Bosses of small companies opt for DIY approach to HR

Managing directors of small- and medium-sized companies would rather take charge of HR themselves than appoint an HR director or outsource to a third party, research reveals.

A survey of 200 heads of companies, by the Institute of Direc-tors (IoD), found that 55% manage the HR process directly, spending up to one day per week resolving HR issues.

Although 88% of respondents admitted that finding the right staff was a challenge and that keeping up with changes in legislation in the workplace was often difficult, 64% said they were reticent to give up control.

The Small Business Recruitment and Retention Survey, sponsored by recruitment firm Adecco, also found that 20% of managing dir-ectors do not invest enough money in managing HR.

And while most companies believe their HR policies are clear, 41% of the respondents admitted to not having a formal recruitment policy in place to help find the right staff.

IoD head of business policy, Richard Wilson, said: “The best businesses place lots of weight on HR, and the ones that don’t are missing a trick, both in terms of getting the best people and keeping up with legislative changes.

“Because this is a survey of IoD members, I did not expect to see such high numbers [of managing directors] doing HR themselves,” he added. “This would indicate that the numbers would be even higher in the wider market.”

The perception of HR as a softer skill means CEOs believe they can do it “on the side”, despite increasingly complex employment legislation, Wilson said.

Amstrad boss Sir Alan Sugar (above) demonstrated his HR skills when evaluating potential candidates in the BBC’s The Apprentice.

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