HR for Small vs. Large Organisations: What’s the Difference?

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By Gravalar

Human Resource (HR) management is an essential part of any organisation, but it may surprise you to know that the way HR operates differs between small and large organisations. In this blog, we’ll explore the varying requirements of HR in small and large organisations and the different challenges that HR professionals face in each setting. Whether you’re a business owner, HR professional, or simply curious, this blog post is for you!

The first difference between HR in small and large organisations is the size of the HR department itself. In small companies, there may only be one HR professional, who is responsible for all HR activities. This can range from hiring and onboarding to payroll and benefits administration to performance management and training. In contrast, large organisations typically have an entire HR team, consisting of specialists in different areas, such as recruitment, training, or benefits administration. In addition to having more HR staff, large companies may also outsource some HR functions, such as payroll or benefits administration, to third-party providers.

Another key difference between HR in small and large organisations is the approach to managing employees. In a smaller company, the HR professional may be more hands-on, working closely with employees on day-to-day issues and taking a more personalised approach to HR management. In contrast, in a larger organisation, HR Administrator recruitment agencies may be more process-driven, with formal policies and procedures in place to govern how employees are managed. This can be both a strength and a weakness, as a more standardised approach ensures consistency and fairness but can also lead to a lack of flexibility or individualised attention.

One of the biggest challenges that small organisations face in HR management is the lack of resources. With fewer staff and a smaller budget, small companies often struggle to keep up with the demands of HR administration. This can include everything from managing compliance with labour laws and regulations to administering employee benefits and payroll. In addition, small companies may not have the same level of expertise in HR, which can leave them vulnerable to legal or compliance issues. In contrast, larger companies may have more resources and a greater level of expertise, but they may also face their own challenges in managing a large and complex workforce.

Another key difference between HR in small and large organisations is the role that HR plays in shaping company culture. In a smaller company, HR may be more involved in shaping the overall culture of the organisation, working closely with employees to develop a positive and inclusive work environment. In contrast, in a larger organisation, HR may have a more limited role in shaping company culture, particularly if there are competing priorities or a disconnect between HR and upper management. However, HR can still play a vital role in shaping company culture by promoting diversity and inclusion, providing training and development opportunities, and fostering a culture of open communication and feedback.


In conclusion, the role of HR in small and large organisations differs in several key ways, from the size and structure of the HR department to the approach to managing employees and shaping company culture. Small organisations may struggle with limited resources and expertise in HR, while larger companies may face their own challenges in managing a large and complex workforce. However, regardless of organisational size, HR remains essential to managing employees and shaping the overall success of the business. By understanding the unique challenges and opportunities of HR management in small and large organisations, we can work together to create an environment that supports the needs of employees and the business as a whole.