could very easily put a business into the red and potentially towards closure taking chances with your HR is like playing chicken with a fast speeding car.