Friday, June 1, 2007

Where Small Business Owners Receive Their HR Education

find it interesting when speaking with small business owners, just how limited their knowledge is when it comes to human resource matters, and interesting where they "pick-up"some of their education.

Last month I was discussing issues related to employer payroll and taxes with a group of small business owners in Phoenix. Each "entrepreneur" admitted ignorance when it came to such issues and mentioned they received much of their "education" from the sales reps that came from the service bureaus or Professional Employer Organization (PEO). While I believe that most of the leading service bureaus and PEOs train their personnel very well (and most reps have worked in at least a couple different companies in the space) their knowledge may be limited and not 100% accurate.

All the individuals in our discussions agreed that payroll and "HR stuff" is not core to their business and to outsource it makes sense (10-45 employees).

I completely agree with outsourcing as much of the HR function as possible and what is viable for your business, but before accepting the appointment with the sales rep, do your homework, educate yourself. Knowledge is power! Speak to your CPA, outside counsel (if versed on employment law) or HR consultant. A little time and money spent now may pay dividends in the future!

Why Small Businesses Use Recruiters

If you're like most small business owners, your typical reaction when one of your key employees quits is, "Oh, #*%$!.” Hiring a qualified replacement can be hard, and doing it quickly often seems impossible. What about when you open a new position at the company? Do you relish the chance to recruit the perfect candidate, or do you regret having to dip back into the employment pool? via All Business

What Is "At-Will" Employment?

I have a small company and am planning on hiring some employees. How can I make sure that I am able to terminate them if they do not work out or I no longer need them?

Make clear to your employees that their relationship is an "at will employment" relationship. That means that either the employer or the employee can terminate the relationship at any time for any reason, or for no reason. (However, various laws may restrict your ability to fire someone for wrongful reasons, such as reasons related to race or sex.)

When you first hire an employee, make sure that he or she signs an offer letter indicating that he understands and agrees to the fact that he is an at will employee. That lessens the risk of a problem later on. If you have an employee handbook, make sure the employee handbook spells out the at will nature of the relationship.