When Do You Need an HR Professional?

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Hiring an HR Professional? Things to Think About

Hiring an HR professional to set up an HR department can be a daunting task. When should you engage support services, when should you hire a dedicated HR professional and what the heck do they actually do?

If HR related issues are getting in the way of running your business, then it might be time to get some help. We offer the following tips for you to consider and how to implement best practices when considering HR.

How do I begin this process of hiring an HR professional?

Many times hiring an HR professional comes when there is a crisis like a cultural or moral issue or you can’t deal with the people issues – it’s just not your strength. There are a couple of things to consider at this point. The first is the number of employees you currently have and what kind of HR support you think you may need.


Why the number of employees? There are many employment laws that you need to be in compliance with. Some of the more complex ones like leaves of absence kick in when you reach 50 employees. The others can include any immediate needs that should be addressed by an HR specialist like employee communication, or programs to incentivize employee participation, or even your compliance needs — all of which can be overwhelming.


Who do I hire?

First assess whether you need a full time person, advice as needed or simply part-time help at a basic level. All of this should be driven by the size of your organization now, as well as what you expect it to be within the next year. What are your most pressing needs?

For example, if you’re planning to double in size and talent acquisition (TA) is a large piece of your plan, hiring someone with a specialty in TA might be your answer. If that is the case, keep in mind that you will also need to provide them with appropriate resources so they are successful in other areas of HR — compliance, benefits, compensation, etc.

One pitfall that many start up organizations fall into is over hiring. If you want to have your new HR person focus on paperwork and data entry, make sure you do not hire someone who is overqualified and will get bored easily. Go ahead and hire the more junior staff but make sure you help them with training and/or mentorship.

Be realistic about what you need and what you can offer someone. Make sure they fit into your culture, but do not be stymied by ensuring they come from within your industry, only. As HR is a skill set, like accounting, it can be applied successfully in a variety of organizations throughout different industries. Don’t limit yourself; hire the person with the best skills and the best culture fit!

Having someone in HR who believes in your organization and is dedicated to your success will help you retain staff at all levels of the organization. Just like management, HR skills can be learned and nurtured in any number of ways.


HR Expertise On Demand

If you’re a small or emerging business and would like some expert, on-demand guidance or help as your business grows, we’re here for you. Visit Mercer PeoplePro and click LIVE Chat to schedule your call —we’re ready to help so you can focus on your business.

Written by Mercer PeoplePro Growing Your Business specialist, Ruth Baylis




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