Are you on the fence about whether you need help with your business’ human resources duties? Many business owners wear a multitude of hats, including that of HR manager, but there comes a point when handling the wide-range of HR tasks may hold you back from growing your company and other major profit-generating goals because you just don’t have enough time and energy for everything.
To help you determine if and when it’s best for your company to hire a human resources professional, consider the following hiring best practices and whether you see them in your business.
You’re preparing to grow your company.
If you’re ramping up for growth and plan to hire a significant number of employees, it may be the perfect time to get some HR help. Human resource tasks encompass many crucial areas, including recruiting, hiring, onboarding, employee relations, workplace safety, benefits planning, payroll and termination. The more employees you hire, the greater the workload in each of these categories. Here’s the general industry standard, as recommended by HR professional Ken Viggers:
- At the 50-employee level, at minimum an outsourced HR help is recommended.
- For the 100-employee level, a full-time, in-house HR manager is typically needed.
- For larger companies, one HR generalist is recommended for every 100 employees.
As you think about ways to handle hiring for anticipated growth, check out some hiring advice and best practices from business owners who’ve been through the process.
Your recruiting and retention efforts are minimally effective, at best.
Let’s face it, finding (and keeping) high-performing employees can be a time-consuming process, especially if you’re taking on the task without professional help. Wading through piles of resumes, online or physically, can be daunting, and that’s just the first step. If you’re struggling to recruit and retain quality candidates, look into enlisting the pros to help you.
You need help keeping up with employment laws and best practices.
As a business owner with employees, even if you employ just a few, it’s vital that you know the employment laws and stay up-to-date and compliant with them. They include laws such as job discrimination, overtime/minimum wage requirements for your state, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and workplace safety laws, to name a few. And the more employees you have, the more laws will apply to you. If you’re concerned about your risk and don’t have the time to address this area, it’s a sign you should consider hiring human resources help.
You’re finding it difficult to establish and enforce employee policies, practices and processes.
If you employee people, you should set expectations and standards, as well as establish ways to communicate and enforce them. If you don’t, your employees won’t have clear boundaries, and productivity and workplace satisfaction will most likely suffer. If you haven’t created basic policy documents, such as an employee handbook, you may need an HR consultant to help you get up to speed and stay consistent.
HR duties are sapping too much of you and your team’s time and energy.
Finally, if dealing with personnel issues is taking too much time away from critical business tasks, or if you and your management team are simply not equipped to handle the number of employees you have, it’s time to seek some relief.
If you’ve seen one or more of these signals in your business, here are some options to consider:
- HR Consultant or “a la Carte” Outsourcing – Retaining an HR consultant can be a cost-effective way for businesses with fewer employees to get human resources expertise without the cost of hiring an in-house employee. Some commonly outsourced HR functions for small businesses include payroll administration, training and development, labor relations and benefits management.
- Contracting a Staffing Agency – If you need help recruiting and hiring employees, contracting with an agency may be your answer. Depending on your needs, the agency will do all the tasks relative to finding the right candidates for you, using their expertise and resource pool while saving you time, headaches and money. Usually, agencies offer some type of hiring guarantee to ensure the candidates they place are the right fit.
- Hiring In-House – If you’re paying more for a consultant than you would for an in-house HR professional, you should probably reassess your needs and consider hiring an HR staffer. Even if you need to pay a bit more, an in-house employee often makes more sense because the position increases overall efficiency and streamlines your employee processes, taking the burden off you and/or your management team.
Have you struggled with the best hiring practices for human resources? Share your experience in the comments below.