Lots of SMEs are slow to hire HR professionals. There’s a perception that HR recruitment is a low priority; that the money would be better spent filling vacancies that have a more ‘tangible’ impact on productivity. Unfortunately that perception could be holding your business back.
HR managers can assist with a long list of tasks. Sure, there’s the admin side of things: monitoring salaries, writing job descriptions, processing holiday requests and so on. But HR managers also act as a valuable bridge between management and employees; oil that smoothes the turning of your business cogs. The right HR hire will boost staff engagement, productivity and morale. And they will ensure employees’ daily tasks align with your wider business strategy.
All in all it’s pretty important. Here are five signs it’s time you considered hiring an HR manager.
1. You are drowning in admin
It’s a common business paradox. You hire people to lighten your workload, but that results in more time spent on admin. That takes you away from your core business tasks and means you spend less time doing the stuff you actually enjoy.
2. You’re growing
There’s more to recruitment than a round of interviews and a telephone call to the lucky candidate. Finding an employee who will really add value to your business means writing a spectacular job description, placing job vacancies, liaising with recruitment consultants, sifting through CVs, arranging interviews, reference checking, writing offers of employment, training and on-boarding. Hiring an HR manager does not mean ceding power on the all-important decision of who to employ. It simply means you will have an expert to make sure your recruitment drives run smoothly, while you take care of your business.
3. You have no idea how much to pay your best staff
Not everyone is motivated by money. But stagnating wages and miserly benefits are not likely to encourage your best staff to hang around. As your business grows, you need to reward those that have driven that growth if you want to keep morale high. Unfortunately deciding when to increase salaries - and by how much - is a potential minefield. If it feels like too much of a guessing game, it’s best to call in a professional who can make sense of your growth and benchmark salaries against regional and professional averages.
4. You have more than one employee
That’s just it. Taking care of the bureaucratic side of employment - managing holiday requests, covering maternity leave, monitoring overtime, staying on top of employment law - eats into your time significantly. The more staff you have, the bigger the problem. In addition to the day to day generalist HR work, have you really got time to deal with people issues, identify talent, coach your management team and put in place an effective people strategy? If you think your time could be better spent elsewhere, hire someone to take care of HR so you can concentrate on doing what you are good at.
5. You feel disconnected from your team
Reminder: HR managers are a valuable bridge between management and employees. The best HR people are skilled communicators and can rationalise your overall business strategy and translate it to individual employees in a way that clarifies each person’s contribution to the bigger picture. They field queries and handle complaints. And they know how to keep staff motivated and can implement strategies that enhance productivity. They can even help you identify opportunities for personal development, training or team-building among your workforce. In short: the best HR managers reconcile the needs of your business with the needs of your staff. That’s invaluable.
Time to hire an HR manager?
Understandably you may have questions about hiring an HR professional and what to expect. Please contact Cathedral Appointments for advice. We have a long and successful track record of placing HR professionals with employers across the West Country. Get in touch on LinkedIn, email – firstname.lastname@example.org or call me or Dani Osborne on 01392 413577.