The importance of human resources management for small businesses in South Africa

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The majority of SMEs fail in the first five years of operation (Cant and Ligthelm, 2003). Human resource management (HRM) has been identified as a crucial key success factor for SMEs in today’s world. This research study investigates small business owners’ perception of the importance of HRM. The objective of this paper is to determine the perceived importance of human resources (HR) among South African SMEs and the management of it. A questionnaire was constructed and judgement sampling was used to gather the responses of 88 small business owners. The research revealed that the majority of SMEs have HR practices of some sort in place, as well as areas to improve on HR practices. The challenge now is to further increase the adoption of HR management and practices among small businesses in South Africa to ensure their success, as they play a vital role in the South African economy.

Keywords: South African SMEs, developing countries, human resource functions, human resources management, HR, HRM.
JEL Classification: M19

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