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HR Resources

Human resources managers plan, coordinate, and direct the administrative functions of an organization. They oversee the recruiting, interviewing, and hiring of new staff; consult with top executives on strategic planning; and serve as a link between an organization's management and its employees.

Many small businesses treat HR much as they may treat fire safety, the day-to-day of operations and pressures of running the organization may cause them to neglect even the basic steps that keep them in compliance, and, when an issue does ignite, they're forced to scramble.

Common HR mistakes to avoid

Wrong Hire
Small businesses fall victim to filling open positions with any person they can. They don’t have the money or ability to do extensive background checks or hiring procedures. There’s no other way around it: the wrong person will cause problems and eventually have to be replaced.

No Job Description or No explanation about the employee role
Business culture now seems to like the idea of “open ended” job descriptions, but you’re better off telling your employees specifically what you expect of them. You can’t possibly hire the right person if you don’t know the specific job you want them to do.

No Performance Evaluation Documentation
All performance reviews, meetings, and issues need to be documented, whether good or bad. If there are performance problems, discuss it with the employee, outline an improvement plan, and document it. You’ll need this if you end up firing an employee, or you put yourself at risk for legal action.

Ignoring States Employment Laws
You are responsible to follow the employment laws where your business is located. Ignorance or purposeful disregard will not protect you from legal action or problems that may arise.

No Competitive compensation
You are responsible to collect information about the hourly wages in your states as well as the regular compensation for a job role.

Employee Eligibility & Documentation

Human resources are the bookkeepers of your workforce, maintaining all the paperwork that ensures your business is compliant with labor laws and protected in the event of a dispute. In particular, all small businesses should have the following paperwork on every employee:

  • I-9 form: This ensures an employee is eligible to work in the US.
  • Medical file: Including disability information.
  • Employee file: Including a resume, reviews, training verifications, payroll details, W-4 forms, and anything else that documents an employee’s tenure with your business.


Documentation goes hand-in-hand with compliance. There are a plethora of labor laws and workplace rules and regulations. If you’re dealing with HR, you should be familiar with the following laws:

  • Wage and hour laws: Specifically, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), as well as individual state laws pertaining to minimum wage.
  • Leave laws: Particularly the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), as well as state laws.
  • Immigration laws: Including the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA).
  • Anti-discrimination laws: Including Title VII, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).
  • Benefits laws: There are various required benefits employers must provide, although these vary based on the size of your business and the state you do business in. Common required benefits include social security and workers’ compensation.
  • Safety laws: You will want to make sure your business is compliant with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
  • Union laws: Even if your business’s workplace isn’t unionized, you should comply with the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).