Human Resources Basics for New Operators

Nov 27 2017

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Opening and running a small business is hard.  With all of the business decisions involved in getting your business up and running, many operators forget about taking the time to get your Human Resources (HR) properly in order.  While you might think that HR is just for the big guys, there are some basic policies that you should have outlined before any issues arise. 


Things to put in place before your first hire: This link is a great resource for a new employer to make sure you follow all of the legal rules that now apply to you (

The Basics

First be sure to check your state’s Labor & Employment Law Council as requirements vary from state-to-state and often per municipality.  Below is a basic checklist of what you need to get started:

  • Forms (W-4, I-9, Employment Applications, work place posters, wage orders, etc.)
  • Handbook
    • A legal document
    • On-line sources (Nolo Press, SHRM)
  • Payroll
    • Use a payroll vendor to ensure tax compliance
    • You will still need to file for tax numbers
    • Know your state and federal payroll regulations
    • Exempt or non-exempt or independent contractor – no small thing
    • Know your state/federal/industry required break regulations
  • Obtain workers comp insurance

Hiring Employees

Hiring employees that are a good fit for your business from the start can help minimize potential issues down the road.  Be sure to have a plan for:

  • Sourcing candidates
  • Interviewing – know what the illegal questions are
    • Get the right fit with behavioral interviewing (asking how an interviewee acted in specific employment-related situations to predict how they will behave in the future)
  • The written offer and acceptance
  • Keeping an employee file
    • What should be in an employee file (new hire paperwork, schedule requests, reviews, disciplinary actions, etc.)

Managing Employees

Even though you have tried to hire the best people and would love for them to “just do their jobs” and “make good choices”; that is easier said than done.  You need to have clear policies that outline the expectations of your business and of their jobs.  Here are some of the basics to consider:

  • Job Descriptions/Position Plans
    • Make them meaningful
    • Get sign off at time of hire
  • Training
    • Shift task logs
    • Safety
  • Constructive Feedback
  • Disciplinary actions
  • Benefits (know if you are legally required to offer benefits)
  • Time Off (sick leave ordinances by municipality)
  • Reward and recognition
  • Promotions
  • Terminations: voluntary and involuntary
    • Know your state and federal requirements
Jennifer Day

Jennifer Day

Jennifer Day has over 16 years of experience in the marketing and communications field. Before joining the Ctuit marketing team, Jennifer previously worked at a major telecom company and was in marketing communications for a major point of sales (POS) manufacturer and software provider. She brings with her a wealth of knowledge on POS technologies, software and back office systems and the understanding of how they all work together to create a seamless customer experience while increasing profitability.