24th October 2023

Does my small business need HR?

As a small business owner in Scotland, you’re likely wearing many hats. You may be responsible for everything from marketing and sales to product development and customer service. On top of that, you also need to manage your employees.

While you may be able to handle Human Resources (HR) tasks yourself in the early days of your business, there comes a time when it becomes too much to manage on your own. This is where dedicated HR support can be invaluable.

In this article, we look at what HR does, the benefits of putting HR support in place, and the options you have at your disposal to ensure your business has the advice and support it needs.

What does HR do?

HR covers a wide range of tasks, including:

  • Recruitment and onboarding
  • Performance management
  • Training and development
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Employee relations
  • Compliance with employment law

When does a small business need HR?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Your need for HR will vary depending on the size and complexity of your business, as well as the industry you’re in.

However, as a general rule of thumb, most small businesses will benefit from having some form of HR support in place once they have around ten employees. This is because once you reach this size, the administrative burden of managing HR tasks can become significant.

Signs you might need HR

Here are some signs that your small business may need HR support in some form or other:

  • You are spending a significant amount of time on HR tasks, such as recruitment, onboarding, and payroll
  • You are struggling to keep up with all of the latest employment laws and regulations
  • You are having difficulty managing employee relations or resolving employee complaints
  • You need to develop and implement new training and development programs for your employees
  • You are considering offering new employee benefits, such as a healthcare plan, bonus scheme, extended leave or income protection, for example.

Still unsure?

If you are still unsure whether or not your business needs HR, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Do I have time to manage all of my HR tasks effectively?
  • Do I have the knowledge and expertise to handle complex HR issues?
  • Am I in compliance with all relevant employment laws and regulations?
  • Can I identify and mitigate potential HR risks?
  • Am I creating a positive and productive work environment for my employees?
  • Can I recruit, onboard, train, and develop my employees effectively?
  • Is my HR strategy aligned with my overall business goals?

If you are unsure whether or not your small business needs HR, it is a good idea to seek professional advice. We can help you assess your HR needs and develop a plan for managing your employees effectively. We work with businesses like yours across Dundee, Angus, Tayside, and Perth and Kinross. Simply contact our friendly team today.

Is HR a legal requirement in Scotland?

In Scotland, there is no legal obligation for small businesses to have an HR department. However, as your business grows, it is vital to have a system in place to manage your employees and ensure that you are compliant with all relevant employment laws and regulations.

Benefits of HR

There are many benefits to having HR support, even for small businesses. Here are just some benefits of introducing HR support into your business:

  • Reduced risk: HR can help you to reduce your risk of legal problems by ensuring that you are complying with all applicable employment laws and regulations, such as those related to minimum wage, working hours, unfair dismissals and discrimination. This can help to protect your business from legal claims and fines.
  • Recruitment and onboarding: HR can help you to recruit and onboard new employees effectively. This includes tasks such as designing job descriptions, advertising job vacancies, screening CVs, conducting interviews, and preparing new employee contracts.
  • Employee relations: HR can help to build and maintain positive employee relations. This includes tasks such as developing and implementing employee policies and procedures, handling employee complaints and grievances, conducting performance reviews and dealing with disciplinary matters and dismissals.
  • Training and development: HR can help to ensure that your employees are adequately trained and developed. This includes tasks such as identifying training needs, developing training programs, and delivering training.
  • Payroll and benefits: HR can help to manage payroll and benefits for your employees. This includes tasks such as calculating wages, processing payroll, and administering employee benefits.
  • Employee engagement: HR can help you to create a positive work environment where your staff know they will get the support they require from their employer
  • Productivity: HR can help to improve employee productivity by providing training and development opportunities, as well as by managing performance and compensation
  • Strategic planning: HR professionals can help you align your HR strategy with your overall business goals

Outsourced HR to the rescue

If you have a small business with just a few employees, you may be able to manage all of these HR tasks yourself. However, as your business grows, it may become necessary to hire a dedicated HR professional or outsource your HR function to a third-party provider. 

This is where we can provide a valuable outsourced HR support service to your business. Symphony HR provides a wide range of on-demand services, advice, and ongoing support to small businesses across Dundee, Angus, Tayside, and Perth and Kinross, including help with:

  • recruitment processes
  • contracts of employment
  • employee handbooks, policies and procedures
  • workplace investigations and independent reviews
  • poor performance
  • redundancies
  • workplace conflict and mediation
  • settlement agreements
  • litigation and tribunals
  • discrimination and harassment
  • Scottish employment law advice
  • HR software advice and recommendations

By working with you – for you, we take care of every people management process, from recruitment processes to exit strategies and terminating employment to help orchestrate your success.

What are the costs of outsourced HR support?

We aim to give you exceptional value for money with monthly support packages designed for all sizes of businesses. We offer retained services or pay-as-you-go with no long-term contract to give you complete peace of mind.


Whether or not your small business needs HR depends on many factors, including your size, complexity, and industry. However, there are many benefits to having HR support, even for small businesses.

If you’re not sure whether or not your business needs HR, it’s a good idea to consult with an expert like our very helpful team here at Symphony HR. We can help you assess your HR needs and recommend the best course of action.

Get advice about everything HR-related from the people management experts

For the complete range of outsourced HR services and HR advice tailored to meet the needs of your business, call the people experts on 01382 211 222 or 01738 632 561. We are open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.