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Why Even a Small Business Needs an HR Department

By Ephrat Livni, Esq. | Last updated on

You have a small business and you would like to see it grow. When you think of growth, however, and the direction you want to take, it does not include hiring a human resources manager or team.

But an article in Slate says that, in fact, HR is exactly what you need. Why? Mainly for regulatory compliance issues, but also to recruit talent. Let's take a look at what HR can do for you.

Changing Directions

Small businesses don't have all of the same compliance requirements as very big ones but they certainly have some. The longer you go it on your own, the more likely it is you will find yourself in trouble down the line for failing to comply with the legal requirements for your business.

"There's so much regulation that companies don't know about, which is an HR issue," Margaret Spence -- president and CEO of Douglas Claims and Risk Consultants Inc. and a member of an advisory board to the Society for Human Resource Management -- told Slate. "Small companies tend to make more mistakes when it comes to federal compliance than a large company might make, and you find that they're ill-prepared for the consequences."

Your business may be small but you have some pretty tall orders. You must comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration's safety requirements, as well as ensuring that all Americans with Disabilities Acts accommodations are available. Even a business with as few as 15 employees needs to be aware of these rules.

States also have individual requirements. As Spence explained by way of example, in Florida an employer must have a workers' compensation insurance policy once there are four employees. "How do you know that," she asked rhetorically, providing an answer, "You need an HR person to tell you."

What Else?

A human resources manager or team can also be an added benefit by bringing you the human resources you need. If you have someone whose job it is to recruit talent and ensure you stay within employment rules, chances are good they'll do a better job of finding talented additions for your team than you would be. After all, you are very busy.

Talk to a Lawyer

If you are unsure whether you are in compliance or whether you need or can afford to hire more people, speak to a lawyer. Counsel can advise you on the law in your state, any regulations you may have been ignoring, and even on the value of a human resources team. Get guidance.

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