Don’t DIY: Business Owners Delegate Human Resources Tasks

As small businesses keep hiring, many owners discover that being a do-it-yourself human resources manager is the wrong job for them. Becky Robinson handled hiring, payroll and other HR needs when she started her marketing company, Weaving Influence, five years ago. But during periods when she focused on HR, the company's revenue took a dip. She realized she needed to keep her focus and turn those tasks over to a director of operations and an HR consultant. "The only way for us to grow is for me to delegate and not get bogged down in the details of HR," says Robinson, whose four-employee company is based in Lambertville, Michigan.

Payroll provider ADP said Wednesday that small businesses added 50,000 jobs last month may mean that owners are taking on more human resources tasks while they're also trying to get new business and develop products and services.

A recent study released by ADP shows that HR at 70 percent of small businesses is handled as a side job by the owner or a staffer with other primary responsibilities. In many companies, the people doing it don't have any HR training, says Brian Michaud, a senior vice president at ADP.

Human resources tasks, which can include complying with government labor laws and regulations, handling disciplinary problems and administering employee benefits, are no different from chores like keeping the books that many owners could hand off but don't.

Sometimes it's because they want to keep costs down, so if they have just a handful of employees they don't want to hire an in-house HR manager or contract with a company that supplies HR services. Many entrepreneurs also find it hard to delegate.

"They hate to let anything get out of their control," says Gene Marks, owner of The Marks Group, a small-business consulting firm based in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania. Owners...

Comments are closed.