When it comes to managing HR, small and medium-sized businesses typically don’t have the same resources at their disposal that larger companies do. In fact, chances are one person – maybe two – is tasked with handling compliance, open enrollment, benefits administration, payroll, personnel complaints and issues, performance reviews, reporting and much more. If you’re one of these SMB HR professionals, you understand how challenging it can be to get all of this done, let alone any planning or process improvements. But there are ways to manage your HR, benefits, payroll and talent obligations with ease and efficiency. You just need to adopt properly scaled best practices – and strongly consider what the right HR solution can offer you.

Use software for efficient records management

The record-keeping obligations necessary for compliance with various federal and state regulations are slightly less difficult for SMB HR professionals to meet due to the smaller scale, but they’re no less critical. As Fundera noted, you need to keep W-4s, comprehensive payroll details, I-9s and any certifications of disability essential for ADA compliance on file for every employee. Some of these, like the I-9, must be maintained for a certain period after an employee departs if they leave before hitting the three-year threshold mandated by USCIS. If you’re handling HR by yourself, keeping track of all of these requirements can be hard.

This is where a comprehensive HCM software platform like PeopleStrategy can be a huge help. The solution automates all critical onboarding processes, including I-9 filing and E-Verify completion, and allows easy access to employee data and documentation for compliance or internal reporting purposes.

Make the most of a smaller team 

Quality should always surpass quantity in terms of importance, but sometimes you can really feel the pressure that results from having fewer employees available to handle critical operations. That’s why you need to make the most of the people you do have.

Fit Small Business recommended SMB HR departments use a mentorship program – having seasoned staff members take new hires into their confidence for at least the first few months of the latter’s tenure with the company. Seek out volunteers for this role who have not only considerable experience with your organization’s processes but also demonstrate real belief in your mission statement and a genuine desire to share these qualities with others.

Create a comprehensive (yet digestible) employee handbook 

If you don’t already have an employee handbook in place, don’t underestimate its importance: Beyond misconduct that’s addressed in state and federal laws (sexual harassment, discrimination and so on), if a worker makes a mistake that wasn’t outlined as a discouraged or forbidden practice, you lose some latitude in terms of the corrective actions you can reasonably enact.

According to the Small Business Administration, an effective employee handbook should formally detail all applicable anti-discrimination, work authorization and benefits-related laws, as well as expectations of conduct and clear guidance on how to approach pertinent safety risks. Clear explanations of payroll structure and benefits and how to go about the processes related to those concerns should also be included. Last but not least, if your company works as a government contractor or otherwise handles information that can be considered “trade secrets,” detail non-disclosure principles in the handbook and be sure to include NDA signing in your onboarding.