Differences of Human Resource Practices in Small and Large Organizations

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Human Resources Management > Forum > Differences of Human Resource Practices in Small and Large Organizations

Differences of Human Resource Practices in Small and Large Organizations
A.C. JOEFABI, Student (University), Sri Lanka, Member
What are the main differences between HR practices in a small versus a large firm? Thank you for your suggestions...

Difference HR in Large and Small Firms
David Guild, Consultant, Australia, Member
HR basically stays the same in any size organization. But in small firms you do have a chance of being much more up close and personal, whereas in a large firm you do not have that chance, no matter how hard you try, you can not get to know 1,000+ staff.
Therefore being so informed in a small firm you should be able to be more proactive because of your closeness to the front line work place.

Difference Between HR Practises in Large and Small Organisations
WALTER MAGWENZI, HR Consultant, Zimbabwe, Member
There are actually no differences between the two as HR practises will be same. You will find the same grievances.
However, there will be differences in volumes and levels.

HR Practices in Large and Small Firms
Krishna, Director, India, Member
Although the basics of HR are the same, The difference comes in terms of the magnitude of issues that are faced. The span of control and the level of operations of the company would matter a lot. HR practices will be fine tuned according to this factor.
And not only the size of (operations of) an organization, HR practices also vary greatly with the nature of the industry they apply to.
I take an example, while a small organization in its industry would worry a great deal on employee attrition rate, a larger organization would accept that as part of the game and formulate strategies in the base model itself. On the other hand a large manufacturing organization will have policies that prevent (contract) workers to be working continuously for more than, say, 6 months, keeping law of the land in mind.
In a nutshell: HR practices definitely vary greatly on the size of business and on the nature of the business.
More thoughts are invited.

Differences in Human Resources Practices in Large and Small Firms
Ashish Verma, HR Consultant, India, Member
There are many differences in the way HR practices work in large and small firms. To understand the practices, one must understand the basic differences between large and small firms.
- Resources: large firms have relatively easy access to resources. They can dig easily into their large resource pool.
- Employer Branding: the major area of focus for HR in large firms is employer branding. Small firms do not aim or vie for employer branding.
- Talent Management: using the mentioned employer branding and resources, large firms acquire talent whereas small firms hire people with a focus on cost.
- Employee Development: large firms have a holistic approach to development of employees, while small firms generally have some limited, stray instances of skill-based training.
- Corporate Responsibility: while the large firms are engaging employees in CSR as an important assignment, csr in small firms is limited to promoters.
These are some generic differences; many things depend on the organizational value system.

Difference in HR Practices in Large and Small Firms
Alex Odul Ochol, Manager, Uganda, Member
There is a very thin line between HR in large organisations and small organisations. In my view, the approach is basically the same in almost all aspects, except that in large organisations there is workforce diversity that calls for a holistic approach. Because of the sensitivity of cultures and beliefs of the employees.

Difference HR in Small and Large Organization
Dr Azman CheOmar, Professor, Malaysia, Member
In term of functions, they are almost the same. However they do differ in some activities:
- HR planning is practiced in large organizations but not in smaller organizations.
- Career development is also very limited in smaller organizations.
Also the roles played by the line managers and staff managers are not the same. For smaller organization, there is a blur of roles, that is the same manager is doing the line job and staff job.

Differences of the HR Function between Small and Large Organizations
Yeshwant Moodliar, Consultant, India, Member
In a small organization, the HR function is limited to "employee/supervisor"interactions & annual appraisal.
In a large organization the HR function is split between VP of HR (head office) with CEOs and HR managers of all subsidiary units. Self development up to supervisory level is in the unit itself, but development of all managers could be in two areas a) personal deficiecies and b) development for handling higher responsibilities.

Differences of HR Practices in Large and Small Firms
Sakala Abraham, Student (Other), Zambia, Member
HR is always the same, whether in large firms or small firms. A difference is in the number of activities that they perform. In large firms there a lot of HR activities while in a small firm there are few.

Formal / Personal HR in Large / Small Organisations
HR in large organisations are more planned, formalised and more modern tools are used to implement HR policies.
Smaller firms tend to be more personal in their HR approaches, basically because everyone knows each other.
Larger organisations may suffer to some extent due to their impersonal style of HR. Smaller firms may suffer to soem extent due to the subjectivity arising out of their personal approach.
Still the principles of HR remain the same.

Differences of HR in Large and Small Organisations
Diganta Bora, HR Consultant, India, Member
There are some differences between HR in large & small organisations.
Large organisation have resources. If the top management of a large organisation has a HR attitude, they can implement a new concept of HR in their organisation, which may not be possible for a small organisation.

A HR Attitude. In Large & Small Companies
Yeshwant Moodliar, Consultant, India, Member
I totally agree with you. An "HR attitude" has to be cultivated and this depends a lot on the top management and their concern about the HR function and the employees in the organisation. This "concern about hr" is reflected in the communication sent from top management to other subsidiaries and employees in the head office.
The Entrepreneur in an SME can also exibit an HR Attitude in the way he manages his supervisors and employees

Not All HR Functions Would Be Used, Others would be Different
Aladdien Mohamed, Manager, Saudi Arabia, Member
I could see that many HR functions could be different based on the scope of HR delivered services and headcount.
For example, in small organizations, functions such as succession planning and career development might not be that important and be missing.
Recruitment activities would be there, but more ad-hoc.

HR Practices in a Small versus a Large Firm
Yeshwant Moodliar, Consultant, India, Member
- In a small firm HR practices are limited, apart from hiring and firing and some practices linked with annual salary revision & promotions. There is no HR manual per se and the owner is the HR manager. There is no formal appraisal system. There is no fixed age for retirement. Lastly, the formal practice of provident fund and pension does not exist.
- In a large firm there is a formal HR set-up with policies on all issues from hiring to firing, which are monitored by the HR manager and his team. There is a formal appraisal system which is the basic tool for all "rewards & punishments". There is a formal retiring age. Lastly, there is a formal practice of provident fund and pension.
To conclude: the small firm is an "informal" organisation, run as per the choice of the owner, which gets refined and formalized over a time while the firm grows.

Comparision of HR Practices in Small and Large Firms
Shruti Misra, Coach, India, Member
HR functions in small firms are more into the administrative roles and more focused towards accomplishing immediate operational tasks at hand.
Whereas in larger firms, HR functions apart from administrative roles, are more focused towards employee development and growth initiatives.

HR in Small and Large Organisations
Azim, Student (University), Tanzania, Member
Hello, I agree in small industries HR is more focused on utilising the human resource and pays less attention to their benefits. Whereas in large organisation HR is a holistic approach of retaining and providing long term plans of employee development and career planing. In the large organisation, talent management is more in focus.

HR in Small and Large Companies
Kevin M. Adolfo, Management Consultant, Philippines, Member
Basically, HR functions are the same regardless of company size. HR activities, projects, and programs are universal and they cut across cultural boundaries. It is a matter of how HR managers would apply them.
1. HR Procedures and Implementation Strategies may differ because of the company size, organizational culture, workforce diversity, and the like.
2. HR structures may be different in small and large companies. HR structures are dependent on the nature of the business, the need of the organization, and the size of it. In short, the larger the company is, the more complex the HR structure will be.

HR and Size of the Company
qamar hussain, Entrepreneur, Pakistan, Member
@David Guild : you are right. But in small size firms the task of HR is usually given to administration.

Differences in HR Between Big and Small Organisations
seechurn, HR Consultant, Mauritius, Member
@David Guild: I agree to your suggestion put forward. HR basically stays the same irrespective of the size of the organization. In small organisations, with less number of employees there is an open door policy where employees have greater access to management and thus creating a personal and close relationship whereby many problems can be solved amicably.
In large organisations, the system of operation is more bureaucratic and impersonal given the large number of employees and different sections.

Large versus Small HR Organizations
David Wilson, Manager, Canada, Premium Member
There are differences between large and small HR organizations:
  • In larger and more complex organizations, you are more likely to find a wide variety of diverse HR activities and job specializations. The trick is to ensure all HR functions are covered within the HR service delivery model, regardless of the size of the organization.
  • The ratio of HR staff per employee FTE is likely to be lower in a larger organization (e.g., small organization ratio is 1 HR FTEs to 100 employee FTEs; and large organization ratio is likely to be 1 HR FTEs to 150 employee FTEs). The number of HR FTEs and the number of HR specialists will vary when the diverse functions are assigned to HR.
  • In larger organizations, HR may be placed within a corporate services structure with results that may diminish the role of HR staff. The nature of the organization may also impact the type and number of HR positions. A more homogeneous organization will tend to have fewer HR FTEs.

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