How to create and implement a HR Strategy in a small business

First, why you must have a HR strategy in a business that employs people:

  1. If you don’t have a HR strategy you run the risk of running into an issue with employment law
  2. You put your hard-earned business reputation at the mercy of a poor hire and negative publicity
  3. Your business is run by the people working there not just by you, so be very careful who you employ and how you manage them

HR Strategy for small business:

One = Vision and Values or “This is the way we behave around here.”

  1. Be very clear about what your business is and how you want everyone to behave. What is your vision and what are your values? Document this first and keep reviewing it to adjust where needed. The core values remain the same, and you will learn along the way the details that will need revision. If you need help with defining your business values, vision and purpose you can request our free guide
  2. Share the vision and values with everyone in the existing team and any potential new hires to make sure everyone is aligned.
  3. Think about where you are going in the future. What is the direction you are heading towards?
  4. What is your why? Why do you own this business? Why do you want this business to succeed?

Two = Put it in writing

  1. Get signed agreement from existing team members to the vision and values by making it into a company policy.
  2. Give a copy of the Company policy to all new hires and potentials before you sign on the dotted line. This will be your insurance that they understand what behaviours are expected. It will also serve you well in any employment law matter if you follow your own policy and procedure.

Three = The “devil is in the details”

  1. Before you hire someone make sure you have very detailed position description’s so you both know exactly what is involved in a job.
  2. In the process of documenting the position you might find some areas that are not essential and you will also realise those that are, so make sure you hire based on the essential criteria.
  3. Make sure you hire based on both skills required to fill the essentials of the role and a fit and alignment to your company policy regarding behaviour.

Four = Reward appropriately

  1. Do your research and make sure you are paying the right amount of money for the skill level required.
  2. Look up the modern award for the role and your industry on the Fair Work Australia site
  3. Compare the award with job ads for similar roles
  4. If you want to attract the right person you may want to do some research through other sources like LinkedIn
  5. Here is where a good accountant can be of assistance because they usually know the correct amount of pay and conditions for a role in your industry.

Five = Get professional help

  1. If you are running a business chances are you don’t have time to create and implement and manage a HR strategy all by yourself, so hire a professional to assist you.
  2. Make sure the consultant you hire is actually up to date and focused on Human Resources not just your accountant.
  3. The law and employment landscape is constantly changing so it is important that you ensure you are getting professional help from an expert in the field.
  4. Lawyers and accountants are very good and provide expertise in their relevant fields, however, they are not human resources professionals. They also tend to be a lot more expensive to hire for the one of employment contract or position description.

Six = Treat your hiring process with the highest of priorities

  1. Don’t just hire base on a friend of a friend’s recommendations.
  2. Make sure you check references and spend more than just one hour interviewing a person.
  3. Get another person in the team or a trusted business associate to also interview a potential hire.
  4. Get help from a professional in this process as well. If you are going to use a recruitment consultant make sure they have you and your business best interests in mind. There are many great recruitment agents and there are some not so. Be careful that they are interested in forming a long-term relationship with your business and you.

Seven = Define and document an induction process

  1. This does not have to be complicated. It can be as simple as writing yourself a checklist for such things as orientation to the staff amenities (toilets, tea and coffee, nearest cafes etc).
  2. Make sure you introduce a new hire to the rest of the team especially on the first day or as soon as possible.
  3. Leave your diary open on the first day and be a bit flexible in the first week to make sure you are available fully to bring a new hire on board properly.
  4. At the end of the first week check in with the new person to make sure all is going well.
  5. Once you have someone new on board make sure you keep across how they are fitting in and meet with them regularly before their probation period is through.


If you follow the 7 steps above, you will have the makings of a legally compliant and useful HR Strategy:

  1. Company Culture Policy
  2. Hiring strategy
  3. Position Description
  4. Correct payment or reward
  5. Induction process

There are many more activities involved for larger businesses such as other policy and procedures, and conducting performance reviews. However, the ones outlined will get your business the basics of a HR strategy. There are other helpful tips for small business available such as the following:

 5 mistakes Small Businesses can avoid

 Drive Profits in business

 Download Free (HRM) Checklist 

By Sonia King of King Consulting HR, We specialise in business growth, driving profits through your existing employees.

If you would like support in your Human Resources Management please get in touch.

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