Do you need an HR department?

modern-buildingFor very small or new businesses, there’s often no need to have a dedicated HR professional. You have your team set and everyone knows their jobs. There’s no need to find new hires. Everybody gets along, and you’re all hunkered down to do the best work you can.

But just because things are going smoothly now doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be planning for the future. If you’re starting to think about an HR department, ask yourself these questions.

Are HR tasks creating roadblocks?

Most small businesses start with every employee wearing many hats, but there’s a point where the multitasking becomes a hurdle. For instance, is your COO also responsible for training new hires? Does your CEO do all the payroll solo, writing each check by hand? When those duties start draining the time and resources of your team members so that they can’t effectively do their assigned jobs, then it becomes easy to see how a trained HR professional can be an investment instead of a burden. By entrusting someone with the right skills to handle the important jobs outside of your current employees job descriptions, you’ll be adding value to your organisation and gaining back time to focus on growing your business.

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What’s your growth plan?

In the beginning, your team will be focused on figuring things out. There is a lot to do and only with everyone pitching in, will you find your way through. But as you settle into your regular activities and start to build steam, you’ll need to start thinking about the future. Even though you may not be ready to expand today, if you want a bigger team in three months, then you’ll want to lay the groundwork early for a smooth transition. That means bringing some HR expertise into the fold before you need to grow. If you have a plan, when your growth explodes, you’ll be ready.

It’s also worth considering the type of hires you’ll be making within the company. If you only need entry-level help, then focus on more pertinent goals right now and save the HR hiring for later. Do you need specialized leaders to join your team and fast? Then HR professionals are a must to ensure you get the right person for the job within your time frame.

Do you know the legal issues?

One of the major topics that human resources covers are company policies and legal issues. Will you publish a company handbook? Do you have policies to guide diversity programs or harassment prevention? Are you in compliance with federal, state, and local rules governing employment? When your company is very small, many of those questions aren’t going to be too important. But as you grow, they become more of a liability. Once you need to juggle these serious topics, then it’s best to protect yourself with a seasoned professional.

Before rushing in to a hiring frenzy, make sure you’ve thought about if an HR department is what your business needs. And if it does need an HR department, what’s your strategy for getting there. What does your business do to currently handle your HR workload? Let us know in the comments below.

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John Dietrich

John is the Digital Marketing Manager for Search Party responsible for implementing, tracking, and optimising marketing efforts in the digital space. He's a physics and psychology hobbyist with a strong belief of putting people first in business and life.

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