While most businesses aim for growth, expanding a business too quickly can put pressure on staff and resources, which can have implications for finances and overall productivity.
From a HR perspective, it is important that any growing business is fully equipped to deal with changes that may occur.
HR tips for rapidly expanding businesses
1. Hiring the right people
More staff will typically be required by a business which is rapidly expanding and it can often be difficult for businesses to find the right people for the job quickly. When recruiting new employees, it is important that an employer is clear about the requirements of the role for the business and that the role is clearly defined. An employer should also be mindful of its obligations under employment equality legislation when conducting the recruitment process.
2. Retaining the right people
Staff turnover may increase due to heavy workloads and essential knowledge could be lost as staff leave. Staff moral and productivity can also be affected where staff turnover is high and with the increased pressure of extra work. Hiring new staff also takes time and is therefore a cost to the business, so growing businesses should take steps at an early stage to retain key employees. Appropriate training should also be provided to employees (where relevant) so that they are equipped to deal with the demands of the role as the business continues to grow.
3. Appropriate employment contracts / policies
It is important that appropriate employment contracts and policies are put in place for any new employees. The Terms of Employment (Information) Acts 1994 – 2012 provide that employees should be provided with a written contract of employment within 2 months of commencement of employment. All employment contracts should include essential clauses such as details of the role, duties, remuneration, annual leave, hours of work, place of work and normal retirement age (if any). Depending on the nature and level of the work, consideration should be given to the most appropriate type of contract to be given ie full time or part time, permanent or fixed term / specified purpose.
4. HR records
As is the case for any business at any stage, it is important that appropriate HR records are maintained by the employer including working time and payroll records. An employer is legally obliged to keep certain employment records and maintaining appropriate records and documentation from an early stage is essential. Such records may be the subject of an inspection by the Workplace Relations Commission and may also be relied upon by the employer in the event an employee brings a claim against the employer for breach of their statutory rights.