HR Collaborative owner authors employee blueprint for small businesses



Local human resources professional Beth Kelly has written a new book, “The EE Gap: Human Resources for Small Business Success,” which provides an HR blue print for companies with 15-200 employees. “EE” is HR speak for employee.

The book "helps the leadership of the organization be very thoughtful and deliberate on how they are going to create a human resource system and processes that will result in a great place to work,” Kelly explained.

She said the book addresses several key HR topics and issues, from hiring the right people for the right jobs to developing the company culture an employer envisions.

The book covers, among other topics, how people get paid, compensation and benefits, how to measure performance, how to address difficult issues with employees and relevant laws and regulations.

Kelly has 30 years of HR experience, most recently as the managing partner of her own small business, HR Collaborative, formerly Connexsource, which provides human resource consulting and management services to small- and medium-size companies.

“My true love and passion was working with small businesses and helping them grow strategically through their talent,” she said of her decision to launch her own business in 1998.

“We do everything from being the full HR department for a small- to medium-sized employer to working on special projects for companies that have an HR presence, but need a little extra capacity to work on the projects and initiatives that will help them grow and improve their HR.”

In her work with small businesses, Kelly said she consistently sees the same thing: businesses that have the right ideas and intention for creating a great work environment, but are struggling to reach it. She decided to write a book to help them achieve their vision.

“They simply didn’t have, first, the capacity and second, the plan to make that happen,” she explained. “In my business, I provide the capacity by providing human resource services, so this book really is the evolution of an HR plan that addresses all the different kinds of things that a business owner needs to think about and how they can put that in place — so they can, as they grow, have the kind of HR culture and employees and work environment that they envisioned when they started their business.”

Kelly said she regularly hears from clients that they can’t compete for top talent with larger businesses, which she said is absolutely not the case.

“A small business can be just as competitive with talent as a large business can,” she said. “All they have to do is be creative and thoughtful and use the resources that they have available to them to compete in the marketplace.

“The small business actually has the advantage, because they are flexible, and they can be more accommodating to the needs of good talent in the marketplace," she said. "My experience is that is what small businesses do best: They are best at being flexible and being creative and using their resources in creative ways.”

Kelly’s book is available at

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