Liz Sheffield

Is It Time to Hire an HR Professional?

In small businesses, it’s often the owner or office manager who handles the human resources side of the operation, including hiring candidates, onboarding new employees, managing payroll and addressing employee issues.

At some point, though, these tasks can become too much for a single person to handle alone. Though a business owner or office manager may have been able to handle the HR needs for a small business, they typically don’t have the necessary time, background or education to efficiently manage the company’s HR needs as it grows and its needs evolve.

Some businesses react by outsourcing their HR to a third party or payroll provider, but every business owner should understand how to recognize when the organization needs a full-time HR professional.

Ask yourself these questions to guide yourself to the right time and way to make this decision.

How Many Employees Do You Have?

The broadest of the current employment laws may apply to your business when your staff numbers only two, but the requirements really kick in at 50 employees. If you’re nearing the 50-employee mark, it’s time to seriously consider hiring an in-house HR professional who can help ensure that you meet the Department of Labor’s requirements. Once you reach the 50-employee mark, your duties related to the Affordable Care Act also increase. An HR professional who’s trained in human resources management adds value to your business and helps you avoid risk.

Do You Anticipate Rapid Growth in the Next Year?

It takes time, effort and a thorough understanding of your business to recruit the right employees. An HR generalist can take those duties off your shoulders so you can focus on what you’re best at: running the company. As an internal employee, an HR expert will have a better sense of what you’re seeking in the employees you’re trying to recruit. Once you bring on new employees, there’s also a significant amount of human resources-related paperwork, administration and training required to hire and onboard them, regardless of whether you’re hiring one person or a whole new team. Having someone in charge of the entire process will simplify things for you and give new hires a consistent, well-thought-out onboarding.

What Type of Culture Do You Want to Create?

As your business grows, it’s essential to be intentional about the culture and employer brand you’re creating. If you don’t invest time and money in programs and procedures that support and engage your employees, you risk losing your best talent to competitors that prioritize a positive working life.

Creating a workplace environment that supports, encourages and engages employees takes collaboration. It’s difficult to keep a handle on both the overarching vision for an office culture and the day-to-day changes that make that vision a reality. If you have a goal for how you want your office to run but no idea how to get there, an HR professional can manage health benefits, take the lead on professional development and nurture positive employee relations — the kind of everyday tasks that make your workplace somewhere employees would like to be.

You may be worried about the cost of hiring a human resources professional. However, weigh those costs against the risks: How much do you lose in employee turnover? How much time do you dedicate to HR tasks that would be better spent on other tasks? Take time to find the right person to recruit as your HR partner, and you’ll be glad for the results they help your people and your business achieve.


This content is provided solely for informational purposes. It is not intended as and does not constitute legal advice. The information contained herein should not be relied upon or used as a substitute for consultation with legal, accounting, tax and/or other professional advisers.


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