HR Checklist for Small Business

Startups have a lot of work ahead of them, and it can be tough to take the time to develop a sound HR department plan amid ordinary business.

While many small businesses do not understand the value of having an HR department, it is an essential and valuable asset, primarily if your firm aims to expand.

Establishing an HR department early on will not only assist keep your firm organized as it grows, but it can also manage internal difficulties that will inevitably arise when you least expect them.

The HR departments of most small enterprises and startups are small, with only one person on staff.

Even if you only have a one-person HR department, ensure they’ve handled hiring, payroll, benefits, onboarding, and training before.

As you build your HR department from the ground up, having HR software for small businesses will help you stay organized and on track.

Establish Onboarding and Recruiting Procedures

Even if your company is small, you must think about how you will make employment decisions.

It includes determining where to publish employment ads, determining your target prospects, and structuring the onboarding process.

Whether you’re employing your first or 50th employee, make sure you have all the appropriate documents on hand. It includes the following:

  • Offer Letter
  • Employee Information for Payroll
  • Employment Verification
  • Equity Paperwork
  • Any Employment Agreements (non-compete, intellectual property, etc.)

Consider your onboarding procedure for new employees in addition to the needed papers. Your staff will be set up for success from the start if you have a robust onboarding strategy in place.

Make sure you’re ready for them on their first day and take advantage of the opportunity to set expectations and present goals.

Maintain open contact with new hires by checking in with them regularly during their first few months.

Outline Regulations for Compliance, Safety, and Health

Making sure your workplace is safe for employees and complies with federal and local requirements is a must.

Your workplace must obey the Occupational Safety and Health Act and describe policies for staying in compliance.

  • Workplace safety includes developing an emergency action plan, designating emergency exits and routes, providing first aid and medical supplies, and maintaining a safe workplace.
  • Behaviour: This includes regulations on equal employment opportunity and sexual harassment in the workplace.

Providing an HR department dedicated to creating a workplace that conforms with government laws for compliance, safety, and health gives your organization legal protection.

Regulations change frequently, and a professional HR team can assist you in staying in compliance with federal and local laws.

Determine Compensation and Benefits

Now that you’ve built your hiring procedure, you’ll want to know how to keep employees with your organization for the long haul.

Getting there might be aided by ensuring that your organization establishes competitive wages and benefits.

To create these programs, you’ll need to figure out your pay structure, as well as policies for vacation and sick leave, retirement benefits, and the payroll system you’ll employ.

  • Pay structure: Based on market analysis, determine your organization’s competitive and equitable pay structure. In this article, you’ll learn how to design a competitive wage structure in a changing economy.
  • Benefits: Some benefits are optional, while others are mandated by law. Medical, dental, vision, life insurance, and retirement are examples of voluntary benefits. Workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance, and disability insurance are examples of mandatory benefits that differ by state. 
  • Payroll management system: There are a plethora of payroll management systems to choose from. Payroll errors can be costly to rectify, so do your homework to select the best management solution for your business.

Maintain Employee Relationships

Employee dissatisfaction is common. In every circumstance, having defined policies in place to handle complaints is the best way.

Outline your company’s code of conduct, develop a plan to resolve issues, and set up a method for collecting employee feedback to be ready to address any employee concerns.

To sustain relationships, you should address employee problems and take a personalized approach to employee engagement.

Following up once a year isn’t going to cut it, and if you don’t factor in employee engagement and satisfaction, you’ll wind up with disgruntled staff.

Employees must understand their role in your company, find meaning in their work, and learn the skills they need to accomplish their tasks properly.

Create an Action Plan

Getting management approval and ensuring everyone is on the same page with budgets and HR initiatives require creating a clear action plan to implement these essential elements in the HR department startup checklist.

Management may then prioritize projects and assist HR in developing a project timeframe for completing each step.

Create an employee handbook that contains HR rules, benefits, obligations, equal opportunity, employment practices, salary, safety issues, punishments for misconduct, and leave of absence as part of your action plan.

It guarantees that everyone is on the same page and that new policies and procedures aren’t misunderstood.

It will also assist in answering many basic employee queries that would otherwise consume HR department resources.


You’ll be ready to jump right in and start building an HR department from the bottom up if you follow this HR department startup checklist.

While the process may appear intimidating and the stakes are significant, start small and allow your HR department to track through and earn the trust of your employees, managers, and leaders.



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