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Navigating HR Matters in a Small Business: Who Should Handle Them?

Navigating HR Matters in a Small Business: Who Should Handle Them?

As a small business owner, you may not have the resources or need to hire a dedicated HR person or engage a fractional external HR advisor. However, it’s important to address HR matters and conflicts effectively to maintain a harmonious work environment. In this article, we’ll explore alternative solutions and identify key individuals within your organization who can handle HR responsibilities and conflicts with care and expertise.

1. Designate an HR Point Person:

Even without a dedicated HR department, designating an HR point person within your organization can ensure that HR matters are addressed promptly and efficiently. This individual should possess strong interpersonal skills, a good understanding of employment laws, and the ability to maintain confidentiality. They can handle tasks such as employee onboarding, policy enforcement, and conflict resolution. This HR point person can be someone from management or an employee who demonstrates a keen interest and aptitude for HR-related matters.

2. Promote Cross-Training:

In a small business where employees often wear multiple hats, cross-training employees in HR-related tasks can be a practical solution. By providing training and resources, you can empower key individuals to handle HR matters when they arise. This approach not only ensures that HR responsibilities are distributed but also fosters a collaborative and engaged workforce. It’s essential to identify employees who show an interest in HR or possess relevant skills and provide them with the necessary training and support.

3. Seek External HR Support:

While you may not be ready to hire a fractional external HR advisor on a long-term basis, there may be instances where seeking external support can be beneficial. Consider engaging HR consultants or legal professionals on an as-needed basis to provide guidance on complex HR matters, such as legal compliance, employee relations, or conflict resolution. This approach allows you to access expert advice without the commitment of a full-time HR resource.

4. Leverage Technology and Tools:

In today’s digital age, there are numerous HR software and tools available that can streamline HR processes for small businesses. Implementing an HR management system can help automate tasks such as time tracking, leave management, and employee record-keeping. Additionally, online resources and forums can provide valuable insights and answers to common HR questions. Embracing technology can help alleviate some of the HR burdens and ensure efficiency in managing HR matters.

5. Continuous Learning and Development:

Investing in continuous learning and development for yourself and your employees can go a long way in effectively handling HR matters and conflicts. Attend HR seminars, webinars, or workshops to stay updated on employment laws and best practices. Encourage employees to participate in training programs that enhance their interpersonal skills and conflict resolution abilities. By prioritizing ongoing learning, you equip yourself and your team with the necessary knowledge and skills to handle HR matters competently.


While not yet ready to hire an HR person or fractional external HR advisor, there are several strategies you can employ to handle HR matters and conflicts effectively in your small business. Designating an HR point person, promoting cross-training, seeking external HR support when needed, leveraging technology, and investing in continuous learning are all valuable approaches. By implementing these strategies, you can ensure that HR matters are addressed promptly, conflicts are resolved professionally, and your organization maintains a positive and productive work environment.

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