Is HR Different for Small and Large Organisations?


Human resources (HR) plays a critical role in all organisations, regardless of their size. But, is HR the same for small and large organisations? While most practices are applicable to both, it is not entirely true that one size fits all when it comes to HR strategies. Small organisations may not have the same budgets or resources that larger ones do, and large organisations may face different challenges than smaller ones due to their size.

Smaller organisations tend to be more flexible when it comes to HR practices. They might not have the capacity to provide a full suite of benefits like larger companies do, but they can offer more personalised options that are tailored to the needs of their employees. 

Large organisations, on the other hand, have more resources and may be able to offer a wider variety of benefits. They also typically have larger HR teams dedicated solely to employee relations and development.

In this blog, I will explore the differences between HR management in small and large organisations, including the unique challenges that small businesses face and how HR teams can adapt to help them succeed.

Firstly, let’s discuss the unique challenges small businesses face. Unlike large organisations with established HR departments and structures, small companies usually have limited resources and may not have the luxury of hiring full-time HR staff. In most cases, HR responsibilities fall on the shoulders of business owners, managers, or other employees. This can lead to issues, such as a lack of HR expertise, limited training opportunities, and potential non-compliance with labour laws. Small businesses also experience unique challenges when it comes to attracting and retaining talent, as they compete with larger organisations that may offer better salaries and benefits.

In contrast, large organisations have HR teams dedicated to managing diverse employee needs and expectations. The complexity of HR in large organisations is unmatched, as it involves managing large-scale recruitment, employee engagement, training and development, succession planning, and performance management. Large organisations often have HR specialists who oversee specific aspects of HR management, ensuring that each function is done efficiently. Additionally, larger organisations have the luxury of investing in state-of-the-art HR technologies, such as HR information systems (HRIS), that streamline HR processes and provide useful data to HR professionals.

To address these differences, HR teams can adapt their strategies to meet the unique needs of small and large organisations. For small organisations, developing a comprehensive HR manual that details HR policies, procedures, and practices can help establish a framework that ensures compliance with labour laws, proper recruitment and retention, and protects employees and business owners. HR teams might also consider providing regular training on HR management to impart relevant knowledge and skills to team members.

Large organisations can also benefit from developing comprehensive HR manuals. However, they may also consider implementing scalable HR systems that allow for seamless communication and collaboration among HR teams. Additionally, investing in HR analytics tools that help organisations track their performance and identify trends can help refine HR strategies and improve employee engagement.


While HR management in small and large organisations is designed to meet the same fundamental needs, there are inherent challenges unique to each situation that warrant tailored HR strategies. With the right approach, small businesses can benefit from HR practices that support compliance, recruitment, and retention. Conversely, large organisations can leverage HR specialists, scalable HR systems, and analytics tools to improve employee engagement and foster innovation. Whether you’re a small business or a big corporation, investing in HR management that aligns with your organisational objectives is critical to building a thriving workplace culture.

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